Vacation Rental Advice – Rental Websites vs. Craigslist

Alright, we’ve got you thinking about Spring Break and going to the beach.  Let’s talk about HOW to find a place to stay. 

I’ve used Craigslist AND gone through vacation rental websites (VRWs) and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

VRW Advantages – Credibility.  The owner, whether family or realty owned, has paid the fees and gone through the processes that provide a sense of security to the renter. 

VRW Disadvantages – Price.  The renter pays a premium for this sense of security!  There are SO MANY sites out there, so in order to ensure maximum occupancy, the owner has probably paid to be on a number of listing sites.  This expense is simply passed on to the renter…

Craigslist Advantages – Cheap and Personal.  Craigslist’s vacation rental postings are made up of both amateur owners, and rental agencies looking to increase exposure.  Your best bet is to find the bargain rental from an owner who personally uses the property.  They are local and willing to sacrifice top dollar pricing for quality renters, but do not plan on renting their place full-time.  You can find some amazing last minute deals on Craigslist, believe me!

Craigslist Disadvantages – Am I going to get ripped off?  Warnings about frauds, scams, wiring money, etc. can get you a little nervous.  For some users this risk is not worth taking.

WRAP UP – Use Vacation Rental Websites to do your homework.  Find a location that is best for you, then scour the internet for the best deal… which may be from a mom and pop owner on craigslist with a low mortgage and reasonable rates.

5 responses to “Vacation Rental Advice – Rental Websites vs. Craigslist

  1. Not all VRWs charge listing fees, yet they still provide renters with peace of mind. On VRWs like PickPackGo.com where listings are free to property managers and owners, there’s no need to mark up the price and pass any extra expense on to renters. In addition, managers and owners can maximize their free Craigslist posts by including links to their free descriptive property listings that include the most up-to-date photos, availability, rate and location details. The site also offers a Security Blanket Guarantee to renters that provides additional peace of mind.

  2. You make a good point about the ‘trust-factor’. That is such a key item in ALL channels – craigslist and VRWs. I think there sometimes is a false sense of security in VRWs, some are just a compilation of a bunch of offers – they do not even have access to the actual booking calendars and many do not have any contact with the actual vacation rental owner. I think a property manager’s (or owner’s) website, and whether you can book there directly, says a lot about them. Even if you find the deal on craigslist.

  3. timeawayexchange

    Karen – I am very interested in how pickpackgo.com operates. I love the site, but some of the Terms of Service are a little vague. Please share some details as to how this site works and what kind of cost & benefits are associated to the renter & property owner.

    If your site is a diamond in the rough, TimeAwayExchange and its viewers will certainly boost your exposure!

    Thanks! We all look forward to your post…

  4. timeawayexchange

    Ralf – so what sites do you see as “Legitimate?” I like VRBO.com because of it’s booking calendar, however I think the site needs a serious upgrade.

    Some of the other sites, such as Rentals.com, Vacationrentals.com and FindRentals.com, etc. offer a more modern look/feel, but lack functionality.

    So, from a user standpoint, what features are most important? Remember, adding functionality can sometimes lead to less renter-owner communication… which leads to anonymity and uncertainty of whom you’re dealing with…

    Thanks Ralf! Look forward to your feedback.

  5. Guys you should take a look at IndependentOwners .com, we give you a free website, to point all your other listings and adverts to and also a free postion on our sister listings site – VillasPeople .com

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