During the last two decades, the vacation rental industry has well and truly exploded, experiencing a massive surge in the number of vacation rental homes available. Nowadays, as well as owners having their own professional websites to attract direct bookings, they often choose to list their property on external sites that have appeared as a result of this boom. While some of these listings websites have become so famous they’re now household names, there are a lot of other fantastic options out there which are too often overlooked.
Listings websites are a fantastic way of gaining extra visibility for your vacation rental and help you achieve the ultimate goal of booking more nights. We’ve handpicked these as our top seven alternative vacation rental listing sites.
1. Owner Direct
What’s so great about it? Owner Direct set up shop in 1994, that means they’ve got more than 20 years of experience to help you find renters for your property. Owner Direct pairs guests with properties, confirms all the details for the renter and then introduces them to you (the owners) personally. In other words, neither you nor your guests waste time waiting for replies that never come. Sounds good to us!
How much does it cost? There’s no upfront cost of listing your vacation rental property with Owner Direct, they simply take a 10% cut once a booking has been confirmed. If you receive two or more bookings during the financial year, there’s a $100 fee which goes towards the setting up, maintenance and marketing of your home.
What’s so great about it? Not only does Roomorama openly share stats with its users (like the fact that the average Roomorama guest spends more than $1,000 per booking!), but it also has loads of awesome features. Our favorite by far is what Roomorama calls “ShoutOut”. Potential guests can publish an advert – a ShoutOut – and hosts can contact them with their offer. This innovative idea flips up the way vacation rental listing sites usually work and helps owners maximize their takings. Great work, Roomorama!
How much does it cost? As if their features weren’t enough, Roomorama is totally free of charge for owners. What they do instead, is charge a booking fee direct to the guest, calculated according to the length of their stay. There’s a 3% charge for Paypal and bank transfers, but other than that, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
What’s so great about it? HouseTrip is TripAdvisor’s own vacation rental listing site. As a result, it’s fully integrated with TripAdvisor, so when you upload your property it automatically feeds into the TripAdvisor website. Considering it’s the world’s biggest travel site, and has more than 225 new contributors a minute, that can’t be a bad thing for your vacation rental!
How much does it cost? Listings on HouseTrip don’t cost VR owners a cent. They simply take off a 3% fee from the renter’s payment, which will arrive in your account 24 hours after guests have checked in.
What’s so great about it? The Tui Group are the brains behind the Europe-specific listing site, atraveo, and they do the hard work for you. From communicating with guests to advertising your VR on more than 1,000 European websites, atraveo does it all. Don’t worry though, you still get the final word on your property’s availability and rates.
How much does it cost? atraveo run a ‘success-related remuneration’ scheme – they take 15% (plus VAT) of the rental price on confirmed bookings, but you don’t pay any extra for advertising or listing fees. It’s not bad considering they’ll list your property across hundreds of other well-known websites including Expedia’s European extensions and eDreams.
What’s so great about it? Wimdu is the biggest European listing site – with 10 million nights booked and counting! The feature we like best is the “Wimdu Deal”, this section allows vacation rental owners to list their property at discounted rates for a specific time frame. But why would you want to do that? Well, travelers love to book vacations when they’re on special offer. Plus, Wimdu will showcase your property in the deals section. Let the bookings roll on in!
How much does it cost? Wimdu is a free service for VR owners. There’s a processing fee which is charged to customers, but Wimdu adds this automatically to your prices so they’re already displayed with this cost in mind.
6. Kid & Coe
What’s so great about it? Kid & Coe came about out of necessity – its founder Zoie Kingsberry Coe decided hotels were no longer apt for a touring family. So Kid & Coe has become the listing website to use if you’re going on vacation with children, whatever age they are. If your vacation rental is family friendly and has everything for a comfortable stay, don’t think twice about listing on Kid & Coe.
How much does it cost? Host fees apply, but depend on how Kid & Coe classify your property. Users who have their own vacation rental businesses would typically pay 12% commission, but private owners listing their homes just pay a 10% booking processing fee.
What’s so great about it? onefinestay is a vacation rental listing site for elite, luxury properties. But it’s more than just a listing website – from marketing to cleaning your property upon guest departure, they really take care of everything for you, which probably explains why the service is only currently active in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. If your vacation rental fits the bill and is in one of the above cities, you could be in luck.
How much does it cost? There’s no straightforward answer here, as there are many factors that determine how much onefinestay will charge you to host. These include things like how much the home itself costs to rent, plus the time of year of the booking. Don’t worry though, there’s a simple form to fill in on their site to work out if your vacation rental is suitable.
Keep organized with a channel manager
When you create your website with Lodgify, you can decide to list your vacation rental on any external listings sites and use the Channel Manager function to stay on top of your reservations. Your calendar and availability will be automatically updated across all your channels to ensure you never double book guests! It’s so easy to stay organized when you can manage your bookings from a centralized place.
But before you list your property anywhere, check out these top five common mistakes hosts make and our guide to writing listing descriptions.