Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Homeaway Mobile App

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I had a discussion with a vacation rental site owner recently about the increase in the use of Mobile and Tablet devices is going to change the future of the Vacation Rentals business. "In the future, no one will use Search: it's all about Mobile Apps" he said.

It certainly got me thinking: already, managing the number of Apps on your iPhone or Android is becoming painful. Anyone searching for a vacation rental is going to want just one app that will handle this for them, so whoever provides it will have a BIG advantage in the vacation rentals market.

As the 800 lb Gorilla in the Vacation Rentals industry, I checked the Homeaway site to see if they already offer a mobile and sure enough ..... they do!

The Homeaway mobile app is available free for iPhone, Android and iPad and includes powerful functions to help renters find a vacation rental.

Anyone looking for a vacation rental can Search, using an interactive map, to find vacation rentals in the location they are interested in. They can see images and key details ( number of bedrooms, price etc) of properties in each location. They can also filter to refine your search, focusing on key features that they are interested in, such as number of bedrooms, internet access etc.

Once they have found a vacation rental, they can contact the owner to send an enquiry, plus email/ facebook the property to friends and relatives.

I suspect use of the Homeaway mobile app is at relatively early stages, but if and when it catches on, it could further increase the dominance that Homeaway is building.

For the smaller players, this raises further questions about how they will protect their niches.

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