What is HomeAway and How to Get Started
HomeAway is now Vrbo in the US. Please check out our Ultimate Vrbo Host Guide to get the most updated information.
HomeAway.com is a vacation rental listing platform that was launched in June 2006 with headquarters currently based in Austin, Texas. HomeAway is proudly the world leader when it comes to vacation rentals, with its sites boasting more than 1.2 million paid vacation rental listings across 190 countries. At the end of 2015, HomeAway brands were acquired by the Expedia group to the tune of $3.9 billion. One of its biggest competitors at present is Airbnb.
On HomeAway, vacation rental owners/managers list a huge selection of vacation properties and provide travelers with plenty of reasons to choose this type of accommodation over traditional hotel stays. Advertised benefits include more space (homes are bigger than hotel rooms), more room to relax (living areas included in the deal) and additional privacy. Plus, they have the added advantage of generally being a more economical option for people versus hotels.
HomeAway also facilitates the advertising of properties and management of online bookings for vacation rental owners and property managers.
What are the Other HomeAway Brands?
The HomeAway portfolio is made up of many different brands worldwide, depending on the country or continent.
In the US, it includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com.
In the UK: HomeAway.co.uk, OwnersDirect.co.uk.
In Germany: HomeAway.de.
In France: Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com.
In Spain: HomeAway.es and Toprural.es.
In Brazil: AlugueTemporada.com.br.
In Australia: HomeAway.com.au and Stayz.com.au.
In New Zealand: Bookabach.co.nz.
Asia Pacific region: travelmob.com
Also operated by HomeAway on a global level is BedandBreakfast.com – an international site for renting bed-and-breakfast accommodation.
How to Get Started as a Homeaway Owner
As a HomeAway Owner, you have many options available to you and all of the benefits that come from being a part of this service. Being a HomeAway owner provides you with a way to get extra cash for your second or holiday home you can rent out as a vacation rental property. It puts you in control of this rental services and provides many customization options to make renting the property out easier.
You can ensure that you’re getting more out of the program when you know how to use it and what to do in order to use all of the features.
If you already have an account, just head to the HomeAway owner login chapter. But if you want to start from scratch, you have to visit HomeAway.com and click on “List your property” which is located in the upper-right-hand corner of the page.
You would then list out the basics that are asked, such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and how many guests the rental can sleep in total.
Enter the exact address so that you can have an estimate of what your property is worth and what it is going for. You then need to add in your phone number, make sure to verify your account and then you’re able to enjoy all of the benefits that come with being a HomeAway member.
Once your account is set up, you can access it on the HomeAway owner app or visit the HomeAway customer service page for further help.
Kinds of HomeAway Owner Listings
Owner managed listings are put up by the owner of the property and then managed by them, as well. They do not work with outside agencies and run their business by themselves; creating the listing, preparing the rental and everything else.
Managed by Property Management Companies
Properties that are owned by a vacation rental owner, but managed by property management companies are other listings that can be put on HomeAway. These are done through the listing manager of the property and not through the owner. It does provide an option for both.
Tips for HomeAway Owners
It is always good to make it more personal and special to the guests that are coming. This is why it is important to know some of the best tips that can ensure that those staying in your guest house are going to love doing so.
Prepare your listing on HomeAway
Let guests know some of the more personal things that you love about the home, or about the area. You can let them know about some special spots or even just history that made you fall in love with the area, to begin with.
Go above and Beyond
Make sure everything is ready for them upon check-in. They should have everything that they need and maybe a little more for their stay. You can even leave them a nice little gift basket that you put together. The nicer it is and the more they have, the better the reviews which is also great for you because it keeps more people coming in!
Make Your Guests’ Stay Feel like Home
Small things go a long way. When you know your guests and do small gestures for them when they come to stay, they’re going to love it. Leave out some wine and cheese, something for children if they’re a family, write a personal note or just about anything that is going to make their stay more relaxing and the stay more personalized to them.
Show Your Localization Off
What is in the area that attracts everyone there? You want to make sure to showcase this for those that come and go. Let them know where they can go to find out more, how they can get there and what it all includes.
Print out a map of the area and highlight some of the best points or those areas where they might need the most, such as a cafe or corner store. You can show them some of the best places to grab dinner, go shopping, catch a movie or even where the local mall is. Give them a list of things to do and ideas for getting out of the house.
Always be available, always make sure your property is looking its best and don’t forget the basics like WiFi… People love small details!