Starting a short-term rental property can be a great way to make money and offer travellers an alternative to traditional hotels.
Many owners have relied on just one platform to market their rentals: VRBO.
While VRBO has been a reliable option for many years, vacation rental owners should consider diversifying their listing strategies by looking into additional avenues that could bring in more customers and profits.
Choosing other platforms over VRBO allows owners to reach potential customers who book through different sites or may need to be aware of the services offered by VRBO altogether.
Furthermore, many alternate sites also provide helpful tools for managing your business, including analytics about customer trends, payment systems, ratings from previous guests and more.
By exploring options beyond VRBO, vacation rental owners can take advantage of additional opportunities to increase visibility and improve their overall success rates with customers.
Lucky for you, with the ever-growing vacation rental industry, there are plenty of alternatives to VRBO that offer a wide range of features ideal for listing your short-term rental.
So let’s get started!
What are the Best Alternatives to VRBO?
Airbnb is one of the most popular alternatives to VRBO, offering over 6 million listings in 100,000 cities across over 200 countries.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a San Francisco-based company. It is one of the leading vacation rental sites in the world, enabling property owners to display their properties in an attractive market.
Vacation homeowners looking to get the most out of their listings should consider listing on Airbnb’s website, as it offers numerous benefits compared to VRBO.
Lower Booking Fees – One key advantage to using Airbnb is that its fees are generally lower than those charged by VRBO.
Airbnb’s service fee for hosts is 3%, while VRBO service fees are 5% plus a 3% credit card processing fee.
VRBO offers an alternative annual subscription for $499 that offers unlimited bookings.
Overall, the higher service fees for hosts are one of a few downsides of VRBO.
With Airbnb, more rental income goes directly into the owner’s pocket rather than being reduced by higher fees and commissions.
Tools & Analytics – Airbnb offers various tools specifically designed for vacation rental owners.
These include detailed analytics that enables owners to track bookings, guests’ travel patterns, and upcoming trip reservations, as well as powerful search capabilities so potential customers can easily find listings based on location or amenities.
Payment Processing System – Airbnb also has its payment processing system, which makes collecting payments from guests safe and secure.
Owners are paid promptly and without any problems arising during payment processing.
Reputation – Another significant benefit of listing with Airbnb is its reputation for guest satisfaction; with so many positive reviews, this has translated into a steady growth in customers for vacation rentals listed on the site.
Airbnb is used extensively by business travellers, couples going on vacation, groups travelling abroad, and friends looking for a weekend getaway, making it an attractive option for property owners who want maximum exposure for their vacation rentals.
Host Support System – Vacation rental owners who list with Airbnb can also take advantage of its host support system, which offers personalized assistance from expert hosts whenever help is needed.
The host support system includes comprehensive advice about how best to manage a property and how to maximize profits from rentals.
With such comprehensive support available at all times, listing on Airbnb provides peace-of-mind assurance that your business will be running smoothly and efficiently.
All these factors make Airbnb stand out as an ideal platform for vacation rental owners who want maximum exposure and value from their listings while maintaining control over their businesses and reducing the risk associated with payments processing issues or unsatisfied customers.
With Expedia, you can access millions of travellers every year and benefit from targeted marketing opportunities.
It’s interesting to note that VRBO was founded in 1995 and was subsequently acquired by HomeAway in 2006. Expedia Group then acquired both companies in December 2015.
While VRBO technically falls under the Expedia Group, it’s still one of the best vacation rental sites because of how expansive Expedia’s reach is internationally.
Large Customer Base – Expedia is one of the largest online travel agencies with a significant customer base. Listing your property on Expedia can increase the visibility of your rental and attract more potential renters.
Global reach – Expedia has a global audience, which means you can reach potential renters worldwide. Expedia’s broad reach can increase your rental exposure and help you fill vacancies more quickly.
Professional reputation – Just like Airbnb, Expedia is a reputable brand and listing your property on their site can help build your reputation as an experienced property manager or owner.
Easy booking process – Expedia’s platform makes it easy for renters to find and book your rental, providing a convenient and seamless booking process for you and your guests.
Overall, the strength of Expedia’s brand is what makes it an extremely viable option for vacation rental owners looking for other ways to list their properties online.
Booking.com is another excellent option for travellers looking for an alternative to VRBO.
Booking.com is an excellent choice for vacation rental owners who want to reach more customers and increase their bookings. The site has over 6.2 million homes, apartments, and other unique places to stay.
Increased visibility – with over 6 million listings in 226 countries, Booking.com offers tremendous global exposure to its subscribers, giving them an unparalleled opportunity to find more guests worldwide.
User-Friendly Interface – Booking.com’s user interface is user-friendly and intuitive, allowing users to list their property quickly and easily.
Additionally, with detailed property descriptions, amenities list, booking restrictions, and instant confirmation for each reservation, you can be sure that your property will have a professional presentation on the website.
Damage Deposits– Booking.com allows hosts to request damage deposits for additional security, which other websites, such as Airbnb, do not offer.
No Annual Fees – Booking.com charges no annual subscription fees – instead, they use a commission-based model where owners pay booking fees only when their listing generates bookings.
However, the downside is that hosts pay around 15% commission per booking which is quite significant.
Flipkey is an excellent option if you’re looking for an alternative to VRBO to list your vacation rental.
Flipkey was founded in 2007 and joined the Tripadvisor Rentals family in 2008.
Featuring over 300,000 rentals around the globe, with everything from beach villas to city apartments, FlipKey is a sophisticated booking site that allows hosts to book reservations for their rentals, manage payments and deposits, set pricing rules, and more.
Enhanced exposure – since FlipKey is part of Tripadvisor Rentals, a leading vacation rental marketplace with over 830,000 properties in 190 countries, hosts will benefit from features like guest reviews and Tripadvisor Purchase Protection.
Lower Fees – Like Airbnb, Flipkey takes a 3% commission per confirmed booking. There are no long-term contracts or commitments.
TripAdvisor Purchase Protection – This program offered by TripAdvisor protects travellers who book a vacation rental through their platform.
TripAdvisor Purchase Protection provides guests peace of mind when booking a vacation rental, a benefit extended to FlipKey since TripAdvisor is its parent company.
FlipKey is an excellent choice for vacation rental owners looking for an alternate option to VRBO, which offers robust features and reliable support at competitive prices.
Listing a vacation rental on TripAdvisor can be an excellent alternative to VRBO for vacation rental owners.
Large audience – TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel websites, with a large customer base that includes millions of travellers.
The expansive platform features over 400 million reviews and opinions from travellers. By listing your property on TripAdvisor, you can reach a large audience of potential renters.
Brand recognition – Similar to Airbnb and Expedia, TripAdvisor is a well-known and reputable brand, and listing your property on their platform maintains your reputation as a property owner.
TripAdvisor has a large and active community of travellers, which means exposure to many potential renters who are comfortable with TripAdvisor’s platform.
Increased bookings – By reaching a large audience, you increase the chances of attracting bookings, leading to increased revenue for your rental sites.
With all these great features at their fingertips, it’s no wonder why many vacation rental owners are turning to TripAdvisor as a viable alternative to VRBO for marketing their rental properties and increasing bookings.
For luxury vacation rental owners, considering listing on Onefinestay is a great idea.
Established in London in 2010, Onefinestay is now part of the Accor Group, joining other luxury brands such as Fairmont and Raffles.
Onefinestay is focused on the finest homes and villas in the most desirable destinations and delivers top-notch service to guests, homeowners and travel partners worldwide. With each memorable stay, they provide personalized service and hospitality above and beyond other vacation rental booking sites.
Targeted audience – Onefinestay caters to a high-end clientele, which means your property can reach a specific target audience interested in luxury vacation rentals.
Premium branding – Onefinestay is a luxury vacation rental platform with a premium brand image, which can help enhance your rental’s reputation and perceived value.
Personalized service – Onefinestay provides customized service to property owners and managers, which can help make listing and managing your rental more efficient and enjoyable.
With great attention to detail, Onefinestay takes care of everything from professional photography, housekeeping and in-stay maintenance to managing all bookings and welcoming and looking after guests during their stay.
Quality control – Onefinestay maintains high standards for the properties listed on their platform, which means your rental will be in good company with other high-quality properties.
High level of support – Onefinestay provides a high level of support to property owners and managers, which can help manage your rental and ensure a positive experience for your guests.
Overall, using Onefinestay as an alternative to VRBO is an excellent choice to list luxury vacation homes focused on quality.
For vacation rental owners looking for an alternative to VRBO, 9flats is an excellent option.
9flats is a German company created in 2011 that features vacation rentals in Europe.
Focus on affordable rentals – 9flats is perfect for listing convenient, cost-effective, and authentic alternatives to traditional hotels such as hostels, apartment rentals, and B&Bs.
Niche European Market – if your rental is in Europe or you’re trying to attract Europeans to your rental, 9flats is an excellent option.
While 9flats has some advantages over VRBO, the limited reach, niche market, and more affordable vacation rental properties may bring comparatively few bookings.
8. Glamping Hub
Glamping Hub offers unique and luxurious rentals in over 135 countries, making it the perfect site for travellers seeking a one-of-a-kind getaway.
Niche Audience – From treehouses and tipis to cabins and yurts, Glamping Hub offers a wide selection of properties that are better suited to feature unique accommodations, thus making it better suited to those looking to host on niche websites.
Unique branding – Glamping Hub is a premium platform focusing on luxury accommodations, which can help enhance your rental property’s reputation and perceived value.
High-quality listings – Glamping Hub maintains high standards for the properties listed on their platform, which means your rental will be in good company with other high-quality properties.
With its extensive selection of accommodations, Glamping Hub is the perfect alternative to VRBO for short-term rentals featuring an unforgettable vacation experience.
What is VRBO
VRBO is a vacation rental website offering people a platform to list and book properties for short-term stays.
The name stands for “Vacation Rental By Owner.” VRBO offers a variety of rental options, including homes, apartments, cabins, and more.
VRBO started in 1995, and since then, the site has grown into a reputable global vacation brand with over 2 million homes worldwide.
From Airbnb to HomeAway, there are so many VRBO alternatives. Each site offers an array of features such as integrated calendars, automated inquiries, reviews and rating systems, detailed analytics reports and more.
With such a wide variety of listing websites available, vacation rental owners can be sure that they can find the perfect platform for their business needs.
No matter which alternative to VRBO, you can find the best sites to list your vacation rental.