Hopper is continuing to build out its Homes business line through a partnership with Evolve.
The deal adds 24,000 properties to Hopper Homes, which was unveiled in the app in January 2022, making Evolve its largest direct vacation rental supplier. In February of this year, Evolve raised $100 million.
Susan Ho, head of Hopper Homes, says the app now offers about 2.2 million properties to its customer base.
The app-based business also plans to add its fintech products to Hopper Homes. Ho says property managers are particularly excited about the cancellation insurance already on offer to airline and hotel customers.
“A lot of homeowners have very strict cancellation policies of 30 to 60 days; they don’t want to lose out on revenue at the last minute. We’re willing to take on the risk of cancellation by pricing that risk ourselves by using our data and data science capabilities so property managers can realize the higher conversion rate without taking on the risk,” she says.
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While sourcing of vacation rental inventory has been flagged as a potential barrier to growth in the past, Ho says Hopper has been building direct partnerships with property managers.
“Since launching in January we have added 111 new partners and that growth is only accelerating. A lot of what we have seen is the market clamoring for a new channel that will help it with its reliance on Airbnb,” Ho says.
“So many property managers saw the market power of Airbnb during the pandemic to unilaterally refund guests without having to consult them, and that really made them pause and double down on building their own direct businesses.”
She adds that bookings for homes that Hopper has signed directly have doubled 20% compared to a few months ago.
Since the launch of Hopper Homes, Ho says the focus for the unit has been on two things: to understand what consumers want to book and acquiring relevant inventory, and to deliver the best price.
“Our customers are younger, they want a deal. Our mission is to lower the price so that can travel more frequently, and that’s one of the areas where we are multi-sourcing inventory and one property we might be getting from multiple different places and showing customers the lowest price,” she says.