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AIRBnB, VRBO, HomeAway - use all 3? 2? or just one?

Hi All,

I’ve had great success with airbnb but I feel like they are stealing money I swear! know some is taxes, but I literally had a reservation cost the guests nearly $1200 and my payout was $800 that is absurd. don’t have time to get the exact numbers—will later

can you guys post what you like about the other platforms and have you been make more money advertising on all 3? which pays the best? do they have professional photographers? lastly are they only for long term rentals? (attract LT rentals I mean)?

ANy help really appreciated thank you!

There’s lots of discussion here on this very issue. Search will find it all.

VRBO = HomeAway

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All the major platforms take a commission around 15% even if the breakdown between guests and hosts is different.

I am very surprised by the 30% commission on your last reservation !

All the platforms take a chunk for themselves. Only Air handles any financial problems with credit cards on their end. You never see a stolen or fraudulent credit card problem. At least I haven’t. And you certainly are not charged back for it like VRBO has done. While no platforms are perfect, Air’s is the best and you only pay 3%. They are the only one with the million dollar host liability, which has just been upgraded to primary. If you have a lot of international guests then this 3% you pay Air is LESS than you would fork over to paypal for taking money internationally.


Air has the best user experience, I will give them that. It always feels like So Much Work dealing with a guest on VRBO/HA.


That said, I would NOT keep all your eggs in one basket.

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Last year, I paid $570 to Air in commissions. That’s not bad considering they find the clients, handle the booking transactions, collect the taxes in many places and offer lots of host backups (again could stand room for improvement., but still better than all the others combined.)


well then that’s all I need to know haha. I don;t want any more work than I have now with airbnb haha

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Hi @Rory_Taylor,

This is tangential to your question, but…

Do you have your own website? if not, consider making one. You can still use it to point people to your Airbnb listing, but it would be easy to redirect it somewhere else if you want. Some people do their own booking via their website - there have been threads about this, one of which I started.

You don’t have to make it yourself, you can have someone else do it. A basic web site is not expensive.

As @CatskillsGrrl says, it’s better not to put your eggs in one basket (or try not to, at any rate).

I keep a presence in VRBO (aka HomeAway), but by far most of my bookings come from Airbnb (85% Airbnb / 15% VRBO). VRBO’s clientele are nice, always pleasant and never any hassle; the company can use a lot more improvement in their policies and methodology though.

FlipKey (and their potentially tyrannical Trip Advisor) and Bookings.com will never see a dime from me. Otherwise I think the world of them.



I don’t… well I used to actually but never used it… it was for my NAS (you sound pretty technically smart I assume you know what that is). I am pretty good with tech. kind of a hobby of mine, I’m sure I could make my own. That’s a good idea.
Now how do you get traffic to your site?

-Do you or anyone embed your listing on your linkedin profile? Would that be appropriate?

Wait a sec, your saying some people are able to show their listings off on AbnB… but then pull them back to their personal site and handle the transaction and schedule etc. themselves. Cut out the middle man basically. That’s brilliant. thousands of dollars saved. I’m going to get right on that… unless I misinterpreted what you said…?

You only need to worry about what they are stealing from you. The 3% is a bargain for what they provide. The guests pay the majority (willingly clearly!)
It appears Airbnb are getting the most traffic from guests (100% for me anyway)
I’m also listed on Tripadvisor and Aura (new Aussie listing that no-ones ever heard of…but it’s free for host and guest so thought I’d give it a go)
Anyway, not a peek from anyone except Airbnb. (All 5 star guests too so far :grin:)

Rory, perhaps it makes life easier if you worry about what you are making, and less about what the next guy is making.

Hi @Rory_Taylor,

The only meaning I can assign to NAS is Network Attached Storage. I’m not sure if that’s what you meant. Do you mean you were running a web site off a NAS, perhaps?

(Just to be clear, I don’t have a site.) But assuming you were speaking generally…
Search engines. Give out cards, flyers etc. Maybe advertise - Google Keywords, Facebook?

i don’t, but I don’t see why not.

Not exactly.

If people contact you via your site, you can do whatever you want. Either book them on your site or redirect them to your Airbnb listing. There are people here who do both.

If people see your Airbnb listing, they can then do a search for your listing, and if they find your site, they might choose to book you via that instead. But if you yourself redirect people who contact you via Airbnb to your listing or otherwise book them without going through Airbnb, that’s a violation of Airbnb’s Terms of Service. I’m sure it happens regardless, but Airbnb goes to some lengths to prevent it, including censoring the listing, and Airbnb Messaging.

Anyway, you can improve the chances that people discover your personal site by making your listing and your personal site very similar. Keywords, photos, the whole shebang.

People generally use Airbnb at least partly for advertising, but if you are getting such a big response, maybe you don’t need them for that. And the other stuff they offer, you may or may not consider useful.

me - it was for my NAS
@faheem you: - The only meaning I can assign to NAS is Network Attached Storage. I’m not sure if that’s what you meant. Do you mean you were running a web site off a NAS, perhaps?

YES you are correct. the website was so I could access all my media anywhere with an internet connection, and download it i.e. in CHina to my laptop from my NAS which is sitting at my house. It also serves many purposes like security surveillance video of your home, i could go on and on.

)#2 - yes I have advertised my listing on FB a few times every few months. not worth my time to do flyers the listing gets 500 views a month which is quite a lot don’t you think?

YEah airbnb is good at trying to keep all communication and transactions on the site… If anyone cares to know (it isn’t much of a trick but in case you don’t know.) anytime giving your phone, email, address or anything they block throw some random characters in. i.e. phone: 3x6x0x3x0x5x1x2c3c4 - I also tell people to say "Dot"com or john"at"g-mail etc. works everytime.

I’d like to try and handle the transactions myself and this website thing. use airbnb to get the interested parties, then just handle the transaction off the site. save both parties money.

thanks for all this info I really appreciate it

true 3% is a great deal. But after the 10% I have to pay in occupancy taxes now that 3 becomes 13%. Sh** deal haha

who’s the next guy? I know you don;t mean a particular person but what do you mean?

If they’re collecting the taxes, that saves you time and money. ABB hosts not paying the taxes are the ones that give all a bad name and are making cities crack down. Pay your taxes, even if collecting on your own. What stinks for me is since Air doesn’t collect where I live, I either have to pay extra by charging enough for my 7.25% taxes (and them taking the commission off of that AND a little more in taxes) or collect in cash when my guests arrive.

This is what I do to avoid the pyramiding you describe. It’s the one cash transaction Air officially advocates.

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