Let’s Travel along to learn How does HomeAway Work


HomeAway is a vacation rental market place. The website has over 2 million rentals over 190 countries. The company runs through more than 50 sites in over 23 languages. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas. It was founded in February of 2005. HomeAway became a publicly-traded company in 2011. The company was rebranded to Vrbo in 2019.

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HomeAway helps its users to find rentals like condos, villas, castles, barns, cabins, farmhouses, and more. The company has accommodation for almost any type of occasion. The users can browse through the millions of listings on the website and find the best suitable listing for them.

HomeAway has had an excellent market reputation since it’s inception. To build a business like HomeAway, one needs to understand how does HomeAway work and how does HomeAway make money. The business model and the revenue model are the two basic structure one needs to get their head around before starting a business like the same. Let’s understand both the models in detail

How Does HomeAway Make Money?

While planning to build a business like HomeAway, it is essential to understand how does HomeAway make money? The revenue model of the company is very straightforward and does not complicate the structure.

Following are the two ways in which the company generates revenue for their business:

  1. Service Charges: The travelers or the guests are charged a small amount as service fees by the company. This is charged because the platform provides several services to the guests and brings them convenience
  2. Commission: A part of every booking is charged as commissions from the vacation rental owners. This is charged for the exposure and the facilities that the company is providing to the owners.

The owners also have the option of paying an annual subscription fee to the company, which is a one-time payment for all the bookings that the property might receive. There might be some terms and conditions attached to this model for the hosts

These are the revenue streams that one needs to focus on while understanding how does HomeAway makes money. This is important to know how will the business bring your profits in case you are planning to build a similar business.

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HomeAway Business Model Canvas

Why Choose HomeAway over Hotels?

Before we dive into how does HomeAway work, let’s understand why one should choose HomeAway rather than hotels for their vacations. Here are a few reasons why vacation rentals at HomeAway are better than hotels:

  1. Spacious: While traveling with family, especially with children, hotel rooms feel restrictive. At HomeAway, the users can book apartments and cottages for spacious places to stay at with their families
  2. Easier administration: Checking in and checking out processes are much more manageable with HomeAway. Payment processes are made more accessible by the company with the in-app payment services.
  3. Extra Perks: While booking vacation rentals at HomeAway, the guests are often surprised by little perks like the hosts providing them with free metro cards or taxi rides for a day. The hosts at HomeAway are also amiable and helpful if the guests do not know the local language
  4. Both Way Ratings: HomeAway is also a better option for the property owners or hosts because the online system allows them to rate the guests. Both the hosts and the guests are at their best behavior to get good reviews, which reduces conflicts and problematic behavior at both ends.
  5. Variety: Hotel rooms are standard and come in a limited variety, whereas with HomeAway, the users can book from a range of listings such as cottages, bungalows, villas, apartments, and more.

How Does HomeAway Work? 

Before getting into the details, it is essential to understand that the HomeAway business model has different stakeholders who play an indispensable role in the growth of the business. The primary stakeholders are the guests and the hosts of the properties that are listed on the website. It is crucial to understand how does HomeAway work for both stakeholders.

How Does HomeAway Work for Guests?

The guests are the primary stakeholder of the business since they bring in the most revenue for the company. It is necessary to look into detail how does HomeAway work for the guests and what facilities does it provide to maintain customer loyalty.

Given below are some of the simple steps that the users follow to confirm a booking with the company:

Step 1: Create an account

For all first time users, they need to create an account on the website. Your account will help you save your favorite vacation rentals from the cities you have visited or plan to attend. All your messages with the owners of several listings are saved in your account in case you need to browse some information from them. The account acts as your primary source of data on the portal making it easier for you to navigate your booking

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Step 2: Search

Once the account is created on the website, the next step for the users is to search for the best listing for their vacation. This can be made easy by following the levels recommended by the company:

  • Browse the listings based on the city, state, or the country you are planning your vacation in
  • Shortlist the listings which are available on the dates you are traveling to the destination
  • Apply different filters to shortlist the listings further

Following these steps will help you speed up your booking process on the website saving you time and energy

Step 3: Ask Questions

For any listings that you are interested in but have some doubts, you can message the owner and have a conversation with them about your plans to book the property. This will give you clarity and answer your questions immediately

Step 4: Request Booking

Once your queries are resolved, and you have finalized the listing you want to book, you need to send a request for scheduling to the owner. The owner will then approve your booking within 24 hours, and only then can you proceed with your booking process. HomeAway advises its users to look for listings with the ‘Request a Booking’ sign since those listings are available on the dates and are approved much faster than the others

Step 5: Pay

To ensure that your booking is confirmed, you need to pay for the same as soon as the booking is approved. The company suggests the users look for booking with the credit card symbol on them, which indicated that they accept online payments through the HomeAway checkout process. Paying through the website will secure your payment and make it easier for you to keep a record of the same

Once your booking is confirmed, you can enjoy your vacation hassle-free. This is how does HomeAway works for the guests or the users. There are several facilities for the users which makes it the best option among the competitors

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How Does HomeAway Work for Hosts?

The hosts are another significant stakeholder in the HomeAway business model. The listings are the fuel of the company, and hence it is imperative to make sure that the hosts have a more straightforward navigation process on the portal.

Here is how does HomeAway work for the hosts and the steps they need to follow to create listings and get bookings successfully:

  1. Create a Listing
  2. Have a conversation
  3. Welcome Travellers
  4. Get Reviews

This is how does HomeAway work for the hosts and helps them roll out earning from their vacation rental properties. Hosts make up for a significant part of the HomeAway business model, and the company helps them earn well.

Technical Support

Technology is an integral part of a company like HomeAway since all the transaction and activity happens online on the website or via other portals. You need to look for the best service providers in the market who can bring your imagination into reality. Some of the tips to keep in mind via hiring developers to create your website and mobile application are:

  1. Experience: Look for experienced developers since their expertise will serve your project well. Experienced developers are also well equipped to face the problems in a better manner
  2. Own the Source Code: You need to keep in mind to own the source code will you make a deal with any company
  3. Creativity: Choose a creative team to work on your project so that your website stands out on the world wide web with billions of websites going live every day.
  4. Punctual: To conclude your project in time, you must hire a team that is punctual in its deliveries and can schedule updates regularly.

These are some of the factors that one should keep in mind while looking for development companies. So hire your developers wisely and build an empire with the best customer support!

How to Launch Your Own Business Similar to HomeAway?

If you’re willing to start your own vacation rental business – you should go with HomeAway Clone which has customized features to let you roll with your own rental business.

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