Today, we're talking Google (you may have heard of them) and their relatively new offing: Google Vacation Rentals.
Simply put, Google has entered the STR space and currently only have their integration through select OTA's and PMS's. This is industry jargon for - you can't create a listing on Google, but if you have a listing on a platform that is connected to Google then your home will show up in the search results.
In order to get to GVR, guests must first go to Google (duh!) and type in some type of phrase that indicates that that individual is looking for vacation home.
Virtually anything you click in this section will take you to an "expanded" version of this where you can see more homes and search results.
From here, you will see a list of search results, shown in a way similar to Airbnb/VRBO. Above you can see two of our homes being shown through "BluePillow" which is a subsidiary of the Expedia and clicks through to VRBO, who is owned by Expedia (you may also see your home being displayed through Vio.com, via the same parent company ownership).
It's not the cleanest journey, and when you do find your preferred home you have to make a lot of clicks to get through to the booking page.
We hope and anticipate a better journey with ways we can optimize for performance in the future, but for the time being this booking platform is very much in "beta" format with little we can customize as the information in being pumped in through VRBO automatically and being displyed in a way they see fit. But nonetheless this is a step in the right direction and we will continue to keep this top of radar as we look to maximize earning potential for our clients and ourselves alike!
We expect to get a meaningful amount of rentals through Google's integration but it remains to be seen how much this will move the needle on overall Revenue. Up to this point, travelers have been accustomed to their preferred booking channel (Airbnb, VRBO) and that tends to be their first destination instead of Googling "vacation rentals poconos". However, with Google being Google and commanding a significant amount of internet traffic and activity, we remain hopeful that this will meaningfully improve performance!