1.1 Patterns and Trends in the Vacation Rental Industry

In the beginning, there were classified ads and print brochures and VRBO. Few tourists and travelers were aware they could stay in vacation homes outside of the UK and Europe where the market has been in place for much longer than in the US.

Things have changed.

The vacation rental market has seen strong growth in the past 10 years as demonstrated by the trends in acquisition by the major vacation rental listing sites. The launch of VRBO in 1995 was the beginning of the listing site movement that grew rapidly to dozens of independent sites over the next decade.

When HomeAway launched in 2005 it rapidly began to acquire smaller sites and then bought the highly popular VRBO – which is one of the few HA acquisitions to retain its brand and logo.

HomeAway was itself acquired, by Expedia in 2015, a move that brought the vacation rental industry into a new era of mainstream accommodation.

While this was happening, other platforms were growing their inventories and creating some disruption.

Flipkey became the first site to publish live reviews in 2008 and was soon after taken into the Trip Advisor fold. However Trip Advisor has faced numerous technical and operational issues with managing multiple properties, and to this day have fallen behind the competitors. Even their buyout of Vacation Home Rentals failed to revive their initial promise.

Then of course there is Airbnb.

Founded in 2007 it has grown to be one of the largest accommodation sites and has become a household name, with the name ‘airbnb’ often used to define any short-term rental. This is important to know since it is not always the best platform for marketing and success with it is highly dependent on location.

We cover this in greater detail later.

While that has been going on…..

Strength in the second home market continues to remain stable with most new owners considering rental as part of their investment planning.

According to Home Away, nearly 8 in 10 buyers of second homes said that the potential of rental income influenced their decision to buy.

NAR statistics consistently show that once people have bought a property, a large proportion were somewhat or likely to buy another home in the next 2 years.

Once they are home-owners and start to rent out, the statistics are just as promising.

Vacation rental market is expected to be in excess of $147 billion by 2020.

These are statistics that give us the best opportunity we’ve had in years to capitalize on a growing and enthusiastic market trend.