Last month we reviewed the AirBnb vacation rental site which has taken a distinct detour from CraigList by offering impressive photos of Vacation Rentals. In fact, some of the choice had no selections such as Bermuda which beg the questions why add a menu item to a section where there is nothing available to choose. Today we are reviewing another vacation rental site called HouseTrip which is developed by a UK company. The company has so far raised about $60 million dollars from Accel Partners and Index Ventures
We decided to test drive both sites and look for places in Barcelona. AirBnb shows more that 1,000 active listings with 992 of them on Wish Lists which is a feature that is missing from the HouseTrip. HouseTrip appears to have more listing choices with 4,346 listing but we are not sure if that makes much of a difference when you reach such high numbers of available site for rent.
Unlike AirBnB which has a huge emphasis on Safety and Local Market Knowledge, the HouseTrip site does not offer any such services. In fact, AirBnB has recently launched a Verify ID services which offers the user to use the Facebook profile to be associated with the. This is neat offering since both the Guest and the Host have a lot of information about themselves posted on Facebook that could help create familiarity between the two parties who are entering into a contract. After all, the more you know about someone who is going to be sharing your house, the more informed decision you can make.
We tried to list a property for rent with BOTH services. We liked the FAQ section from AirBnB with the suggestion on how to manage request for info and follow up. No such info was found on HouseTrip site. We also observed that some of the Apartment listings had very few reviews on HouseTrip. Granted the reviews are optional, but we suspect, HouseTrip folks can find a way to encourage Guest to review where they are staying. In one apartment only 6 guests out of 42 had reviewed the apartment which we feel is a very small sample size. But the number of stays is not displayed with AirBnb site which is a shame since it would indicate how popular a location might be. Response Rate of the host is another feature of AirBnb which is a good indication in our opinion how serious the host would be to their guest’s needs.
Have you rented from HouseTrip!? What was your experience!? Have you rented your place from either site!? We would love to hear from you.