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Your take on VRBO?

This year has been very uneven bookings for me especially compared to the previous years, well somewhat exceptional circumstances. The slowness makes me admittedly a bit nervous. The crowd I usually get is probably happy to get their passports and travel to all the exotic places that have recently not been able to.

I am thinking of also listing on VRBO. Does anyone have experience of using them, anything to bear in mind?
Realize of course I will have to synchronize blocking out dates on either calendar.

Is it worth it?

In all the years of renting out my own homes and managing others, the greater share of the renters came from VRBO.

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Up until last year we received the vast majority of our bookings, like 90%, from VRBO. Suddenly – we have no idea why – our Airbnb bookings (in number) dominate VRBO.

So far our revenues this year are 40% from Airbnb and 60% from VRBO.

We really like VRBO, feel we get a very good clientele, and we love the option by which the guest pays a $79 insurance premium for $3,000 of damage protection. We have easily collected on it several times; quite the opposite experience with Airbnb ‘coverage.’

The synchronization is automatic. You just have to set it up. Very easy.

I suppose the marketing effectiveness depends on your specific location. Also, I suppose it might be a chicken and egg thing, where the more bookings and reviews you have the more listings you get.

I strongly recommend having a channel in addition to Airbnb. For us VRBO has worked very well.

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I often book as a guest with VRBO because I’m usually looking for an entire place. As a homeshare host we don’t find VRBO a great match.

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The only thing to watch out for if you do your own cleaning / don’t want people to be able to check in and out on the same day is that you can’t setup “preparation or cleaning days” in between bookings.

I’ve been using a service called “spamarationtime”.com to give this ability on VRBO and also booking com

My bookings currently seem fairly well balanced between booking com and AirBnb and not a single booking on VRBO as of yet :-/

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Thank you Dave, good to know!

That’s useful information, though we do allow check ins and check outs on the same day. Admittedly these are somewhat stressful days, especially when they occur on the weekend.

I could do what you suggest manually but I could also foresee getting ‘caught’ if I didn’t make the manual change in time. Plus your suggestion of ‘preparation time’ is a timesaver.

Thank you.

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Thanks for that feedback! Encouraging! And so useful to hear the plus and minuses from the community. Do you also use a contract for them to sign?
I’m in a mountainous area which the last few years draw tons of bookings with a young professional type but not this year. Interesting that VRBO attracts an older crowd.

The majority of channel managers allow you to set prep time, it’s a fairly core function.

Anyone who is advertising across three separate platforms, without using some form of channel management is either crazy as a box of frogs or from Aberdeen :wink:

However, you are neither, you’re just a sneaky wee spammer. I’ve edited both of your solitary, self promoting, posts.

JF

The site is ran by myself, you are correct. Although i was just in the position of not wanting to pay for a channel management system as all the platforms can talk to each other via simple ical links fairly well on their own.

But i found all but AirBnB are missing the idea of being able to block people checking in and out on the same day, i’ll admit my post was a bit spammy, but felt it relevant to the thread and hopefully helpful :slight_smile:

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We don’t use a contract to sign, thinking that it would deter bookings because it is not customary in the area.

However, other Hosts on this site have used contracts and feel that if anyone were reluctant to sign it that they would be ‘dodging a bullet.’

My sense is that they have much more expensive nightly rates than ours (attracting a different clientele more sophisticated and accustomed to such arrangements), though I could be mistaken.

I have looked at the reddit Airbnb site and I have seen a number of guests ask if they’re being scammed when the Host asks for their full name. So I think, right or wrong, that: 1) some guests, especially newbie guests, would be put off by a contract, thinking it a scam, and 2) if it gets down to trying to enforce a legal contract that we’ve already lost.

I would, though, prefer the security of a contract but haven’t gone there.

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Are you really a host? A statement like that displays an astounding level of naivety in relation to the differences between an iCal connection and using the OTA’s API.

:roll_eyes:

JF

VRBO provides the majority of our bookings. We’re a typical vacation rental (3-bedroom house, vacation location in the Caribbean).

VRBO is a better fit for us - less guest-centric and no problems having guests sign a personalized contract (we use DocuSign). Guests tend to be families or older couples traveling together.

Call me frog-lady, then! ABB, VRBO and direct. But we set a high price and fairly restrictive requirements on check-in/out days and minimum stay, so we almost never get multiple requests for the same dates. I am getting ready to sign up with OwnerRes, though.

Yep. If I recall correctly, your rate is $170 US a night. Ours starts at $450 for two people in the lowest-of-the-low season and is almost triple that for the Christmas/New Year season.

Can I be your friend?

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Yes, a small host who hasn’t seen the need for a channel manager as of yet.

I’m well aware of the speed differences between iCal and API’s, but in a slower area rather than a NYC property for example it seems sufficient for my needs apart from the cleaning days, hence creating the service.

Nah, because we’ve had this conversation before. Plus, I’m not sure I’m brave enough to call you Madame Kermita, :wink:

JF

I like VRBO, but have never been able to get much traction on it. In addition to not being able to automatically set up time between reservations, the VRBO system doesn’t let you limit the maximum number of days someone can stay. Literally the only way to do it is to block off random days to prevent people from booking for longer than you want. Customer service confirmed there’s no other way.

You could also make it a house rule, and then cancel on them (call CS to get it done) since they violated a house rule if they book longer than your maximum.

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Being that I don’t know all the rules yet on VRBO, this might be off the mark. But if someone has a request for a too-long booking, can you not in your initial dialogue with the guest point that out ( if you have a maximum stay in your rules?

In the 3 years listed on VRBO, we have received a grand total of 3 bookings, 2 of which were less than"ideal" guests.

Also, in that time, I have never received a response to any VRBO support ticket I’ve every opened. Ticket closed, no response. I’m not sure which is worse, VRBO nonexistent support, or potentially damaging misinformation support from Airbnb.

In an case, we’ve recently closed our listing on VRBO because their faulty calendar sync led to a double booking, which we had to cancel. At least VRBO didn’t charge money and impose penalties for that. But for us, VRBO is a burden that has no benefit.

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