Last week, HomeAway officially announced their new Premier Partner Program. We’re honored to be one of the first companies invited to join the program, as this elite offering reflects everything we stand for here at TurnKey Vacation Rentals. We’re obsessed with creating exceptional experiences for vacation rental homeowners and their guests with our technology-based property management solutions and local support teams. When travelers book a TurnKey home, they know they’ll have an outstanding experience in an exceptional home each and every time, and our homeowners know we’ve got their backs from the moment their property is booked until their guests check out.
We’re proud to partner with HomeAway and to be part of their commitment to ensuring the highest quality and codes of conduct in the vacation rental industry.
We applaud HomeAway’s Premier Partner Program for providing guidelines that will help ensure a consistent guest experience and set of services for the vacation rental industry. Ultimately, a great guest experience equates to more stays, more positive reviews and more income for rental owners. It’s quite an honor to have been included so early on in the program’s inception. We’re proud that our company vision resonates so well overall with homeowners and guests, as well as one of our major listings partners.
What is the HomeAway Premier Partner Program?
At its core, this new HomeAway program recognizes those owners and property managers who consistently deliver outstanding guest experiences. In order to qualify, FRBOs and property managers must provide an elite, consistent guest experience and have the reviews to prove it. The HomeAway Discovery Hub specifically states:
“Exceptional owners and property managers offer clear expectations, provide unique experiences — and travelers respond with great feedback and reviews.”
The vacation rental industry is truly beginning to revolve around the guest experience. This is certainly a huge evolution from where things started back in 1985 when The Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) was founded. At that point, travelers were simply renting a couch.
To highlight Premier Partners that offer an amazing and consistent guest experience among a never-ending search results page, HomeAway is stamping each listing with what is called a “Premier Badge”. This shows travelers that they can expect an amazing stay at this specific property.
What criteria does HomeAway use to evaluate Premier Partners?
These qualifying criteria ensure a great traveler experience from the start and set guests’ expectations for their time spent at a property:
- Quick responses to inquiries and booking requests
- Process all bookings through HomeAway checkout
- Follow through with bookings and avoid cancelling on guests
- High-quality photos and descriptions of the incredible stays their guests will have
- Maintaining detailed and accurate content along with listing amenities
- Competitive (the same or lower) booking rates for each listing compared to any other booking site
The competitive booking rates are what HomeAway calls the “pricing pledge.” In order to be part of the Premier Partner Program, partners must pledge to display the same or lower booking rates. This is significant because many property managers put a lower rate on their own website, and list another price on partner sites like HomeAway.
TurnKey Vacation Rentals does not (and has never) had more than one rate (the best rate) listed anywhere since the day we were founded. We load one booking rate onto all sites. So, we were more than happy to make a pledge to continue offering the best rates possible to help homeowners be successful and make our properties accessible to guests.
We believe the following also had something to do with us qualifying for this partnership:
- TurnKey earned an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 61 from guests in fall of 2017.
- 90% of guests give TurnKey 4 to 5-star reviews on HomeAway and VRBO (of guests who review).
- 98% guest satisfaction rating of cleanliness upon check-in.
- Industry-low homeowner commission rate, typically half of the 35-50% for traditional property managers.
The above items are not easy for FRBOs or property managers to achieve, which is why you don’t often see information like this shared.
What benefits can vacation rental homeowners and guests can expect from the Premier Partnership?
Here is what HomeAway has shared so far:
- Stand out in search. By adding an exclusive badge to a property listing, travelers will know they can expect a great stay.
- Reach more travelers. As a proven top performer, your property will be eligible for features in traveler emails, videos, HomeAway’s television show, social channels, and more.
- Exclusive access. As a Premier Partner, we’ll receive priority customer support and access to beta versions of new tools. This will help guide the future of the HomeAway marketplace so it can best serve owners and guests.
- Communicate with pre-bookers. When a booking is processed, HomeAway will soon announce even more ways to communicate with travelers.
How does TurnKey Vacation Rentals see this impacting vacation rental homeowner success?
In speaking with John Banzack, TurnKey’s Co-Founder and former HomeAway executive, he feels strongly that this program will be very important for those who qualify. Banzack shared, “We’ve always aimed to provide the highest level of service for both our homeowners and guests. It’s exciting to see our high expectations for quality and consistency acknowledged by HomeAway, and can now easily be recognized by guests searching for a rental property with the new Premier Partner Badge.”
So far, we feel the Premier Partner badge shows guests and rental owners alike that their property is being well cared for via fast response times, good photos, accurate pricing, consistently outstanding housekeeping and more… which all lead to great reviews. The badge is the seal of approval that a rental owner is working with the top echelon of property managers, and that guests can rest assured they are booking with the best of the best among properties.
A special note to our valued TurnKey Homeowners
As this program evolves, you can expect to hear even more details from us. Also, rest assured, we are not done! Being one of the first property management companies to earn a HomeAway Premier Partner Badge is just one of many things we’ve been working on to impress your guests and help your property be successful.
We also thank you for your continued support and feedback that have made TurnKey what it is today.