At the 2023 VRMA International conference, I had the chance to sit with Eric Goldreyer, the CEO of bnbfinder. The company is tactically positioning itself to challenge the established norms of the vacation rental industry, traditionally dominated by titans like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking. Their strategy is multifaceted and, upon analysis, appears to be a mix of innovation and consumer-centric approaches:
Disrupting the Fee Model:
The industry standard involves transaction fees, typically levied as a percentage of the booking value. These fees can be borne by either the guest, the host, or both. bnbfinder’s strategy to offer a no-fee alternative is a bold move that directly challenges this model. By eliminating these transaction fees, they’re not only increasing the profit margins for property managers but also potentially offering more competitive rates for guests. Additionally, an optional monthly fee offers boosted visibility, ideal for low and shoulder seasons, providing property managers with an opportunity to maintain consistent bookings during traditionally quieter times.
Prioritizing Direct Communication:
In an era where most platforms act as intermediaries, bnbfinder’s emphasis on a BOOK DIRECT marketplace is significant. This strategy ensures that property managers can foster direct relationships with their guests, an aspect that can lead to better service and potentially, customer loyalty.
By introducing a completely free listing for property managers and ensuring no hidden transaction fees, bnbfinder is setting itself apart. This transparent approach is likely to build trust among its users. Moreover, the option to enhance visibility for a monthly fee provides flexibility to property managers, allowing them to decide based on their business needs.
Empowering Managers with Autonomy:
Offering flexibility in setting up cancellation policies and other operational aspects indicates bnbfinder’s recognition of the diverse needs of property managers. Such autonomy can lead to tailored guest experiences, enhancing customer satisfaction.
Focused Market Strategy:
Targeting a substantial public launch in North America showcases bnbfinder’s intent to first consolidate in a familiar market before potentially exploring global avenues.
The combined effect of reduced costs for guests and free listing for managers could lead to organic promotions through word-of-mouth. This grassroots marketing strategy could result in a consistent user base without the substantial marketing costs often associated with platform launches.
A CEO who knows the vacation rental industry
Eric Goldreyer is a distinguished entrepreneur in the hospitality domain. He founded BedandBreakfast.com, a global platform for diverse B&B accommodations, which rose in prominence and was later acquired by Vrbo. Subsequently, he co-established TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a tech-driven vacation rental management service, which was acquired by industry giant Vacasa.
Currently, Goldreyer leads bnbfinder, leveraging his extensive experience and insights from past successes, positioning the venture for notable impact in the travel and hospitality sector.
Positioning as a Value Channel:
The core promise of bnbfinder is to offer genuine value. By emphasizing free listings and clear fee structures, they’re aiming to be seen as the go-to platform for managers who prioritize profitability and operational efficiency.
bnbfinder’s strategic repositioning in the vacation rental market appears to be a well-calculated move, blending industry experience with innovative solutions. This approach could make them a notable contender in the industry, offering a fresh perspective and alternative to the established giants.