If you are thinking of the best way to advertise your vacation rental property, you’ve probably already started looking at some of today’s most popular rental listing sites. But in our current digitally-driven world, it can seem like there’s an overwhelming number of potential listing sites to vet and explore when trying to get your vacation property listed.
With tons of listing websites available on the internet now, the question is, how do you decide which one is best for you? At Minnestay, a main feature of our full service vacation rental property management are our professional listing creation services. We help you to secure renters by equipping you with immersive 3D virtual tours of your property, professional photos, and expertly crafted descriptions. We optimize all of our listing to generate the highest inquiries and bookings possible and counsel our clients when it comes to deciding which listing service is right for their property. Here are just a few of the point we illustrate to help rental owners find their ideal vacation rental listing platform.
HOMEAWAY, VACATIONRENTALS, AND VRBO: ARE THEY ALL THE SAME?
HomeAway is the parent company of VacationRentals and VRBO. All three of these websites have a similar format, and together they feature more than a million properties around the world. These websites are very famous and get a lot of traffic, which means your property will potentially get lots of exposure. Although there is a high number of vacation properties listed on these websites, the high traffic volume ensures that every property gets viewed by thousands of people globally. However, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle amongst so many listings.
The whole “which is best HomeAway vs. VRBO?” debate in an ongoing debate.Most agree that both sites share a set of characteristics which sets them apart from others. Some of these characteristics include:
- Virtual instant booking facilities
- Safe and secure online payment options
- Mobile-friendly designs
- Abundance of high-quality imagery and descriptions
- Intuitive availability calendars
- Guest reviews
- Damage insurance for renters and rental owners, giving customers the confidence to book rental properties from these websites with peace of mind that any damages will be covered
- Rental guarantee and cancellation insurance for property owner
- Payment required in advance of visits
- Service fee is paid by the travelers
- Pricing policy is relatively straightforward compared to other listing websites.
- Property owners can pay an annual fee of $349 or 10% on each booking.
AIRBNB: THE BIG ONE
Airbnb is one of the most iconic websites in vacation rental property market. It revolutionized the travel industry in the 90’s and is still making waves. Airbnb competitors have tried hard to compete with this website, but so far no other website is listing more than 1.5 million properties in 190 countries globally. Airbnb has arguably the best mobile interface, and some of its essential characteristics include:
- Secure, traceable transactions; giving customers the confidence to book with Airbnb without hesitation.
- Showcases properties with lots of pictures
- An interactive map
- Guest reviews
- Amenities lists
- Detailed property descriptions
- An Owner’s profile which allows property owners to add a little biography about themselves, which in turn allowing travelers to feel more connected to your property.
- The listing fee is considerably low as compared to other websites at only 3% for property owners. However, the guests have to pay a higher booking fee between 6-12% compared to Airbnb competitors.
- Because of a powerful social media presence, many travelers book only from Airbnb without browsing for other vacation property listing websites.
- Airbnb introduced its free “host guarantee” of $1 million after a neighbor’s property caused damages to the rental property in 2011. It provides insurance coverage to property owners for up to $1million in damages.
- Property owners have the authority to determine their own cancellation policy which other rental property listing websites do not allow.
Although Airbnb is a brand name that has become synonymous with vacation rentals, there is one drawback which its customers have been complaining about. It does not have a booking availability calendar option which some travelers find annoying and limiting. Airbnb does make up for this drawback by allowing travelers to use its clever search filters to narrow down the right property for them.
WHICH VACATION RENTAL LISTING SITE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
There are many other property listing websites that we have not discussed here that are all helping property owners maximize their rental incomes. These include TripAdvisor, Expedia, FlipKey, ClickStay, Wimdu, Trivago, Euro Direct Rentals, and Minnestay of course. Each of these websites has its own unique features and is covering specific geographic locations and offering services tailored to their target market.
Deciding on which listing site is right for your property should be a decision that is made after careful thought and consideration. Listing your rental on every listing site would be time consuming and wouldn’t yield a good return on the time spent to complete such an endeavor, so we recommend further researching any of the platforms listed above and then choosing 2-3 platforms to host your listing. And don’t forget geographically based listings sites, like Minnestay for example, that cater to a very specific batch of location-specific clientele, shortening the conversion process. If you would like to chat more about how to determine which listing site is right for your rental don’t hesitate to give a member of our team a call today.