i list on both airbnb and homeaway and we cancelled our airbnb because the customer gets charged 10% and the interface is mean and pathetic. Can't have a reasonable dialogue without having airbnb censor much of the meaningful information. If you do anything Airbnb doesn't like they threaten your ratings and attempt to strong arm you.
airbnb may be a great service if you are renting out a college dorm room or stuffing somebody in a rent controlled apartment in manhattan but isn't set up for the high level of customer service required to serve more affluent customers that away caters to.
Our places are not college dorm room sbut fairly sophiscated units that rent for a significant amount of money in nice, trendy neighborhoods. Just curious why you think having the renter pay 9 (not 10)% instead of soaking the host for all the fees (or better yet, extorted hosts with a ridiculous "subscription" to buy search result placements) is such a great business model.
The market says it isn't.
Airbnb does censor information; I don't agree what that. But here's what I really don't agree with: an absolute insane and ridiculous/time consuming interface on VRBO among other Hway sites. Want to change one price? Prepare to spend several minutes clicking through various menus that look like they were set up by a Special Olympian. Your contention that airbnb's interface is "mean" is beyond stupid. It's absurd. Line up any 10 people and ask them to look at the two sites as a potential customer. They'll all tell you which one sucks them in more, and it ain't Homeaway's.
From information we have learned on the internet, a unlikely group of Stockholders, Subscribers and actual Travelers may be combining strong opinions about how AWAY conducts its allocation of Traveler Inquires in a class action. We spoke with one AWAY stockholder who agreed to comment with anonymity, "Well, from what I've read, some folks feel that our management team is not addressing the needs of our clients consistently. That would be bad business." After a number of attempts, we reached an AWAY subscriber who was familiar with the situation. Again, she spoke with anonymity. "This isn't anything new with Homeaway. They've been directing folks to other options based upon some unknown criteria for a couple of years now. We're now paying 30% more for 50% less inquiries. What is new is that they recently took all our sort options away for only two options. It's just not reliable information at this time. I hope they figure out who their real customers are soon." We'll get back with you folks as this interesting drama plays out over the next few days.
Whether or not any class action suit materializes, it is well known that HomeAway has been much more focused on extracting additional fees from its subscribers than on providing a platform that is mindful of the needs of the Vacation Rentals Owners in a cost effective manner. It is a common complaint among their longstanding owner base that fees to HomeAway have gone up significantly but service and number of useful traveler inquiries have gone down. At the same time the amount of time and effort an owner spends to keep up with HomeAway's arbitrary rules, has greatly increased. To be blunt, long time customers of HomeAway are not happy. Up to a point, they can get away with it, they still have a lot of eyeballs coming to the site, and many owners secure many of their bookings through HomeAway, but if they do not listen to their customer base, it will catch up with them.
With all the controversy about customer dissatisfaction with HomeAway's growth tactics, they can't maintain this valuation and avoid a class action unless they honor their loyal customer base. Just sold all my AWAY stock except 10 shares just to watch this mess play out...
Visit the HomeAway Community Forum and look at "Discussions" and the topics on the left. Property Owners and loyal HA supporters and stockholders are far more than unhappy. Disgruntled is inadequate. The company fails to respect their property owners in service and professionalism because they focus on how to get more money from potential renters. HomeAway has dismissed its loyalists, and its loyalists are collecting to respond finally to the abuses of HA.
Yes the HomeAway Community Forum is an interesting place to take the pulse of HomeAway's customer base. It can be seen as a "canary in the coal mine " indicator. A few years back, before HomeAway went public, the Community discussion was dominated with useful suggestions on helpful ways to manage a vacation rental business. Useful information was provided by both HomeAway and other Community members. More recently however, the forum discussions spend a great deal of bandwidth griping about HomeAway's latest miscues, suggestions on how to navigate poorly thought out policies and tools and alternative advertising venues. The result is there is a trickle of long term subscribers who found alternative venues, and that has the potential to get exponentially larger over time unless HomeAway realizes that it is providing a service and starts respecting the needs of those who use the service.
Much of HomeAways problem is that they are viewing Airbnb as their competitor but this is only partially true. There is certainly a portion of the customer base that fits comfortably into this model. These are mainly folks who rent their home on an occasional basis. For these folks the 15% or so they pay in commission is often a good deal, much less than paying a property manager
But HomeAway and their sister site Vacation Rental By Owner originally grew out of a base of owners who were willing to put some effort into their own property management. The reward was that instead of paying a professional property manager (or real estate agent) 20 or 30 percent of your take, you could list on the web for a percentage in the low single digits. As HomeAway attempts to extract higher fees from the owners., it is starting to approach the cost of a property manager, but without any of the benefits that go along with that. What HomeAway is not acknowledging is there is still a very large number of owners who really wants a site that embodies the concept of vacation rental BY OWNER. It is not just the escalating cost but the fact that HomeAway is increasingly mandating the way owners run their business. Non complying owners are punished by being put lower in the search order.
It is unrealistic for HomeAway to expect to extract substantially more revenue from their base of owners who are fully capable of managing their business in a professional and efficient manner, It would be foolhardy to alienate these owners since they tend to be more engaged than the owner who just rents occasionally. They consequently tend to have much more satisfied guests which can only benefit the reputation of HomeAway among potential guests. If HomeAway alienates its owner base, the experience of the traveler is likely to be less satisfactory as well.
The fundamental problem with a suscriber fee model is that its splits the interests of AWAY and its hosts. Taking a cut of rentals kept them united. But once they started to focus on extracting a fee from hosters, they moved into Herbalife territory where, rather than selling room nights, they were selling access to listings--essentially a Ponzi scheme.
Anything under $30 is a SCREAMING and RUN OUT THE DOOR! This stock is headed back to $25. Check out the increase in its short percentage... UP a lot!
AND its stockholders AND stakeholders also!
Based on the angst we see here, though many would hate to see it, a class action is building and that will really HURT everyone. Cheaters just should not prosper and HomeAway IS cheating its subscribers and the traveler also by not telling the TRUTH and ONLY THE TRUTH!
WOW BOB!!! You have hit this situation "our of the park". HomeAway told their many loyal subscribers, for many years, that guest reviews will "rank your property higher", drive awareness by Travelers and we all benefit.
NOW they have taken that documented promise and pushed all the benefit to their side of the ledger. They are taking credit for all the owners/subscribers' hard work and FORCING them to now accept less income and more risk by forcing them to accept credit cards and renting their valuable properties to unvetted travelers. Watch and see how many more unhappy owners will be getting on board because of the BIN (Buy It Now) model that only benefits HomeAway's bottom line; or so they think. BUT without good and reliable home owners, HomeAway will have less and less valuable properties to offer the wise traveler. It's a lose-lose spiral DOWN for all! It IS a very bad business strategy. Hope they haven't gone too far into this change to drag it back and rethink the real impact.
Why will any owner re-up when " It's a lose-lose spiral DOWN for all!" There are many owners and stockholders who have been planning and preparing for change since last December. 2016 may be a tough year, but many owners are not into the bondage that HA and VRBO practice. They will not continue to be used, abused, and "prostituted" by them. When in the course of poor business choices, it becomes necessary for owners to dissolve the bands which have connected them with an entity that has abused the owners, we, the owners, are impelled to throw off the entity rather than renew. They have ignored our petitions for redress too long.
Sentiment: Strong Sell
Looks like the Investment Bankers and Venture Capitalists are work hard to keep AWAY above $30. What they are not aware of is that they are buying into a powder keg that will blow up in their faces. Word on the internet is that a number of disgruntled subscribers are contacting their Senators and Congressmen to let them know of this crime being perpetrated.
As was written on one blog this morning, "This, HomeAway's, IS a theft of value on a grand scale. Not with a gun or a knife but with the premeditated efforts of a “jewel” thief, stealing our hard won jewels, with the press of a button."
Sentiment: Strong Sell
HomeAway (AWAY) which recently held its annual stockholders meeting when they announced a new initiative where they will direct traveler inquires to properties that pay the company the most in fees.
Previously, HomeAway gave visitors multiple search options to find the right property for their needs in any geographical location. Now, the unknowing traveller, will be directed to the property paying the most money to the company but not the best property based on actual guest reviews.
The numerous complaints to AG's offices country wide state that HomeAway is now defrauding both their subscribers, who have paid a higher fee for certain promised rankings and at the same time, telling the visitor what are the "Most Popular" location when they are not. One complaint we found also stated that this action hurts not only the visitors and subscribers but the residents of the very States HomeAway relies on to have access to its rental property inventory.
One complaint goes on to point out that by HomeAway's misinformation, they are compromising the real experience any traveller may have when they stay at a location within every State involved. " By HomeAway not telling the truth, visitors are going to get the wrong impression of the best rental location in any State and will end up with less value and a poorer impression of that State for the money they were willing to spend."
NOT by telling everyone misinformation. This is an information company and not tell the whole truth will prove to be their demise... What good is a company to its customers if it is only going to provide information that serves their bottom line and not the needs of their subscribers and visitors who both rely on truth to get the most for their hard earned vacation dollars?
"He, Mr. Sharples, did reiterate that their goal is that all properties (on all HomeAway-owned sites) become online-bookable by the end of 2016, but didn't elaborate on how they'd get there"
Oh yes! Mr. Sharples neglected to elaborate that Homeaway's (AWAY) intent is to coerce their paid subscribers into online-bookable customers by changing their search criteria to benefit those members who are. HOW might you ask? By doing exactly what has been reported here earlier and is being done as this intent is being documented here.
As we here at "followthedirtymoney" know, when you want to know why, well just follow that dirty money.
Stock sentiment... SELL UNTIL THEY YELL!!!
shorts are trying to talk down the stock. As if a yahoo message board could do this...haha. Fact is even if away wants everyone on automatic payment some including myself will resist. I'll never go on autopay for my 2 properties and I don't need too because they are completely booked out. If I drop in the search order it doesn't matter, I'm getting enough bookings because the site is getting tremendous traffic. Even so I'd be willing to up my annual fee as my net margins have been improving year after year if I needed to increase in the search order but I don't. This all translates to more dollars for Homeaway and its customers. This thing is a freight train that's starting to roll out of the station, eventually it will increase speed and net margins that are well below, trip, airbnb, expedia, priceline will translate to the bottom line.
100% autopay will never happen and who cares. So I can't book my property on expedia or kayak, once again who cares. Its only a goal. Goals will never be completely met and everyone with a brain knows it. So some properties can't be booked automatically....who cares. Many will be and that's all that matters.
I say chill out and enjoy the ride, any reversion to the mean when Airbnb has a 20 billion market cap will cause this stock to climb. Airbnb is likely to come down and Homeaway will revert to Airbnbs mean which is an order of magnitude higher than the current stock price. The wildcard is with Kayak competing against Expedia its just a matter of time before Priceline gets into a pricewar with Expedia over Away ownership.
this thing is undervalued at twice the price based on Private equity pricing models.