Vacation Rental Industry Future Faces Predicted Big Collision
The vacation rental industry future is looking unsettled with more change than it has seen in its history so far
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Unless you are a regular follower of industry news, you may have missed this post on Skift’s website. According to this piece, the vacation rental industry future is looking unsettled with more change than it has seen in its history so far. They believe that the forecast ’big collision’ between vacation rentals and the ‘sharing economy’ has already begun.
‘The battle is now joined and the converging markets are in full swing,’ they say. ‘HomeAway stated recently that there already is a 10 to 15 percent overlap in HomeAway’s and Airbnb’s listings, and HomeAway is making a substantial push into expanding its vacation rental reach into cities.’
Should you be worried or pleased?
First off, there is no need to panic about the vacation rental industry future – either right now, or even long term if we can see what’s coming and, if necessary, make appropriate adjustments. What sparked this rush to print was the fact that Airbnb is moving into HomeAway territory while HomeAway is moving into the traditional Airbnb area.
Skift comment in their blog: ‘On the alternative accommodations side, the world of vacation rentals is fast colliding with the sharing economy – expect to see some fascinating results from this over the next few years.
‘One big result from all this frenzied activity is the mainstreaming of the whole ecosystem, as consumers become more and more aware of creative options to stay and spend time, and real-time availability of inventory – a huge hurdle for the sector at large – becomes a reality.’
Realtime capability will become essential to owners
So, in the vacation rental industry future, guests will become more savvy about the options open to them as the properties and rentals become even more involved in web activity. To be able to reach this huge pool of potential guests, independent vacation rental owners will need to present their properties in real time on every channel they choose to use. Whether it is their own promotion or on a listings site.
Currently, realtime booking information is patchy across the industry. Owners lacking sophisticated software to handle this must do it manually, updating each channel separately as the booking situation changes.
Think this is frustrating for owners? Imagine the response from the must-have-it-now generation of prospective guests browsing the internet for vacation destinations.
Increasingly, if they can’t get an updated realtime response to their inquiry, they will look elsewhere. For the unfortunate owner lacking realtime capability, the vacation rental industry future could become tougher when it comes to trying to fill reservations.
Homes and Rooms subscribers are already prepared
Thanks to some forward thinking by the founder and his technical team, Homes and Rooms subscribers are prepared for the vacation rental industry future and already have realtime capability as part of their subscription. Which means that if your calendar is updated by a booking or price change, this is reflected immediately across all your listings – without the need for manual input.
It gets better. Homes and Rooms subscribers are also fully mobile-prepared. Which means your all-important website (your shop window on the web) displays properly on any internet device. Whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Net effect, for subscribers using both these Homes and Rooms services, is that potential guests browsing your property get a clearly readable view. They can also navigate easily round your mobile-optimized site for the information they seek. And when they view availability, they will see a realtime, updated status.
Research shows that if potential guests have difficulty accessing, reading or navigating a vacation rental site, they will often give up after a few seconds and look elsewhere. Also, if the booking information is not up to the minute and they need to wait to find out if there is a vacancy, you may lose those guests.
Sophisticated website allows you to keep control of your property
Looking to the vacation rental industry future, owners without their own sophisticated website to keep them in control of their property will increasingly have to sign up with both camps as the overlap between HomeAway and Airbnb increases. In so doing they’ll be handing over control of their properties.
Many owners are reluctant to hand over to the big boys and with good cause. Skift report that: ‘Both Booking.com and HomeAway also face blowback from individual owners of vacation rentals because both companies are pressuring these owners to make their homes online bookable. Some individual owners are reluctant to do so out of old habits and because they want extra time to vet the guests who want to stay in their homes.’
Whatever the vacation rental industry future holds, Homes and Rooms fully supports those owners who want to retain control of their properties. We do this by providing them with the powerful tools they need to succeed in a highly competitive, rapidly changing business.