Thanks to every customer and partners who took time away from their busy schedules to join us in Las Vegas in September for three days of networking, fun and tons of learning. At its heart, RezFest is about educating our software customers on how to get the most out of their investment in our software products. We offered over 80 sessions on a wide range of topics. To our normal slate of stellar educational sessions we added advanced classes and a mobile app challenge to convey how important it is to develop products with input from our clients. As always, the interactive lab was an unparalleled opportunity for customers to get face-to-face training with our experts. Kudos to our unbelievable Support team for spending so much time preparing and presenting valuable information to our clients.
By measure of the 600+ attendees with whom we spoke at the event, combined with extremely positive post-event survey feedback, customers acknowledge RezFest as the premier technology conference in the vacation rental industry.
At RezFest last year we asked the industry to “judge us by what we do,” not by speculation. We told the industry we would develop a new tool to help them manage the explosion of leads from potential renters. And we said we would not only develop that tool but would use it to demonstrate that we can build solutions that work with multiple platforms in our six-system portfolio. With the demo of the lead management system (LMS), we did exactly that. We added what is likely the biggest addition to our existing software products in years; all while constructing a new way to build our products. Without question, the LMS was one of the hot topics of RezFest! Customers not only responded extremely well to what we demoed, but when asked what they want us to focus on going forward, the message from many of them was “do more of that.” In other words, property managers see LMS not just as a new feature that will soon be available to them but also as a launch pad for a lot of features that will help them build stronger businesses for years to come. Learn More about LMS here.
In the past nine months our product team has been hard at work making your software more effective and secure. With over 30 releases, 508 enhancements on six end systems and 1,000 defects resolved, we continue to make significant progress to deliver category-leading software to all clients. And, rest assured we have no plans to discontinue support on any of our legacy products.
We’ve also heard property managers ask for improved integration between HomeAway Software and 3rd party distribution. Now, all of our customers can distribute inventory via their software interface on VRBO.com as well as HomeAway.com and all of our customers including EscapiaNET can participate in pay-per-subscription programs that allow them to take advantage of tiered pricing to maximize their visibility and Brand Boost to highlight their brands on our sites. Learn more about distribution here.
Lastly, we received feedback from HomeAway PM clients requesting to receive discounts when using both our software and the HomeAway Network of sites. In addition to the new listing volume discounts, you can now “bundle” new listings with your annual software maintenance and support renewal and save on your annual fees. Your Relationship Manager will contact you about this opportunity prior to your annual maintenance and support renewal month.
Our goal for this year was to deliver on our promises to be “judged by what we do” and lay out our 2013 business strategy in order to heighten the level of trust and confidence PMs have in HomeAway’s people and vision. We wanted to leave the “elephant in the room” behind and establish a trusting relationship with property managers to help grow this industry together! Based on direct feedback from RezFest attendees (see testimonial videos here), the atmosphere was really positive with more and more customers appreciating that HomeAway truly is committed to helping property managers succeed in the world of online vacation rentals. We feel our clients left Las Vegas inspired, excited and confident in choosing HomeAway as their strategic business partner not because of what we are but because of what we do.