The History of VRBO

For those who caught my first post, The Changing Face of the Vacation Rental Industry, you saw my mention of something those affiliated with the industry in any fashion have all heard…VRBO or Vacation Rental By Owner. 

VRBO was founded in 1996 by husband and wife team Dave and Lynn Clouse to provide homeowners with a means to market their vacation rental property direct to guests thus avoiding the traditional management fees involved with using a third party operator.  Today, it is considered one of the “pioneer” on line marketing sites in the Vacation Rental Industry, and by far and away is the most recognizable brand.
 
In 2006, HomeAway, Inc. purchased VRBO when it had 65,000 active listings.  In the same year, HomeAway, Inc. launched their flagship site HomeAway.com, with 60,000 active listings via their purchase and consolidation of five of the leading vacation rental sites in the US and Europe. 
 
As we sit here in 2011, in just five short years, HomeAway.com has grown their available property listings from 60,000 to just over 250,000.  And, VRBO has grown their available property listings from 60,000 to just over 160,000. 
 
In a recent press release published by HomeAway, Inc. in celebration of the 5th and 15th anniversaries of the two sites, they shared the following statistics…they have 430,000 available listings with just under 1.2 million beds, of those 133,000 are beach listings.  In a distant second, as far as types of inventory, are ski rentals at 55,000 and the numbers decline from there.   
 
So, how does a company almost triple their market share in five years during an economic recession?  Next Post….