Chapter 2

How is Plum Guide Different From Other Listing Sites?

As you’ll know by now, the main difference between Plum Guide and other listing sites is Plum Guide only lets the top 3% of all vacation rentals onto their platform. Instead of just signing up to be a host, they must select and deem you worthy of listing on their website. They aim never to have a disappointed guest, but unlike other sites, they go through set measures to ensure there is no way for a guest to be unsatisfied with their stay.

Plum Guide only lists the world’s best vacation homes, so some perks have to come with that distinction. Plum Guide claims that their guests on average stay longer in comparison to other listings sites, which means higher occupancy rates and fewer turnovers of guests. They also state that their guests tend to be more mature and reliable, so there is less of a risk of your property being trashed from a party or for unnecessary cancelations.

Plum Guide even says that their cancelation rate is over 30% lower than other platforms. Not only that, but they also provide a “concierge service” that manages and directs guests towards your listing, ensuring that you get bookings.

Being founded in 2016, Plum Guide has been able to capture its audience in a short period of time, which has caught the attention of other more-established short term rental websites. Let’s find out who Plum Guide is up against and what sets them apart from the crowd.

Plum Guide vs. Airbnb

If you’re in the business or have ever looked into housing when traveling, you’ve definitely heard of Airbnb. Airbnb leads the pack as the most popular website that focuses specifically on vacation rentals.

Founded in 2008 in San Francisco, it currently boasts 5 million active listings and 150 million users in 220 different countries. It is also estimated that Airbnb has control over 20% of the entire vacation rental market share, which is more than any other single company.

Similarities and differences

Both Plum Guide and Airbnb serve as marketplaces that connect property owners with travelers and potential guests. They have similar search functions, booking systems, and built-in messaging systems to get in touch with your guests.

In terms of property types, you can choose from a variety of stays ranging from apartments, boats, villas, castles and more on both platforms. One of Airbnb’s main focuses is to provide unique stays for their guests, so they highlight their many options for location and type of accommodation on their home page.

On the other hand, Plum Guide only focuses on luxury. Travelers looking on Plum Guide are not searching for the craziest and most adventurous stay out there; they simply want to find the highest-class of accommodation.

Airbnb will accept mostly any accommodation that comes their way, while Plum Guide puts in extensive effort to sort and filter homes that can be on their website. When you rent on Plum Guide, you know you are getting the entire space to yourself, compared to Airbnb where there are options for room shares and flat shares if you want to cut some costs.

Airbnb search

Because Plum Guide is not a listing site for your everyday rental, the average price point on the OTA is a bit higher than on Airbnb. You can typically expect prices in the mid-to-high-end range. Airbnb offers any type of stay from a shared apartment space on the lower end to a whole castle on the higher end. Because of this range, Airbnb has a price point that ranges across the board, so anyone can find something within their budget.

One thing you’ll notice on Plum Guide is that they don’t include guest reviews on their website or listings, whereas on Airbnb, hosts try to get as many reviews as possible to validate their listing. Airbnb will constantly send email reminders to leave reviews because reviews get their hosts higher on the results page and more bookings. Because Plum Guide screens every property, they claim there is no need for reviews because everyone should already know that you are getting the best stay every time.

Plum Guide vs. Vrbo

Another popular vacation rental site, and one of Airbnb’s biggest competitors, is Vrbo. Vrbo, which stands for “vacation rentals by owner”, was founded in 1995 in Colorado. Since then, it has been bought out by HomeAway in 2006, and then in 2015, it was acquired by the vacation industry conglomerate Expedia Group. Today, Vrbo has about 2 million listings in over 190 different countries and 150 million users.

Similarities and differences

Vrbo and Plum Guide both serve as online travel agencies where hosts can list their properties. Neither of the websites owns nor manages any of the properties listed, they simply act as the mediator that connects travelers to short term rentals.

On Vrbo and Plum Guide, you can only rent out entire spaces for yourself, which means their listings attract more families and groups of people traveling together, instead of the solo traveler or the business traveler. Because Plum Guide only offers luxury properties, they aim to attract what they deem as the “mature urban creative”. These are people between the ages of 35-55, live in mega-cities, and tend to have an interest in art, music, design, food, etc. Vrbo’s target audience also falls in the 35-54-year-old category, but they cater more to the middle class and everyday travelers.

Vrbo Homepage

Both of these websites aim to boost visibility and bookings for their hosts by spreading their listings across platforms. As a part of the Expedia Group, when you list on Vrbo, your listing will also be published on, Travelocity, CheapTickets, Trivago, KAYAK, and other websites that are also a part of the travel conglomerate. All you have to do is enable Instant Booking on your listing to access this expanded distribution network. Similarly, Plum Guide offers its own partner distribution network where your listing will be shown on partner sites such as Vrbo,, Expedia, Hometogo, and Holidu.

On Vrbo, you must put in the effort to build your own listing, including creating a captivating description and profile and eye-grabbing photos of your property. You must also worry about optimizing your listing and adding features, amenities, nearby attractions and more to come up on the first page of results. On Plum Guide, you don’t even have to think about doing any of that because they will create your whole listing for you and provide services to steer guests towards your listing as well. All you have to do on Plum Guide is accept bookings and communicate with guests about their stay, the rest is taken care of.

Is Plum Guide really that different?

Plum Guide provides various services for its hosts that most other vacation rental websites wouldn’t even think of, such as creating your listing for you and their virtual concierge service. Don’t let Plum Guide’s fancy facade put you off. At the core, it is still a vacation rental listing site, so it’s not hard to make that jump from Airbnb, Vrbo or any other platform of your choice.