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TheStreet Open House

HomeAway Updates Vacation Rental App With Enhanced Traveler Experience And Owner/Property Manager Functionality

Stock quotes in this article: AWAY

HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world’s leading online vacation rental marketplace, has updated its iOS travel app for the iPhone and iPod Touch with enhanced features for travelers, as well as new functionality for vacation rental owners and property managers to manage their properties on the go.

The new HomeAway® Vacation Rentals app makes it easier than ever for families and groups to browse, share and select from more than 575,000 vacation rentals – the most inventory on any vacation rentals app – to book the perfect property for their trip. The new app features more search refinements than any other vacation rental app, including the ability to narrow search results by specific amenities, wheelchair accessibility or pull back only special deals and offers or pet-friendly options.

According to the travel industry experts at PhoCusWright (per their April 30 th webinar, “ Making Sense of Mixed Signals: Key U.S. Traveler Insights”), mobile sales in the United States are expected to reach $23 billion in 2014, and travelers are increasingly using mobile devices to plan and book vacations. HomeAway has experienced significant mobile growth over the past year with a 136 percent increase in traffic from mobile to HomeAway’s global network of sites from July 2012 to July 2013.

Ideal for planning family or group trips, travelers can download the updated HomeAway Vacation Rentals app for access to new features, including the ability to:

  • Search across more than 575,000 properties on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway.co.uk (UK), Abritel.fr (France) and HomeAway.de (Germany);
  • Browse large, vibrant property photos and toggle between photo, map or list views by destination – including the ability to refine results geographically within the map view;
  • Share vacation rental properties with friends and family via email, text message or social media accounts;
  • Save and revisit recent searches in the app as well as access, edit and add to their “favorites” list on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway.co.uk (UK), Abritel.fr (France) and HomeAway.de (Germany);
  • Contact the owner or property manager directly from the app with a single tap;
  • Inquire on all properties at once within a Favorites list, with a single tap, saving valuable time and hassle for the traveler;
  • Create an account from within the app, including via Facebook.

It’s not just travelers turning to mobile, however. For HomeAway owners and property managers, faster response times mean more bookings. Currently 27 percent of HomeAway’s customers use a mobile device to view guest inquiries, according to an internal survey of more than 1,700 customers in March 2013.

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