By The Hospitable Team
Vrbo is a popular vacation rental platform that operates in 190 countries and counts more than 2 million properties worldwide, all of which are entire homes. If you own a second home or apartment in a popular vacation destination, you might be able to make some extra cash renting out your space on this well-known website.
If you’re interested in hosting guests in your home, in this blog, you’ll find tips on how to become a Vrbo host and build a successful short-term rental business.
How to Become a Vrbo Host
Vrbo allows owners to list all sorts of properties, including villas, cottages, cabins, bungalows, townhouses, lodges, farmhouses, and more. You can even list a castle, a yacht, a boat, or a mill.
The marketplace specializes in entire homes and doesn’t accept shared spaces. So if you’re only looking to rent out a room in your primary home, Vrbo isn’t the right place for you. But you may give Airbnb a try instead.
Do Your Research
Everyone is welcome to list their property on the Vrbo platform, but you should do research before you create a listing. Check local laws and regulations to ensure that short-term rentals are allowed in your neighborhood.
Many local communities have passed laws that restrict renting out properties on a short-term basis. For example, in some cities, short-term rentals are prohibited. In other cities, you may be required to get a business license or special permit.
Remember: you can’t list your property on Vrbo and other listing websites in violation of state or local regulations because it may result in hefty fines and other penalties. But if everything is okay, you may consider creating listings not only on Vrbo but also on Airbnb and Booking.com.
Then, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience, increase your occupancy rate, and earn more money. Of course, managing listings on several platforms requires more time and effort, but it’s easy with Hospitable.com. You’ll be able to manage all your accounts in one place.
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Explore the Vrbo Website
Browse the Vrbo website to get a better idea of how the platform works and what features are available for hosts. We recommend visiting Help Center where you can find answers to the most common questions and step-by-step guidance on how to use Vrbo.
There are lots of useful articles with tips for hosts and best practices as well as checklists that will help you get your vacation rental ready for guests. You may also want to check out some popular Vrbo listings and look for interesting ideas that will help you create your own listing and attract more travelers.
Create a Listing for Your Rental Space
You can list your property for free if you click on the List your property button in the upper right-hand corner of the Vrbo home page. On pay-per-booking, property owners will only be charged a small commission of 8% and applicable tax after they get a booking.
You will be prompted to provide basic details about your vacation home, including its size, location, amenities, etc. It’s important to optimize your listing for the type of travelers you want to attract:
- Create a catchy title for your listing because it’s the first thing potential guests see in Vrbo search results
- Write a detailed description to explain what makes your vacation home special and try to paint a picture of what it would be like to stay there
- Publish perfect professional photos to highlight unique features of your house—ensure you upload all 24 photographs that each Vrbo listing allows.
Set Your Pricing
You can charge whatever you want per night. We recommend researching the rates of similar properties in your area to stay competitive. But in general, the more bedrooms and bathrooms your rental space has, the more you can charge per night.
Vrbo also offers an estimating tool that you can use to see how much you’d likely earn per year. Such estimations are based on the size and location of your vacation rental property at a 75% occupancy rate.
Vrbo hosts can add standard fees (extra guest fee, Vrbo cleaning fee, pet fee) and 14 custom fees to their nightly rate. It’s entirely up to you what fees you want to charge, if any.
Set Your Rules and Policies
Establish Vrbo house rules and clearly communicate them in your listing. This way, you’ll help your guests to understand your expectations and will be able to prevent many common issues and misunderstandings.
Vrbo allows hosts to include details in six predefined fields about whether or not they’ll allow smoking, pets, children, events, and extra guests on the property as well as minimum age requirements. Besides, you can add up to three custom house rules unique to your rental property.
We also recommend adding a Vrbo welcome guide. Then you’ll make it easier for your guests to find important information, such as check-in and check-out instructions, instructions on how to use your appliances, etc.
Providing your guests with important information upfront can save time spent answering questions about your rental and help avoid unpleasant surprises during the guest’s stay.
How to Be a Vrbo Host: Set Your STR Business for Success
After your Vrbo listing is published, guests can request a reservation, and you’ll be able to welcome them in your vacation rental home. Making your guests happy is critical to becoming a successful host, so you should do your best to provide them with the perfect experience.
Invest in great décor and furnishing and create a welcoming outdoor space to make your home stand out. Offer travelers everything they need from basic to modern amenities and provide all the conveniences to make your guests feel at home. Maintain clear and prompt communication with your guests and reply to all their inquiries as fast as possible.
Then, you’re more likely to get more 5-star reviews, which will lead to higher ranking of your listing. Your rental property will appear more often in travelers’ search results, so you’ll be able to get more bookings and earn more money.
Remember: if you want to succeed as a Vrbo host, you should think about operating your vacation rental business as a full-time job and start using technology to your advantage. With automation software like Hospitable.com, you can minimize your workload and make your operations more efficient. Our tool allows you to automate different aspects of your business and save lots of time.
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Vrbo is the perfect vacation rental marketplace that will connect you with travelers from your home country and abroad. Although running a vacation rental is hard work, the platform will give you access to insights, helpful resources, and useful tools that will enable you to save time and drive bookings.
We hope that our tips on how to become a Vrbo host will help you get started on this platform and grow a successful vacation rental business.
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