VRS199 – Can Vacation Rental Owners Regain Control with Amy Hinote of VRM Intel

“I do think we will see another disruptor in this space. I do not think that the booking paths that Airbnb, Homeaway, Trip Advisor and Booking.com are currently utilising are the best for our industry. Someone is going to crack that code.” – Amy Hinote

We are blessed in this industry with some highly intelligent and insightful people who know the business inside and out. Those who can look at changes objectively and see gaps in the discourse, potential in the fear-mongering and optimism in unlikely places.

Amy Hinote, the founder of VRM Intel is one of those people. She has a sharp sense of the inevitable along with a canny understanding of the opportunities that presents. The VRM Intel website and print magazine brings together some of the brightest talents in the industry with their articles and commentary, and collates news as it happens, so we are never without an up-to-date perspective on our business.

She’s also a really nice person!

In a recent article Amy wrote on VRM Intel, she addressed the issues that many owners are struggling with OTAs, namely additional fees, online booking, masking customer data and threats to remove listings for perceived infractions of the new policies.

In this episode Amy discusses that article and what effect she thinks independent owners can have on OTAs by withdrawing their support and declining to renew their commitments with them.

Toward the end of the interview Amy talks about the long-lasting memories that are created with a stay in a vacation rental, and that being a part of that by opening our homes to guests is so important.

“To take away that emotional connection with the OTA booking right now is a mistake and I don’t think it’s going to translate long-term.”

Amy talks about:

  • The changes in the industry in the past two years
  • What’s trending in vacation rentals at the moment
  • When owners became property managers and the OTAs part in that growth
  • The pivotal point when Homeaway took control of a major PMS
  • The trust issues between owners and OTAs
  • The challenges faced by multi-destination VR managers
  • Whether suppliers (homeowners) can sway Homeaway by staying away

Links in this episode

VRM Intel article

  • Thank you Heather and Amy. I cannot think of a better way to start a Wednesday morning than listening to you two talk about vacation rentals.

  • Jon Ham

    Great discussion! Thank you!

  • Shawn Broskoff Teasley

    LOOK at you!!!! Congrats Heather on #199, what an accomplishment. Another great episode….

  • Matt Elder

    Really good episode and link to the article. Was interesting to get a bit of history on HomeAway and on this side of the pond, we don’t get too many bookings from HomeAway.