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VRBO now actively wooing disgruntled Airbnb hosts

Got sent this earlier today:

After months of downplaying efforts to take advantage of anger among some Airbnb hosts, Expedia Group’s Vrbo unit conceded it had opened a dedicated phone line to handle what it calls an “influx” of defectors.

Cyril Ranque, president of Expedia’s Travel Partner Group, said short-term rentals have been a hot market over the last year following the onset of the pandemic, and that “a lot” of hosts from Airbnb have sought to join Vrbo’s ranks.

Asked to quantify those alleged gains, a spokeswoman would only say that Vrbo had more than two million whole home listings at the end of 2020. She declined to cite how many Airbnb hosts Vrbo has signed, but added, “I can tell you there was a significant influx from March (2020) onwards. We did open a dedicated phone line for Airbnb hosts to join Vrbo because of this influx.”

In the article, a spokesperson for VRBO stated that folks consider VRBO to be “more host friendly”, and I can’t disagree with that. VRBO currently is a small part of our business, although if all the bookings from them that we had last February had gone ahead, they’d be our second main provider ahead of Airbnb.

Full article here:

JF

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Not surprising given Air’s treatment of hosts and most host’s attitudes towards AirBnB…

I would prefer to get rid of Air, but since starting this business in Sept 2020, we have had 53 bookings:
33 - Air
16- VRBO
4 - Private

Guess I need Air (for now) :slight_smile:

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Actually your stats don’t tell the whole story.

If you were solely on VRBO, how many of those dates that were filled by Airbnb, could possibly have been booked by VRBO guests?

With Airbnb our booking window has been traditionally short, maybe up to around six weeks for most. Last year was our first full year with VRBO and we found they were booking further ahead than our Airbnb guests.

The same pattern, albeit in a very much reduced manner, is happening again this year. We have VRBO guests booked for the Summer, and nowt from Airbnb.

JF

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@JohnF thank you for sharing the info

The Airbnb cleaning policy is causing me some heartburn so I’ve been looking at other options.

I found a couple Facebook groups in my area for connecting guests with STR owners for rentals. Nice idea. But clunky.

About 5 years ago I used VRBO & Airbnb. I rarely had bookings or inquiries through VRBO. I think it was because my second guest left a less than favorable review (then tried to book off platform for a month stay). Btw I have 4.9 ***** on Airbnb

I wonder if I can create a new listing by using a different email?

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The article is centered around the exodus of hosts from Airbnb due to Airbnb’s COVID cancellation policies. The number of hosts still leaving Airbnb for that reason should be quickly approaching zero by now. It would be much more interesting to see how many hosts are still defecting and the reasons behind it.

Something else I found interesting was this:

Airbnb had over 7 million listings at the end of 2019 and they have about 5.6 million listings now (according the Airbnb’s website), so growing 2.5% from pre-COVID levels should put them above 7 million listings again, right? I’m not sure what AirDNA means, but I’ve learned to never accept their data at face value without full context.

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Might work, might not. Depends how much other data they have stored, which may then highlight the duplication.

You could try creating a new listing, using your existing credentials, different pics etc.

JF

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Hosts who refuse to sign the cleaning protocol (for various reasons) and have had their calendar blocked by Airbnb because of it.

Hosts who have been totally shafted (unrelated to Covid cancellations) by the ever more abyssmal CS dept.

And hosts who are disgusted with some of Airbnb’s policies, like being forced to accept what guests claim are ESAs, or that the security deposit is a farce.

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Well there is that. But even of you guess at that number, it is still probable that Air sends me more guests. Can’t afford to mess with that quite yet.

I open VRBO 500 days in advance and Airbnb 60 days in advance of a date. You are correct my calendars are very full before I allow an Airbnb reservation. The reason is due to their heavy handed controls and ridiculous policies. Airbnb acts like they own my houses.

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Given it is not one or the other why are they considered to be “poaching” hosts? VRBO (formerly Stayz and then HomeAway here in Australia) have stepped up recently and now I get most of my guests through them rather than Airbnb. A lot of expensive advertising on tv helps (but so is Airbnb with their very confusing “made by Hosts” ads). Some of the guests also come through discount sites like Expedia. I only found out because they contacted me about their booking and told me it was with Expedia (so my response: sorry, you will have to talk to them). But that hasn’t been an issue so far. The only downside is I get very few people booking bringing dogs and I love meeting guests’ doggos.

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Really not liking the Airbnb ads…the actors look miserable, the dogs are on the furniture, and someone is sleeping on a couch!

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Those ads are quite :nauseated_face:

They seem aimed at 10 year old girls who gush over kittens.

And, as you say, promote all sorts of exactly the kind of guest behavior hosts find unacceptable. Just look at the Pets Allowed category photo on the main page. Dog on the white duvet, with what looks like some bacon chew next to it.

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Looks like that might actually be money (e.g. a 50EUR note) instead of a bacon chew, but yeah, the dog is black and a breed that sheds, too.

And has a curled-up tail, so its a-hole is in direct contact with the bedding.

Maybe the dog is a sex worker and that 50 euros is payment. :laughing:

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My head just exploded.

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In a separate thread I mentioned “pet friendly” seems to be the IT differentiator. I’m glad you can accept pups.

I wish I could accept dogs. My HOA prohibits renters with pets.

Btw-I always enjoy when you post. Glad you’re back

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Oh pleeeease. Anyone with a dog or cat knows exactly what they lick. There are three p’s to pets: pee, puke, poop. Cats are the worst and I like cats

There are very few dog carried pathogens that can harm/kill humans with a lick. To be
blunt: This is not true about human saliva. Dog cooties are safer.

A little extra income is a good thing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Pet owners know exactly what they are signing up for. Hopefully pet friendly hosts understand.

Btw-I like traveling with my 2 ankle nipping, spoiled, small dogs

Thanks - likewise - and I can’t wait for a juicy thread on quilts vs duvets or coffee makers :joy:

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Airbnb (who amazon’s Jeff Bezos ) was an early investor in seems to have borrowed amazon’s playbook for rules and regulations. One example is the 5 star review system. Having been a seller on amazon for 8 yrs. and watching it’s evolution I am seeing the same types of things being repeated by airbnb. I just wonder if eventually all communication with guests with be via a amazon customer service agent who will decide whether or not to forward the messages.

Well I was not expecting that!

RR

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