When hosts are armed with the right information regarding vacation rental management fees, they can ultimately budget better. This is the key as the expenses such as a business license and insurance can quickly add up to a not-so-pretty sum. So, to help hosts, here are some of the most important differences between VRBO, Airbnb and HomeAway.
Guests, as well as the owners of vacation rental properties, will be charged a couple of fees whenever they make a booking via the platform of VRBO. One VRBO pricing option is the pay-per-booking fee.
In order to be eligible for this option, vacation rental owners must be able to accept online payments. The benefit of this option is that owners will not have to pay vacation rental management fees in advance. Though, for every booking owners will have to pay a percentage of about 8%. A second VRBO owner fees option is to pay an annual subscription fee instead.
VRBO fees for renters
Travelers will also have to pay a service fee to complete their reservations. It is just a small fee of between 6 – 12% of the total cost (excluding tax or any deposit) that goes towards maintaining the VRBO website. Though, in some instances, it can be higher. Usually, if the total cost of the reservation is higher, this percentage will be lower.
Airbnb does not charge hosts any fee just to list their properties on their website. Though, the vacation rental management fees that Airbnb charges are typically a 3% service fee that hosts will have to pay. This service fee will be taken from the nightly rate, cleaning fee and any fee that the host has charged for additional vacation rental services provided.
Certain areas also charge value-added tax that can be added to the service fee. For instance, hosts in Italy might be charged a higher percentage.
HomeAway fees for owners
Just like with VRBO, the HomeAway listing fees work as follows: vacation rental owners can either pay an annual flat fee or choose to pay per booking instead. What makes the annual subscription so attractive is that vacation rental owners will not have to pay any additional vacation rental management fees again for that year.
With regards to the annual subscription option, vacation rental owners can either pay an annual fee of $349 that includes online reservation or $499 without online booking. According to HomeAway, the better option is to pay the subscription fee with the online reservation active as it makes it easier for your vacation rental property to pop up in the search results.
If you do not like the idea of paying such a big amount towards vacation rental management fees in advance, the pay-per-booking option will allow you to pay a commission per reservation they accept via their website instead. Just like with VRBO, this percentage is set at a minimum of about 8%.
HomeAway fees for guests
There is also a service fee of between 6 – 12% of the total cost (excluding tax or any deposit) that guests will have to pay directly to HomeAway. Though, in some instances, it can be higher. Usually, if the total cost of the reservation is higher, this percentage will be lower.
Vacation rental owners also have the option to add extra vacation rental management fees to their listing such as an additional fee for pets. In other words, it is an extra fee that the owners get to charge in addition to the service fee that HomeAway charges.
All things considered, the vacation rental management fees charged by these three websites are not too expensive especially when compared to the costs of enlisting the services of a property management company. If you are planning to rent out your place via VRBO only during a certain time of the year, your best bet will be to opt for the pay-per-booking fee as this will work out the most profitable. Vacation rental owners who will be renting out their place for over six weeks per year will find that the option to pay a subscription instead will work out more cost-effective for them (that is at least what the company advises).
At the end of the day, if you do not necessarily want to take on more financial risk, the pay-per-booking option might be the better choice as fundamentally you are paying as you earn (similar to how Airbnb’s vacation rental management fees work).