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HomeAway Goal: All 2+ million HomeAway/VRBO Listings to have Virtual Tours8257

WGAN Forum
Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

The 800-pound gorilla in worldwide vacation rentals, HomeAway, will drive exponential grow in vacation rental virtual tours as HomeAway/VRBO (divisions of Expedia Group) pursues its vision for all its 2+ million vacation rental listings in 190 countries to include a virtual tour.

To help accomplish this vision, HomeAway has a Head of Business Development for the HomeAway Virtual Tour program seeking partnerships with all Virtual Tour creation solutions.

That said, I am not convinced that Matterport will be one of the virtual tour content creation platforms integrated into the HomeAway platform in the near-term. More on that in a moment.

HomeAway announced at its annual Partner Summit (11-12 November 2018) in Austin, Texas its Virtual Tours for Vacation Rentals program. According to a HomeAway media release: "Partners were given an in-depth look into a proprietary new product that allows the addition of virtual tours to property listing pages. The feature acts as a supplement to a property’s photos to give travelers the opportunity to take a 360-degree walk-through tour of a vacation rental property. Partners can add a virtual tour to their HomeAway property by submitting photos from their own phones or cameras or enlist the professional services of a third-party company.

A beta test of Virtual tours is live in several markets in the U.S. and Summit attendees were given the opportunity to sign up to create virtual tours of their properties. More information on the launch of virtual tours can be read on its comprehensive press release.

@Chemistrydoc first broke the news in the WGAN Forum that HomeAway partnered with InsideMaps which I then discussed in this WGAN Forum post:

HomeAway and VRBO Vacation Rentals: Matterport versus InsideMaps

Subsequently, I reached out to HomeAway Public Relations to share my commentary and to see if HomeAway Senior Product Manager Ben James had "anything to add regarding other 360º platform integrations with HomeAway and VRBO?"

I received this carefully worded reply from Ben James – via HomeAway public relations:

“HomeAway’s strategy is to broadly promote virtual tours to provide an exceptional experience for our travelers and drive bookings to our homeowners and property managers," said HomeAway Senior Product Manager Ben James. "Our desire is to host and display any virtual tours for every single one of our more than two million places to stay around the world."

"We are pleased with our recently announced partnerships because they offer flexibility and exposure to the homeowners and property managers using those technologies and we will continue to welcome additional partnerships that help democratize virtual tours in our industry. Virtual tour technology providers with significant exposure and interest in the vacation rental industry can contact Christian Leman, Head of Business Development for the HomeAway Virtual Tour program to explore partnership opportunities.”

I say carefully worded because I believe this comment is directed squarely at Matterport - paraphrasing here - "Matterport, you snooze, you lose."

Given that Matterport is (presently) the 800-pound gorilla in the Virtual Tour content creation, I could imagine that Matterport and HomeAway have been talking for a long, long, long time - without coming to an agreement.

I could imagine that the sticking points in reaching an agreement between Matterport and HomeAway are:

1. HomeAway wants to host all Virtual Tours and Matterport will not cave
2. HomeAway wants all Virtual Tour content to be branding free and Matterport will not cave
3. HomeAway wants a Google Street View like viewing experience, not the Matterport dollhouse experience
4. HomeAway (Expedia Group) seeks equity in Matterport before doing a deal (just as News Corp. did with Realtor.com)

And, while Matterport caved on the first three points with publishing Matterport to Google Street View (the 800-pound gorilla in search), I could imagine that Matterport feels giving up hosting (recurring revenue), branding (marketing) and the dollhouse viewing experience will marginalize its business.

Matterport needs the 13-year-old HomeAway more than HomeAway needs Matterport.

HomeAway's publicly traded parent company, Expedia Group had $10+ billion revenue in 2017 versus Matterport's estimated $50 million in revenue (and $66 million in Venture Capital funding). Expedia Group is 200 times larger than Matterport, based on revenue.

Size 'matters' ...

If Matterport does not reach agreement with HomeAway quickly, Matterport competitors will start to succeed faster and Matterport will have squandered its head-start.

As much as Matterport Service Providers would prefer to shoot once and publish in multiple places via Matterport's Content Delivery Network (CDN), the reality is that Pros will use whatever tools are necessary to get more business.

"Here in my immediate area, there are over 20,000 property owners that rent over the VRBO platform. And, why would any of these ever choose to have Matterport done on their property when that tour is not supported on VRBO?," says @Chemistrydoc in this related WGAN Forum discussion:

What 3D Tours Work with VRBO?

It's possible that I am completely wrong.

Perhaps Matterport and HomeAway are in intensive negotiations - both under a non-disclosure agreement - and that deal points as well as integration take time. That said, the time to have made a partnership announcement would have been at the HomeAway Partner Summit (11-12 November 2018). Trade shows and conferences tend to set the timeline for negotiations and announcements. If Matterport and HomeAway were anywhere near close to reaching an agreement, I still could have imagined an announcement even without the tech integration being ready. So, if there is going to be a deal, the announcement now seems far off.

What do you think? Will HomeAway reach agreement with Matterport in 2019?

Best,

Dan

Related WGAN Forum Discussions

HomeAway and VRBO Vacation Rentals: Matterport versus InsideMaps
Massive Discovery: VRBO Supports Matterport!
Exponential Growth Coming Soon to Matterport
Matterport Syndication: a Blessing or Curse?
Post 1 IP   flag post
zsolt private msg quote post Address this user
"Our desire is to host and display any virtual tours"
Why is it so important for HomeAway to host the tours?
And why "any"?
Post 2 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
@zsolt

Large companies want control over content and distribution to guarantee an excellent viewing experience for its audience.

When I bought my Matterport Camera in July 2014, I called on very large travel and entertainment brands. (lack of) control over Matterport content and distribution (and branding) were all deal-breakers.

Dan
Post 3 IP   flag post
htimsabbub23 private msg quote post Address this user
Once again does anyone remember the blackberry aka the crackberry. (Google it if you are under 30 years old 😂😂) A company that wouldn't allow third party development and held on so tight that they squeezed the oxygen out of their own company. When along came a very intising fruit (just ask Adam and Eve) that embraced the developers world and featured their product with a unique slogan "there's an app for that” soon blackberry disappeared and this new device called the iPhone took the world by storm. Moral of the story is, it doesn't matter (pun) who's to market first, it matters(pun) who does it right.

Matterport please decide if you are a hardware company, a hosting company, a software company, a marketing company, or a virtual tour company. Trying to be all is obviously not working and leading to you choking yourself. Please learn from much larger companies who are now just a memory and from the companies that forced them out of business. It's very easy to see what is happening from the outside looking in

R.I.P matterport (if you don't change and progress)
Post 4 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
@htimsabbub23 such a great analysis of MP but again and again I do get surprised by them. I hope this is one of those times. But I also bought Beta VCR due to Superior quality but same thing happened to them UGH. I always buy into the wrong product,. I also bought a NIKON I guess I really need to worry.😃😃😃😃
Post 5 IP   flag post
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