Consider the issues facing John Kim, formerly a top product guy at Expedia Inc., when he was tapped to lead vacation rental giant HomeAway's transformation as its new president in September. A group of 40 or so sites ranging from HomeAway and VRBO in the U.S.

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2 years ago

Some of the OTA's just don't get it with real "vacation rentals", here's why for two of them.

HomeAway, once loved (VRBO and OwnersDirect) and now Expedia Corporation tried disrupting, by force, a fractionated system, which sounds great if all the products and suppliers have comparable rules, terms and can be compared. 1.3 million different products from 500,000 suppliers, expect major challenges and pushback. Their inventory has only gone up by 3% since early 2016 and only 12% are instantly bookable. Not great progress and obvious why.

"Service is lost not gained" Its hard miles back if the only objective is to offer guests extra tools to make search easier, when the asset manager is the one that needs to be catered for especially as their micro-economics and guest relations have been predominantly targeted.

Airbnb: warm, cuddly and experiential will want the big commission business provided by well organised managers especially in light of city issues. Why however would well organised managers hand over peak period (80%+ of income), that is not too difficult to book, to a third party? Out of season top ups, no problem. But poorer cash flow, worse cancellation policies, lack of guest vetting? Lots of managers and owners see this as a retrograde step.

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