Raise your hand if you’ve used a rental

Should hotels, resorts and fractional real estate be concerned about the rise in private home rentals as a result of Airbnb and VRBO moving into their markets? While resort fractionals offer services and amenities that aren’t found in a private home — daily housekeeping, restaurants, in-room dining, full-service spa, etc. — I have to admit, I’m guilty of using VRBO myself. And I’m not the only one.

 Recently, our hospitality firm was reviewing some fractional real estate options for a resort. Frankly, we were having a hard time with the projections of the fractional component of the project. We felt both VRBO and Airbnb were changing how people made vacation plans. It was our impression that lower-increment fractional components were now risky due to the acceptance of these types of booking sites.

After considerable debate among our team, we came to the realization that everyone in the room had made a booking this year on either VRBO or Airbnb — in New York, Martha’s Vineyard, Toronto and Park City, Utah. We are all in the resort and hotel business, yet we all made our personal vacation plans to stay in a private home via one of those two sites.

After the guilt set in, we changed the modeling for the project from smaller to larger shares.

Many in the industry think these sites will have a large effect on the future of vacation travel. What do you think?