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VRBO vs Airbnb Is there a difference in guests/length of rental?


Does anyone have a sense of the difference in type of person or lenght of stay between the bookings from the 2 sites?


As I understand it, VRBO is more suitable for rentals of entire homes, rather than shared spaces. Maybe some hosts here on both platforms can answer that more readily.


I rent in both Airbnb and VRBO/HomeAway platforms and have since I started offering our apartment. My bookings run 50/50 for Airbnb and VRBO and in my experience VRBO/HomeAway guests are much more experienced vacation rental guests and much less price sensitive. Additionally, since I pay an annual fee of $349.00 for my listing the only fees I pay are those for credit care fees which is 2.5% which turns out to be more cost effective than Airbnb. VRBO/HomeAway seems to be much more host oriented and there are no penalties if you need to cancel and there are no forced reviews and ratings. There is a review system but just “rate your stay with 1 to 5 stars and tells us what you liked.” My long term guests of a month or more have come through VRBO/HomeAway as well. I think you must be a stand alone facility to rent through VRBO/HomeAway and not a shared one as previously mentioned.
I hope this helps.


Yes , it’s true. I was trying to list with VRBO but you have to have a separate apartment. I think it’s also true that Airbnb for many is a symbol of discounted accommodation and that it is supposed to be much cheaper than hotels. Even with separate units. Also, guests with Airbnb shared houses, where they rent only a room expect more than they would have In a Hotel room like kitchen access and other areas of the houses be available for them to use despite the fact that they know they are renting just a room, not the whole house.


funny, I have exactly the opposite experiance. I find guests coming from Air much nicer to deal with. Here is what I have previously wrote on another thread:
“As for VRBO: yes, I do get some more Europeans with V than with Air. But there is one pretty annoying nonsense in the policy of V. Like Air, they do not let you send mail adresses. This makes sense with Air because they take on the payment process and take out their percentages. It makes no sense whatsoever with V. You pay a fee once a year and all they do is to provide the initial contact. Everything else is your responsibility. So how do I tell interested guests to pay to my PayPal mail adress? It is really a nuisence.
Also, the clientel with Air is generally much more professional and nicer to deal with. On V I receive a lot of time wasting offers. I had one guy offering me 60 USD when my rate is 230 USD. Also, you get more rude people who just throw a date to you without even saying hello. The upside is that I can just delete those mails without any excessive punishment like on Air.”


Thank you for taking the time to tell me your experience. Looking at the prices on VRBO, I had thought that might be true. My issue with Abnb is that they do not collect the taxes…which are 17% over all and do not give a specific place to state them. Then they recommend prices too low to incorporate the charge.

I have just begun and my first client was for a month…the others are all 2-4 day people.
My cottage is older and attached to my 200 year old house…no granite countertops to be seen but with large gardens behind and located in the best area to stay if you want to experience Nashville and not just be a tourist. I expect to be jammed when travel season begins in the spring.

I am curious. How long have you been involved in this and where is your place(s)?


I enlisted with VRBO and somehow Flipkey obtained my telephone number. When i asked VRBO how this occurred given that my phone number was not viewable on the listing they couldn’t answer me. I asked for my listing to be deleted. They said this could not be done…that they would make my listing inactive and keep my financial/banking details archived. So far they haven’t been able to assure me that these details are any safer than my telephone number.
The fool @ Flipkey who claimed he was a supervisor came on the phone and introduced himself as Chris Williams. When i asked him if this was his real name…he said no… lol… when i asked him his real name he said it was Melvyn Aluishus… same with VRBO… supervisor was unwilling to divulge his name. At the end of the day who is held culprable ?
AirBnB on the other hand have been great. And that is where my guests come from.


My booking channel mix during past 2 years: VRBO 60% Airbnb 30% Flipkey 10%.
I like VRBO because Pricing competition on Airbnb is more fierce than VRBO. Also VRBO doesn’t charge booking fee to guests which allows me to set higher pricingpoint than Airbnb. Guests tend to be more mature & experienced than Airbnb as well. Only downside is VRBO costs me USD1500 per year + 2.5% credit card commission cost and you can’t see prospect guest’s profile, history, verification ,etc…
Happy Hosting Everyone


Apparently, this will be changing soon… said to be rising to about 6%.


I also looked at HomeAway as another place to add my listing, to increase exposure, but yes, HomeAway looks like it is geared towards those who have additional properties to rent, and not rent out a room in their primary residence. Those who read this may correct me if I’m wrong, but I have not seen owner-occupied properties on HomeAway, nor do I see the option of a “private room” setting when adding a property.


I’ve said this before, I have had worse experiences with VRBO. They gave me the impression that if I didn’t pay for an ad (in some way or at some level) very few people would actually see my listing. So I felt obliged, if only because I was new at hosting and thought it would be worth the investment.

It totally wasn’t. My worst guests came through VRBO and like someone mentioned above, a lot of them are super-rude about what I charge. I’ve had insulting offers too, or people writing to me and name-dropping or saying things like, “I’m in the military, what kind of a deal can you give me?” Ugh. They all seem to be bargain hunters and I am not going to renew my listing with VRBO when my plan ends. It’s the insulting offers, most of all, that bother me. It’s as if some of them enjoy throwing out an offer that they must know I will find unacceptably low.


I could be wrong… but I think HA has its own issues… isn’t it being acquired by Expedia? @cabinhost would know more… she deals with them all the time. I’m not listed with them. I am only on Wimdu, and FrickKey. (A few other obscure ones too, like Roomorama, but they have never sent a guest). I won’t be taking any bookings through FK, it’s only up there to advertise. If they enquire, I will try to steer them to Air.


I am also listed on Wimdu, I just got 1 booking so far, which was back in July (and I listed with them in February 2015), and one inquiry since, but it turns out this person violated the TOS, according to a message I got from Wimdu. I listed with Roomarama and FlipKey around the same time, and got absolutely nothing.


Search parameters and filters for vrbo are really specific so I don’t see how it’s possible that someone might not see your listing. If someone is looking for a 2 br apt in a particular area and they wish for it to be displayed by price (which i think is the most common display option) all those listings pop up. You might not be the first but it would depend on the price of your listing.

I think it’s true that there are bargain hunters on vrbo. I’m one of them and did this pretty frequently before I started hosting on Air. (I’ve never done it after I see how annoying it is when people ask me for discounts!) I would look at listings in my price range but also see the listings above my range and would often check them out. I would look at the max upper-point of my budget and write a polite email asking if they might possibly consider a week for $1600, or whatever. Half of the time, they would say yes (esp because I often book 4 wks out) so it kind of encourages you to keep doing it. I didn’t ask my last vrbo inquiry for a discount – I just sent an inquiry and some questions and he responded to my questions as well offering a discount of $75/night (so a $450 overall discount). We accepted it even though it wasn’t my fav listing in terms of area. He was just aggressively trying to get his place all booked up. It appears to be a decent strategy on his part because his entire Dec/Jan calendar is full.


I was new at hosting and so believed pretty much what I was told by the VRBO agent I dealt with. So when he said it was better to pay for a better listing, I believed him.

I lower my price when I see blank days coming up on my Air calendar and that pretty much works too. The days usually fill up. It could be that I have issues with control (lol), but if I put the price down and get guests I somehow feel better since it’s my choice. However, when I consistently get requests for discounts, it feels as though potential guests are saying my place is over-priced. I get that that’s probably not where they’re coming from, but I must say that when I say no–invariably the bookings are a year in advance and for my high season–I don’t hear back or I hear back in the form of a “Well, aren’t you special” comment. I’ve kept things civil, but I have to admit I’ve been tempted to fire back with something sarcastic more than a few times.

I get the feeling that these people think I’m not playing the game the by the rules. Meaning I should understand that negotiating the price down is expected. It’s not a headache I want. I finally just wrote in my profile that I do not negotiate. That’s when I pretty much stopped hearing from anyone. Which is just fine by me.


Beware of FlipKey…


No, they are just cheapskates or inexperienced. When I first opened my Air doors five plus years ago, I got lots of discount seekers. Now, not so much. Guests in the know realize that will not make a good impression and will get them a DECLINE in short order. So I would venture to say that the guests bargaining with you are newbies.


I know they’re probably just thinking about themselves, but somehow it ‘feels’ like a judgement. Sucks.


Not to fret! you’ll have your confidence about you soon… It’s not YOU, it’s THEM.

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