Are you looking to get the most out of your investment in a vacation rental property? There are several websites available that can help hosts advertise their properties and find renters. Knowing which ones offer the best features is key to making sure your vacation rental business succeeds. Uncover the pros and cons of the most popular short-term rental listing platforms and choose the right one to grow your business.
Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. It began as a way to help people find affordable lodging during a large conference that was taking place in San Francisco.
Since then, Airbnb has grown into a global network of hosts and travelers in all of the world’s best short-term rental markets. Hosts enjoy setting their own prices and availability, meeting people from all over the world, and renting out their space on their own terms. There’s also a range of tools and resources to help hosts manage their listings, communicate with guests, and provide a seamless experience for everyone involved.
Airbnb’s host service fee is 3% of each booking.
Pros of Using Airbnb
Airbnb is a great way for residential real estate investors to diversify their portfolios and generate additional income. With Airbnb, you can rent out your property on a short-term basis and make more money than if you were renting it out long-term. You also have the flexibility to set your rental rates and availability, maximizing your profits while offering competitive prices. With Airbnb’s global reach, you can attract travelers from all over the world who are looking for unique accommodations in different locations.
Cons of Using Airbnb
One downside of using Airbnb is that there may be legal restrictions or regulations in certain areas limiting how often or when an investor can rent their property through the platform. It’s important to research local laws before listing your property on Airbnb to ensure compliance with any applicable regulations.
Airbnb also charges guests a service fee at the time of booking. This charge is usually about 13% of the price for their full stay. While this doesn’t come out of the host’s pocket, it can be off-putting to some guests.
VRBO was founded in 1995 by David Clouse, a retired teacher who wanted to create a platform for property owners to advertise their vacation rentals online. In 2006, VRBO was acquired by Homeaway, which became the parent company. Homeaway and VRBO have since merged into a single platform, providing a large network of potential renters to homeowners across the globe.
VRBO / HomeAway charges hosts an 8% booking fee (3% payment processing fee and 5% commission).
Pros of Using VRBO
Listing your vacation rental property on VRBO comes with a range of advantages. With more than a million homes worldwide and available in 190 countries, VRBO offers homeowners a large network of potential renters for vacation homes and corporate housing. The platform also provides a secure payment method for many properties, making it easy and safe for hosts to receive payment from guests.
Additionally, VRBO offers options for instant booking, allowing guests to book properties quickly and easily. When listing on VRBO, homeowners can create detailed profiles that include great descriptions, lots of photos, availability calendars, clickable maps, and plenty of guest reviews, providing potential renters with all the information they need to make an informed decision. VRBO also offers a range of legal documents, including rental guarantees, damage insurance, and cancellation insurance, giving hosts peace of mind while renting out their properties.
Furthermore, VRBO’s website is optimized for mobile devices and tablets, making it easy for both hosts and guests to access the platform from anywhere. Lastly, VRBO provides round-the-clock customer support, ensuring that any issues or questions can be quickly and efficiently resolved.
Cons of Using VRBO
The main downside to using VRBO is that there are fees associated with listing your property on the site. These fees can range depending on how you choose to list your property (e.g., pay per booking or annual subscription). At 8%, the pay-per-booking service fee is slightly higher than Airbnb. The annual subscription for listing your property costs $499, and there’s no guarantee for making it back with bookings.
FlipKey, owned by the widely recognized travel giant TripAdvisor, provides homeowners with an extensive network of potential guests. With millions of users browsing the platform, FlipKey offers excellent visibility and a trustworthy reputation for your vacation rental property.
FlipKey comission fees are 3%.
Pros of Using FlipKey
One of the main advantages of using FlipKey is that it provides access to a large network of potential customers. This makes it easier for property owners to find renters quickly and easily. FlipKey has strong customer service support, which helps resolve any issues quickly and efficiently. There are also two different pricing structures for listing your property so you can customize it for your needs.
Cons of Using FlipKey
On the downside, guests report FlipKey as being more expensive. Guests are charged an 8% to 16% fee upon booking. Guests can only be refunded if they cancel within one day of making the reservation. These fees don’t directly affect hosts, but they may deter bookings or sway customer reviews.
FAQs about Best Vacation Rental Sites for Hosts
What is the best vacation home rental website?
The best vacation home rental website depends on the type of property you are looking for and your budget. It’s important to research each site thoroughly before deciding so you can find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.
What factors do I need to consider when choosing a listing platform?
- Platform popularity: Gauge the number of users and visibility a vacation rental site has to ensure maximum exposure for your property.
- Listing fees: Consider any upfront or recurring costs associated with listing your property on the platform.
- Commission rates: Evaluate the percentage of booking revenue the platform charges as a commission for each successful reservation.
- Payment processing options: Check for secure and flexible payment methods to accommodate various guest preferences.
- User-friendliness: Assess the ease of use of the platform’s interface for both hosts and guests to ensure a seamless experience.
- Guest review system: Investigate the platform’s system for collecting and displaying guest feedback, which can impact your property’s reputation.
- Customer support: Look for responsive and helpful support services to assist with any issues or questions you may have as a host.
- Booking management tools: Ensure the platform offers efficient tools for managing reservations, cancellations, and guest communication.
- Integration with other platforms: Determine if the vacation rental site can synchronize with other booking platforms or property management tools you use.
- Marketing and promotional opportunities: Explore options for promoting your property, such as featured listings or advertising, to increase visibility.
- Cancellation policies: Review the platform’s cancellation policies for hosts and guests to understand the flexibility and potential impact on your revenue.
Who gets more traffic Airbnb or VRBO?
Airbnb is estimated to receive more than twice as many monthly web visitors than VRBO. Airbnb’s dominating global presence has made it the most popular vacation rental site. However, biggest doesn’t always mean best. With more visitors comes more competition. If you’re just getting started on Airbnb, the best strategy is to list your vacation rental property on both websites.
Which Site Is Right For Your Short-Term Rental?
When it comes to finding the best vacation rental sites for hosts, Airbnb, VRBO, and FlipKey are all great options. Each website has its unique features that make them stand out from one another. The best vacation rental site for hosts will depend on individual needs and preferences, but these vacation rental companies offer some of the most popular choices available today.