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VRBO and/or Airbnb in this forum?

Hello. I am new here and I just want to make sure that I am in the right place. I am a VRBO owner/host of a whole house in Ocean City, NJ. I am not using Airbnb as a host yet, although I have used it as a traveler and loved it. My question: is it cool for me to post questions and responses that have to do with VRBO, and not necessarily (although possibly) about Airbnb? Depending on your answers, I may follow with a few immediate questions.
Thank you

This is as it says on the forum title a forum primarily for Airbnb hosts and issues relating to Airbnb.

Having said that some hosts also list on other platforms so may be able to help with VRBO issues. @tpbeebejr

Is there not a forum for VRBO that you consider too?

Thank you, Helsi. I cannot find a forum exclusively for VRBO hosts, and I don’t have your energy to start one myself. Your forum is what comes up when I search Google.

I will try a few questions and see what happens. Let me know in a PM if you want me to stop.

Thanks,

Tom

Helsi
July 22
This is as it says on the forum title a forum primarily for Airbnb hosts and issues relating to Airbnb.

Having said that some hosts also list on other platforms so may be able to help with VRBO issues. @tpbeebejr

Is there not a forum for VRBO that you consider too?

This one came up in a quick Google search.

By the way I am not a mod here so not up to me as to whether you post or not :slight_smile:

@tpbeebejr - there are several VRBO/HomeAway forums. The one run by HomeAway is

HomeAway forum

There is also a closed owner’s group on Facebook (not the one Helsi mentioned) where you have to demonstrate you are an owner to join

Hi Tom,

I think that the answer is that you’re very welcome to post here. After all, no matter who we use, we all have similar questions and problems. However, if you have questions that are specific to VRBO then you might not get many, if any replies. And don’t be surprised if we run off on a tangent - we’re pretty prone to that :slight_smile:

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By the way, there are a few of us on this forum that list in both sites (including myself - we get 80% of our bookings from Vrbo). So you’ll probably get an answer to your questions, although not as many answers as on a forum more dedicated to Vrbo

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funny thing here, i list on VRBO. Last year I got 80% of my bookings from there, this year is viceversa. I used to love VRBO. I got a very bad review from a lady on VRBO and since over there reviews are something optional, I don’t have that many and the bad one affected me immensely. I lost my partner status (similar with superhost on Airbnb) and since then I have very few bookings with them, to the point I’m considering quitting it altogether next year. Why am I paying 500$ per year since I got only a few bookings? ok, so what was your question?

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I am speaking for myself but I think it is generally considered okay to post the occasional non Air question if you have previously mostly posted Air questions as opposed to using it just to answer VRBO questions. But then again if someone replies…

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Thanks very much for your welcoming reply. And yes, I noticed lots of tangents, funny though they are. Faulty Towers seems to be a common one.

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Hi nice to meet you. I also host on both Air and VRBO. I find this forum the most helpful of all forums I found, and I researched for a couple of years before we went live.

I find VRBO is a more difficult tool to navigate, but their support will help you and they all have been highly competent at helping me understand things where I had questions at first and proficient communicators. They seem more host-centric.

I find that most everything discussed here is generic enough hosting advice it will benefit you both places.

I am finding most of my VRBO rentals are to retirees. The Air guests tend to be under 49.

Happy to answer questions, we have been listed on Air since January 1 and VRBO about 4 to 6 weeks after.

you can try here…some issues cross over, but each service handles systems differently.
I have been on vrbo since 2009 and air since 2012, so a few of us are aware of the similarties and differences.
There are several good fb groups that help owners.

Yes, it’s fine to post about other sites on this forum. Part of the discussion on this forum is about Airbnb being frustrating for some hosts and they look for alternatives. No different than VRBO being frustrating and hosts there are looking for alternatives. So, they discuss other sites too.

Thanks, LoneStar. You would be a perfect person to ask about the “business basics” of AirBnb. Perhaps I could figure this out on my own with some work, as I did with VRBO, but you already know all about AirBnb, and you know it in comparison to VRBO. As I indicated I am currently using VRBO and my own website (https://www.ocnj27tc.com). I am thinking about also using AirBnb, but I don’t understand their business model yet. For example, what is the rate they charge the owner. Ditto for the guest? Can you upload and use your own rental contract, as you can with VRBO? Is there a similar web interface for setting up and advertising your house, and how does it compare to VRBO’s? People here seem to be mixed to slightly negative overall when it comes to AirBnb dealing with “issues.” Do you agree? Sorry to pummel you with questions. One of you previously gave me the wise advice to try AirBnb and see what I think. I will probably do that, but I’d also like to know their business basics.
Thanks

AirBnB charges 3% to the owner. They have a sliding scale for the guest charge - it usually is the same or higher than the VRBO service fee.

You can’t upload your contract, but you can require the guest sign your contract in order to rent your property.
AirBnB guests aren’t used to that, so you may get pushback from a guest who doesn’t want to sign it. Be sure to put it in your house rules that they MUST sign a rental agreement or AirBnB won’t back you when a guest won’t sign a contract.

AirBnB doesn’t actually hold a security deposit for you. If the guest damages something, you have to get the guest to admit that they did it and agree to pay for it, then AirBnB charges them for it. AirBnB is the “judge and jury” on what you get for damages, and may require a police report for larger damages. VRBO doesn’t seem to interfere as much between the guests and me.

AirBnB doesn’t release any money to you until after the guest checks in.

Cancellation policies are different. Air has a “strict” policy - you get a 50% payout if the guest cancels at least 7 days out, although they’ll usually get a 2-day grace period after booking to cancel and get fully refunded. The worst part is the “Extenuating Circumstances” (“EC”) policy - if the guest cancels at any time due to an EC such as a death in the family, they get all their money back and you are SOL. That’s why I do not offer Christmas week on Air.

The interface is different than VRBO, but fundamentally the same - upload photos, describe your property, set your rules and rates, set up your bank account info for the payments.

We have a three-bedroom house with pool and staff in the Caribbean in a very desirable location. In general, I find the VRBO travelers to be willing to pay higher prices and book further in advance. Many of the AirBnB guests are looking for deals - most of our AirBnB bookings are in low season, when our prices are 50% (or less) of high season.

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  1. put in your house rules everything you have in the contract. The guests are bound to follow them
  2. with ABB you don’t have to pay the 499$ per year. ABB just takes 3% commission of every single booking. The guest pays occupancy taxes and commision to ABB as well.
  3. if something gets broken you need to take pics and file a claim (like VRBO) . Of course the guest won’t pay, in which case you involve Airbnb and they would decide based on the submitted documentation, if you are right. But with VRBO the process is similar though, although if you are right, they’ll take money from the guest’s security deposit, whereas Airbnb I don’t know where they take it from.

Thank you so much, PitonView, for taking all that time to write a thoughtful and detailed response. So am I correct that VRBO will charge the guest a 10.555% service fee/commission? When I click on the little “?” for a detailed list of charges (after doing some algebra) it looks like 10.555%.

Thank you so much also, adrienne12, for taking all that time to write a thoughtful and detailed response. I find that in VRBO there is only a very limited number of characters in about 4 “Custom House Rules,” and they are buried at the bottom of the section on House Rules, etc. I realize that guests don’t want to be buried in dozens of rules, and that they probably don’t read them anyway. But it sounds like what you and everyone else are saying is that if you put stuff in your house rules and then if guests don’t follow those rules, you are protecting yourself with both VRBO and AirBnb for a possible future dispute.

Then I have a question about the security deposit. Tell me if I am correct: Do most VRBO guests now opt for the $59 Damage Protection? When they do so do you generally not collect a damage deposit, or does the prudent owner still collect a damage deposit even if they opt to purchase the Damage Protection insurance?

I don’t know. VRBO has a sliding, dynamic scale and tries to get the most out of the guest they can. They do have a maximum, however - it’s currently $599 (was $399 a year or so ago and keeps going up). Lower price - higher percentage. More guests - higher percentage. Look at the place several times before deciding to book = probably a higher percentage.
Our property is on the more expensive side, and we were at 6% a year or so ago. Now it’s 10-11% and I think it’s cutting into our bookings and I’ll have to drop the price a bit to overcome their increased service fee. :cry:

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