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Pillow is expanding! We’re fully reaching into all of Sonoma and Marin counties near the San Francisco area. In addition, our Los Angeles market is expanding into the Valley and South Bay and will service North Hollywood, Reseda, the San Fernando Valley area, and Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beaches. Lastly, Pillow is making its way across the country!
Coming in November, 2015 we will be announcing new markets in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Stay tuned because it’s going to be exciting!
Our expansion is a result of the burgeoning sharing-economy and an embracing awareness for the vacation rental industry as more people are realizing the value beyond, “feeling at home when you’re away.” Vacation rentals benefit their guests by offering greater living space, lower rates when compared to hotels, and better amenities – like kitchens. Or hot tubs that don’t have to be shared. And who wouldn’t want to stay in a home embedded with pop culture and celebrity ties? Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Houdini anyone?! On the flip side, hosts not only get to meet great people from around the world and experience culture right under their own roofs, but they also earn additional income and in most cases, supplement or even pay for their mortgages.
As of May 2015 a Travel Weekly survey showed 60% of those polled have heard of sharing-economy services like Airbnb and HomeAway. About 55% of that 60% say they have used or would consider using these services. Additionally, Nielsen studies show that 52% of North American consumers are willing to participate in the sharing communities. This is great but we’re still bringing up the rear with this one – way to go U.S.
Earlier this year HomeAway celebrated its 10th anniversary. Ten years have been good to them and it’s exemplified by their industry prominence, history of acquisitions, and current stock analyses. In June, they announced major online travel booking website Kayak, is going to integrate HomeAway listings into its service displaying approximately 200,000 vacation rental listings (and bringing their listings numbers up to one million), making it easier and more efficient for travelers to find and book their desired travel accommodations. This comes after HomeAway’s partnership with Expedia in the fall of 2014.
HomeAway, along with Airbnb, arguably remain the two most popular vacation rental listing sites. Inc., after naming Airbnb their 2014 company of the year, writes, “[Airbnb] revolutionized the way people think about travel, displaced the hospitality industry’s established players, and generated billions in revenue for themselves and their hosts.” The company added 10 million users in 2014 alone.
With the success of these companies and other sharing-economy businesses it’s no wonder everyone is talking about them. A shift, however, is taking place and what’s peeking interest is not these companies, but the emerging startups and innovative technology developing around them: which is creating an entirely new layer of support and professionalism to the rapidly expanding sharing-economy.
This new layer of support lends an aura of professionalism to the vacation rental industry, adding features and benefits like proprietary software, price optimization, and user experience. Examples include Breeze, which allows Uber drivers to lease fuel-efficient cars; I Bike Harlem, which targets Airbnb guests for biking tours of Harlem; and of course, there’s us here at Pillow, who offer full-spectrum short-term vacation rental management services for hosts.
In addition, the increasing ease of accessibility and streamlining of the booking process through mobile and other technologies makes for quick, seamless planning and booking. Airbnb’s mobile app has over 1 million active users and they recently debuted their app to be featured on the newest Apple TV, which Apple proudly touts as, “all about the apps.” Even more, as of September 3, Airbnb apps are available for wearables like the Apple Watch and focus specifically on confirming bookings and messaging between hosts and guests, including pre-written responses to make communication fast and efficient.
Due to the rapid traction of the vacation rental industry, we are seeing its evolution into a dynamic and complex industry – and the result is a prominent, profitable, and professional industry. For the latest industry updates and trends, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re now dying to bring home the benefits of becoming a vacation rental host, check out our blog post, “Are Vacation Homes a Good Buy?”
About Pillow: Pillow, San Francisco’s largest Vacation Home Manager, is a tech-driven hospitality company that offers comprehensive vacation rental management from beach villas to urban penthouse apartments, and complete guest services. The company’s proprietary algorithm generates maximum rental income for homeowners while removing the hassle of listing properties and hosting guests from vacation home rental websites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Homeowners interested in partnering with Pillow Homes should visit http://www.pillowhomes.com.