Priceline.com CMO Brett Keller described Villas.com as a marketing campaign for Booking.com in a session for vacation rental managers at the 2014 LiveRez Partner Conference in Boise, ID where he discussed branding, increasing conversion rates and the direction of Villas.com.
“Booking.com’s goal is to be the world’s largest accommodations provider,” said Keller. “We are number one in Europe, and we have begun marketing initiatives in the U.S. to increase our presence here.”
According to Keller, Villas.com is a destination-driven, vacation rental specific marketing campaign for Booking.com and currently has 200,000 properties, mostly in Europe. “Villas.com brings all of the merchandising experience of Booking.com to the vacation rental industry,” said Keller.
In addition, Villas.com does not approach professionally managed rentals differently than owner managed rentals, but they must be instantly bookable. What property managers get by listing properties on Villa.com
- Year-round global demand”
- Content in 42 languages
- No registration fees
- 24/7 multi-lingual support
- Currency conversion
- Commission-based fee structure
On Acquisitions and Airbnb
“We are an acquirer of great companies that can help as achieve our objectives.” We asked how the HomeAway and Airbnb business models will fit into the greater OTA environment, and Keller said, “They seem to be fitting in very well.” “We’ve been watching Airbnb closely, and they have an exciting business model. They have had some regulatory issues, bu they seem to be navigating that very well. They have carved out a great niche, but it isn’t hurting our business.”
By Amy Hinote