*The following is an excerpt from “3 Vacation Rental Guru Predictions for 2013,” originally published on Matt Landau’s Vacation Rental Marketing Blog. Jonathan Murray, CEO of MyVR, shares his predictions for the vacation rental industry in 2013. *
“Everyone now has online bookings,” Jon revealed, “but online transactions are a still surprisingly low % in this industry according to several studies I’ve seen.
Jon confided in me that he thinks that 2013 is the year that online transactions take off for two main reasons:
He explained how there’s a huge movement towards the direct booking button. Instead of the typical back and forth between owner and renter, a direct booking button allows rentals to get booked immediately. In fact, HomeAway just sent out a $50 incentive for folks to turn it on. He points out that Airbnb has used it as well and several sites are now determining a property’s ranking based on whether or not they accept direct bookings, so there’s a huge incentive to turn it on.
Second, Jon points out that several listing sites are moving towards the free listing model, where owners can list for free, but must run the payment through the listing site in order to get paid. (Airbnb has been doing this a while, HomeAway has told investors they are working on that, HolidayLettings just announced it, FlipKey is using this model to win back owners who have previously canceled on them…etc.)
Jon believes these things will all push more and more bookings online, many of them of the direct booking nature. And at his own company, Jon has had a ton of customers ask to add bookings to their websites, which he’ll be rolling out shortly to complement all his marketing tools and website builder.