HomeAway is an extremely popular website offering listing services for clients wishing to fill vacancies in their vacation rental properties and offering detailed search services for customers trying to find the right spot to rent. Based in Austin, Texas, HomeAway listings include properties in more than 168 countries. The site is very easy to use, enabling users to search for homes based on a variety of criteria, including location, number of bedrooms and price as well as specifying amenities such as a pool, wheelchair accessibility, Internet access and pet-friendliness. An extensive variety of properties are listed here, from economy apartments to luxury manor houses, castles, lighthouses, and railroad cars.
Listings may be either owner-operated or run by a property manager, and a preference in category for this can also be specified during a user's search. Users may review properties they have stayed in before or browse other user's reviews to get more information about a specific property. Listings include photographs as well as contact information for users to get in touch with the owners or managers directly. Users may also email property mangers through the site with questions about the property and availability.
Property listings on HomeAway are extremely detailed. Those who list their properties have the capability of providing extensive lists of amenities as well as more general descriptions, lists of area attractions, optional services, entertainment equipment, and additional notes. A map shows the property's geographic location, and can be zoomed in and out of without leaving the page.
Many properties allow online payments, and therefore a reservation can be booked directly through one of HomeAway's sites. The company also offers an insurance option--their Carefree Rental Guarantee--to help protect customers who may lose their rentals because of double-booking, foreclosure, misrepresentation, or fraud. It is strongly recommended that customers booking online first call the contact number for the property to speak directly to the owner about their pending reservation. Both owners and renters may also purchase Property Damage Protection to provide up to $5,000 in coverage for accidental damage to rentals.
The company offers a variety of services for property owners and managers, including vacation rental management software with integration into the HomeAway sites, volume discounts and dedicated support from account managers. Homeowners who subscribe to the service for a year are offered a full refund if they do not receive at least one booking. Subscribing enables a property to be listed not just on HomeAway.com, but also on the company's affiliate sites such as VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and VacationRentals.com, as well as additional online outlets in a variety of other countries.
Many questions about renting or listing are answered in the company's Traveler Help page, but those who are still curious may get additional information in the HomeAway Community forum, where users can connect with other owners and renters.