HomeAway Acquires EscapeHomes
HomeAway, Inc., the largest international network of vacation rental websites, today announced its acquisition of EscapeHomes.com, a 10-year-old online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of second homes and resort real estate.
The acquisition means HomeAway now provides comprehensive services for second home owners for the lifecycle of their properties.
Through its popular vacation rental sites, including HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, Abritel.fr and FeWo-direkt.de, HomeAway has already streamlined the process for homeowners to easily and affordably advertise their vacation rental properties. With EscapeHomes, HomeAway significantly expands its offerings, providing owners the tools to research and find real estate professionals who specialize in second homes and their dream vacation, investment or retirement home.
“The purchase of EscapeHomes was a natural next step for our business, making HomeAway the only company specializing in second homes throughout the entire ownership process,” says Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway.
Second home sales accounted for a third of existing and new home sales in 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.
“HomeAway is excited to apply our expertise in and commitment to providing owners the best and most trusted resources to the second home real estate market,” says Sharples.
A redesign of EscapeHomes.com is currently underway. However, the site will continue to feature the popular profiles of real estate agents, detail-rich descriptions of locations, second home lifestyle advice and decision support tools.
As part of its relaunch, EscapeHomes invites real estate agents to participate in its “Open House” program to receive a free subscription to the site and immediately benefit from its exceptional search engine rankings. This limited-time offer allows agents to create a personalized agent profile and feature unlimited vacation property listings.
EscapeHomes was founded by highly-respected real estate veteran Clark Thompson. Recognizing the Internet could streamline the time-consuming and costly process of finding a second home and locating qualified agents in remote destinations, Thompson founded the company to make the search for a second home easier.
EscapeHomes is led by a team of second home and vacation rental industry veterans from HomeAway’s Austin, TX headquarters. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
About HomeAway, Inc.
The HomeAway, Inc. websites connect homeowners and property managers with travelers who seek the space, value and amenities of vacation rental homes as an alternative to hotels. With more than 284,000 global listings across the sites, travelers may easily search for budget to luxury-priced vacation rentals on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, A1Vacations.com, GreatRentals.com, TripHomes.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk, FeWo-direkt.de and Abritel.fr. The sites also feature Reviews and the HomeAway Rent with Confidence Guarantee™, which help ensure a memorable HomeAway from home® experience. HomeAway is headquartered in Austin, Texas and funded by Austin Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, American Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Trident Capital.