By The Hospitable Team
Suppose you own a vacation home in a popular travel destination. In that case, renting it out on Vrbo can be a great way to earn extra money. Creating a hosting account on this popular OTA platform is completely free. But before you jump in, it’s important to understand the short-term rental regulations in your area and the Vrbo requirements you need to meet to create a listing.
Vrbo Requirements: Stay in Compliance with Local Vacation Rental Regulations
As the vacation rental industry grows, many state and local governments have passed laws restricting the right to rent homes on a short-term basis. Short-term rental regulations at the local level vary by town and location, but some common policies exist.
- Many localities have issued zoning regulations and ordinances restricting short-term rentals to specific zones.
- In many cities, short-term rental owners are required to register, get a permit, and obtain a general business license and a short-term rental license.
- Some communities have put a cap on the number of short-term licenses issued within a jurisdictional boundary.
- Some jurisdictions and community HOAs prohibit any form of short-term rentals.
- Some areas require vacation rental owners to collect transient occupancy taxes from travelers and remit them to tax authorities.
- There are also parking, building safety, health codes, and liability insurance regulations.
That means you need to research, check out government websites, and contact your local authorities to ensure you comply with your region’s legislation and city ordinances before you start creating your Vrbo listing.
Still, since the vacation rental market is trending upward, running a Vrbo rental can be lucrative if you treat it as a business and do your best to ensure a memorable experience for your guests. And if you opt for vacation rental software like Hospitable to streamline your routine tasks, you’ll save tons of time that can be better devoted to growing your business.
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Vrbo Listing Requirements
Regarding the Vrbo listing requirements, you are welcome to list your property on this platform, whether it’s your primary residence or a vacation home. The Vrbo website will guide you step-by-step through creating your listing, setting rates, and uploading photos. But remember that this platform specializes in whole homes, so they don’t accept shared spaces.
Hosts can choose from two types of Vrbo listing fees. You may pay a one-time annual subscription fee of $499 that covers all bookings received throughout the year. It’s a good option for hosts who plan to rent out their properties all year round. You may also opt for the pay-per-booking fee and only be charged a small commission (8% + applicable tax) after you get a booking.
So what should you do to meet Vrbo host requirements? Vrbo states that a listing must accurately describe the rental property and that the content of a listing must comply with the platform’s Marketplace Standards. These are the best practices for providing guests with a simple, secure, and consistent booking experience. Hosts who follow Vrbo Marketplace Standards also benefit from improved listing visibility.
To ensure that your listing meets basic quality standards, you need to add the following:
- Headline: minimum of 20 characters
- Property description: minimum of 400 characters
- At least six photos
- Information about bedrooms and bathrooms
- An accurate property’s address and latitude/longitude codes
- The property registration number must be specified for listings in jurisdictions that require it
- Updated information about bookings and calendar availability and honest and transparent rates and fees
- List of top-searched amenities
- House rules and policies
All bookings must be processed through the Vrbo marketplace. That’s why hosts are not permitted to include listing content that attempts to direct travelers to book outside Vrbo’s checkout flow, such as URLs, email addresses, phone numbers, property addresses, etc.
Sites like Vrbo, Airbnb, or Booking.com are perfect for reaching a wider audience and starting to build trust with new guests. But you shouldn’t rely only on OTAs—create a direct booking website to build relationships with guests and get repeat bookings without paying OTA fees.
You can easily build a direct booking website optimized for desktop and mobile using our dedicated service Hospitable Direct, and save time on property management and guest messaging. No technical skills are required.
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Vrbo Photo Requirements
High-quality photos of your rental space and its surroundings are critical to the success of your listing because they help you connect with travelers on an emotional level, which can lead to more bookings. Vrbo recommends uploading at least 25 sharp, well-lit, high-resolution photos that are landscape view and not portrait.
The photos should also meet the following requirements:
- Minimum resolution of 1024 x 683 pixels
- Maximum file size of 20 MB
- Format of JPEG/JPG, PNG, or GIF
Photos shouldn’t be
- Low-resolution, blurry, or too dark
- Black and white
- Oriented incorrectly
- Unrelated to your property or area
- Copied from another listing
The platform has a feature that flags photos that don’t meet the Vrbo photo requirements. If you notice them on your listing, replacing flagged photos with images that match the Vrbo criteria is important.
Vrbo Host Requirements: Maintain Safety at Your Vacation Rental
Vrbo encourages hosts to take certain simple measures to keep guests safe during their stay. Here is what you should do to ensure your guests’ well-being.
- Provide your guests with contact information for local emergency services and nearby hospitals, and explain how to reach you if any issues arise.
- Ensure your vacation home has fire safety equipment, carbon monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher.
- Place a first aid kit in an easily accessible location and ensure it contains all the necessary items.
- Be mindful of your guests’ privacy—let them know if your vacation rental has security cameras or other surveillance systems.
- Take precautions to “childproof” your home for guests who travel with children to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Keep your vacation rental property adequately ventilated with a working thermostat.
Renting out your property on Vrbo can be a great source of extra income, but be sure to know local vacation rental laws and Vrbo requirements that apply to you as a host. Follow Vrbo listing and photo guidelines to present your property in its best light, attract more travelers, and regularly update all the required fields with accurate content.
Being a responsible Vrbo host who respects the neighbors and encourages your guests to be good neighbors during their stay is also essential. This way, you’ll minimize the chances of neighbor complaints and enforcement actions and will be able to become a successful host.
Vrbo is one of the most popular vacation rental websites, with over 48 million active monthly users and over 2 million listings worldwide. It’s a great OTA platform to list your vacation rental home and reach a wider audience. In this blog, you will learn about Vrbo payment options for hosts to understand better how and when you will receive payments for your bookings.
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?
Before you create a listing on Vrbo, it’s essential to review the laws that apply to short-term rentals in your area. Then you should examine the Vrbo hosting rules and prepare to follow the best practices. Don’t feel overwhelmed, and let this article guide you.