VRMA Trends: Q2 Rental Trends to Watch

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VRMA recently released its Q2 Vacation Rental Industry Trends for 2014, which focused on two new industry trends, as well as some nuances on trends already observed.

Consolidation
This was one of the new trends discussed in the quarterly review, but is certainly not a new concept in this segment of the hospitality industry.  HomeAway and TripAdvisor have been buying up smaller companies in the vacation rental space for years.  Their appetite for acquisitions is so insatiable that each company has its own page on Crunchbase dedicated to the topic.

During Q2, HomeAway made to high-profile acquisitions (Stayz in Australia, and Glad to Have You closer to home), while TripAdvisor announced their acquisition of Vacation Rentals Homes in May.

However, high-profile companies were not the only ones making ripples in Q2.  One event that set this past quarter apart was the entry of RealPage into the vacation rental space.  While large VR players led this trend in the past, RealPage’s acquisition of Bookt signaled that the industry is not getting to a size and level of importance to attract big public companies that were previously unaffiliated with vacation rentals.

Large companies were not the only ones to get in on the acquisition trend.  Acquisition by Vacasa, Resort Realty, Seaside Vacation Rentals, TurnKey, and others show that with the right management and strategy, smaller and even relatively new companies can get into the game.

Going Mainstream
At a high level, the growth and popularity of vacation rentals have continued apace.  For the first time, a TripAdvisor survey showed that over half of US travelers plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014.  This statistic alone is outstanding when as recently as 2008, only 11% of travelers reported staying in a vacation rental, and it is indicative of just how mainstream vacation rentals are becoming.

Leisure travelers are not the only ones who are taking advantage of the benefits vacation rentals offer. Business travelers are increasingly booking these alternative accommodations as more convenient, unique, comfortable, and/or inexpensive alternatives to hotels.

The most important endorsement the vacation rental recently received came from the Sage of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett.  He recommended shareholders look into rentals rather than overpriced hotels for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Nebraska.

To learn more about vacation rental industry trends, and regulations that may affect the industry in the future, click here.

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