Explore how Houfy empowers hosts to book directly with guests. Take control of your vacation rental business and build a thriving community.

What is Houfy? What’s its mission? Is Houfy legit? These are some of the most common questions we answer daily to help homeowners take the leap and set free from large OTAs.

If you’ve been in the vacation industry for a while, you know how fierce competition can be. Struggling for a piece of the pie in large marketplaces like Airbnb and having little to no evolvement in who books with you can be frustrating. Add the absurd booking fees into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.

Houfy is a book-direct marketplace that connects property owners with guests without middlemen or service fees. Deeply routed in community, the platform empowers hosts to take their business into their own hands and equips them with the tools to make it possible.

In this article, we’ll share how hosts can join Houfy’s community and answer some frequently asked questions to get to know the platform better. Let’s dive in!

What is Houfy’s Mission?

Houfy’s mission is to disrupt the current rental system by uniting hosts against online travel agencies (OTAs), helping them regain control of their business. That’s why it offers a FREE book-direct platform, facilitating bookings between hosts and guests without commissions.

Unlike Airbnb and VRBO, Houfy doesn’t limit communication between parties nor “punishes” hosts for taking business outside its platform. On the contrary, it considers communication vital for establishing trust and encourages it by allowing hosts to list their contact info publicly.

As a result, hosts and guests avoid 15%-20% booking fees, enjoy flexibility in payment options, and build long-lasting relationships. Visitors benefit from a better vacation experience and get to know who’s behind their accommodation. At the same time, hosts have a say in who books with them and get to establish their own rules and policies. Win-win!

Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
Houfy for direct bookings

What Makes Houfy Different Compared to Other OTAs?

Here’s an overview of what sets Houfy apart from large OTAs:

  • No booking fees: besides a one-time host verification fee of $5.99, Houfy hosts enjoy full profits from bookings. Guests pay no additional fees, helping them save money for their trip.
  • Direct communication: unlike OTAs, which only show hosts’ contact info after the booking has been confirmed (or after they’ve secured your money in their pockets), Houfy supports direct communication at all stages of the booking process.
  • Branding possibilities: branding is critical for the longevity of a vacation rental business. Houfy provides hosts with a website builder, allowing them to create their own book-direct website using logos, colors, photos, and unique descriptions. Unlike OTAs that offer limited space and guidelines for listings, Houfy hosts enjoy complete flexibility.
  • Loyal customers: direct communication builds trust and returning customers. It shows guests there’s a caring host behind the property, tending to their needs. As a result, they’re more likely to book again in the future.
Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
How does Houfy make money?
  • Flexible payment options: ΟΤAs usually dictate payment methods, holding periods, and refund policies. Hosts have no say in how they’re getting paid and often face cash flow issues. Houfy integrates directly with Stripe and Square, making it a breeze to receive instant payments.
  • Cancellation policies: OTAs often penalize hosts who cancel bookings, making it challenging to sustain a business. At Houfy, hosts make their own rules and have complete control over whom they want to do business with.
  • Host tools: Houfy provides a plethora of valuable host tools, such as calendar synchronization, dynamic pricing, a user-friendly blog post feature, as well as reservation management.
  • Community: perhaps one of Houfy’s most important assets is its community of over 68,000 hosts and guests, who participate in dialogues, exchange input, and help the platform get better. They create a safe online space, supporting each other and shaping the industry's future.
Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
What is Houfy? Is Houfy legit? Everything Houfy hosts should know

Why Join Houfy’s Facebook Group?

One of the key ways Houfy fosters a sense of community is through its Facebook group “Say Yes to Houfy,” which has over 9,000 members. Here are a few reasons to join:

  • Become part of a supportive network of hosts: the vacation rental industry can get lonely — you’re working behind a screen at home, without colleagues or people to share your journey with. Joining Houfy’s group will allow you to celebrate your successes, find support in failures, and receive feedback.
  • Benefit from the community’s collective knowledge: whether you’re a seasoned host or a newbie, in the group, you can ask questions, seek guidance, and learn from others’ experiences. From how to market your vacation rental to listing optimization tips, this is your chance to discover new ideas and stay updated with the latest industry trends.
  • Overcome challenges: hosting comes with its fair share of problems, and sometimes, it helps to have a community to turn to. Whether dealing with demanding guests, navigating seasonal fluctuation, or handling property damage, the group can provide guidance and comfort.
  • Influence Houfy’s growth: Houfy is an ever-evolving project that constantly grows and develops new solutions for hosts. In the group, you can share your feedback, suggestions, and ideas to help shape future updates and improvements.
Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
Houfy hosts work together in a supportive community

FAQs

How Does Houfy Make Money?

Houfy offers optional paid plans for hosts who want to take their business to the next level.

At $7.19 per listing per month, the Lite plan includes Airbnb calendar synchronization, higher positions in search results, the option to hide price comparisons, and other complimentary features.

The Premium plan, at $8.99 per listing per month, offers additional website widgets, fully customizable website builder tools, and connections with multiple external domains.

Who is Funding Houfy, and Will Houfy Raise Funds in the Future?

Its owner, Thijs H. Aaftink, funds Houfy without plans to raise funds soon.

Will Houfy Add More PMS/Channel Managers to the System?

Houfy currently integrates with Channel Managers:

More PMS will be added soon.

Does Houfy Offer Price Synchronization?

Houfy offers Airbnb Price Sync as well as PriceLabs integration for dynamic pricing.

Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
List your Houfy rentals for direct bookings with guests

Will We Be Able to Add Hotels, B&Bs, and Multi-room Listings to Houfy?

Houfy doesn’t currently offer multi-room listings, which requires additional pricing options, calendars, and pictures for separate rooms. You could, of course, list one room at a time. Once our system is ready, we will inform hosts.

Will Houfy Offer for Sale by Owner/Home-exchange/Long-term Rentals?

Houfy will focus on these marketplaces in the near future.

Will Houfy Support Other Payment Systems?

At the moment, Houfy uses Stripe and Square for payments. We believe the direct payments industry is developing rapidly (Apple Pay and many others). Transferwise and PayPal are at the top of our list as we carefully roll out new ways to accept payments.

Will Houfy Support Other Languages?

Yes! We’re currently developing Spanish, French, Italian, and German versions of Houfy.

Will There Be a Houfy App Soon?

We will look at this later in the future. Houfy is currently mobile-friendly.

Houfy Hosts: Growing a Community of Book-direct Homeowners
List your Houfy vacation rentals

List Your Houfy Vacation Rentals!

If large OTAs have become a major pet peeve for you, it’s time to join an alternative platform that truly makes a difference in the rental industry. No more middlemen eating from your plate, and no more passive business without initiative. This is your chance for a more hands-on approach, ensuring higher profits and longevity.

Join over 15,000 hosts who took the leap before you and benefit from a supportive community that grows as you do. And the best part? It’s FREE! Get started today and start booking directly with guests!

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Do You Own A Vacation Rental? List with Us. Your property, your rules.

Earn extra income

Earn money by renting out your home. Booking direct saves you and your guests service fees.

Manage bookings easily

Confirm bookings and track everything from inquiry to checkout. Houfy gives you the freedom to build your brand, grow your business, and everything in between.

Trust is important to us

With tens of thousands of reviews and verified listings, Houfy helps travelers book your home with confidence.

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