By The Hospitable Team
With more than 2 million active listings worldwide, Vrbo is a great platform to list your vacation rental home. But plenty of other OTA websites connect property owners with travelers seeking an alternative to a hotel.
So on what other sites should you list to increase your chances of reaching a wider audience and getting more bookings? Read on to learn more about Vrbo alternatives so you can decide which channels make the most sense for your short-term rental business.
Top Vrbo Alternatives: What Sets Them Apart?
If you have just purchased your first short-term rental property, you should remember that a good online distribution strategy is critical to making your rental a profitable investment. Offering your property only on Vrbo, you could leave money on the table. To maximize your earnings and build a successful short-term rental business, you should offer your home on several sites like Vrbo.
Managing your listings on many channels won’t be time-consuming if you use vacation rental software like Hospitable.com. Using our channel manager feature, you’ll instantly sync all calendars with bookings and prices in one centralized dashboard. Our tool will protect you from double bookings, giving you greater peace of mind.
All you need from a channel manager is here!
Now let’s take a look at top listing sites that are popular among hosts and guests and have millions of active users.
Airbnb is the largest vacation rental listing site that boasts over 6 million listings from more than 4 million property owners in more than 220 countries worldwide. The platform provides an excellent opportunity for property owners to start a short-term rental business and earn additional income.
Unlike Vrbo, which focuses on entire homes and apartments, Airbnb also allows hosts to list shared spaces, such as private bedrooms within homes or even shared rooms. Hosts can also earn money from listing their Experiences and earn from sharing their skills, expertise, and hobbies.
Airbnb doesn’t charge property owners for listing their rental spaces. But they take a percentage of the subtotal value of each booking (which is the sum of the nightly fee, cleaning fee, and additional guest fees) as service fees. When guests make reservations, they pay a service fee of 14% of the booking subtotal, and hosts pay 3% of the booking subtotal.
Airbnb handles all bookings and payments and offers top-bottom protection for property owners which is called AirCover for Hosts. It automatically applies to all vacation rentals that you list on the platform and includes guest identity verification, reservation screening, $1 million liability insurance, and $3 million damage protection.
With a whopping 500+ million monthly visitors, Booking.com is one of the top websites for travelers everywhere. The platform is hugely global—it’s available in more than 224 countries and has over 28 million accommodation listings, including vacation homes, hotels, luxury resorts, hostels, and more. It also offers flight bookings, car rentals, attractions, and flight and hotel combination deals.
Booking.com is free to list your property but charges a 15% commission for each booking, which hosts must pay at the end of each month. The commission for hosts is higher than on Airbnb or Vrbo, but travelers don’t have to pay any commission when making a reservation, and their bookings are instantly confirmed.
But despite the higher commission, Booking.com remains a good option for property owners and managers who want to expand their online presence and reach larger audiences. If you list your property on Booking.com, it will show up in search results alongside hotels in your local area; you’ll be able to compete with them for bookings effectively. And since the platform is available in 43 languages, it’s much easier for international guests to book accommodation.
Airbnb and Booking.com are excellent sales channels for vacation rental property owners to expand their market reach and increase bookings. You should definitely use both of them (and Vrbo) to list your rental because you’ll be able to capture the maximum amount of attention.
But you should keep in mind that listing on multiple platforms involves a lot of work—updating your calendar and prices, communicating with guests, assigning tasks to your team, and more. It’s important to do it like a pro and use vacation rental software like Hospitable to automate routine operations. With Hospitable, you’ll be able to ensure that everything runs smoothly and save tons of time.
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Sites like Vrbo: What Other Options Are There?
Regarding vacation rental platforms, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com are the most well-known brands and places where most people go to book a short-term rental. But they’re not the only options, as there are many similar sites these days.
Here are some other sites like Vrbo you can look into:
TripAdvisor Rentals is a marketplace with nearly 800,000 vacation rental properties worldwide. TripAdvisor also owns other home vacation rental sites, including FlipKey, VacationHomeRentals, and HouseTrip, and shares its inventory with them.
9flats is a popular vacation rental site that serves hosts and guests in 104 countries. It allows hosts to list such unusual accommodations as igloos, castles, tree houses, and boats.
Plum Guide is a relatively new vacation rental website that lists meticulously vetted luxury properties. It has only 12,000 listings across 17 countries, but this small number of listings may be intentional to add a sense of exclusivity to the website.
There are also a lot of other niche booking platforms, so your options for listing your vacation rental home are virtually endless. But you should remember that not all OTA platforms are created equal.
Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com are the most prominent players in the vacation rental market. They are internationally recognized companies that operate in 220+ countries across the globe and get hundreds of millions of monthly visitors. Other websites receive significantly less web traffic, so it’s unrealistic to expect your property to receive more bookings via them than Vrbo, Booking.com, or Airbnb.
So is there anything else you can do to increase your revenue after listing your vacation rental property on top OTAs? Launch your own channel with a direct booking website. It’s just the next logical step in building a successful STR business.
The good news is that you don’t need to have coding skills or hire a developer to build a functional direct booking website that is appealing to guests. Hospitable Direct is our dedicated service that can help you make your website quickly and easily so you won’t have to spend hours on setup.
Get a direct booking website within minutes!
Your Hospitable.com Direct booking website will be tailored to short-term rental bookings and sync automatically with all your other OTAs. Hospitable will take care of automated communication with your guests to ensure that they have a great experience, saving you hours on guest chats.
A direct booking website will allow you to open a new revenue stream and have more control over your business. You’ll be able to accept direct bookings from travelers and save on OTA fees, build great relationships with guests to encourage repeat bookings, and generate new leads.
When you list your rental space only on Vrbo, you limit your pool of potential guests to those using this platform. You should consider Vrbo alternatives such as Airbnb and Booking.com and create your own direct booking website. This is the surest way to reach more travelers, get more bookings, and maximize profit.
Inside the Airbnb bubble, it’s easy to think that it exists as an isolated island devoid from any competition in the outside world.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Airbnb and Vrbo are among the best international vacation rental platforms that have gained popularity among travelers and property owners. Choosing which one would best fit your rental property, or whether you should list it on both, could seem tricky at first. This post will help you get started.
Today, Booking.com is one of the largest accommodation booking platforms, with more than 28 million listings in 226 countries and territories across the globe. Planning to become the part of this crowd? Our guide will get you started.