HomeAway Brings Immersive Shopping to Vacation Home Travelers

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 13, 2018 — HomeAway® has released a new proprietary product that seamlessly displays virtual tours of vacation homes on HomeAway and VRBO, easily allowing homeowners and property managers to share a 360-degree walk-through of their properties with travelers.

HomeAway’s approach to virtual tours is unique in the vacation rental industry as their product is compatible with different types of virtual tours ranging from “DIY” tours filmed on personal phones and cameras to professionally captured footage from leading virtual tour companies like InsideMaps® and professionals like TruPlace®. 

video rendering of what HomeAway and VRBO could look like in the near future, including virtual tours and other virtual and augmented-reality features present during the search, book and stay portions of a trip.

“Virtual reality has transformed the way people shop for everything from furniture to fashion,” said Tina Weyand, chief product officer for HomeAway. “HomeAway is harnessing virtual technology for vacation rentals in a way that has never been done before: not at this level of simplicity, and not at this scale. We’re proud to combine the brainpower and scale of HomeAway and Expedia Group to deliver even more value to our customers around the world.” 

A recording of a virtual tour on VRBO.com from a home in La Jolla Shores, CA. Click here for more: View tour

“The barriers to entry for virtual technology have never been lower,” said Ben James, senior product manager for HomeAway. “Customers are hungry for this technology because research shows that properties with virtual tours generate more revenue. Given that each one of our vacation rentals is unique, being able to walk through a property before you book helps travelers make informed decisions. We want to make it as simple and quick as possible for anyone to have a virtual tour of their property on HomeAway and VRBO, no matter how they decide to do it or how much they want to spend.” 

“For revenue-minded people like me, virtual tours are a no-brainer,” said Julia Hill, a property owner in Melbourne Beach, FL. “Filming these tours has become inexpensive enough that investing in a virtual tour pays for itself with just one extra booking and HomeAway’s tool makes it easy to showcase the tour on your listing. It just makes sense.” 

HomeAway’s pilot is currently being tested by owners and property managers in key destinations, with additional signups occurring at industry events such as HomeAway’s Rezfest and Partner Summits. Interested owners and property managers can contact virtualtours@homeaway.com to learn more. 

In May 2019, the name of Expedia Group’s alternative accommodations business changed from HomeAway to Vrbo.

About HomeAway

HomeAway, based in Austin, Texas, is a leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, with sites representing more than 2 million unique places to stay in 190 countries, and is a part of the Expedia Group family of brands. For more information about HomeAway, please visit www.homeaway.com.

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