Why online vacation rental listings are still stuck in the past
Vacation rentals aren't much of a bother to the hotel industry at this juncture and won't be for awhile unless the pace of online booking quickens dramatically.
Lots of people think the lack of progress in being able to book vacation rentals online, as you would hotel rooms, is a technology problem, but it’s also an attitude problem.
HomeAway, the vacation rental behemoth, had more than 742,000 paid listings of properties as of the end of March, and of these, fewer than 15,000 listings, or around 2%, featured a “book it now” button, said CEO Brian Sharples yesterday during HomeAway’s first quarter earnings conference call.
Property owners or managers with “book it now” buttons on their listings can accept credit card payments (2.5% fees) and e-checks (no fees), improve performance because their listings get pushed higher in search results, and receive downloadable reports for tax purposes.