Travelers who are looking for vacation rental options across the globe are turning to HomeAway, and who could blame them? The company just announced that it currently has more than 1 million vacation rentals listings across their various outlets (Homeaway.com, VRBO.com, etc.). However, thanks to a new agreement with Expedia, it will be even easier for travelers to find HomeAway rentals online.
This partnership, which had its beginnings in beta in February, went live on September 19, and was officially announced during HomeAway’s RezFest event by CEO Brian Sharples.
Expedia.com will not feature a specific “Vacation Rentals” tab on its homepage, but when site users search for a stay of a week or so in duration for a particular destination, they will see vacation rental options listed.
These listings of vacation rentals within the Expedia hotel search/tab is Expedia’s answer to providing more lodging options, without undermining its all-important hotel business. The partnership means 115,000 vacation rentals listings are now displayed in the U.S. version of Expedia.com. The property owners must pay 10% commission and 3% in credit card processing fees for each booking.
Potential Issues for HomeAway
Both companies are quick to point out that “property managers and owners continue to have the opportunity to reach Expedia travelers by partnering directly with Expedia”. This would essentially cut HomeAway out of the process altogether, a risk that Sharples addressed at RezFest with the following statement:
“Though Expedia does have direct relationships with property management companies, they are not currently integrated into the vacation rental by owner (VRBO) market, which is 60% of HomeAway’s inventory (as of Q2 2014). Currently, not all VRBOs can be distributed to Expedia.com because they are on HomeAway’s subscription model, but it is something we are working towards.”
“The additional distribution for that segment of the market presents a meaningful opportunity for everyone – Expedia, HomeAway and its customers – and is a major reason why both companies are excited about the future of the partnership.”
HomeAway’s Expanded Distribution Network
Expedia is not the only company with whom HomeAway plans to collaborate going forward. This “cornerstone partnership”, as it is being described, marks HomeAway’s launch of its Expanded Distribution Network, which will be expanded to other “well-known travel brands” according to the company.
Sharples is on record stating that HomeAway would like to establish partnerships similar to its Expedia relationship with other online travel agencies, tourism sites, and other websites.
To read more about HomeAway’s Expanded Distribution Network, click here.
To read more about HomeAway’s new partnership with Expedia, click here.