9flats is a peer-to-peer online listing site for vacation rentals, whose close competitors are the likes of HomeAway and Airbnb.
In recent weeks, we’ve noticed there’s been a lack of activity across 9flats’ Twitter, a removal of the review feature on their Facebook page and a huge surge in the number of negative reviews on their TrustPilot page.
So what exactly is going on?
The short answer: we’re not sure.
But after having read just a handful of their recent negative reviews, we feel it’s our duty to share this information with our users so you can make your own informed decision whether to keep using the service.
What’s going on with 9flats reviews?
Until very recently, 9flats has boasted pretty gleaming reviews on sites like TrustPilot, where some 72% are of five-star quality. However the number of one-star 9flats reviews is growing at an alarming rate, with almost 9% of user reviews now falling into that category.
Unfortunately, most of these negative reviews have something in common:
9flats do not seem to be paying hosts their money.
As with most listing sites, this is how 9flats works for VR owners and managers:
- Hosts list their spare room, entire vacation property or BnB on 9flats
- Guests make a booking and pay online to 9flats
- 9flats release the money back to the hosts (minus a 12% or 15% commission fee, depending on the booking type)
These overdue payments aren’t just a worry for small business owners, but rather for both parties alike. Guests who have confirmed and paid for the booking may turn up for their vacation and find they have no place to stay:
Listing site independence is a big topic of the moment in the vacation rental industry, and this recent news just highlights one of the reasons why depending on listing sites can cost your VR business.
Having your own vacation rental website with a booking engine can help avoid hiccups and middlemen because you’re completely in control of the bookings and payments you take.
We’re hoping these late payments are nothing to worry about, and are rather just a glitch in the 9flats system that will be resolved very soon. However, we did feel it was worthwhile noting there have been some issues with this site lately for any users out there who may have been affected.
Update from 9flats
On October 10th, Tnooz released an article stating a merger between 9flats and other well-known European listing site, Wimdu. As a result of their merge, the combined business will host some 500,000 short-term rentals in 140 countries, with 9flats’ CEO Roman Bach remaining in charge of the company.
Though 9flats is still experiencing issues, particularly with a group of around 30 people who have been making a noise on social media, Bach assures German site BizTravel that the booking portal has no financial difficulties. Rather, these problems have simply arisen from tenant credit card issues, and may also be a result of the conversion of accounting systems from Germany to Singapore following 9flats’ relocation back in May.
If you have anything to add about 9flats or the Wimdu merger, please get in touch via the comments.