Travelling and booking accommodation are two things that have changed drastically in the last couple of years, and these changes not only affect our ability to travel more frequently and experience different cultures and nations, but also our ability to do business. We’ve all heard about Airbnb, heck, most of us are either considering or already running an Airbnb, contributing to the new sharing economy. And if you’re still not on Airbnb, that’s probably because you have your doubts about whether your property is going to profit from the service itself. Until recently, there hasn’t been a competitor strong enough to stand side by side Airbnb and offer their users a spectacular service. However, has something changed in the renting out world?
Yes, there’s a world outside of Airbnb which consists of major companies who are striving to compete in the rental game. The online travel agent Expedia is no different. As one of major travel/booking services, they’ve decided to step up their game, by going foot to foot with Airbnb.
By acquiring the vacation rental company named HomeAway, one of the biggest competitors of Airbnb, Expedia is going to give you an opportunity to list your vacation homes and rental properties and cater to the needs of everyone who wants to skip Airbnb and go for something else.
This person-to-person aspect is completely new to Expedia, and we’re quite sure that it will bring about many good changes, both for the company, and the rest of us who want to market and share our property to an even larger volume of people. Although HomeAway differs from Airbnb, Expedia is an already proven and established company that can enhance many aspects of this vacation rental leader and become the only real competitor to Airbnb. Let’s take a look at the entire story, in order to understand better what’s ahead of us.
Why Expedia and HomeAway and not Airbnb?
You’re probably asking yourself ‘’Well, why is HomeAway better for me?’’ Here are a couple of reasons that might shed light on the benefits of hosting outside of Airbnb
- Whole House, Whole Family, Whole Vacation
The main difference between listing your unit on Airbnb or HomeAway is in the property itself. HomeAway accepts only hosts who rent out their entire homes, which is something that we know Airbnb doesn’t put a restriction on. On Airbnb you can share basically anything, from a small one-window room to your vacation villa in the mountains. While that has it’s advantages, HomeAway seems to think differently. The company’s motto says a lot about them, what their goals and ideals are: “The whole house. The whole family. A whole vacation.”
So, if you’re in the business of renting out a vacation home or an entire apartment that you just purchase for the single purpose of renting out, Expedia might soon become a better alternative. Those who offer travelers nightly, weekly or monthly accommodation will find this merger interesting.
- Different Target Market
Logically, due to the rental policy of HomeAway, it appeals to a completely different market, such as families. Those who love to book a traditional type of accommodation, as well as people who love their privacy, and don’t really yearn for an exciting, adventurous local experience, will probably find more suitable listings on Expedia from now on.
- List For Free
Oh, and if that’s all not enough, Expedia is taking their game seriously, and seems dedicated to build a trustworthy relationship between their present consumers and the many potential ones, by offering free listings on their website. Here’s how it goes: You create the listing for your rental space, and put it up on the website, without paying absolutely anything. This aspect alone is very appealing. Only after your rental space is rented, you pay a fee. We can’t deny that there’s a certain charm in marketing your property without actually paying for it. But, from the company’s point of view, they need to work on their strategy for generating revenue for the company along with keeping their consumers happy and satisfied.
Why Expedia Made a Huge Step
If you’re thinking about the reasons why Expedia would do this, it’s time to put your business hat on. Expedia and other similar companies wouldn’t be so successful if they didn’t consistently take care of their consumers and think about their needs. As the need of travelers rise and new ways of travelling and vacationing are emerging, Expedia naturally wants to stay a fierce competitor and, primarily satisfy the needs of their consumers and prevent them from packing their bags and transferring their business to Airbnb. A very smart business decision, indeed.
And finally, what made Expedia make this huge leap is the benefit of creating a vacation rental supply in a significantly shorter amount of time, rather than waiting for years to build their vacation rental supply from the ground up. By acquiring HomeAway, will jump into the game very fast with an already existing network of consumers and sellers.
“Bringing HomeAway into the Expedia, Inc. family and adding its leading brands to our portfolio of the most trusted brands in travel is a logical next step,’’ says Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi for Venturebeat.com.
What’s in it for HomeAway
We all understand the numerous benefits Expedia has, but how about HomeAway? What’s in it for them? They already had their own supply of renters, so why this huge change?
It’s easy. Their rental owners get major exposure to more than 13 million monthly visitors on the online travel services provider Expedia, which automatically opens up new doors for HomeAway and its consumers. Certain individuals considered HomeAway competition to Airbnb, but with this new move, it’s not only going to be an opinion it’s going to be a fact.
Did Expedia make the right decision, or should they not have validated the rise of Airbnb and stick to their own niche and cater only to hotel providers? We would love to hear your opinion, after all, you’re all contributors to the world of renting and sharing.