There are about 3,000 listings for Myrtle Beach area properties on HomeAway.com, the nation’s largest online marketplace for vacation rentals. The number of area listings has grown by 53 percent since 2010, according to Jon Gray, the company’s senior vice president.
Nationwide, HomeAway.com reported a 28.3 percent growth in listings over the past year, with nearly 1 million vacation rentals now online. Instead of the 40 percent to 50 percent fee charged by traditional rental management firms here, HomeAway.com charges a flat rate of between $349 and $999 for a one-year listing or a 10 percent commission model.
Property owners upload their own photos and information to the HomeAway.com site and the online company provides a reservation calendar and online payment options. Along with the growth in listings, the online company’s revenue has grown by nearly 66 percent over the past year, according to its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“People used to have to buy an ad in the Atlanta newspaper if they wanted to market their place to stay in Myrtle Beach,” Gray said. “Now, it’s all online.”
Gray said cost is one of the main reasons people choose to list their properties on HomeAway.com instead of through a traditional rental agency. But control -- “They want to know who’s staying in their home and speak to everyone that stays in their home,” Gray said -- also is a big factor.
The national demographics of vacation home buyers is skewing younger -- to an average age of 43 -- and those younger buyers are more tech-savvy and comfortable with listing their homes on the Internet than those second-home buyers of the past, Gray said.