Vacation Rentals a Year in Review

At lot of change took place in 2017 costing vacation rentals providers their brand identity and increased commissions and fees.

A lot took place over the last year in the world of vacation rentals. 2017 brought on a lot of change and many new challenges for all involved in the vacation rental market. These rapid changes even had software providers scrambling for solutions to keep up with the ever-changing vacation rental by owner market. Many vacation rental providers also had to make drastic changes to their businesses and processes. This is’s year in review and what we see coming for the year ahead:

The OTA Invasion


The sale of HomeAway/VRBO may have been announced late in 2015 but the effects of that acquisition hit hard in 2017. Owners and managers alike had a good idea as to what was to come when the announcement was made, but did little to prepare for ensuing changes. The changes started simple yet frustrating with the introduction of the service fee to travelers. However, that was the tip of the iceberg regarding the drastic changes that effected vacation rental providers.

So, what were the changes that impacted the industry most? Well the most basic and likely damaging difference was taking away the identity of the provider and open communication. Providers advertising with HA/VRBO can no longer openly communicate, share links, exchange contact info, and must solely communication through the HA/VRBO Platform. This created major issues not only for providers but for the integrated software providers that have systems in place to share documents, links, quotes and more and no longer have a direct email to do so. A couple more changes in the vacation rental world are the work arounds and patches to keep business functioning.

Following the communication breakdown and the ripple effect caused in the industry by this big change, all providers were forced to enable the online booking feature on HA/VRBO if they were going to continue advertising. Now this is not a bad move per se, however, statistically as much as 40% of transactions in private accommodations occur by check…. not an ideal situation when trying to check out online for many travelers and providers. This was a decision made by…

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