HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace, has updated its iOS travel app for the iPhone and iPod Touch with enhanced features for travelers, as well as new functionality for vacation rental owners and property managers to manage their properties on the go.
The new HomeAway(R) Vacation Rentals app makes it easier than ever for families and groups to browse, share and select from more than 575,000 vacation rentals – the most inventory on any vacation rentals app – to book the perfect property for their trip. The new app features more search refinements than any other vacation rental app, including the ability to narrow search results by specific amenities, wheelchair accessibility or pull back only special deals and offers or pet-friendly options.
According to the travel industry experts at PhoCusWright (per their April 30th webinar, “Making Sense of Mixed Signals: Key U.S. Traveler Insights”), mobile sales in the United States are expected to reach $23 billion in 2014, and travelers are increasingly using mobile devices to plan and book vacations. HomeAway has experienced significant mobile growth over the past year with a 136 percent increase in traffic from mobile to HomeAway’s global network of sites from July 2012 to July 2013.
Ideal for planning family or group trips, travelers can download the updated HomeAway Vacation Rentals app for access to new features, including the ability to:
Search across more than 575,000 properties on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway.co.uk (UK), Abritel.fr (France) and HomeAway.de (Germany);
Browse large, vibrant property photos and toggle between photo, map or list views by destination – including the ability to refine results geographically within the map view;
Share vacation rental properties with friends and family via email, text message or social media accounts;
Save and revisit recent searches in the app as well as access, edit and add to their “favorites” list on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway.co.uk (UK), Abritel.fr (France) and HomeAway.de (Germany);
Contact the owner or property manager directly from the app with a single tap;
Inquire on all properties at once within a Favorites list, with a single tap, saving valuable time and hassle for the traveler;
Create an account from within the app, including via Facebook.
It’s not just travelers turning to mobile, however. For HomeAway owners and property managers, faster response times mean more bookings. Currently 27 percent of HomeAway’s customers use a mobile device to view guest inquiries, according to an internal survey of more than 1,700 customers in March 2013.
With the new HomeAway Vacation Rentals app, owners and property managers using ReservationManager tools on any of the following sites – HomeAway.com and VRBO.com (US), HomeAway.co.uk (UK), Abritel.fr (France) and HomeAway.de (Germany) – may now interact with their guests and manage the day-to-day aspect of their vacation rental business from their iPhone or iPod Touch. By using the app’s reservation tools, owners and property managers have the ability to:
Manage multiple properties from a single inbox;
Manage their calendar from anywhere, including both existing and new reservations;
Receive push notifications to their phone when they receive an inquiry;
Respond to inquiries using templates from their owner dashboard;
Send quotes to travelers with pre-populated figures from their owner dashboard;
Send payment requests when they’re ready to book;
Check a traveler’s payment status directly from the calendar reservation;
Call potential guests directly from an inquiry or calendar entry with just a single tap.
“In addition to improving the overall traveler experience, we designed the app with owners and property managers in mind in order to help them maximize efficiency,” says Tom Hale, chief product officer of HomeAway. “Whether responding to inquiries, checking their calendar or sending a payment request, the mobile app helps free our customers from their desktops so they can easily and efficiently run their vacation rental businesses on the go, whenever and wherever.”
The HomeAway Vacation Rentals app is available for free download in English, French and German languages for the iPhone (3GS and newer versions) and iPod Touch in the App Store.
HomeAway, Inc./Business Wire