Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The internet and the market for summer rental housing

Along with all the first order effects of the internet, it has had big effects on small markets, like secondhand books and, it turns out, vacation rentals: The Summer Rental Rat Race.

"as more vacation-home owners have entered the rental business, with help from a growing collection of Web sites that make it easy to post listings, the competition to attract tenants has become fierce.

"“Real estate agents who want to sell you a house will tell you that you can make money off it,” Mr. Johnston said. “Well, I did 20 years ago, but I don’t anymore.”

"There is often money to be made in vacation homes, but as the number of listing services has increased, so have the number of properties posted for rent. For example, HomeAway.com, one of the most popular sites, says it has more than 300,000 rentals worldwide.

"Numbers like that are forcing casual landlords to learn how to make their homes appear higher in search results, to track prices by monitoring their neighbors’ listings, and to deal with customer-service headaches like a negative Yelp-style review from renters.
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"HomeAway listed 304 homes for rent in the Catskills in 2008; now it has roughly 520 homes available. Along the Jersey Shore over the same time frame, listings increased to 2,200 from about 700; in the Hamptons they jumped to 750 from 270.
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"HomeAway owns another popular Web site, VRBO, which stands for “vacation rentals by owner.” But at these and other HomeAway sites, homes posted by professional property managers now account for 27 percent of the listings.
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“We see that as a net benefit for our travelers,” said Jon Gray, HomeAway’s vice president for North America. “It gives more choice to them.”
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"It also creates more competition for individual homeowners, who themselves have more rental listing services to choose from. The options include global players like HomeAway and FlipKey, which is owned by TripAdvisor, and specialized sites like Gite.com, which lists holiday homes in France."

8 comments:

felixshelsher said...
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felixshelsher said...

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