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Koala fills a niche that others may not see quite yet, but I see it as a great alternative

dioxide45

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I like it as well. I received a phone call asking me about booking Marriott units.
I would prefer an email.
Could you ask them to email you the next time?
 

rickandcindy23

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All of my listings are live. I am surprised because I just added six yesterday, all live today. I had so many points to use in WorldMark. I just hope Disneyland opens to a reasonable capacity soon. I got many of these weeks last year at 12 months out. Many of my credits are going to expire after this summer.

Now to actually get some renters. That's the thing I am concerned about. Listings galore, no one to rent quite yet.
 

rickandcindy23

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The more I try to even find my own listings, it's tough to find anything as a prospective renter. I think they have big problems with their website for finding rentals. The website is a mess.

Still better to have: General Area> more specific area> Resorts in alphabetical order> available dates for each resort. Redweek is easy in that way.

The Destinations boxes are fine, but there aren't enough areas listed. They should have 4X that many and smaller boxes, and in alphabetical order or some kind of order.
 

chapjim

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I had a 45 minute conversation a week or so ago with Jeff Ruiz, Senior Product Manager at Koala. Koala has some great things coming down the line to make it easier for buyers and sellers to make a connection. Worth hanging on for a while, I think.

However, I had to confess that I had barely looked at one side of the website. I list, see my listings, and move on. I had never tried to find a place to rent.
 

SteelerGal

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I am pleased so far. Easy process and payment transition. Hoping my other Vistana units as well as Marriott will rent because I don’t need to place any more units into II.
 

rickandcindy23

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I am pleased so far. Easy process and payment transition. Hoping my other Vistana units as well as Marriott will rent because I don’t need to place any more units into II.
One of my complaints is that prospective renters cannot search for Westin/ Sheraton, just Vistana. If you know that you want Westin, you should be able to see Westin or Sheraton with that resort system filter as a renter.

I am with you! I cannot use my deposits I already have, so banking more means some will not get used. I currently have 16 deposits that expire at the end of 2022. I can extend them into 2023 with retrade, but still...
 

rickandcindy23

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I had a 45 minute conversation a week or so ago with Jeff Ruiz, Senior Product Manager at Koala. Koala has some great things coming down the line to make it easier for buyers and sellers to make a connection. Worth hanging on for a while, I think.

However, I had to confess that I had barely looked at one side of the website. I list, see my listings, and move on. I had never tried to find a place to rent.
Therein lies the problem, as I posted before. Renters will have a hard time finding inventory. That is who is supposed to call me for feedback on the site. I have made a list of items I find particularly problematic.

My list of items I want to bring up with Koala:

When a prospective renter clicks on Destinations, there should be the ability to type in a destination, but there isn’t. You just get a series of boxes that show various destinations.

You cannot even see destinations without logging in. There is no explanation as to why you cannot search dates without logging in, either. You should have a requirement statement at the top that says, “You must sign in to see inventory.”

Google doesn’t store my password, which is odd, when I log into the site. Google usually remembers my passwords.

Specific to Sheraton and Westin listings, most people do not associate the hotel timeshares that are labeled Sheraton or Westin as Vistana. Vistana is just such an odd name. If we didn’t own in the system, we wouldn’t know to search under Vistana.

The site is very heavy with Wyndham listings.

There should be an alphabetic list of destinations > resorts for each destination > a calendar that pulls dates for all availability at that resort.
 

dioxide45

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You cannot even see destinations without logging in. There is no explanation as to why you cannot search dates without logging in, either. You should have a requirement statement at the top that says, “You must sign in to see inventory.”

Google doesn’t store my password, which is odd, when I log into the site. Google usually remembers my passwords.
I don't experience either of these problems when using the site. I am able to search destinations without being logged in and Google doesn't have an issue saving my credentials and filling them in the next time I want to log in.
 

byeloe

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I have the same problem. at go-koala.com. I can enter a location in search "cancun" but it does not return any results. I must login to see any search results. Using windows 10 google chrome browser.

It's going to be extremely hard to rent, when prospective renters can't find the listings
 

GrayFal

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Could you ask them to email you the next time?
I could!
I have used all my HomeOptions for 2021 and while I belong to the DC I use my weeks as weeks. I will reach out when I can start booking for 2022
 

rickandcindy23

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I don't experience either of these problems when using the site. I am able to search destinations without being logged in and Google doesn't have an issue saving my credentials and filling them in the next time I want to log in.
What is the deal for me, then? Am I just a goofball? Maybe. :ROFLMAO:
 

rickandcindy23

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I have the same problem. at go-koala.com. I can enter a location in search "cancun" but it does not return any results. I must login to see any search results. Using windows 10 google chrome browser.

It's going to be extremely hard to rent, when prospective renters can't find the listings
I agree with that.
 

dioxide45

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I think the way the search dates works is you have to enter an exact checkin and checkout date to find a match. The dates you enter are looking for an exact match of checkin and check out to inventory that is listed. If an exact match isn't found, you get the yellow "flexible" availability and a whole bunch of "Check Availability" for other resorts and units. The calendar function looks like you are searching for available inventory between a set of dates, but I don't think that is how it works, it is looking for inventory that matches that checkin and checkout date.
 

rickandcindy23

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I think the way the search dates works is you have to enter an exact checkin and checkout date to find a match. The dates you enter are looking for an exact match of checkin and check out to inventory that is listed. If an exact match isn't found, you get the yellow "flexible" availability and a whole bunch of "Check Availability" for other resorts and units. The calendar function looks like you are searching for available inventory between a set of dates, but I don't think that is how it works, it is looking for inventory that matches that checkin and checkout date.
Yeah, that is a terrible way to check availability. I don't like it.
 

rickandcindy23

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Anyone renting anything? I keep hoping my Dolphin's Cove listings rent.
 

The Colorado Kid

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Got this just now in an email from Mike Kennedy - Koala's CEO:
"I want to thank those of you who reached out with feedback on how our search feature could better highlight your listings. Our new Suggested Listing search feature puts your listings front and center for families browsing vacations. KOALA Hosts are already seeing a surge in bookings following this update. You asked, we listened! KOALA’s updated “suggested listing” search feature suggests listings whose check-in falls near a traveler’s selected date range and location. What does that mean for you? It’s simple: your listing is more likely to get booked."
 

rickandcindy23

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Love the company's responsiveness. They really do want to know what we think. I hope they are going to be as big as VRBO. I love no upfront cost to list. That is the main reason I have 20 listings. I can list without paying anything.
 

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I listed a few weeks there and will see what happens. I did increase the price to account for the 8% fee and the fact I wound not receive payment upfront.

Not really a fan of the cancellation policy options as they seem to be mostly all or nothing with 4 of the 5 options giving a full refund if canceled within the appropriate time frame. I prefer Redweek’s moderate option that provide a 50% refund up to 60 days before check-in. I set all of mine listing on Koala as “strict“.
 

heathpack

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Got this just now in an email from Mike Kennedy - Koala's CEO:
"I want to thank those of you who reached out with feedback on how our search feature could better highlight your listings. Our new Suggested Listing search feature puts your listings front and center for families browsing vacations. KOALA Hosts are already seeing a surge in bookings following this update. You asked, we listened! KOALA’s updated “suggested listing” search feature suggests listings whose check-in falls near a traveler’s selected date range and location. What does that mean for you? It’s simple: your listing is more likely to get booked."
I cant find any “suggested listing search feature”. I can’t find my own listings when I search.

No es bueno
 

ocdb8r

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I can't "Search" at all anymore. Every time I put in a sample search, it returns me back to the homepage....and nothing more.
 

dioxide45

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I can't "Search" at all anymore. Every time I put in a sample search, it returns me back to the homepage....and nothing more.
I am seeing the same thing right now.
 

BingoBangoBongo

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I've gone on Koala 4-5 times and looked around and each time I thought the website wasn't very intuitive and easy to navigate/find locations with availability. I like the concept and just tried to go to the website to see if these new improvements helped and the website is currently down. This business model seems rather flawed at this point.

Edit: (Just went back and it is now working)
 

dioxide45

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This business model seems rather flawed at this point.
I am not really sure how a website being down for a short period of time would indicate a flawed business model?
 

BingoBangoBongo

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I am not really sure how a website being down for a short period of time would indicate a flawed business model?
The fact that the website was temporarily inoperable isn't something I'd lay on the business model. I was speaking more to the convoluted search process.
 
Last edited:

dioxide45

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I was speaking more to the convoluted search process.
Got it. Either way, I am not sure that means a flawed business model but rather work on execution is needed. The business model is the ability to rent timeshare weeks in a similar way that you can rent a home on VRBO or AirBnB. The trouble with search functionality doesn't necessarily mean the business model is flawed. It's a young company and they are working to make improvements and seeking input from users. That is a good thing.
 
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