Congrats to HomeAway for a successful IPO (Initial Public Offering) last week! As a former employee (one of the first employees), I was watching the IPO very closely. While you may not think the IPO has an impact on you if you didn’t purchase any shares, but as owners/advertisers on their sites, I beg to differ. When a company goes public, it garners a lot of national and international press, which in turn should help gain more exposure for the vacation rental industry. I think the IPO is great for everyone.
Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend. I was on vacation last week staying in a property in the Finger Lakes in NY that I found on vacationrentals.com. It was a great property that was very well equipped. The weather was perfect for us, it was in the low 70’s all week. I thought it was funny that everyone kept apologizing for the cool temperatures but for us it welcomed reprieve from the Texas +100 degree heat.
As for my rentals, bookings are doing very well this year. I had another first happen to me—my guests who were staying in one of my condos got robbed. What happened was they left the door unlocked and they were sitting on the balcony with the sliding door closed (a hurricane door). They had their wallets sitting on the nightstand in the bedroom which is just inside the front door. Apparently someone came in while they were on the balcony and stole the cash out of their wallets. The robber didn’t take anything else, no credit cards, not their Mac Book or iPads or iPods which were also sitting out in plain view. It sounds like it was a petty thief but nonetheless, I still took all the necessary steps that we would with any type of crime. I had the guests file a police report; we reported it to the on-site security and notified the HOA. And even though it was not a forced entry, I had a locksmith come over and re-key all the locks. I figure for $60 it’s worth the peace of mind for both the guests and me.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s podcast, I think it’ll be of interest to you, it’s about competing with property managers on VRBO.com. You can listen to it here.