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TMCNet:  HomeAway Raises the Bar in Vacation Rental Guest Hospitality with its Acquisition of Mobile Application Glad to Have YouTM

[March 05, 2014]

HomeAway Raises the Bar in Vacation Rental Guest Hospitality with its Acquisition of Mobile Application Glad to Have YouTM

AUSTIN, Texas --(Business Wire)--

HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world's leading online marketplace for vacation rentals, today announced that, through an all cash transaction, it has acquired Glad to Have You, Inc., the creator of the vacation rental industry's leading mobile guest management solution designed specifically for property managers and homeowners to improve the way they manage and communicate with guests during their stay.

HomeAway® plans to make Glad to Have You™ ("GLAD") mobile applications available to its property managers and owners, enabling travelers to have detailed property information at their fingertips, while helping to maximize the enjoyment of their vacations.

GLAD comes in two versions: GladOwners™and GladProfessional™. Both versions provide travelers with crucial information about the vacation rental and its amenities in the palm of their hands, including:

  • Detailed Rental Logistics: Prior to their trip, guests receive all of the details they need for their stay, such as check-in/out instructions, important phone numbers, property access information, Wi-Fi passwords, and instructions for using AV equipment and other electronics.
  • Nearby Activities: Guests receive customized recommendations for nearby restaurants and attractions as well as a map of the area.
  • Digital Guestbook: Guests have the opportunity to leave reviews and include photos of their stay through the application - which is expected to lead to a significant increase in both number and relevance of property reviews on HomeAway sites.

The existing GladOwners™ product is available to HomeAway customers for free by clicking here. Any owner that is not a HomeAway customer may purchase GladOwners™ for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.

Users of GladProfessional™ (for property managers) receive the same benefits as GladOwners™ but with additional scale to help manage a large inventory of properties. They also enjoy additional features such as:

  • Guest Communication: Guests can receive push notifications before and throughout their stay, such as a notification about early check-in opportunities, and have instant communications with the property manager 24/7.
  • Service Requests: Guests can submit cleaning and maintenance requests with a push of a button.
  • Guest Analytics: Property managers can capture and learn guests' dining or activity preferences and send special offers.
  • Software Integration: Integrates easily with the most widely used property management software products in the industry.
  • Property Manager Branding: The application allows property management companies to brand the mobile interface.

Given the added features of the GladProfessional™ product, it is not offered free of charge - pricing for existing customers will not chang. Currently, it is in use by more than 300 property management companies in the United States, with travelers using the application more than 15 times during an average stay.


"We believe the GLAD solution is by far the best example we've seen of utilizing mobile technology to significantly enhance the experience of staying in vacation rentals," says Brian Sharples, CEO and cofounder of HomeAway. "The GLAD team has created a hit product that has received rave reviews from both suppliers and travelers, and we expect it to have a meaningful impact on HomeAway's customer experience by bringing an even higher level of hospitality and professionalism to our existing mobile product suite."

Founded in 2012 by co-CEOs, Keith Landers and Jason Sprenkle, GLAD has grown quickly by focusing efforts on building a better experience for travelers by leveraging the smartphone platform. The business will join HomeAway and be managed by HomeAway Software Vice President Bill Furlong. Keith Landers and Jason Sprenkle will stay on as consultants during the transition.

"We've worked tirelessly to create and optimize the best mobile management system and experience for Glad to Have You users and we can't be more thrilled to share our product with the rest of the vacation rental world through HomeAway's leading distribution platform," says Jason Sprenkle, co-CEO of GLAD.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are based on HomeAway management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements include information concerning HomeAway's expected, possible or assumed future results of operations, growth and business outlook, ability to integrate Glad to Have You, Inc., offer GLAD products, and the impact of those products on HomeAway's business and market marketplace.

Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and may be identified by terms such as "continues," "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "could," "look forward to," or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause HomeAway's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to the following: (a) HomeAway's inability to continue to attract and maintain a critical mass of property listings and travelers, (b) a decrease in renewal of listings, (c) HomeAway's inability to effectively manage its growth, (d) HomeAway's inability to increase sales to existing property owners and managers and attract new ones, (e) the impact of pay-per-booking or other changes in HomeAway's pricing policies or those of its competitors, (f) HomeAway's inability to execute its product and services development roadmap, including e-commerce initiatives, (g) the impact of general economic conditions, (h) fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, (i) HomeAway's inability to introduce successful new products and services; (j) the inability to integrate and grow Glad to Have You, Inc. and other recent acquisitions, and (k) such other risks and uncertainties described more fully in documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC (News - Alert)"), including HomeAway's most recent 10-K, filed on February 27, 2014. All information provided in this press release is as of the date hereof and, except as required by law, HomeAway assumes no obligation to update this information, even if new information becomes available in the future.

About Glad to Have You

Glad to Have You's mobile platform and overall Guest Management System™ provides hospitality management companies around the world with an elegant, customized mobile solution for guests driven by an easy to use cloud based content management portal. The solution allows companies to provide guests with an easier, more informed and overall more enjoyable travel experience. Each guest receives the pre-arrival, property, and area information they need automatically, along with all of the details they need for their specific stay - when to arrive, where to park, auto-generated check-in info and lock codes. Guests even receive specific details unique to each guest like wireless codes, television instructions, etc. The platform also provides instant two-way communications with guests, detailed analytics, and a robust and fully integrated marketing platform to increase guest loyalty. It's a concept based on giving guests what they need, when they need it, and how they want it. For more information visit: Glad to Have You.

About HomeAway

HomeAway, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is the world's leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, with sites representing over 890,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es and Toprural.es in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; HomeAway.com.au in Australia; and Bookabach.co.nz in New Zealand. Asia Pacific short-term rental site, travelmob.com, is also owned by HomeAway.

HomeAway also operates BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit www.HomeAway.com.


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