Marriott Homes & Villas, Marriott International’s homesharing program
Marriott Homes & Villas, Marriott International’s homesharing program (Photo: Marriott)
Marriott’s new home sharing service is offered as a new perk to elite Bonvoy members and the home rental sector is cheering this idea on.
It seems that even though Marriott International has launched its own homehsaring program with Homes & Villas, the hotel giant claims it doesn’t want to compete with Airbnb and the like.
“We knew that we couldn’t outsmart or out-manage professional property managers,” Jennifer Hsieh, global leader for Homes & Villas by Marriott International, recently said to Skift. “We didn’t want to be in that business.”
Instead, the small set of Marriott luxury homeshares will be made available to top members of the group’s loyalty program Bonvoy as an extra perk.
According to Hsieh, the target market for Homes & Villas are frequent business travellers who use their points during high-end leisure trips.
A lengthy application process for rental properties
To add one’s property to Homes & Villas, a long sign-up process must be completed. Closing the deal can take anywhere from two to four months.
After the initial contact, property management companies must pass a strict vetting process and a site inspection. Critical points include not only a property’s location, amenities and service standards, but also cyber security and guest data protection.
Once a new rental property is accepted, Marriott demands first pick on inventory and availability, something not all participants might want to offer in the long run.
Home rental sector welcomes Marriott luxury homeshare
Jeff Hurst, chief commercial officer at Vrbo, mentioned that this new perk might have an unexpected side effect. He thinks it could inadvertently get guests to opt for rental properties more often after they have had a good experience once.
“For someone to use a ton of points to experience a vacation rental potentially for the first time in a way that feels safe is likely to get them hooked on the idea that [rentals] are the only way to go [for a luxury vacation],” Hurst said. “That’s good for our sector.”
“You’ll probably run out of points faster than you’ll run out of enthusiasm for the rental experience,” he added.
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