What: Rent your furnished home or apartment

Commissions & Fees: 20%

Husl$core: $$$

Expected pay: NA

Where: Nationwide

Requirements: A home to rent and the legal right to rent it.

Review: RedAwning is the parent site of what it says is the “largest network of vacation properties.” My guess is there’s some qualifier that ought to go with that statement, but it also may be that this claim is  based on the fact that the company lists properties on not only its own affiliated sites, but also on Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Airbnb, among others. The bright side of this is that your rental listing gets plenty of exposure. The downside is that your rental may become prohibitively expensive on sites that charge renters a service fee, such as Airbnb. Let’s rattle through the math to illustrate why.

Let’s say you’ve got an apartment to rent and want to take home $100 per night, after fees. You list it on Red Awning at $120, to account for the site’s 20% commission, and then you have them tack on a $50 cleaning fee. The total cost to rent your apartment for a week is $890, plus taxes (where applicable). Red Awning will now turn around and list your rental on one or more of its many affiliated sites (PerfectPlaces; RentJillsHouse.com; LakeRentals.com; CoastRentals.com; MountainSkiRentals.com; and RedAwning.com). And it will also “advertise” your listing on Expedia and Airbnb, among others. These advertisements look like regular listings.

If your booking comes through an advertisement on Airbnb, you will not need to pay an additional 3% host fee to Airbnb. (RedAwning says it covers this fee out of the commission you’re paying to RedAwning.) But your guest will need to pay Airbnb’s guest fee, which can range from 0% to 20% of the rental amount, including the cleaning fee. (The Airbnb guest fee depends on the cost of the listing and your cancellation policy; the stricter your cancellation terms and the cheaper your rental, the higher the fee.) Assuming Airbnb’s fee is 15% on this listing ($133.50), your renter must pay $1,023.50 for you to take home the same $100 per night. If you had originally listed on Airbnb instead, you would list for $103 nightly (to account for the 3% the site takes from you) and charge your $50 cleaning fee. Weekly rent: $771. Airbnb would add 15% to make the total cost of the week $886.65 for the same room.

Why do you care? Because your rental is going to look less competitive simply because you’ve listed on a site that’s charging you once and making it possible for Airbnb to charge your guest a second time.

What are the benefits to listing with RedAwning properties like this one? You’ll conceivably be listed on lots of sites. RedAwning also provides $3,000 in property damage coverage; and says it has a consumer-friendly phone app to allow your customers to manage their reservation.

However, reviews on both Google Play and the Apple store say that the app doesn’t necessarily work. And Airbnb offers $1 million in property damage coverage and $1 million in liability coverage. So, that’s better.

Moreover, RedAwning doesn’t allow hosts and guests to communicate, which precludes hosts from screening who is staying in their home. Airbnb screens guests and gives hosts the ability to communicate with them/screen them, too. 

In short, Airbnb is better and cheaper.

What their users say (from Apple store)

Unable to log on with verification code or reservation number. No help through support. Hope the place is better then service prior to our stay. Making us nervous that we spent hard earned money for this. Will use other reliable places next time and make sure that when originally booking through Expedia not to have to then use this.

From the Better Business Bureau:

I own a property management company in SW Idaho. Red Awning is responsible for multiple double booking issues in my homes. I recently displaced a guest to another vacation rental that was nothing like the home they thought they were renting. I let them stay there for 5 nights with no revenue because Red Awning had their money. They have now refunded the guests credit card and I have no revenue to show for them staying in my condo for five nights. It is near impossible to get anyone at the company to communicate with me. RED AWNING IS HORRIBLE DO NOT USE THEM, you can find the same homes for cheaper on plenty of other websites just do your research. They actually mark up my homes to make money and don’t want me to tell the guests about it. TOTALLY UNETHICAL!!

 

Try Red Awning