Vrbo, which recently began removing property management company names from listings, says the move is a short-term test intended to “improve the shopping experience for travelers and to optimize conversion in order to provide as many bookings as possible for Vrbo partners.”
But property managers explain they are not happy with the change.
“Imagine going to Expedia and having them list 100 hotels in Manhattan but not telling you who they were and just saying ‘hotel room'.
“Consumers want to know who they are booking with. They want to have a feeling of trust and security, so I think it’s just a bad experience overall. The reason they are doing is clearly they don’t want folks to leave the platform and book on other sites. That’s not a good reason to create a bad consumer experience in my opinion.”
— John Banczak, CEO of TurnKey Vacation Rentals and who previously worked at HomeAway.
Banczak says he learned of the resent test from industry colleagues that saw TurnKey’s branding removed from listings.
“We have heard a lot from the property management industry and people are extremely concerned about this test,” he says. Properties that are part of the test show the words “Property Manger” in place of the company name.
Brian Egan, Co-Founder and CEO of Evolve Vacation Rental, says that while testing is a good thing, “in this case we think the hypothesis underlying the test is flawed. We should all be aligned in wanting what's best for the consumer, and it's clear to us that obfuscating brands at the top of the funnel will only lead to confusion and erode trust".
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