Technology Tansler, reverse auction site for vacation rentals, makes debut By Jamie Biesiada & Danny King / January 27, 2016 Share 1 -- After two years of beta testing, vacation rental marketplace Tansler launched last month, giving rental property owners and managers another place to list and offering consumers the chance to initiate a reverse auction for rental properties.Tansler, an anagram of rentals, lists more than 500,000 properties worldwide. Property owners create their listings, including what price they are asking per night, and keep their calendars updated to reflect availability.Consumers enter how much they want to pay per night, their dates of travel and the number of people in their party. Tansler then presents the potential renter with the listed rate of each property alongside the renter’s offer and the discount off the posted price. A map identifying the location of each property appears on the right-hand side of the page.For example, a search done in mid-December for a party of four traveling to Orlando from Jan. 11 to 17 hoping to spend $100 per night generated scores of results. Among them was a three-bedroom condo that normally goes for $117; at $100 per night, that would be 15% off. Also among the results was a five-bedroom house that normally goes for $148 per night, a discount of 32%.The consumer picks as many properties as he or she wants (a minimum of two) and submits one binding offer to those hosts. The first to accept the offer completes the transaction and ends the reverse auction. If none is accepted in 24 hours, the offer expires. If the auction is successful, however, the consumer is charged a 6% service fee, and the host is charged a 3% service fee. Consumers’ cards are charged immediately upon the auction’s close. Otherwise, the site is free for both hosts and consumers. According to Tansler, the majority of the site’s inventory is professionally managed and, therefore, vetted. Individual listings are vetted in-house. Reviews will be incorporated on the site in the coming months.Property managers have given Tansler good feedback, said Jeremy Bernard, its CEO and founder. He said they like that it cuts time spent dealing with consumers inquiring about lowering the rental’s price. They also like that the offer is binding. According to Bernard, Tansler is the only reverse auction site for rental properties right now, and the company has a patent pending on the process. He said the target market ranges from young travelers hoping to save money to families looking for accommodations that are larger than hotel rooms but at a lower price point.Bernard’s own experiences sparked the idea for Tansler. His family rents houses each summer, he said, a process he would begin in March or April. It took about 30 to 60 days to find the right deal on the right property, he said.“I would be having multiple discussions with different owners or property managers simultaneously, going back and forth, and it would just be a very time-consuming and laborious process,” he said.Tansler represents the most recent spin on the home-based rentals market, which continues to attract more revenue and greater investment interest. Earlier this month Airbnb confirmed that it had secured a $1.5 billion funding round in July. Also, vacation-rentals service HomeAway was acquired by Expedia last week for $3.9 billion. HomeAway’s third-quarter revenue was up 12% from a year earlier, to $130.7 million.Neither Airbnb nor HomeAway include a price-bidding or reverse auction component.