Hyatt’s entree into the homeshare booking space is now live.
Original September 28, 2023 post follows:
Airbnb revolutionized peer-to-peer home rentals. They’ve solved the two-sided market problem, sourcing large numbers of homes for rent as well as being a focal place that consumers go to find lodging. They take a cut both from the renter and from the owner, and haven’t done much to protect either one. There are a lot of scams, and a lot of bad practices. But it’s a huge success.
For years hotel chains have fought the practice of people renting out condos, homes, and other lodging and competing against them. In New York City they’ve seen some success!
But it’s also a lucrative market, and not entirely one that overlaps with the hotel business either. Homesharing makes a lot of sense in markets where there aren’t good hotel options, and makes a lot of sense for big groups. As much as I tend to prefer hotels, I’ve used homeshare platforms:
- On the Texas Gulf Coast where good chain options on the beach aren’t an option.
- Martha’s Vineyard where chain hotel options aren’t available.
- Outside of Gold Coast, Australia in a beach town without hotel options that’s near family.
- Manley, Australia. The Sydney-area hotel market is expensive for what you get, especially if you want more than a base room traveling with family.
A platform like Airbnb is a good place to discover options, but I’ve also found that if you can discern the property on your own you may be able to track down its owner and rent much more cheaply. Airbnb has never developed a loyalty program, although one (and a co-brand credit card) has long been expected. It’s come and go from shopping portals. Last year I earned around 10,000 British Airways Avios on a rental but right now the options are grim.
They’re far from the only place to make bookings! Expedia’s VRBO is an option, and they say they’re even starting to hold property owners accountable for cancelling last minute on guests.
Marriott has its own entry but Marriott Homes & Villas isn’t a real homesharing service.
- They are sourcing inventory from other platforms
- What they’re really doing is connecting Bonvoy members to the homeshares that others are marketing
- And taking a commission
Basically Marriott has an affiliate commission-earning business, and they rebate part of that commission in the form of points. They say these properties are vetted in some way, but in my experience they’re just presenting properties from a data feed, and the feed can present inaccurate information.
Hyatt is getting into the homeshare marketing business too with Homes & Hideaways by World of Hyatt. It will launch “in the coming weeks” with domestic markets “like Hawaii, Florida and Colorado,” and eventually expand to international markets as well.
- Earn points (with elite bonuses) and elite qualifying nights
- Redemption for homesharing stays
Hyatt isn’t yet saying what redemptions will look like, other than that these won’t be based on the existing chart. Wyndham has offered value at ‘15,000 points per bedroom’ in expensive markets. Marriott offers low value, basically using points to offset the variable cash cost of a stay. It sounds like Hyatt will follow the Marriott model (“varying levels of World of Hyatt points to redeem a stay that might exceed the amount needed for a traditional hotel room”) though particulars are to be announced.
Meanwhile, they’re offloading Destination Residences Management, which is their existing vacation rental management business which includes residences across 36 properties in Colorado and Hawaii totaling over 1,000 residences and 27 homeowners associations. These will be bookable through the new Homes & Hideaways offering.
Ultimately this will be another place to shop for short-term rental stays, and more competition in the space is good. You’ll have the option to earn Hyatt points and nights as a rebate, though a more robust elite program remains a gap towards a more compelling value proposition.