Building a trusted marketplace: Part 1 - Book with Confidence Guarantee

Follow this multi-part series that discusses the importance of creating trust within the HomeAway® Marketplace and what we’re doing to help both travelers and our partners.

Source: Phocuswright, Inc. 2016Sous

Source: Phocuswright, Inc. 2016Sous

Vacation rentals are hot! More and more travelers are looking to get their feet wet and exploring staying at a vacation rental for their next trip.

They are coming in with an expectation similar to how they shop for any other items or travel on the internet. Marketplaces you might be familiar with such as Amazon, eBay or online travel agencies like Expedia®  provide some common elements that help make sure the shopper experiences is both seamless and trustworthy.

Not only are these travelers new to vacation rentals and have high expectations but they might only faintly recognize HomeAway or might not have even heard of HomeAway. As you can imagine, we have quite a bit of work to do in order to convince new travelers to feel comfortable in spending thousands of dollars to book their first vacation rental.

Let’s simply start off with the most basic question that is on travelers mind when looking at booking a vacation rental.  

Is my payment going to be safe?

Sending payment to a random stranger over the internet can be a nerve racking experience. Several years ago, HomeAway introduced our support for online payments and the HomeAway Payments Guarantee so travelers had a way to securely pay for their rental with credit cards and owners could get paid quickly. 

For those of you who have listed with us for a couple of years, you’ll also remember that the HomeAway Payments Guarantee offered up to $10,000 in payment protection against listing fraud. In case you’re wondering, listing fraud is a fraudulent listing or a listing that has been phished either by an owner’s account or email account getting taken over.

As we continue to evolve as a marketplace and attract more and more new travelers, we want to make sure they feel confident in booking through HomeAway. It’s one less hurdle a traveler has to consider and can focus more on finding the right vacation rental, which leads to more bookings.

During the first half of 2016, we retired the HomeAway Payments Guarantee and introduced a more comprehensive guarantee called the Book with Confidence Guarantee. When a traveler pays through HomeAway, we’re protecting them against more and providing them help if they need it. Here are some highlights:

  • Comprehensive payment protection - up to 100% of the rental payment is protected against listing fraud, phishing, a property that has been significantly misrepresented, wrongful denial of entry, or the property is uninhabitable upon arrival.
  • Emergency rebooking assistance - in case of the above, and also includes if the owner or manager cancels a booking at the last minute.

As more and more new travelers explore the idea of staying at a vacation rental for their next trip, it becomes increasingly important that we help get rid of as many hurdles as we can to ensure they have trust in our marketplace and book the wonderful experience staying at a vacation rental can provide.

Continuing our theme of creating a trusted marketplace, stayed tuned for part 2 in our series that will discuss the importance of providing a consistent website experience.

Let us know what you think of this article. Leave us feedback.