Quickly dominating the vacation rental industry, HomeAway, which is based in Austin, Texas, is the world’s leading online marketplace for rental properties. Part of the Expedia, Inc. family of brands, HomeAway offers more than 1.2 million bookable vacation homes in 190 countries.
An ideal marketing tool for vacation rental owners and property managers to promote and manage their bookings online. The range of properties available to book online – which is growing daily – provides the savvy vacation hunter with an ideal tool to source accommodation that is more homely and quite often more practical than a hotel. Especially pertinent for the small group and family market – with everything from small apartments to mini-country-estates!
Whilst the price may be slightly higher than sourcing properties direct – the up-side is that the renter can book knowing that the property and owner have been vetted and their money will be safe. With so many scam-rental-sites around it is something worth thinking about before committing hardearned cash to an anonymous individual somewhere in cyber-space.
For owners – the main benefit is from a marketing and management perspective – whereby the owner is provided all the tools to generate sales, without expensive online marketing and time-consuming inventory management.
HomeAway has absorbed VRBO and TravelMob into its growing online business and there will always be critics of corporate giants swallowing up competition – but for the vacation hunter the advantages of searching one site with confidence would seemingly outweigh any negatives.
How was HomeAway founded?
Over the years, HomeAway co-founder Brian Sharples and his family rented a variety of ski and beach homes, enjoying the space, availability of a kitchen and flexibility to invite others on vacation. However, he found that finding and booking a property online in the highly fragmented vacation rental industry was not as easy as reserving a hotel. It was out of this frustration, that he realized the opportunity to transform the vacation rental industry and build the world’s leading marketplace for online vacation rentals. Sharples and Carl Shepherd founded HomeAway, Inc. in February 2005.
Why rent a vacation home?
Spend less but get more room than a hotel
More space – the average vacation rental home is 1850 sq. ft. versus the average hotel room that is 325 sq. ft.
More Privacy – plenty of space, comfort and little disturbance; perfect for family time
Kitchen – prepare a quick meal; save from having to eat out
Authentic experience in your travel destination
More opportunities to create lasting memories with family and friends
Easy to find a pet-friendly accommodation in most destinations