Airbnb, VRBO, and Homeaway, oh my! What’s the difference, and why be on all of them?
The last decade has really seen a boom in the “share” community with companies that really facilitate the way that homeowners can rent out their spare bedroom or home to potential guests. Companies like Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway have made it easier than ever to take your getaway to the next level of comfort. You can literally stay in a Home Away From Home! It’s also made keeping your investment properties and spare bedrooms booked easier than ever because there are over a hundred million users worldwide. But what’s the difference? Is Airbnb or VRBO better for vacation properties? What about for guests? Well, when you list your short-term rental property with Effortless Rental Group your properties automatically gets listed to to both Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway as well as on every single one of our partners which include some of the largest booking sites in the world like Expedia and Booking.com, but let’s break them down.
Since their inception in 2008, Airbnb has become a household name for both travelers and hosts seeking to make a profit by providing that “home away from home” experience. Airbnb generally charges a Host fee of 3% of the subtotal. This depends on how strict your cancelation policy is or if you live in Italy. Airbnb charges guests anywhere between 0% and 20% depending on the subtotal, cleaning fees, and length of the stay.
Airbnb has an extensive network of users all around the world and has really sought to create the entire end-to-end travel experience in a single, easy to use app. Airbnb acquired HotelTonight in April which signals that they are interested in growing and have the means to do so. In addition to booking everything from shared rooms to entire mansions and everything in between, Airbnb provides guests with option to book experiences such as classes, workshops, and dinners all from the app. Through partnerships they even put on some once-in-a-lifetime experiences like letting guests stay the night in the Louvre.
VRBO has been around longer than Airbnb, created in 1995, and was acquired by HomeAway in 2006. The HomeAway network is also extensive and this is good for Hosts because their properties are shown to millions of potential guests. One of the main differences between VRBO and Airbnb is that VRBO doesn’t rent out the smaller listings (shared bedrooms, spare bedrooms, home’s where the host resides, etc.). Instead, VRBO focuses on larger properties entire homes, condos, and apartments. It makes for a more conventional stay. While there can be a certain charm to trips where you can crash with strangers like a Hostel, it is really nice to have privacy when you vacation.
The fees on VRBO are a little different than Airbnb in that there are two packages for hosts to choose from: a $499 fee paid annually (recommended for hosts who rent year-round) or a 5% booking fee. Guests can expect to pay between 5% and 15%.
So which should you choose to list your property on? Trick question, the answer is both and then some! With Effortless Rental Group, we show your rental property on Airbnb, VRBO, and a slew of other booking sites. We’ve even harnessed the power of Booking.com, Expedia, Kayak, Obitz, TripAdvisor, and many more to ensure that you you’re getting the most out of your short-term rental property.