News Article


Lodging search engine seeks agent users (6/2/2004)

By Nadine Godwin

MIAMI --, an Internet search engine that encompasses a wide variety of accommodation types, was designed to be used by travelers or their travel agents.
But, according to Alfredo Purrinos, the company's founder, not enough agents are using it.Agency commissions range from 5% to 20%, depending on the property.

Purrinos wants to bring more agents into the circle; this, in turn, would make his service more valuable to participating accommodations providers, which total about 100,000 in 15,000 locations in the U.S. and overseas.

The listed properties -- which range from rental homes, villas, apartments and condos to hotels and B&Bs -- pay to participate. The search facility is free to users.

To be recognized for commission purposes, agents sign on for a free account and provide an indication of industry certification, such as an ARC, CLIA or Iatan number. Registered agents then have access to information on commissions paid by each property; the commissions are paid directly by the property.

Rentalo users have two choices: They can conduct their own searches and, after receiving a list of options, make direct contact with properties for bookings.

Alternatively, they can provide their specifications to Rentalo, which will trigger an electronic search followed by a package of offers delivered to the user's e-mail. Rentalo said its automated inquiry service is unique to its Web site.

In either case, agents or travelers, after choosing the destination, use "sort-by" and "filter-by" options that allow highly focused searches by price, size of property, name and type of facility (house vs. apartment, etc.).

Searchers can hone in further to search by amenities, such as cell phones, DVD players, Web access, pet-friendliness, handicapped accessibility, local transportation, pool, Jacuzzi, sports and attractions.

Purrinos, a former NASA engineer, founded the business (at in 1995. It is a division of Hi Q Telecom Inc., a telecommunications company in Miami Lakes, Fla.

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