Chapter 1

The Ultimate Guide to Listing on Vrbo

Do you want to increase your bookings on Vrbo? Read our Ultimate Guide and make your vacation rental stand out!

If you own a vacation rental property, you want to get as much exposure as possible to keep it booked all year round. Vacation rental websites are a key way of getting your property seen by those looking for accommodation. They are easy to use for both you as the owner as well as the potential guests. With millions of vacation rentals available around the world, how can you make yours stand out above the rest?

A popular vacation rental site is  Vrbo. In this complete guide for listing your vacation rental property on Vrbo, you will learn how it works, how to create an account, how to make your property stand out from other rentals , and how Vrbo  can protect you and your guests. 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.

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.

The 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!

What is Vrbo

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 so that your money is safe, so you don’t need to worry about any fraudulent scams.

Is Vrbo the same as HomeAway?

As we all know, Vrbo began in 1995, but it only lasted as a standalone company until 2006, when it was acquired by HomeAway. The story continues, and in 2015, the travel industry giant Expedia Group acquired HomeAway, which meant that Vrbo came with it.

The two companies, Vrbo and HomeAway kept their names and were regarded as two separate businesses under the same ownership up until 2020. The 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 that were previously considered HomeAway got redirected to Vrbo.

Today, HomeAway ceases to exist. The only site that specializes in vacation rentals under the Expedia Group is Vrbo. They started out as different companies and ended up being combined into one under the Vrbo name. If you were a HomeAway host, you automatically became a Vrbo host with this update. Therefore, for all practical purposes, Vrbo and HomeAway could be considered the same.

How does Vrbo work?

If you choose to list your property on Vrbo, you can control the terms and rates you want for your rental home. For example, you can decide whether or not to include a weekly price or simply charge per night.

Another advantage of posting your rental home on Vrbo is that your property will immediately be placed on all of Vrbo’s affiliated sites, meaning you will get even more exposure. Potential guests will further see your rental home on other popular travel sites, such as Expedia, Trivago, and KAYAK.

Vrbo for vacation rental owners

Vrbo is excellent for owners who want to rent their entire home. Although many other vacation rental sites include renting suites or single rooms, if you intend to rent the property as a whole, Vrbo is a great way to find potential guests who are looking for a place they will have all to themselves.

Listing on Vrbo means you have total control over your business. Owners can set 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.

Your vacation rental will be exposed to millions of travelers across the globe, meaning overtime you’ll increase your bookings.

Vrbo for property managers

If you cannot 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, handing check-in and check-out, overseeing cleaning and many other tasks.

Many owners find it useful to list their phone number on the listing, as well as the contact information of their property managers. This way, if a guest has a question or any inquiries, they can call and get in touch straight away. In fact, hosts can sign up property managers to Vrbo’s Glad to Have You features, which enables them to manage and oversee all your listings, and communicate with the guests.

On top of this, if you are currently managing ten or more properties, you’ll find Vrbo extremely helpful in keeping your bookings organized, as everything is on one centralized dashboard. All your bookings, calendars and payments are in one place.

Plus, if a guest comes across one property listing, they will automatically see all your other properties. This will indeed give your properties more exposure.

Why should you list your property on Vrbo?

Listing your property on Vrbo is a great way to drive traffic to your property listing. Your property will be displayed not only on Vrbo but on a variety of its affiliate sites, such as HomeAway, Expedia, Trivago, and KAYAK, giving it plenty of exposure. Your number of guests will increase, giving you a much higher profit 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.