Chapter 3

How to Optimize Your Vrbo Listing

Many hosts assume that just because they’re listing on Vrbo, their property will automatically get traffic and reservations. Whilst this may sometimes be the case, it’s still your responsibility to make your property more attractive and a front runner in the competition.  Now that your rental is now being exposed and marketed to more clients, here’s what you can do to stand out from the crowd:

Start with the basics

When you decide how to list your property, make sure that you include the property type (i.e., cabin, condo, etc.), any amenities that are especially noteworthy (i.e., pool, hot tub, free WIFI, etc.), which types of  guests would enjoy the property the most (i.e., family-friendly, pet-friendly, couples, etc.) and the most relevant attractions nearby (i.e., theme park, beach, national forest, etc.).

Vrbo property overview

Make sure your title is unique

Don’t include information that is easily found in the description. Also, you should avoid writing in all capital letters. This could put off a sense of desperation and come off as aggressive. If you have a brand name for your vacation rental, you should include it as well.

Write a good description of the property

Paint a picture of what it would be like to stay in your home. Using phrases like “spend a romantic evening cozying up to the fireplace,” or “wake up to the spectacular views of the sun peaking over the tallest peak in the Pacific Northwest,” not only describes the experience the guest could have, but it also sets your property apart from other rental homes.

It is also essential to focus on the amenities that make you stand out from the competition. Mention the things that make your property unique from similar properties in the area. Just make sure you don’t get too wordy that your reader loses interest. The key is to choose the right words.

Upload lots of good pictures

For the best quality photos, Vrbo recommends uploading images 3840 x 2160 pixels or higher. A high-quality camera is vital. The content of your photos is also important. Before taking pictures of your property, think  about what your guests would want to see. Clean and declutter any space, tidy up, straighten out your décor and remove personal items and “junk” will make the property much more attractive.

Kitchen images of Vrbo listing

Taking pictures in natural light and realistic perspective is also important—highlight unique features in the house. Showcasing the charming details of your home will add to its appeal. You still need to make sure, though, that you get clear pictures of the house that include spaces the guest will want to see before arriving, such as the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

Don’t forget to include the property itself, and the outdoor area such as the backyard or patio. Photos of the view or the small details are a nice feature, but don’t let them overshadow the property itself.

Respond straight away

Don’t let inquiries go unanswered for several days or wait so long to answer a booking request that the traveler has started looking elsewhere. Instead, quickly answer any question that an interested traveler may have. Immediately respond to any inquiries and approve reservations that are made.

Accept instant bookings

Allow your guests to book your rental instantly, without having to wait for a response. . A property listed with the “instant booking” guarantee will have much more traffic. Having a high acceptance rate will also give you a more top place on the search results on Vrbo. This will drive more traffic to your vacation rental and book up your calendar faster.

Avoid cancelations as much as you can

The less you cancel, the higher you’ll rank on the site. If you have a high cancelation rate, you will be lower on the search results, and guests will be less likely to find and book your property.

Build and showcase guest reviews

Improve your reputation as a homeowner with positive feedback and reviews from guests. Properties with the highest ratings will be on the top of the list when travelers are searching for homes. It is also the first thing that most potential guests will notice about a house. If your home has very few ratings or any low ratings, you may not be able to receive as many stays as you would if you have many high ratings.