"Hosting on Airbnb or VRBO: Which is Right for You?"
If you're considering listing your property on a vacation rental platform, you might be wondering which one is the best choice: Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner)? Both platforms offer the opportunity to earn extra income by renting out your property to travelers, but there are some key differences to consider from a host perspective.
One of the main differences between Airbnb and VRBO is the type of properties they allow. Airbnb is known for its diverse range of properties, including shared spaces like shared rooms and private rooms in homes, as well as entire homes and apartments. VRBO, on the other hand, is more geared towards whole-home rentals, with a focus on vacation homes, cottages, and condos. This means that if you're looking to list a shared space or a private room in your home, Airbnb might be the better choice. If you're looking to list an entire home or apartment, either platform could be a good fit.
Another key difference between Airbnb and VRBO is the fees they charge hosts. Airbnb charges a host fee of 3% per booking, while VRBO charges a fee of between 6% and 9% per booking. This means that, as a host, you might earn slightly more on Airbnb due to the lower host fees. However, it's important to keep in mind that these fees can vary depending on the location and type of property you're listing, so it's always a good idea to compare fees on both platforms before making a decision. Additionally, VRBO charges hosts an annual subscription fee to list their property, while Airbnb does not.
In terms of the booking process, both Airbnb and VRBO are fairly straightforward for hosts. On both platforms, you can list your property and set your own rental rates and availability. You'll also be able to communicate with potential guests and answer any questions they have before they book. Both platforms offer a calendar system, which allows you to mark dates as available or unavailable and track bookings in real-time. Airbnb also allows hosts to set minimum stay requirements and house rules, which can be helpful in managing expectations and ensuring a smooth rental experience.
One potential advantage of using Airbnb over VRBO is the exposure and reach of the platform. Airbnb is a well-known and widely used platform, with a larger user base and more active listings than VRBO. This means that, as a host on Airbnb, you may have more potential guests to choose from and a better chance of getting booked. On the other hand, VRBO may be a good choice if you're looking to target a more specific market or demographic, as it tends to attract a more traditional vacation rental audience.
Another factor to consider when choosing between Airbnb and VRBO is the level of support and protection they offer to hosts. Airbnb offers a more comprehensive host guarantee, which covers hosts for up to $1 million in damages to their property. VRBO offers a host protection insurance policy, but it does not cover all types of damages and has a lower coverage limit. As a host, this means that if you're listing your property on Airbnb and something goes wrong, you may have more recourse to seek compensation or resolution through the platform. However, it's important to note that both platforms offer insurance and support to hosts in the event of issues or problems with a booking.
Both Airbnb and VRBO have a review system in place to help hosts and guests communicate and provide feedback after a booking. However, there are some key differences to consider when it comes to their review systems.
On Airbnb, both guests and hosts can leave reviews for each other after a booking. Guests are encouraged to leave a review within 14 days of their stay, and hosts have 14 days to respond. Airbnb's review system is designed to be a two-way conversation, with hosts able to thank guests for their stay and provide additional feedback or recommendations. This can be helpful for both hosts and guests, as it allows them to learn from each other's experiences and improve their own hosting or traveling skills.
VRBO's review system is only for guests, as hosts cannot review guests. Guests are encouraged to leave a review within 14 days of their stay, and VRBO's review system is focused on helping other travelers make informed decisions about their bookings. VRBO's review system does not allow hosts to respond to reviews, which means that hosts cannot provide additional context or feedback if they receive a negative review.
Ultimately, the choice between Airbnb and VRBO will depend on your individual needs and preferences as a host. If you're looking to list a shared space or private room in your home and are willing to pay a slightly higher host fee, Airbnb might be the better choice. If you're primarily interested in renting out a whole home and want a lower host fee, VRBO could be a better option. It's always a good idea to compare fees and read reviews on both platforms before making a decision, as well as to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of each platform to ensure a smooth and successful hosting experience. It is important to note that a healthy approach in the event that you are listing an entire home, villa or condo is to list your property in both platforms and using the correct pricing strategy.