How much do you trust an accommodation listings site?

Running an accommodation listings site is a peculiar type of business. Whilst in most businesses, you’d have contact with your customers be it in person, by phone or via e-mail in this business the guests of your customers are also your customers, or at least indirectly. It’s very much a business that’s involved in establishing connections between your customers and the guests that they may have.

In the early days, you’ll know the various owners that list with you quite well but as the business grows that connection tends to get lost. Those original owners that listed with you will disappear into the sea of new ones. So, for example, whilst most of my original 20 or so owners are still around (some have sold their places and dropped out, others have simply retired), they’re obviously overwhelmed by the more than 700 that have signed up since those early days.

Now the problem with that is that the whole process obviously becomes much less personal and more automated and one question that springs to mind after a while is: how do you know that these are legit places?

Well, actually, it doesn’t spring to mind with many places which is the problem. The vast majority of listings sites basically accept all entries that are thrown at them and yet one assumes that at least some of them are bogus. Where it’s a greater problem obviously is with those sites that offer either free or extended trial periods yet few of them appear to apply the checks that you’d expect, even to the extent of not bothering to verify that the properties are still in business now and again.

Whilst not wanting to pester the owners all the time, OurInns at least verifies the continued existence of them several times per year and has started on an owner verification programme too.

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