The short-term rental market is a big business and 97% of online bookings take place on vacation rental websites. With so much competition, it’s little wonder that hosts are finding it harder to attract direct bookings. Nowadays listing your property on one vacation rental site just won’t cut it.
Successful vacation rental managers search for the best vacation rental platforms to list their properties on. Check out our top 9 list, and give your business a welcome boost.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb was created to offer people the opportunity to embrace local, authentic, inclusive, diverse and sustainable travel. Now one of the leading vacation rental websites, Airbnb offers guests access to around 7 million vacation rental properties in over 191 countries.
With ample options for guests, including short-term rentals, shared accommodation, large homes, or private rooms Airbnb has rentals in all shapes and sizes! As a host, it’s free to join Airbnb and to list your property. However, you will pay 3-5% (depending on the country you reside in) to cover transaction fees.
Vrbo is another one of the top vacation rental websites. The website originates from humble beginnings. Vrbo (which stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner) was founded in 1995, with the original website designed purely to promote a Ski Resort condo! Now owned by Expedia and recently rebranded, the platform has grown drastically. Global network Expedia draws around 750 million visitors every month and Vrbo offers rentals in 190 countries.
As a property manager, you retain control and set the rules by using the handy Vrbo tools to set prices and dates. In addition, you can benefit from a 24/7 expert support team. Moreover, hosts can attain a “premier partner” status by offering a great guest experience and meeting the set criteria.
Like other vacation rental websites, Vrbo charges a commission on bookings. Hosts pay a 5% commission on the rental amount and any additional payments.
Originating in Amsterdam back in 1966, Booking.com is one of the biggest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Featuring over 28 million listings in over 227 countries, the platform proclaims to “Make it easier to experience the world,” and showcases B&B’s apartments, and even igloos!
Of the numerous vacation rental websites, Booking.com invests in digital technology and has been developing their website and mobile app extensively over the years. Now both are available in 40 languages. As a host, you can expect 24/7 support from a dedicated team and lots of tools to help you monitor the performance of your property. The rate of commission varies from country to country, but on average it’s around 15%. So, hosts usually use the commission calculator to check the exact amount.
A big player in the travel industry and renowned amongst vacation rental websites, Expedia has been building a solid reputation for around twenty years. With a directory of more than 1.3 million properties, Expedia has localized websites in 33 countries across the globe. Acting as a one-stop-shop for guests, Expedia allows travelers to book accommodation along with flights, cars, and activities.
Hosts who opt to use Expedia can sign up for free. You don’t pay for property listings and there’s no subscription fee. However, you do pay a commission on each booking. In short, this depends on your location and varies from 15 to 20%.
There are plenty of vacation rental websites, but Tripadvisor goes one step further. Tripadvisor is the platform to go to find out how good a place really is. Guests and customers leave frank reviews based upon their experience at a particular establishment.
Over 340 million travelers use TripAdvisor every month. They can check out reviews and also book vacation home rental via the website.
Guests get a lot of choices! There are over 800,000 vacation rental properties listed in over 190 countries. It’s fair to say that Tripadvisor is a popular platform.
There aren’t any upfront subscription fees, and there’s no contract to worry about either. You can list your property for free, but you do have to pay a 3% fee on every booking.
Homestay differs from other vacation rental websites. Founded in 2013 by travel industry experts Tom Kennedy and Debbie Flynn, Homestay was built on the notion that travelers could comfortably stay in a private room within someone else’s home. Nowadays Homestay boasts over 55,000 rooms in over 160 countries. On average, guests book homestay accommodation for a duration of twelve nights.
This platform is perfect for sociable hosts. You get to greet your guests and interact with them – ensuring they enjoy their stay. However, aside from the social element, hosts can also make some money. The average host makes around $1500 per year.
Sometimes vacation rental websites expand rapidly and catch the eye of bigger businesses. This is exactly what happened to Agoda.
The website was created in Asia in 2005, and just two years later was acquired by The Priceline Group. Today Agoda offers over 2 million properties to stay, including hostels, luxury hotel rooms, and palatial homes. There are no fees to pay and hosts can list a property on Agoda free of charge.
Proclaiming to offer a range of accommodation from small and intimate to large and grand, Homelidays boasts more than 95,000 owners. The platform joins the ranks of other popular vacation rental websites with millions of travelers and guests.
Hosts are charged 8% in commission (excluding VAT), 3% of this is a processing fee (which is calculated on the total amount of the rent, taxes and the deposit). This fee is refunded once the deposit is returned.
Featuring apartments, hostels, hotel rooms, and short-term vacation rentals, 9flats is a European platform offering around 6 million properties.
9flats receives a commission on bookings from both guests and hosts. Hosts pay around 12-15% fee on the booking total. However, you won’t have to pay anything to list your rental.
The Right Vacation Rental Website For You
The vacation rental industry shows no sign of slowing. Consequently, finding the best vacation rental websites can be challenging. There are so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to list your accommodation. Therefore, we suggest you do your research, look at reviews, speak to fellow hosts and check out forums. Get a general feel for what each website offers.
Choosing more than one platform will enable you to reach out to a wider audience. Make sure your rental generates the interest it deserves, this will help you to increase bookings and make more profit. What more could a vacation rental property manager ask for?