Our 100% #BookDirect survey live now Take part to receive the detailed report. more...
Why we do what we do

Vacation Soup - Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do

Alan Egan

Alan Egan and Francis Wallinger - Co-founders @ vacation soup

Quite simply...
We Want To Give Back Control To Property Owners!


We live, eat and breath the vacation rental business - It’s a fascinating market.

We've been immersed in it for 15 years and we love hosting and meeting guests. We love developing marketing techniques that work and love sharing those ideas, strategies and platforms with owners. We're sure that you will agree with us that the vacation rental business isn’t what it was, so for the last few years we have been working on strategies to help bring back control to owners.

All of this work and knowledge has culminated in the creation of Vacation Soup.


There’s No Profit Left For Those That Have Invested The Most.


This used to be a for profit business but with the likes of Airbnb syphoning off up to 25% of the price of a booking it’s quickly becoming a ‘for survival’ business.

If you are using a property manager and listing on these sites you could be giving away over 50% of a booking even before you pay the mortgage, utility bills, cleaners and tax.

It’s getting ugly.

We're changing that.


The Power Of The Brand


If you think about it, the big 3 listing sites are all brand and no property, whereas owners and managers are all property and no brand.

Booking, Airbnb and HomeAway don’t own a single property between them but they are massively successful because of the brand.

In general owners and managers have property, all of the property in fact, but they don’t have a brand.

We're changing that.


We Want To Know Who's
Staying In Our Homes

if_icon-ios7-people_211793 (1)

List it and they did come!
I’m sure that you have heard the term ‘list it and they will come’. This is how we used to operate with the likes of Ownersdirect, HomeAway, Stayz and the like.

You paid a subscription and you got talk to potential guests and you got bookings.

It was that simple. Now it’s ‘list it and who knows who will come’?

We're changing that.


Direct Communication


These sites used to have a ‘Contact Owner’ button. Now it’s a ‘Contact Us’ button where the ‘Us’ in question is an overseas help desk that doesn’t know the first thing about your home or where it’s located.

A few years ago HomeAway’s own research showed that “ 71% of vacation rental shoppers would book online ONLY after speaking with the owner or manager by phone ”.

Brian Sharples, co-founder of HomeAway, himself stood on stage in 2011 and said this…

“If you have a transaction based business, that’s percentage driven, the basic idea is you gotta keep the buyer and seller away, because otherwise they will go around you and you won’t make the percentage, right!”

We're bringing back direct communication.


Hospitality v Hostility


The imposed barrier that has been erected between owner and shopper is often referred to as a walled garden but it’s much more of a heavily defended barbed wire fence forming an unsentimental communication no man’s land.

All pre booking discussions are censored.

Emails that you and your potential guest send each other are redacted without notice.

We're changing that.


The Good Old Days Are Gone


Now, we're not some of these ‘bring back the good old days’ people.

You can’t roll back the clock but you can change how you operate and by doing so you can take back control, work toward better margins and build a sustainable brand.

By working together we can harness the power of the crowd.

This is what we offer at the soup.

What VR owners say about us

It's because I found this site and your generous offer for a free website that I never had to join VRBO/ABNB/TA etc.

I've been independent and successful since the get go. It's a lot of work, but very rewarding to know that I can vet and speak to each guest that books with us.

I now have a successful travel blog that ranks in Google and Bing (because of you and your video courses) and I've branched out to now have a web presence in most of the social media formats as well as Pinterest.

It's daily work but it's paying off.

I control the money, I control 100% of my business and never had to bow to the big guys. So thank you for all that you've brought to my VR business.

You helped provide the tools, I just had to pick them up and use them. Thank you again for sending me in a different trajectory than I ever thought I would go with my VR business. It's been very rewarding!

Vacation Rental Owner, Hawaii
I was one of the first users to sign up to Vacation Soup and start using the plugin to blog in January 2018.

I already had a WordPress website and a reasonably active blog. Looking at stats from my hosting company I can see that traffic to my website has increased dramatically since January.

Unique visitors, number of visits, pages viewed and hits are all up.

I can only attribute this to Vacation Soup as I've not changed anything else. Syndicating my posts to additional social media channels via The Soup is clearly giving additional leverage and exposure to my website.

I've also had more direct bookings this year which I'm delighted with
Holiday Rental Owner, France
Hello, I've started taking Alan's website course, from the very beginning.
Getting into the soup now.

Really is superb, the insight and strategy to take, pitched at just the right level too.

I'm very grateful that you put that time and effort in for free. I am working on a holiday cottage - our first one for myself and my wife - so it is a big step for us.

I appreciate all of this.
A Happy Rental Owner