Where's My Stork?

Five years ago, not a week went by when I didn't read a forum comment like this:  

"Let's all band together and form our own site that's for the owners, and kick these OTAs to the curb! How dare they not allow me to communicate with MY guests. Who do they think they are? I pay the mortgage - not them! Is anyone else interested in building a website? An advertising site like we had before they ALL got greedy! Maybe we can set up a non-profit. What do you think? 

Where's My Stork?

A group of owners never did get together to build that site they always talked and dreamed about.

But...something better happened instead...

And none of us, had to do a thing, to receive it.

A stork...

Delivered us Houfy.

The site everyone was begging for had finally arrived.

And not only did it arrive through no efforts of our own,

But it was far superior to any site we could have built ourselves.

Weekly forum posts of "let's all band together" have now lessened, and mostly been replaced with, "If only someone would build a site to give the OTAs some real competition..."

But when you mention Houfy is there and it's a free book direct site, you're often met with: "Thanks...but nah...no thanks."

So, why are some still waiting for a different stork?

Where's My Stork?

Because they're waiting for their "magical" stork. The one that lives in their fantasies.

The stork that drops a website from the sky and overnight it's been populated with hundreds of thousands of listings from all over the world–It's already a household name–and bookings are rolling in the minute they list their property. And everyone rents happily ever after...

Where's My Stork?

It's time to stop day dreaming and wake up!

Houfy is exactly what everyone was asking for: A site where travelers and owners could communicate directly. A site where big brother wasn't meddling in our business–the yearned for "good old days" site.

It's time to fully realize the opportunity that's right in front of us. Two men already did the hardest part and built us our book direct site.

Now we have just one mission to accomplish, and it's the easiest part of all: Just tell people about Houfy.

Where's My Stork?

But first, let's adjust our mindset and understand why we're telling people about Houfy.

Often the first question I hear from other owners is, "How many bookings have you had"? It's perfectly normal to ask this about any site. But at this stage, immediate bookings should not be the main objective.

If we truly want to break the OTAs chains, we must first educate other owners and the traveling public about book direct and Houfy. Remain committed to educating travelers/owners, and the bookings will follow.

Houfy is a movement, and like all movements change doesn't happen overnight. It's no secret the OTAs will continue to take away more money and control. Use them to pay the mortgage, while nurturing and watering Houfy in the background.

When you plant a vegetable garden, do you expect to start making salads tomorrow? Of course not! Your garden wouldn't flourish if you never watered and cared for it. So why would Houfy be any different?  

Where's My Stork?

Now that you're thinking long-term, start spreading the word about Houfy. Tell everyone about it! Don't be shy. Be confident in Houfy, and others will be too.

When sending a thank you to departing guests, remind them about Houfy and give them your listing to share. Spend 15 minutes a week posting your listing in facebook book direct and yard sale groups. Tell other owners about Houfy. Share Houfy with your friends and family. Educate them how to save $$$ on their next vacation.

The next time you hear someone wishing for another site to come along, reply with a link to this Story. Add your Houfy listing to your facebook book direct button. Add the link to your Google Business listing. Share Houfy Posts in local travel groups–it can be any Houfy member's Post.

If travelers are ever to some day start typing "Houfy" into Google, we must start telling them about it! How else will they learn about it? 

Embrace Houfy. Don't take it for granted. Care for it. And someday we will all be free of the OTAs.

Easy Tips for Marketing Your Houfy Listing
Once you've completed your rates and syncronized calendars, it's time to get started on promoting Houfy! This is a simple step-by-step guide in basic marketing of your Houfy listing. First Things First : Before marketing, be sure you are actually ready to accept a booking.

Getting Started on Houfy Checklist
Listing your property for FREE on Houfy! - a marketplace where members book and connect directly, and pay no commissions nor booking fees. Here are a few reasons why you should join Houfy: Connect a Stripe or Square account on Houfy and receive payment right after booking. Houfy doesn't hold your $$$.

Well written and so true!

3 years ago

Absolutely love it!!!! If i have to hear one more time.....We don't need to give you a reason according to our TOS. Houfy here we come Medellin Colombia rentals!!!

2 years ago

Great story, Bridget. I shared on my facebook page.

2 years ago
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Last modified: 8 days ago
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