The proliferation of short-term rentals has created more vacation rental owners across the country than ever before, but managing those listings and properties can be a drag. There are several platforms and sites for listing and managing your rental property, including Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, but which is the best?
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Let’s answer which vacation rental service is the best by looking at their unique advantages and disadvantages as well as ways you can get your listings under control with the help of PMBO. We’ll pick apart Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO to help you figure out which is best and how to get the most out of any short-term rental service with PMBO’s rental software. Making the wrong call on your listing can cost you potential renters and money, let’s figure it out.
HomeAway vs. VRBO
Don’t spend too much time between HomeAway and VRBO. Though they operate independently, HomeAway and VRBO are owned by the same company and offer similar features. Listing your vacation on rental on either is like listing on both.
Airbnb vs. VRBO for Vacation Rental Owners
Airbnb was the originator in simplified short-term rentals, but there’s plenty of competition from other sites including VRBO. Let’s look at the unique benefits of Airbnb vs. VRBO and HomeAway for owners regarding pricing, scheduling, property management, and more.
Benefits of Airbnb for Owners
Airbnb is the strongest short-term rental platform on the market. Just a decade ago using someone’s guest house while on vacation was crazy, but now it’s the norm thanks to Airbnb. While Airbnb dominates the market, they’re not perfect.
Great Selection – You can list your shed, bedroom, or several other types of accommodations. Airbnb doesn’t armlock you into a specific style of listing.
Most Popular – Airbnb dominates the short-term accommodation rental market. If you want to host your listing on a site that sees millions of monthly hits, you must host your rental on Airbnb.
Select Your Price – Rental owners have control of all rates, including bulk.
Free Listings – Airbnb doesn’t charge owners for listings.
Excellent Protection – Airbnb’s Host guarantee program covers you and the renter from serious liability by offering $1,000,000 worth of property coverage in the event of guest damage. Airbnb also holds your guests’ payment 24 hours before sending it to you to protect both you and the renter.
Drawbacks of Airbnb
Hefty fees – Airbnb’s major drawback is its fees. Airbnb may charge up to 20% for different fees which may send potential renters scrambling for various accommodations.
Increased Competition – Your Airbnb listing might be up against dozens of others in your area.
Benefits of VRBO / HomeAway for Owners
Better Suited to Vacation Rentals – VRBO stood for vacation rental by owner and existed long before Airbnb. VRBO was engineered for vacation rentals before short-term accommodations. If you’re more of a traditional vacation rental owner, you’ll like VRBO’s features.
Detailed Listings – VRBO provides gorgeous and complete listings to any possible renters. The intuitive layout lets you upload pictures, write descriptions, and provide more information than other listing services.
Bonus Features – VRBO provides several additional services to renters and owners compared to Airbnb like individual damage protection plans, travel tips, and remote vacation rental management tools.
Drawbacks of VRBO / HomeAway
Can Be More Expensive – It can cost more to list your home on VRBO compared to Airbnb due to flat fee vs. percentage cost to owners.
More Complicated Interface – VRBO offers more general features than Airbnb, but Airbnb’s platform is more straightforward.
Lots of Forms and Paperwork – Because they were intended for vacation homes, there’s still many forms like rental guarantees and damage insurance that you and your renter are forced to fill out.
VRBO vs. Airbnb Host Management
Which platform makes for easier hosting? Both Airbnb and VRBO offer several host management services. Airbnb is better suited for short term hosting, while VRBO is more beneficial for vacation rentals.
Airbnb vs. VRBO Host Management Pros and Cons
Airbnb has grown from a scheduling app into a mini concierge service. You can offer your guests several services directly from Airbnb like rental information, local sights, and sounds, or where to get coffee. Airbnb offers excellent host management services for short-term rentals but is lacking in the features needed for a full-term vacation rental. VRBO has the legal expertise and knowledge to make hosting a long-term rental easier.
Both services offer intuitive host management services like scheduling bookings, checking guests in and out, and quick communication channels. Both are great for hosting but match the service to your type of hosting. If you’re renting your spare bedroom out a few days, a year go with the simplicity of Airbnb, but if you own a long-term rental you can get more features and protection from VRBO.
Managing Across the Board
Limiting yourself to just one listing or vacation rental platform is the quickest watch a rental sit vacant. You need to take advantage of the unique benefits of different platforms, but the more you use, the more difficult it can be to manage your rental. Wouldn’t it be easy if you could click one button and update your rental rates across all your listing sites? It’s a reality with PMBO.
PMBO has several features that make your life easier, but the Channel Manager is our favorite. PMBO’s Channel Manager allows rental owners to update information and listings on their Airbnb listing, VRBO listing, and a few dozen others. Upload a new picture of your rental just once, and we’ll spread it across all possible listings. You want your listings to be accurate, updated, and correct, but our rental software can turn hours of tedious work into a few clicks.
Choosing One or Choosing Them All
You’re hurting yourself and your wallet by posting your listing only on Airbnb, VRBO / HomeAway, or any single site. Instead of listing with just one, spread your rental across 40 different websites and platforms with PMBO’s help. Both major platforms offer unique benefits and drawbacks for owning or managing your vacation rental, but you can get more out of any listing by using PMBO’s handy tools and features. Navigating, updating, and choosing between Airbnb or VRBO is tough but you can have your cake and eat it too with PMBO.