Sale of vacation.rentals eclipses home.loans sale.
A vacation rental company has paid $500,300 to acquire the domain name vacation.rentals from registry Donuts in an all-cash transaction. This is the highest publicly reported sale of a second level domain under a new top level domain name to date.
Vacarent, LLC is a vacation rental company that hopes to capitalize on growing frustrations with Airbnb and HomeAway. The company won’t charge commissions and instead will just charge annual subscription fees to homeowners. This was the model HomeAway followed for many years before switching to a transaction-based model.
HomeAway acquired the established business VacationRentals.com in 2007 for $35 million. The CEO of the company in 2007, Brian Sharples, indicated that it was mostly to keep it out of its competitor’s hands and a big part of that was the domain name.
Search for vacation rentals on Google today and VacationRentals.com comes up #1. But Vacarent says it hopes the vacation.rentals domain name will help it slowly chip away at the organic listings.
Creating a marketplace is difficult, so search engine rankings will need to be a key part of vacation.rental’s strategy to attract homeowners and renters.
The deal was brokered by Uniregistry broker Brooke Hernandez late last year.
You might notice that the sales price is $300 more than the record-setting sale of home.loans last year. That’s likely not a coincidence.
There are just over 12,000 .rentals domains active in zone files according to nTLDstats.