Industry Update: VRBO and Expedia

You might have heard about some of the changes going on with Homeaway and VRBO. The first big name that emerged in the vacation rental industry was VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner). Eventually VRBO.com was bought by a company called Homeaway which acquired multiple travel sites in an effort to create one big vacation rental marketplace. Just last year Homeaway (the parent company of VRBO) was purchased by the travel giant Expedia for almost 4 billion dollars.

So what does this all mean? Well it means good and bad depending on your perspective. With Expedia soon to push vacation rentals into their marketplace your property will be exposed to more travelers than ever before. However, there is a catch. VRBO used to just be a listing site where you paid an annual fee and then guests contacted you via the listing, that's it. Now Expedia is changing VRBO into an online booking platform where you still pay your annual fee but people book your home via the platform directly and the guest pays a fee to VRBO on top of anything you are charging. The industry certainly is changing and we are staying on top of these changes so they don't affect you. We believe that this merger of VRBO with Expedia will be a good thing in the long run but will require owners and managers like ourselves to ensure our processes are compatible with this new online booking platform model that is fast becoming industry standard. As of this point we see conflicts and are optimistic that while this may cause travelers to pay more its affect on us will be minimal.