Airbnb, Booking, Vrbo / Expedia…: “We are observing an evolution of market shares”

How is the seasonal rental market evolving? The response of Simon Lehmann (AJL Atelier), defector of Interhome and HomeAway.

It is also a growing market, with a redistribution of cards, according to Simon Lehmann, founder of the consulting company AJL Atelier. “We are seeing an evolution in market shares,” explains Simon Lehmann, who is also the former CEO of Interhome France (2005-2014) and former member of the HomeAway.com administration. A market where competition is changing, driven by huge marketing budgets.

TripAdvisor less aggressive

How does this redistribution of cards work? “Vrbo / Expedia is a big winner in the United States. Booking.com was stopped in its growth strategy in the United States, but was maintained in Europe, where Airbnb is very present. But don’t forget that Airbnb has lost part of its inventory in cities like Paris, many ads are no longer active. Very aggressive in the past, TripAdvisor is much less in the competition than in the past, and more focused on hotels and activities ”. Alongside these historical players, new players are emerging, such as HomeToGo and the comparator Holidu, which recently raised 37 million euros.

“Today, the market remains very fragmented. We will see a lot of consolidation moves over the next few months, but not necessarily on the OTA side. We will also see a convergence between the world of seasonal rental and that of the hotel industry. “

What role does Google play?

Google also wants its share of the pie, as we explained in an article from 2019. The Mountain View giant has developed the section dedicated to announcements of houses and other apartments.

However, not all operators approve of its comparator strategy. Vrbo (Expedia) has also withdrawn from Google’s vacation rental meta-product, preferring to promote direct traffic, and optimize its marketing investments.

Google, it continues to bet on this very promising niche, and can help certain operators according to Simon Lehmann. “Google plays an important role. It is positioned as an additional channel for property managers and aggregators. But for Simon Lehmann, there is less interest in OTAs specializing in seasonal rentals.

When Airbnb drops customer fees

Another hot topic in the sector: Airbnb is changing its price display on certain advertisements, in particular those of professionals, with the costs payable by travelers being eliminated. “This ‘Host-only fee’ option allows business hosts who register on multiple platforms to better control the prices displayed on Airbnb,” explained the platform’s press service. These hosts will be able to ensure that the prices of their ads remain the same – and therefore competitive – on all platforms. “

“Airbnb is thus deploying a ‘commission only’ model, as Booking.com has always had. It remains to be seen whether this model will eventually become the standard, which would allow customers to see an all-inclusive rate from the outset.

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A partnership with Cambon Partners

A French business bank specializing in travel, Cambon Partners recently formed a partnership with AJL Atelier, a consulting company dedicated to seasonal rentals created in 2018. “We have very complementary skills,” estimates Morgann Lesné, partner at Cambon. We know that vacation rental is an industry in its own right, which has its own ecosystem and its own codes. Simon knows this ecosystem by heart, which allows us today to become a benchmark investment bank in the sector, ”continues Morgann Lesné. “At the level of the technology providers of the vacation rental, which represents a very segmented market, we will see consolidation movements over the next twelve months”, estimates Simon Lehmann.

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Airbnb, Booking, Vrbo / Expedia…: “We are observing an evolution of market shares”

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