Interview: HomeAway about capital vacation rental trends

The vacation rental industry has been growing and evolving fast in recent years. Nowadays, vacation rentals make a big part of the travel industry and there’s no sign of slowing down.To take on the challenge and stand out among other hosts, vacation rental owners need to keep up with the latest trends.

September 27, 2019

We had a chat with Robert Jackson, Senior Program Lead at HomeAway, a global booking platform for holiday rentals, offering more than 2 million online accommodations in 190 countries. Read along and get some new insights that will help you tackle the competition!

Interview: HomeAway about capital vacation rental trends

What are the 2 most dominant trends you currently see in the vacation rental industry?

Automation. Processes are becoming less manual, and more seamless, whether controlled by phones or a laptop (from receiving bookings, to unlocking doors, to turning on lights & putting on music, to knowing when the fridge is empty & a food order is made automatically). Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things is here and is real.

Secondly, “ownership” of the customer. Increasingly, personification is happening. So online retailers (whether an OTA or Amazon) know what the customer wants and likes. They are offering products based on those indicators, accompanying the customer through the search, the purchase, the stay and even retargeting him or her to stay again, booking the same way.

Vacation rentals are expected to topple the hotel industry by 2020. What’s your take on that?

The VR industry has certainly exploded and grown exponentially in recent years. Both leisure & corporate business has undoubtedly taken some interest from travelers that would previously have stayed in hotels. That said, the pie is getting bigger, and we will see more Chinese and Indians, with disposable incomes travelling. There is enough business to go around.

In what way does HomeAway distinguishes itself from other booking platforms?

We always advertise whole homes, rather than individual rooms, and are traditionally geared to families. Our clients tend to stay longer, and book more in advance, with the USA being our number one source market.

"Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things is here and is real."

Robert Jackson - HomeAway

Which tech solution or tool is indispensable for the vacation rental owners?

Channel management is crucial. Being able to distribute your rates and inventory to various OTAs, and receive bookings back, whilst avoiding overbookings. Next to this, guests also demand quick Wifi during their stay. Beyond that, professional property managers would want to manage the calendars of the cleaners, perhaps look at self-opening doors in future, and maybe even noise detecting apps which can alert you to an unauthorized house party!

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Interview: HomeAway about capital vacation rental trends

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