Information about LiveLocal

How it works

How LiveLocal works

How is LiveLocal different to other booking platforms?

The LiveLocal website is a "No Frills" service with one aim; to help hosts advertise in a simple and low cost way, and to help Kiwi travellers link up with those hosts in a more direct, personal and affordable way. 

The New Zealand economy needs businesses to embrace a 'lean and affordable' approach for the short to medium term.  So we are focused on putting in place the basics so people can pay safely and feel confident.  Ultimately, we want to let our hosts be their own local Helpdesk, rather than building a fat intermediary that clips the ticket and gets in the way of good Kiwi hospitality.  

This was pretty much the central idea around how we could create the connection between Kiwi hosts and travellers, allowing flexibility, without a huge middleman cost.

How much does it cost?

We don't believe in fees!  The LiveLocal website is about breaking even, covering the basics, and letting Kiwi hosts and guests get connected. That means 0% Host Commissions and only 7% Guest Commissions. 

Why charge a 7% commission at all?

LiveLocal only keeps 4% of that 7% commission to cover our operating costs while keeping the website free of pesky advertising pop ups.  The rest goes to Stripe, in order to ensure payment and credit card information is managed by an organisation with the highest level of security certification in the payments industry.  You can read more about Stripe security here.

We have done the maths and we think keeping 4% of commissions is fair.  To break even at this level, the website will need to be selling $1 million in bookings, and primarily relying on volunteer staff to support the helpdesk.  So it is a lean outlook, but the objective isn't to spin up a profit; it is to break even and be realistic about what is achievable in the wake of COVID-19.

How do nightly prices compare to elsewhere?

You can see what the differences are in a side-by-side illustration on our About Us page.  This shows in practical terms how LiveLocal is working to pass savings on to guests and hosts as well as offering transparent, all inclusive nightly pricing without any hidden gotchas by the time you reach the check-out screen.

So what are the key differences in service?

Of course, when you take out the big service fee, there is a compromise in service somewhere.

The key difference between LiveLocal and the Big players is the absence of a central 24/7 travel support helpdesk. This doesn't mean there is no service support however. The idea behind LiveLocal is that it is more closely aligned to Direct Bookings, where guests find a private owner and book directly.  In that same way, the Host becomes the travel Helpdesk and is there to support Kiwi travellers every step of the way.

We know this works because local Kiwi hospitality is some of the best in the world.  Overseas platforms are learning from New Zealand hosts, not the other way around.  We know our Kiwi hosts have got this.

The reason LiveLocal is better than Direct Booking is because:

  • LiveLocal offers payment protection systems that ensure both parties feel secure. For example, guests can choose for Stripe to hold their booking fee until their reservation starts, which ensures refunds can be issued in line with our cancellation policy. Guests can also pass on this protection, choosIng instead for their host to be paid up front!

  • LiveLocal maintains an independent review system, ensuring consumers have access to genuine customer feedback about the place they plan to book.

  • All cancellations are handled following a consistent and fair policy.

  • Kiwi travellers can shop in one place, rather than visiting dozens of independent websites, and

  • LiveLocal supports a single approach to all-inclusive, transparent pricing with no hidden 'gotchas' at the payment screen (i.e. like additional guest fees, cleaning fees, or linen fees)

You can read more about the differences in service between LiveLocal and other platforms here.

What about reviews?

Reviews are an essential source of information for consumers, which is why we are absolutely committed to ensuring continued compliance with the New Zealand Fair Trading Act 1986, by ensuring Reviews are based upon genuine consumer feedback.  You can read more about our Review policy here.

We also believe that a healthy review system is one that respects and protects consumers genuine feedback.   For this reason, we take the removal of any part of a review very seriously.  Reviews and Ratings will only be removed if the content is in clear violation of our review policy.

Answers to frequently asked questions:

Our volunteer team are slowly working on building up our Help Center articles.  Feel free to browse the Help Center or Contact us to make suggetions for new articles you would like to see.  Meanwhile, to get you started here are some links to some of the more common frequently asked questions (FAQs):