LeisureLink claims vacation rental and condo breakthrough on Travelocity with Marketspan platformNewsBy Dennis Schaal | March 19, 2012Share This article was originally published on Independent owners of vacation rentals, condos and timeshares can toss the Excel spreadsheets.That's the word from LeisureLink, which claims its Marketspan platform and direct-connect to a Travelocity API are enabling owners of small properties, such as the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort and the Carlsbad Seapointe in Carlsbad, California, to engage in deft revenue management, merchandising and electronic distribution.Many owners of small properties are known to use Excel spreadsheets to keep tabs on competitors and prevailing rates.Technology companies in the vacation rental and condo space have been talking a good game about electronic distribution for years, but Erik Hovanec, LeisureLink CEO, claims to have some numbers to back it all up.As a private company, Hovanec won't give out precise dollar figures, but he says since launching a direct-connect with Travelocity in July 2011, sales for LeisureLink clients on Travelocity are up 94% year-over-year and room nights have increased 108%."Our gross booking performance this year with Travelocity will be solidly in the mid-seven figures range," Hovanec says.Hovanec attributes the growth to Marketspan's ability to enable clients to change rates frequently, merchandising, the direct-connect and Travelocity's growth.LeisureLink previously connected to Travelocity through the Sabre GDS.LeisureLink has direct-connects with other online travel agencies, such as with the almost five-year-old Expedia QuickConnect, as well as with Booking.com, but Hovanec boasts of greater "merchandising flexibility" with Travelocity.With an announcement pending about the strides of LeisureLinks' clients through Travelocity, the two companies clearly are cooperating in a marketing push.For example, LeisureLink is conducting a webinar March 22, featuring Travelocity, on ways property owners can merchandise more effectively through online channels.LeisureLink's Marketspan platform enables clients to keep tabs on competitive market data, and also includes a rate engine to fine-tune rates in real-time, and a "universal distribution" component to get the inventory out to channels ranging from the global distribution systems and online travel agencies to HomeAway and FlipKey, Hovanec says.Lodging owners making rate updates in Marketspan see their pricing altered on all the OTAs with which LeisureLink has agreements, and thus they don't have to alter rates on each OTA separately, LeisureLink says.Owners of small, independent properties "don't care if it is this channel or that channel," Hovanec says. "They just want to be out there. We just look at it as shelf space."To use Marketspan, LeisureLink charges a monthly fees and gets a cut of transactions.Hovanec describes the current vacation rental, condo and timeshare market as "fragmented and complex," and he doesn't see this easing up any time soon.And, that's not bad news for tech companies such as LeisureLink.