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Here’s one way to tell that vacation rental sites like Airbnb and HomeAway are becoming a big deal: There’s a new startup called Rentmix that aggregates and maps their listings.
It sounds like it’s still a pretty early product, but the basic features are already there. Users just enter where they want to travel to, and other relevant parameters like number of bedrooms and price range. Then Rentmix returns a Google Map showing the options. Users click on each pin to get the basic data (including photos), then if they’re interested, Rentmix directs them to the listing site for full details and reservations.
Rentmix seems to extend the model of sites like HousingMaps, which maps out Craigslist listings, to vacation rentals rather than more permanent housing. In both cases, the benefits are pretty obvious — when I’m considering my vacation housing options, I definitely want to know how close they are to the places that I want to visit during my trip. So rather than making me open a separate tab for Google Maps when I’m searching for rentals, Rentmix incorporates the map into the initial search.
The site is the latest project from Mark Crady, whose last startup Zipdash was acquired by Google. Rentmix makes money by taking a commission on either leads (for HomeAway) or transactions (for Airbnb). Crady said he wants to add other listing sources eventually.
The site is currently self-funded. Crady said he’s still deciding whether he wants to raise venture capital, but he’s open to the idea.