CompareAway Lists Over 150,000 Holiday Rentals
It looks like 2011 is going to be a very good year for the holiday rental price comparison site www.CompareAway.co.uk. Following their launch in Beta last year as a real time aggregator for agent managed self catering holiday rentals, the company quickly notched up over £150,000 pounds of sales during a brief trial period.
The company has now revealed that they now have over 150,000 properties on their site and aim to have over 350,000 properties live by the end of 2011. CompareAway are about to open up their site to smaller agents who typically manage between 30 and 100 properties with the launch of their new agent management software.
“We see a big gap in the market for smaller holiday rental agents who until now have been largely ignored. The way traditional holiday rental sites structured their pricing made it too expensive for many of these smaller agents to list their properties.” says Gibson, Managing Director of CompareAway.
“They were caught in a Catch22 situation as they were not large enough to market their properties on a standalone basis and the existing listing sites priced them out of the market. We have come up with a pricing structure that will be beneficial to all parties and by coming on our site we will be able to provide them with market penetration.”
Gibson continued “It will be a win win situation as our site users will have access to a much more diverse range of properties and our smaller agents will for the first time have their properties appearing at the top of the organic search engines.”
What is even more remarkable is the story of how www.CompareAway.co.uk came about. Chris Bradley (co-founder) and his family stood outside a villa in Spain in 2007. Rented direct from the owner through the Internet, everything seemed fine until they pulled up outside the villa only to find the villa already occupied. It turned out that the person that they had rented the villa from didn’t actually own it. Despite Chris working in IT for a FTSE100 organization, he was scammed by a very convincing and professional fraudster.
A quick Google search showed hundreds of other people who’d also been scammed. Chris knew there must be many people who wanted the ability to find self catering holiday rentals with the safety and security of being backed by a real, trusted, proven agent. Later that week, over a beer with a friend (Andrew Gibson), the idea of CompareAway was planned out on the back of a beer mat.
CompareAway is now one of the fastest growing internet startups and in the week that Lastminute co-founder Brent Hoberman invested in Travelmatch, it is no surprise to learn that CompareAway have attracted the attention of some serious investors. Gibson did confirm that they have been approached with investment offers from some industry heavyweights, but would not be drawn on who they are.
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