Dallas company NoiseAware says its noise-detection device is the answer for Airbnb hosts that want to be good neighbors (Photo courtesy: NoiseAware).
A couple of weeks ago, I looked at a problem a few neighbors approached me with — a nearby property owner renting out a house on Airbnb that had become a nuisance, they felt, with a succession of parties.
That column prompted David Krauss to email me. Krauss and his business partner, Andrew Schulz, have a product they feel is a boon to homeowners taking advantage of the short-term rental market — a noise detector that alerts a host when the noise level is reaching neighbor-irritating levels.
“We like to call it a smoke detector for noise,” Krauss told me. The device plugs into any electrical outlet, and after a fairly easy setup, begins churning out data for homeowners. (more…)
Recently I moderated a panel on Vacation Homes for NAREE in New Orleans, like a little over a week ago. One of my panelists was Bill Furlong of HomeAway, the nine year old Austin-based “alternative accommodation” site that runs VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com. As I may have told you, the vacation home rental industry is huge and growing as more people find ways to make piggy banks out of their homes and second homes. HomeAway IPO’d in 2011. Airbnb is exploding. What did Bill tell us?
The vacation rental industry is estimated to be $100 billion worldwide.
HomeAway lists more than 1.2 million vacation rentals in 193 countries
The average owner listing on HomeAway books their property for 18 weeks and grosses more than $28,000 in rental income each year
More than half (59%) of HomeAway owners cover 75% or more of their mortgage renting to travelers
It’s such a juicy market that Expedia paid $3.9 billion for HomeAway in late December, ending their days of watching this industry from the sidelines. While Expedia and Priceline have continued to duke it out over hotel bookings, a new breed of competitors crept up using technology to help homeowners basically monetize what my grandmother did during the Depression: take in boarders. Like Bill said, who needs hotels when you can have a whole house for the same price?
But first, have you seen the commercial HomeAway ran to distance itself… and poke a little fun at… the home sharing companies? HomeAway listings tend to be managed properties and second homes that people rent out for most of the year. I’ve just leased a home in Lake Tahoe through VacationRentals.com: only $600 a night! Airbnb allows people to rent out rooms for brief stints; that’s how the concept was created. But now Airbnb also has expanded into the professional vacation rental businesses. So HomeAway Inc. wants to remind you how gross it can be to share someone’s home. I kind of agree: when I first heard the Airbnb concept, I said, dumbly, this will never work. But I guess I am too OCD.
The commercial is hilarious: Wouldn’t you love to find a stranger’s hair on a bar of soap? Have someone watch you while you sleep? Watch someone clipping their toenails in your home?
Ah the new sharing economy, toe nail clippings included at no extra charge.
Vacation home sales are robust but not as furious as they were in 2014. Still, 920,000 vacation homes were sold in the U.S. in 2015, the 4th highest number in NAR survey’s 13-years. In 20015, 16 percent of all US home sales were vacation homes. In 2014, 21 percent of all were vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The median price vacation home is now up to $210,000 in 2015 from $197,200 in 2014. To find out where the hottest markets are — surprising! — and see the entire panel in full video, click on over to our sweet sister blog, SecondShelters.com.
If Paris is the city of love, then the Eiffel Tower is one of the most romantic landmarks in the world. Lots of people get engaged there, but what if you could do that, or renew your vows, in an Eiffel Tower apartment?
Vacation rental website HomeAway has partnered with architect Benoit Leleu to design a temporary and totally fabulous apartment inside the Eiffel Tower. They’re running a contest, called the HomeAway LoveAway sweepstakes, which ends tonight at midnight.