Like Kleenex and Bandaid, “Airbnb” is so popular that the site has turned into a noun. It’s great to have Airbnb as an option for listing your vacation rental property — it’s even better when you have multiple sites and platforms to choose from.
There’s nothing wrong with using Airbnb, but variety is the spice of life. Check out these rental property platforms and see what else is out there — you might just find a better way to maximize your revenue.
HomeAway was actually created 3 years before Airbnb. It was bought by the Expedia group in 2015 whereas Airbnb has continually maintained its independent status.
HomeAway might be a better place to list your vacation rental property due to their hosting fees. Airbnb takes 3% commission out of every reservation — for a one-night $150 listing, their commission is $4.50. HomeAway has two payment options:
- Hosts pay an annual $499 subscription
- HomeAway takes 8% commission for any reservation made
If you had a $150/night vacation rental that was occupied even for 150 days per year (less than half the year) and opted for Airbnb’s pay structure, you’d pay $675 in commission/fees. With the annual subscription from HomeAway, you’d save $176 with the same setup.
At a certain point, HomeAway’s pay structure becomes more lucrative than Airbnb. That Airbn-being said (I had to), HomeAway is far less known and popular. Even if the pay structure seems better, you won’t save money if your rental property is ultimately ignored.
VRBO is probably just below Airbnb in terms of popularity. There’s a chance it might even surpass Airbnb at some point, largely because of the difference in guest service fees.
Anyone who’s booked with Airbnb has felt the initial glee of finding such a cheap vacation rental, only to see that number exponentially increase by the time of checkout. Service fees for Airbnb are sometimes as high as 20% — not counting taxes. Conversely, VRBO is usually between 6-12%. Something that’s more affordable for guests has a lot more potential for finding people to rent out your property.
VRBO was also acquired by Expedia and has the same two payment options as HomeAway.
Home2Go is basically a compilation of the major rental property listing sites. It’s beneficial for people looking to book a rental property because it pulls from Airbnb and VRBO simultaneously, among others. While you can list with Home2Go specifically, you can save yourself the extra step by listing with one of the bigger platforms — it will still likely show up on Home2Go.
We’ll be upfront: Booking.com is one of the most expensive options for property owners. You’ll have to pay 15% in fees. We bring it up because from a guest standpoint, Booking.com is the least expensive option.
Booking.com has a staggering $0 guest service fee. While still not nearly as known as Airbnb, this could change — especially as more guests tire of paying exorbitant surcharges through Airbnb. Booking.com is a platform to keep in mind. Even if your prices are higher, it might, at some point, not make a difference if more users switch to their platform.
Vacasa has been around since 2009 and serves as a vacation property management company. They cover bookings, housekeeping — a very helpful service in the rental industry — and customer service. These extras make Vacasa one of the more expensive sites in terms of commissions (usually charging between 20 and 40%).
Some things to note: Vacasa was subject to a $3 million lawsuit several years ago from a property owner who felt she was charged fees never stated in her rental agreement. With the pandemic-based halt on travel, Vacasa also recently received over $100 million from a tech investor who similarly bailed out Airbnb.
Other information on Vacasa is somewhat hard to find, especially compared to other platforms mentioned in this article. Reviews from property owners seem to be mixed.
Evolve is the middleman between rental property owners and vacation platforms. They market your property for you, offering lucrative services like free professional photography and listing optimization. They take 10% of booking fees (though it’s unclear from their site as to whether this includes fees from Airbnb and the like).
It’s fantastic to research and dream about how you can best generate revenue from a vacation rental property. But the first step to making that happen isn’t signing up with Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway or the like — it’s to buy a property from RealtyHive! Find the perfect cabin, waterfront villa or beachside condo by searching through our listings.