Last Updated on
The vacation rental market is ever-changing, constantly in a state of flux. This is partially due to the many vacation rental sites that have seen significant success over recent years. Success breeds new competition, and so naturally, plenty of new players have emerged in the vacation rental scene. One name generating some buzz is Wyndham Vacation Rentals. We outline their foray into the home rental space below.
Who are Wyndham?
Founded in 1981, in Dallas, Texas, Wyndham has been one of the most recognizable names in the hotel industry for the last couple of decades. While Wyndham Hotels is a worldwide brand in its own right, the company has made numerous acquisitions and splinter brands. Nowadays, the Wyndham name is attached to 19 different companies. These include luxury resorts, mid-level hotels, and value accommodations. Even the chains without “Wyndham” in their name are extremely recognizable in the American travel sphere. Some of these Wyndham-owned brands include La Quinta, Ramada, Super 8, Days Inn, and Travelodge. Their hotels and resorts now have locations in the US, China, the UK, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Turkey, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, and across the Caribbean. In total, they are close to eclipsing the 10,000 locations mark.
After purchasing La Quinta in 2018 — an acquisition that was valued at 1.95 billion for 900 hotels with 89,000+ rooms — Wyndham Worldwide Corporation split itself in two. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts now exclusively oversee their hotel business while Wyndham Destinations deals with timeshares. Wyndham Destinations is a huge business, its web includes 213 properties, 25,000 units, and 925,000 property owners. In 2017 they brought in a revenue of over 5 billion dollars.
What’s Wyndham Vacation Rentals All About?
Wyndham Vacation Rentals is now a branch of Wyndham Destinations. Although it is a relatively small piece of the Wyndham conglomerate, Wyndham Vacation Rentals is responsible for 10,000 properties from nearly as many independent owners. In 2017, the fledgling booking site saw over 300,000 guest check-ins across their VR properties. Focused entirely in North America, almost exclusively in the United States, they aim to offer “unique, home-like experiences built on the tradition of trusted, hospitality-grade service.”
What Makes Them Different?
Wyndham Vacation Rentals didn’t exactly start from scratch. What they immediately aimed to do was to capitalize on Wyndham Destinations’ huge timeshare enterprise.
Wyndham developed a vacation rental search engine not based on individual properties, but more so on specific experiences. For example, both with automated search bar suggestions as well as clickable links on their homepage, users can be directed to specific experiences; meaning users are prompted towards things like “Beach Vacations”, “Snow and Ski”, “Golf Vacations”, and “Theme Park Vacations”. By clicking one of these options, users are taken to rental pages for some of the continent’s best locations for whatever experience they are looking for. Users are then connected to Wyndham’s properties in the area to see what kind of home units are available.
Wyndham is not completely guest-centric. They have designed ways to entice hosts to list their properties with them. To do so, they first and foremost guarantee increased online visibility. Not only do they use Wyndham marketing and PR to drive both local and national visibility they also have partnered with Expedia, Booking.com, and HomeAway to increase occupancy rates. Wyndham also has their own Revenue Management systems, much like AllTheRooms Analytics, which uses booking data to guarantee hosts are setting their rates appropriately and boosting revenue. Finally, they make property management easy. Instead of doing everything on their own, when hosts list with Wyndham, they have access to professional accounting, marketing, housekeeping, reservation, and maintenance assistance.
While Wyndham Vacation Rentals may have upwards of 10,000 properties, they are densely concentrated in only certain areas. Their homepage also has the options for clicking and searching by state. From our research, it seems that they have properties in fewer than 15 states.
As of right now, it would seem that Wyndham’s goal is not to become a major player in the vacation rental market everywhere. Instead, they want to dominate, maybe even monopolize, home rental options in places where they can already control a lot of the revenue. For example, ski resort towns often have numerous condominiums as the main places to stay, outside of hotels, near the mountain’s ski lifts. Many of these properties are timeshares.
Ultimately, this will allow Wyndham to provide a unique product, somewhere with a feeling of a homestay but with the amenities of an elite hotel. So, if you’re going on a ski trip to the Rockies, a beach getaway at Hilton Head in South Carolina, or taking the kids to Disneyworld in Orlando, don’t be shocked to find yourself staying somewhere under the Wyndham Vacation Rentals umbrella. If Wyndham are successful in providing even just a portion of the vacation rentals in places like ski resorts, beach resorts, and near amusement parks, expect them to continue to make a lot of noise in the market.