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HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples appeared on Bloomberg television yesterday evening to discuss the vacation rental company’s new pricing model and six successful quarters as a public company.
Sharples was at Bloomberg to describe how HomeAway is diversifying away from solely relying on subscription fees for listings by giving vacation homeowners the option of paying a transaction fee instead for each rental that takes place.
HomeAway believes most owners will probably choose to keep the subscription fee option, which last year evolved into a tiered plan with a variety of pricing options.
While the so-called pay-per booking model will be rolled out in the third quarter of 2013, HomeAway has already made other changes, enabling renters and owners to pay online via credit card instead of mailing checks offline.
Vacation rentals, Sharples says, is “historically an offline business with people getting together and transacting with checks through the mail. By adding ecommerce to the site we’re making it easier for consumers.”
The interviewer was intent on comparing HomeAway to Airbnb, but Sharples was equally intent on explaining why they are different beasts. “Our inventory is second homes in vacation markets and [the owners] rent them out as a business,” Sharples said in contrast to Airbnb’s inventory of primary residences (and illegal rentals) in major cities.