Racket control…

IMG_1701So far, most of My Winter Asylum in Genoa has been dedicated to furiously marketing Il Poggiolo as a VRR….or, a Vacation Rental Retreat. This was not Our Original Intention. But then, Mr. Monti came and taxes & utilities went up. Doubled. That’s easier than doing something worthwhile for the economy, stupid. I’m sorry I am not God. Anyway…

One Key Task has lately been to list the three houses of My Adored Tuscan-but-in-the-Lunigiana Farm-house… La Casetta, La Casa Grande & L’Appartmento Azzurro… with such websites as… House Trip & Flip Key. I am not responsible for the last one’s name. May I say? It takes hours & hours to compose & write, upload & arrange photos… happily taken with a digital camera and NOT an iphone though this admission demonstrates just how un-hip I am. But then, is it not the privilege of being over 60 to be so techno-grumpy?… and understand & fill out forms for which, thankfully, I have two university degrees to cope with.

But what a racket!!! Most get you up front with what I think are extortionist level ad-fees…¬†and I will name names here for this Crime = VRBO… or, Vacation Rental By Owner which, its title looks & sounds so homey than their actual operation. I bet this site rakes it in. A premium one year fee is nearly $1,000!!! That kind of cash is already destined to pay The Tax Man. And, for the fantastically inefficient garbage collection in Codiponte. Oh yes… perhaps… maybe… possibly… for some avid individual, who explicitly bought, refurbished… even totally re-built!!!… a mock-Swiss chalet in Verbier or a palm-brushed yellow condo on Barbados, VRBO’s fee range is just so much tut-tut. I am and have never been so market-oriented. I just wanted a bit of Italian Territory. And why own-to-rent a modern sheet-rock shack with AC stocked with everything from IKEA? Apart from this current discussion, might we be risking… If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium? I am happy to report that Il Poggiolo is about .00000000000000000123% IKEA. The rest is PFMF… or, Pure Flea-Market Finds. No. Though I changed course in mid-stream, had bought, totally re-built AND cleverly furnished a wonderful house in a wonderful part of the World no-one knows about EXCEPT some fairly savvy English persons sprinkled with a smattering of other nationalities, even My Own Fellow Americans, I must now PTP… Pay The Price. I won’t. VRBO & Owner’s Direct dot co dot uk can go hang. And, I’m dealing with Flip Key only because they gave me a 90 day FREE ad. If no bookings, bye-bye Flip.

Some other sites… the ones I have belabored for hours & hours to perfect my ads… take their cut at booking. A percentage. Fine. This is a fairer proposition, to me. There’s less a feeling of being taken for a ride to pay for some dot-co-dot-uk’s late model BMW.

Let me mention An IMPORTANT Hallmark for comparison ad building with vacation rental sites. The ones who ask for a percentage are the ones you hear from. House Trip, for instance, has a bevy of multi-lingual young things who call me every time I have listed a property or have sent an e-mail seeking HELP for some cybernetic foul-up. The dot co dot uk boys send only e-mails… more than likely, from their BMWs on Brompton Road. Gads.

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