Houfy is a new concept. A marketplace combined with a network, you could call this a "market-network".
Under a normal "old fashioned" way of thinking: A marketplace gets known by being marketed to consumers. All sellers on the marketplace pay a to be on this marketplace in the form of a yearly/monthly fee or though commissions. The owners of the marketplace use ad-words on Google, Facebook marketing campaigns, TV ads, Highway Billboards etc. to get the buyers come visit.
Successful online marketplaces for Vacation Rentals, Hotels, Shared Spaces are currently the "Big Four" - Airbnb, Expedia Group (Homeaway/VRBO), Tripadvsior (Flipkey), Booking .com. Smaller new marketplaces try to enter the market by using listing fees and hold campaigns on social sites.
I'm sure you listed your place on one or more of the big four is to sell your place. They have the buyers and an immense inventory to offer. The buyers look at pictures/price/availability and decide. Currently, the buyers want fast check out! We are all very much in a rush! We need to get home from work, watch our favorite TV show, respond to e-mails oh, they call them notifications now .. on WhatsApp and Twitter. I bet you are in a rush too and can't wait to stop reading this lengthly doc.
OK: You listed on 2 marketplaces, made your own website, promote it on Facebook and you are trying to get direct bookings. In some "State Facebook groups" you try to list your own website as often as you can hoping for that one direct booking.
Look at your place being the banana. You can stand on the street and try selling it. Or you can go to the marketplace and give it to the seller to sell it for you. Where will you have better chances? Selling it with the marketplace however will cost you and or your guests a %.
The Houfy network: This is the complicated part. Please go get a drink and relax.
You might have noticed on Houfy, especially lately, quite a few posts/stories/articles fly by about Houfy/Julie/Bob etc. (I was testing and actually, I am organizing our Houfy guides)
Houfy is a publishing platform.
Just like Houfy guidebooks, you can do exactly the same for your place, make a restaurant guidebook. Ok 85% of you have this already on your own website. Let's say you can import articles and edit this information on Houfy. You create a guidebook "Restaurants" and add 3 stories in there, best for breakfast/lunch/dining, by bookmarking them to the guidebook. You attach this Houfy guidebook to your Houfy listing (Edit listing > Guidebooks). Suddenly our marketplace at Houfy becomes more interesting than the "older fashioned" ones. Buyers can look at the pics/price/availability and guidebooks!
Houfy the network:
Let's say you are with 20 members in your community and all upload/import your own guides to Houfy from your own websites. You can follow the 19 others very easy on Houfy. Profile/Follow. (Like "twitter"). Currently not very well visible on Houfy, we will make your "Newsfeed/Houfeed" of followers. This means a new restaurant opens in town and member 12 writes about it. (You get an e-mail from Houfy/notification - "to be made" - Member 12 posted ..) You can add his/her story to your restaurant guidebook by clicking the bookmark. You can also view their guidebooks and bookmark some of their articles/stories to your guidebook(s).
Oh, member 12, shared this news on Facebook in a local group and it got shared again by others, the post ended up at client 93 who became a member of Houfy and booked & paid directly with Member 6 out of your group of 20. (this is where things can go "viral")
Imagine inviting your own guests, I am sure they visit other places as well.. or do they only go to your rental every year? Now imagine, they also start following you and get a notification when you publish a story. And, wouldn't it be nice for them to see Houfy and be able to rent directly from other members? Those members (guests) also added local information for other guests to review!
Suddenly Houfy becomes a true network!
These stories and guidebooks can easily be shared on Facebook with 2 clicks or e-mailed to your previous guests. (Liking posts doesn't do much.. it is the sharing of posts which makes the difference!)
The idea of Houfy is to share information around your place. As a market-network, Houfy will be much more powerful than the 100s or 1000s or 10000s + members trying to sell their bananas on the street by themselves. Houfy will not need to spend any significant funds on marketing the 'old fashioned" way, just because of the above mentioned. Google will start picking up on Houfy just because of its size, amount of social activity (in the form of url's/stories/posts etc).
I have written about Houfy destination managers - Let's say the 20 members get together and select 2 members each month to be the destination manager, selling the inventory/adding/checking, removing old bananas etc. Or just 1 member likes to do this "full" time. We will need you for this! (in the future)
Hopefully this explains why it is interesting to share local information/guides/activities on Houfy.
I'm in a few facebook groups and have followed them extensively. The amount of times people ask for what sheets to use for their rental or what new lock to use is amazing. The patience the members in these groups have for this is amazing as well. Imagine a simple Houfy story/article about which new locks are out there.. done. No more need to rewrite or comment about the sheets or locks.
I'm writing this right now with "Houfy-Story" - this is really practical, it autosaves and I can chose to post or leave as draft. I just need to file this (Bookmark), maybe in a Help Guidebook Social Marketing Guide. I'm sure I will edit this many times as we go and need to find this back in an easy way.