FlipKey is the best platform if you want to combine the vast collection of travelers reviewing restaurants, attractions and experiences near your vacation rental. Whether you want to stay in an old woman’s shoe or escape to a private island, there is a home to suit your desires. Features include:
- 465 million reviews of restaurants, events, attractions and more
- 830,000+ properties spread throughout over 200 countries
- Integration with Trip Advisor
FlipKey is the short-term vacation rental division of TripAdvisor. FlipKey connects the insider knowledge of homeowners with the collective wisdom of 661 million TripAdvisor traveler reviews so you can stay the smarter way. On FlipKey, you discover not only the best rental but also the best restaurants, attractions and experiences — no matter where you’re headed. Read our FlipKey review to see if this is the best place for you to find your dream vacation home rentals.
The short-term rental platform at TripAdvisor lists 830,000+ unique rentals in over 200 countries worldwide. FlipKey offers the best vacation home rentals if you are a foodie or an avid review reader. The extensive collection of reviews gives you a one-stop shop to find restaurants, attractions and experiences near your vacation rental home.
Millions of Views
As an internationally accessible website, FlipKey’s parent company is boasting 456 million unique page views per month. TripAdvisor acquired FlipKey just one year after its inception and they have been a subsidiary ever since.
TripAdvisor lists six main categories on the homepage: hotels, things to do, restaurants, flights, vacation rentals and cruises. You will find vacation rentals listed prominently on the front page of the #2 rated travel website. However, vacation rentals are not displayed in accommodation search results by default. Users must seek out the vacation rental sub-section to see homes vs hotels.
FlipKey reviews mention several great pros of this website, including:
- 24/7 customer service: You’ll never have to wait to get help from customer service if you need it.
- Diverse short-term housing types: If you’re looking for unique places to stay, FlipKey is a great place to look.
- Many location-specific activities reviewed: FlipKey is a great resource to find reviews for many different activities you may want to enjoy while you’re on your trip.
Unfortunately, FlipKey reviews also mention some cons:
- Guest fees: Fees can be up to 16% of subtotal.
- No dedicated app for vacation rental division: If you’re only interested in vacation rental homes, you’ll have to look a little harder than you would for a service dedicated to vacation rentals.
- Outdated website experience: FlipKey’s website looks and feels outdated compared to other websites, particularly websites in the vacation home rental category.
Here are some quick stats about FlipKey:
- Founded: 2007
- Founders: Carl Query, Jeremiah Gall, and TJ Mahony
- Number of countries in: 200+
- Number of properties: 830,000+
- Location of headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
- Number of employees: estimated 265
Search functionality on FlipKey allows you to filter for kid-friendly, pet-friendly, wheelchair access, smoking allowed and more. Hosts self-identify features and seem to over select to show up in more search results. One unique search feature is the ability to look for rentals in close proximity to a point of interest. For example, you could look for only rentals close to the Space Needle in Seattle. This allows travelers to create geography specific itineraries easily.
In addition to showing properties reviews, it also shows you how many people have booked that property in total. In the short-term rental market, a low review percentage that could indicate less than ideal experiences. When a guest has a lackluster experience at a vacation rental, they often do not leave a review. Guests simply let the one-off bad experience go, especially if the property has high reviews prior to their stay. That is why a low review percentage leads platforms to show that listing lower in the search results.
TripAdvisor has a global reach. It is the #2 most popular travel site online. TripAdvisor users live all over the world. You can access TripAdvisor in 28 different languages. Individual property listings, as a result, are translated automatically. More exposure happens at the same time on five sister websites.
Customer Price, Host Income and Fees
Guests pay a booking fee when booking vacation homes on TripAdvisor and its family of sites, including FlipKey. This helps with ensuring secure transactions and 24/7 customer support. Guests who book through FlipKey also get its payment protection policy.
The booking fee is a percentage of the total. It usually ranges from 8-16 percent.
Host Income and Fees
Hosts can decide if they want to use free listings or annual listings. These change the fees.
- Free listings: Hosts pay a 3% processing fee per booking. This commission is based on total rent and fees hosts specify (like cleaning fees).
- Annual listings: Hosts pay an annual fee for the property, and they can choose whether to receive payments directly from guests or online through the website. Payments through the website are subject to the same 3% processing fee.
Payments are transferred to the host’s bank account or PayPal account. Hosts are not responsible for PayPal fees.
Pick the Best FlipKey Home
Vacationers who like FlipKey tend to be planners. If your vacations include spreadsheets, color coding and extensive research than the TripAdvisor review integration will make you giddy. You can combine all your attractions, accommodations, flights, and even restaurants into one comprehensive schedule.
Each day of your vacation will be a seamless tour of a small geographic location. A TripAdvisor traveler knows not to get stuck wasting days crisscrossing the city inefficiently. You’ll get to soak in more of the vacation because you took the time to plan and coordinate using TripAdvisor reviews. Planning the perfect vacation will build anticipation and increase the fun once the big trip finally arrives.
Look for Certificates of Excellence and Booking Rates
FlipKey puts a badge called Certificate of Excellence on vacation homes with the highest ranks. If you’re new to vacation rental homes, consider reserving a home with a badge.
FlipKey also shows you how many times each vacation home has been booked. Some of those bookings could be in the future, but if you notice a much higher rate of bookings than reviews, that is usually a bad thing. Travelers who have a neutral or semi-bad experience may chalk it up to a one-time problem and avoid leaving a review.
Read FlipKey Reviews
TripAdvisor and, by extension, FlipKey prides itself on being the world’s largest travel community. One of the lovely and unique aspects of FlipKey reviews is how commonly hosts respond to guests. Instead of a review standing on its own judgemental two feet, the host responds with an explanation, reiterating their positive experience, or just continuing the conversation. That’s what TripAdvisor has created: a dynamic conversation between businesses and customers.
No reasonable traveler would expect a vacation rental to have 100% positive reviews. See if the host responds well to those negative reviews. Some businesses take it in stride and are able to recover with some humor. Other times, the business will respond with an apology for the negative experience. The worst ways for a business to respond is with blame, denial, or rudeness. FlipKey vacation homeowners are sharing their property and thus have a tendency to take things to heart.
FlipKey Review Conclusion
While FlipKey touts itself as the world’s largest travel community, it seems clear they are riding the coattails of their parent company for that distinction. Users of TripAdvisor might not even realize they can see search results of vacation rental homes. Until TripAdvisor commits to featuring vacation rentals more prominently, it isn’t clear to travelers that homes are even an option.
While you may have an easier time creating geography specific trip itineraries, that advantage seems lost if you never see results for vacation homes to begin with. Vacation rental hosts seem to be shying away from the platform because of an overall lack of marketing and support for this branch of TripAdvisor. Online reviews overwhelmingly stated there was difficulty getting responses from FlipKey on a variety of issues. However, FlipKey has huge potential for future growth.
Have you used FlipKey to book your vacation home rental? If so, leave your own FlipKey review below.
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