Blog

Expedia to buy Homeaway

By Ronald Lee
Published: 11/05/15 Topics: Advertising, AirBnB, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

There’s always a bigger fish. Serial purchaser Homeaway has itself been acquired by Seattle based Expedia. And the price paid for the vacation rental giant? $3.9 billion. The deal is the sign of the times for digital travel sales, which has experienced massive M&A activity, like much of the economy this year.

While Homeaway has been busy dominating the vacation rental industry through acquisitions, Expedia has been doing the same in the wider digital travel sales. Homeaway’s many purchases this year (including Seattle based Dwellable just last month), pale compared to Expedia’s yearly activity which include massive purchases of Orbitz and Travelocity. Previously Expedia had focused on hotels, and so the addition of Homeaway to it’s portfolio presents some interesting changes.

Just what is Expedia’s plan with Homeaway? Expedia’s CFO said Homeaway would remain relatively autonomous, with it’s headquarters based in Austin. The main gain for Expedia appears to be hedging. Airbnb is one of the biggest travel competitor left to face Expedia, and of course, focuses on short term vacation rental stays. Expedia’s purchase of Homeway is a smart move to counter Airbnb’s growing share of the market.

The sharing economy is an attractive market compared to the business of connecting hotel users to hotels. Virtually any home in the world can become a rental property for Airbnb and Homeaway, and Expedia is diversifying to protect against pressure on the hotel industry. Plus, individual home owners are a more attractive partner than big hotel changes. Home owners have very little leverage or sophistication in the business, and generally take what portals like Homeaway and Airbnb offer them. However, distribution might become easier with the Expedia and Homeaway merger.

What can customers look forward to? Integrated booking might be a long shot, but this merger could give customers the ability to directly compare hotel and vacation rental accommodations. This doesn’t appear to be the play the companies are making, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Read more

Author: Ronald Lee – Reporter, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0478 – 11/05/15

Crowing about VRIA Mobile Websites

By William May
Published: 11/01/14 Topics: Comments: -

It may not sound earth shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to their system and has donated the capability to the VRIA.org website and those that use VRMLS.org. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: -

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensible tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Statellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: -

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: -

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Varoom Vacation Rental Cooperative Springs to Life

By William May
Published: 02/23/14 Topics: Comments: -

Even with the thousands of advertising websites catering to vacation rental owners, guests often search in vain to find the perfect accommodations. Now the website www,Varoom.biz, the world's first Vacation Rental Cooperative matches guests with property owners and managers to increase bookings. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Vacation Rentals Enhance the Neighborhood

By William May
Published: 08/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

Going to a grand hotel for grand service will never go away. Stopping for a quick night at a convenient motel makes long trips easier. And now Vacation Rentals allow property owners to share their homes with responsible guests. It lights up the neighborhood, keeps home in good condition and shows the communities hospitality. Read more

Tourism Destinations are Killing Tourists

By William May
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Comments: -

Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials kill vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more

Glorious Days on Washington State Beaches

By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

It is time to plan your summer at the beach? Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Read more

Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared

By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

Mount Rainier disappeared today. Poof. Gone. I looked up and it was missing from the horizon. Reminded me of the day, 20 years ago, when Mount Saint Helens disappeared. Read more

Twas the Night before Vacation Rental Christmas

By Jan Covey
Published: 12/31/11 Topics: Comments: -

The Christmas and New Years Holidays are a big season in almost every vacation rental market. Read how one plucky manager gets through the hub bub. Read more

Vacation Road Trips Start at the Dentist

By Gail Adair
Published: 04/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offe Read more

Sunbanks Resort - Little known Secret Location

By Penny L. Taylor
Published: 03/31/10 Topics: Comments: -

Warm weather took me on a drive to Central Washington state, to little known Banks Lake and SunBanks Resort. Toasty hot in summer it boasts warm warm water unlike most big lake resorts. Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offer Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offe Read more

Vacation Rentals In Afghanistan

By William May
Published: 09/05/04 Topics: Comments: -

I kid you not. The LA Times is reporting that Estullah Rooz, after years of fighting Soviets, rival Mujahedee and the Taliban, the man known as the Commander Mullah is going corporate. And how you say? Well, he's building the first Swiss designed and pre-fabricated Vacation Rental homes on Lake Qarg Read more