UPDATE: HomeAway clarified the commission cost of this new product, and that section has been updated.
The partnership, which was piloted back in October 2013, will now place 115,000 vacation home rentals directly in search listings across Expedia.com results.
The enrollment page announcing the news to vacation rental managers and owners states that this new expanded distribution is “starting with Expedia.com,” suggesting that this initial partnership will be boosted by distribution through other travel sites in the future.
The “Expanded Distribution Network,” as it’s called, is promoted further:
Reach more travelers…without any extra work! Our new Expanded Distribution Network gives you the ability to list your properties on other leading global travel websites, starting with Expedia.
Through the Expanded Distribution Network, HomeAway partners with well-known travel brands to extend the reach of your listings outside our family of sites so you have access to a larger audience of travelers.
Property owners and managers can have properties automatically enrolled, easing the process to take advantage of the wider reach across travel sites. The same tools will be used to manage the listing – basically nothing has changed for listings, outside of the wider reach and visibility.
Owners and listing managers will have the ability to toggle when their listings show up in the Expanded Distribution Network, and will be able to opt in to new partners as they join the Network. This means that owners could choose not to list on certain partners, depending on preferences and other relationships.
For Expedia, the partnership makes complete sense, as it helps maintain share from customers that would have otherwise searched directly on a property rental website. It also signals a full shift in the way consumers are traveling, with vacation rentals now enjoying parity with hotels as far as attention and bookability on a wider scale.
Expedia’s Laurens Leurink commented on the announcement of the expanded vacation rental listings:
The demand for vacation rentals in today’s travel market is clear and we think it complements our existing business. We’re thrilled to continue our work with HomeAway. They are a great example of a partner that allows us to expand the breadth and depth of our offerings, giving Expedia travelers more choices and thus improving their overall experience.
As far as cost, listings will be charged a 10% commission, with an undisclosed split in that commission between HomeAway and Expedia. As far as a standardized commission for new partners, the commission for other new partners that join the Network has not yet been set. More from HomeAway’s sign-up page:
We are launching the Expanded Distribution Network with Expedia charging a commission of 10%. As an integrated property manager who uses your own merchant service provider, you are subject to their usual credit card processing fees.
As new partners join the Expanded Distribution Network, you will automatically be opted in and listed with any partners charging the same 10% commission. You will always have the chance to manage which properties you want listed on each site in your dashboard and can opt out of any you don’t want.
At the moment, only listings set to pay-per-booking will be eligible for the expanded distribution, as HomeAway felt these listings would be the easiest to transition. Those more regular users that pay for subscription services should have expanded network access in early 2015, which would increase the value of subscriptions if a higher number of bookings and upward price movements occur.
This is a win for all involved. Expedia has now increased its commission base, HomeAway has increased its utility and dominance with property owners and managers, and travelers now have more bookable stay options in one place.