A wooden footbridge leading to the beach

Our Blog

Save BIG By Booking Direct

Cut out the middle man!

Over the years the vacation rental industry has changed immensely when it comes to how guests book properties! It was only about 10 years ago that most of our guests booked by calling our office directly.  As advertising trends have shifted toward the convenience of the internet, the preferred booking methods of guests has changed too.

OTA’s (Other Travel Agents) such as VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) have become wildly popular among consumers looking for a variety of properties to choose from when making important decisions about which vacation rental will best fit the needs of their party.  Florida Vacation Connection doesn’t typically turn to OTA’s to advertise.  With our strong repeat guest rate, word of mouth, and heavy traffic to our website, we really don’t need to!  But with new properties and our week minimum rentals, that rent more frequently, we like to give our beautiful properties a little more exposure.

But at what cost?

OTA’s charge guests a service fee that ranges anywhere from 5% to 15%.  The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees paid by the guest.  Rest assured; we never see any of that percentage! As a matter of fact, for advertising on their site as a vacation rental management company, we get charged a 5% (on average) booking fee on the rent amount too!

We love gaining new customers through OTA’s who otherwise never would have seen our properties.  While we are so grateful for the exposure, what we are finding is some repeat guests are continuing to book through an OTA instead of booking directly through us.

Why Book Direct

You save money! Here is an example of a recent booking from VRBO that was recently made by a guest who stayed with us previously but went back on VRBO to rebook their summer trip for 2022.









You get the same quality vacation rental and the same great service from Florida Vacation Connection.  And, by saving on your vacation rental, you have more money to spend on local attractions, shopping, and splurging on dessert at one of our local restaurants!

Next time you are looking to book a vacation rental on Longboat or Lido Key, contact us in the office for a more personal approach, or you can search and book directly on our website!