As the appeal for vacation rentals continues to grow, the listing options follow suit. Beyond your own vacation rental website, OTAs provide you the option to publish your listing on a multitude of platforms for increased visibility. Vrbo recognizes this desire for vacation homeowners and has unveiled its very own Fast Start Program. In essence, the program is designed to take novices to the next level, so if you’re just starting out this program might be perfect for you!
Entering as a beginner can be quite daunting. Terms like occupancy rate and RevPAR might be new finds in your vocabulary and understanding and mastering listing sites can be a journey on its own which is why Vrbo is trying to lighten the learning curve and make it easier for new owners to enter the vacation rental business without such pressure to compete against some of the heavy hitters.
Simply put, it helps new owners grow their business, but how? What’s so simple about publishing a listing that’s competing against potentially thousands of other properties in the same area? The competition is fierce, but Vrbo wants to assure you that you are too!
The Fast Start program is designed to make it easier for new vacation rental owners by eliminating or lessening some of the barriers to ranking, listing optimization, visibility, and other factors that contribute to booking success. Vrbo is trying to provide a clear path for new users to achieve Premier Host status without having such an uphill battle.
How is it different from the Superhost program?
The Superhost program alludes to fame on Airbnb. Attaining Superhost status means you’ve already overcome the challenges of completing at least 100 nights, maintaining a 90% response rate, 1% cancellation rate, and a 4.8 overall rating. Comparing this to the Premier Host program that sets the bar at a 90% booking acceptance rate, maximum 5% cancellation rate, at least 3 Vrbo reviews, a 4.3 average rating and 60 booked nights, the programs are quite similar, but can still be a challenge to achieve.
Vrbo’s fast start program maintains the same metrics for reaching Premier Host status, but with some help to get there. If you’re already eyeing out some of the renowned badges, you might want to consider signing up for the program to help you achieve it.
Who qualifies for the program?
This program is perfect for newcomers who might not have had much luck on other platforms. Vrbo states their requirements as such:
“Any Superhost or host with a 4.5+ review rating and who has earned more than US$3,000 in the last year is eligible for Fast Start.”
If you have any traction or earnings outside of Vrbo, you can easily join the program and start working towards Premier status.
If you fall outside of those requirements, don’t get too discouraged. There are many ways to increase your rankings, guest reviews, and overall success.
What are the benefits of the Vrbo Fast Start program?
If you’re fresh in the business you might be wondering what the advantages are. After all, starting a vacation rental business gives you enough hoops to jump through, why add another to the list? But we’re here to tell you that this program is one worth signing up for.
The main advantage of joining the Fast Start program is visibility! If you’re recently created your vacation rental listing you might notice that it’s nowhere to be found in the search results. That’s because you have to establish yourself as a key player in your area to rank up. Typically, it can take some time to improve your listing rankings, but Vrbo makes your visibility much better without all the work of SEO.
Adding “trust factors”
This feature was coined by Vrbo. They recognize that one of the hardest parts about being a new vacation rental owner is that you can’t prove your professionalism and value as easily. Guests can be hesitant to book a new listing as it doesn’t have any reviews or stay history to confirm its worth.
To turn a “cold start” into a “fast start” they help to create those trust factors for you. If you have reviews on external sites or other platforms, Vrbo will import those reviews and consider them in-house ratings. There are plenty of guests who might not bother to check a third-party review site, so this helps to take care of the issue of ratings by offering the opinions right there on your Vrbo listing.
Quickly rise to “Premier Host” status
Vrbo wants to make sure that the threshold for reaching Premier Host status is attainable. Beyond increased visibility and trust factors, your listing will also start out with a “New to Vrbo” badge. Consider this badge as a trophy and testament to your hard work. With all the added proof of your vacation rental value, it makes it easier to become a premier host. Not to mention, the requirements for entry aren’t quite as fierce as its competitors.
A perfect blend with the Lodgify integration
Because Lodgify offers API integration with Vrbo, you won’t have any issues managing your shiny new Vrbo account from the Lodgify dashboard. The onboarding process for the Fast Start Program is uncomplicated and seamless, meaning it won’t negatively impact your channel manager or your bookings.
How to join the Fast Start program
All signs point to yes when it comes to registering your property for the Fast Start program. Your only lingering question might be, “Where do I sign?” The process is catered to each vacation rental listing, so you’ll need to fill out the Fast Start Registration Form where you can request a call and get in touch with a representative.
In the meantime, you can manage all your bookings from one convenient location using Lodgify’s channel management system. Monitor reservations from all your platforms, communicate with guests and enjoy the benefits of a two-connection by adding Lodgify’s vacation rental software to your business toolkit. Our trial is 7 days, but the benefits are endless. Try it for free today!
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