In the business of connecting travelers with affordable, memorable, and sometimes unusual rooms, Airbnb rules the roost. With more than 1.5 million listings, Airbnb reaches a large audience of potential renters. Airbnb has a different listing model, which helps Vacation Rental Managers by giving them different types of choices. The rise of Airbnb has accelerated this trend of vacation rentals as a form of lodging. This being so, online booking is a technological hurdle that Airbnb has to be able to deliver.
HomeAway has the advantage here for two reasons:
- HomeAway has the maturity of working with this market for a longer time period.
- HomeAway has a property management software division. This gives them the experience and understanding on what is required to be able to offer online booking.
Airbnb’s meteoric rise disrupted what’s known as the “alternative accommodations market,” and its competitors have struggled to keep up. Expedia’s purchase of HomeAway, is meant give the company a foothold in this market. Homeowners in regions across the U.S. say they’ve been impacted negatively by recent changes at HomeAway such as a different approach to displaying search results for rentals. HomeAway says revenue from its new listing fee will be invested in brand marketing and product development, ultimately improving the service but some homeowners are upset with the change. Airbnb’s content strategy extends to social media, where it embraces visual marketing to attract fans. Additionally, Airbnb has used visual stories and short films to promote their services and has been praised for their creativity.
HomeAway kicked off a new U.S. TV ad campaign, featuring the voice of actor and comedian Nick Offerman, right after Christmas. It is said that its parent company Expedia Inc. is expected to market the company more aggressively during its second year in the Expedia family. So far HomeAway has spent roughly $2.3 million on its new ad campaign, Get HomeAway From It All. It is the sort of messaging that HomeAway has used for years but now the company, which was acquired in late 2015, will have Expedia money behind it. HomeAway will also be doing online and other types of marketing in 2017. It remains to be seen just how aggressive HomeAway will get in all facets of its marketing as rival Airbnb ups its spend, as well. You can check out the new campaign here!