Chapter 1

The Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo (2024)

Do you want to increase your bookings on Vrbo? Read our ultimate guide for Vrbo owners to learn how to make your vacation rental stand out!

Last updated: March 2024

If you own a vacation rental property, listing on vacation rental websites can be a great way to get your property seen and booked. Vrbo is an especially great platform to consider, as it’s part of the Expedia Group marketplace of travel brands and has over 2 million listings available in 190 countries.

While it’s easy to use for both you and your guests, most property owners and managers have the same question: Is listing on Vrbo worth it, and how can I make my Vrbo listing stand out? We’ve crafted our Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo to help you answer those questions.

This guide is your roadmap to success in the world of Vrbo listings. From setting up your account to standing out from your local competitors, it’s packed with practical tips based on years of industry experience. Plus, we’ll explain how Vrbo works to protect you and your guests, and, most importantly, you will see how using a home-sharing site like Vrbo can boost your success as a rental property owner and increase your bookings.

Don’t see the form to download our Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo? Click here.

What is Vrbo?

Vrbo stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner. Launched in 1995, it was one of the first companies to help homeowners promote their rental homes on an easy-to-use platform. Fast forward 24 years, it now has over 2 million listings available in 190 countries.

Similar to other vacation rental websites, vacation rentals aren’t limited to one type. Vrbo allows owners to list all sorts of properties, including cottages, bungalows, cabins, townhouses, villas, lodges, farmhouses, and much more. They even list boats, yachts, castles, and mills!

Vrbo provides guests with detailed photos and descriptions of the property as well as information about the owner and manager before booking. It also offers insurance plans and guarantees to reduce the risk of fraudulent booking scams.

Vrbo and HomeAway: Are they the same thing?

Vrbo was founded in 1995, but it only lasted as a standalone company until 2006, when it was acquired by HomeAway. For nearly ten years, HomeAway and Vrbo operated under a similar umbrella yet still maintained different websites and features. Then, in 2015, the travel industry giant Expedia Group acquired HomeAway, which meant that it acquired Vrbo along with it.

Vrbo and HomeAway initially kept their names and were regarded as two separate businesses under the same ownership up until 2020, when Expedia Group decided to simplify its vacation rental portfolio by focusing its attention on Vrbo, which in turn meant the end of HomeAway. The website and all listings were redirected to Vrbo.

Today, the only site that specializes in vacation rentals under the Expedia Group is Vrbo. HomeAway hosts automatically became Vrbo hosts as part of this update. So, for all practical purposes, Vrbo and HomeAway could be considered the same. However, HomeAway no longer exists as a formal or informal entity as of 2020.

Vrbo Home 2024

How does Vrbo work?

As a property owner with Vrbo listings, you have complete control over your vacation rental and can set your price, availability, and house rules. For example, you can decide whether or not to include a weekly price or simply charge per night.

Travelers can then browse listings, communicate with hosts, and book their stay directly through the platform.

The beauty of Vrbo is that it provides a secure environment for transactions, offers protection policies for both parties and allows you to manage your property listing at your convenience. Another advantage of listing on Vrbo is that your property will immediately be placed on all of Vrbo’s affiliated sites, which equals even more exposure on popular platforms such as Expedia, Trivago, and KAYAK.

Vrbo for vacation rental owners

Although many other vacation rental sites offer the ability to rent suites or single rooms, if you intend to rent your vacation property as a whole, Vrbo is a great way to find potential guests who are looking for a place where they will have all to themselves.

As a property owner, listing on Vrbo means you have total control over your business. Vrbo owners are easily able to customize their rates, enforce house rules, upload photos and a detailed listing description, communicate directly with guests, and receive reviews to showcase to other browsing guests.

Is listing on Vrbo worth it as an owner? We’ll explore the details and alternatives in a bit, but having a Vrbo listing means your vacation rental will be exposed to millions of travelers across the globe, which can, depending on your property and market, lead to a direct increase in your bookings.

Host welcoming a guest

Vrbo for property managers

If you can’t manage your rental property yourself or are managing it long-distance, you may choose to hire a property manager. Their duties could include managing your bookings, communicating with the guests, handling check-in and check-out, overseeing cleaning, and many other tasks.

If you work with property managers (or are a property manager wondering how to list on Vrbo), it’s helpful to know that Vrbo connects seamlessly with top vacation rental software.

For example, if you’re currently managing ten or more properties, you’ll find Lodgify’s Vrbo channel manager extremely helpful in keeping your bookings organized, as all of your bookings, calendars, and payments are on one centralized dashboard.

Is hosting on Vrbo worth it?

Listing your property on Vrbo is a great way to drive traffic to your property listing, as it will be displayed not only on Vrbo but on various affiliate sites, such as Expedia, Trivago, and KAYAK, giving it plenty of exposure. Your number of guests will increase, allowing you to enjoy higher profits as a vacation rental homeowner.

Vrbo is also safe to use and allows you to screen guests who wish to stay in your home, giving you peace of mind. If you’re looking for a way to increase the amount of paying guests in your rental property, create an account today on Vrbo.

Don’t see the form to download our Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo? Click here.