VRBO vs. Airbnb

The Nitty Gritty: VRBO (owned by HomeAway) and Airbnb are two of the biggest vacation home rental players in the travel industry today. To maximize exposure for our homeowners, InvitedHome ensures all our offerings are listed across each website’s distribution portfolio, providing increased visibility for our homes. And while we handle all listing features on both sites, we wanted to share with you the differences between the two companies, and how InvitedHome optimizes how your home is positioned on them.

Fees: VRBO charges an annual subscription fee to those looking to list their home, while Airbnb only charges a booking fee per reservation. So for example, if a home on VRBO never books, the owner will lose money. Whereas on Airbnb, if a home never books the owner does not get charged for the listing. What does this mean for InvitedHome’s owners? Nothing. InvitedHome covers the listing fees on VRBO and Airbnb for all homes once a homeowner signs on with us.

Reviews and Rankings: There aren’t a ton of ways for an individual owner to ensure their home is highly ranked on Airbnb and VRBO. Both really require positive reviews in order to have a successful listing. In addition, to be highly listed on VRBO (first or second page), you need at least 24 photos of your home. Then, as you get more reviews, inquiries, and bookings, your ranking and listing will rise to the top (ideally). On InvitedHome.com, your home is always highly ranked and given the opportunity to shine for the 40-50% of guests who book directly through our site.  

Instant Booking: VRBO requires an owner to offer “instant booking,” meaning the owners have to manually update their calendar to include any dates unavailable for guests, constantly. For Airbnb, you can turn instant book off. If you don’t respond within 24 hours of a reservation request, however, it blocks off those dates requested and penalizes you for continuously declining reservations. At InvitedHome, we have the technology to automatically update the feed on both sites and prevent reservations from being automatically confirmed, allowing our team the opportunity to vet all guests before they are confirmed for a stay in your home.

Guest Experience: VRBO and Airbnb both require a closed communication system, meaning it’s tough to form a relationship with your guests and determine whether your home would be right for them prior to their reservation coming through. If a guest calls VRBO or Airbnb for more information on your home, the agent they speak to is only able to provide as much information as is included in the listing. InvitedHome’s Guest Experience and Reservation teams are dedicated to ensuring that not only is every guest the right fit for your home, but that your home is a right fit for your guests.

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