1 Change That Could Make All the Difference For HomeAway

If there's a huge challenge facing HomeAway, it's to keep growing its database of property listings while maintaining pricing power.

See, as vacation rentals get more popular with consumers -- and they are -- landlords are obliged to advertise as widely as possible, which means going for the widest possible distribution at the lowest possible price. Alternatives such as TripAdvisor's FlipKey and Holiday Lettings of the U.K. are growing fast as a result, with subscription revenue up 53%  in the third quarter alone. But now HomeAway has an answer for its rivals, and it's a doozy. Find out more in the following video.

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  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2012, at 4:52 AM, needmorerentals wrote:

    An interesting take on the developments at HomeAway however a quick bit of research of those hundreds of thousands of owners currently advertising on HomeAway and VRBO will reveal that many are not happy at all with recent changes.

    The pending introduction of a commission styled portal (a la Airbnb) seems to be the major trend with the largest listings sites. While this would hypothetically be fine ALONGSIDE a subscription-based model, there seems to be major confusion with long-serving owners due to renew a subscription in the next few months and whether they must soon choose one or the other.

    The communication portal between owner and guest is also due to change imminently, meaning the owner will very soon be forced to log in to the dashboard to reply to an enquiry and not see the guest's email address. I have literally seen hundreds of messages by owners on forums stating they will not be renewing subscriptions due to this. HomeAway advises that this is in the interest of 'phishing' (a definite scurge of the industry) however will apparently offer no choice for an owner to avail of this security option or not.

    Recent changes introducing 'nightly rates' to owners' dashboard threw thousands of owners rates into turmoil for over a week as incorrect figures resulted. HomeAway also did not take into account any extras that owners charge plus the fact that most do not apply divisible pro-rata rates like this. The company had to apologise and urgently revert many owners back to their original rates.

    This is not intended as a vendetta against HomeAway. Far from it, it is the company that has probably most helped owners around the world to profit from their vacation/holiday rental property.

    I'm simply pointing out that all is not rosy in the land of HomeAway and it's loyal, paying customer.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2012, at 9:01 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @needmorerentals,

    Thanks for the reply. I couldn't find the complaints you're referring to so I put out a call for stories of working with HomeAway here:

    http://tmblr.co/ZZ-cxxXk9ffx

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    Tim Beyers

    TMFMileHigh, Motley Fool Rule Breakers Analyst, Supernova Odyssey I Portfolio Contributor

    Web: http://timbeyers.me

    Twitter: @milehighfool

    Tumblr: http://timbeyers.tumblr.com/

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2012, at 8:27 PM, mharpen2 wrote:

    are these comments working? I tried posting 3 times.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2012, at 8:30 PM, mharpen2 wrote:

    I can definitely confirm the serious concerns people are having towards Homeaway progressing towards more restrictions with this idea of hiding email addresses on inquiries people receive in their current mail inbox. We develop websites and software for 1000's of VR owners and this news has many owners upset and asking about alternative advertising options such as Flipkey and VacationHomeRentals which are also cheaper. Homeaway could be the next AOL and Netscape if they continue to impose unwanted changes.

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