Friday, 16 June 2017 00:00

Choosing the Right Listing Site for Your Vacation Rentals

The goal ofinvesting in a vacation rental is to create an income. Without using the right vacation rental listing site, this may become far more difficult. While the process starts with financing and finding the right loan program for your specific needs, it won't matter much if you cannot get anybody to stay in your vacation property.

You have a few basic choices when it comes to listing sites. HomeAway, VBRO and Airbnb are the three main choices. Here's a look at some of the important information you should know about all three of these sites.

The Traveler Service Fee

Most of the major booking sites for vacation properties will charge a traveler service fee. This is calculated based on the total nightly rate and fees. These fees can affect your bookings as the traveler will have to pay the fee in order to stay in your property.

When looking at HomeAway and VRBO, the travelers fee is often less than Airbnb and other vacation property sites. A higher traveler fee may make your property less desirable for those looking to stay. Keep this in mind when choosing a listing site.

Occasional Rentals

Maybe you don't rent out your property very often, so you want a plan that accounts for this. HomeAway offers a subscription, which may be a better deal than a pay-per-booking option, especially if you do rent your property year round. However, those only renting for a few months out of the year will likely get a better deal from the pay-per-booking deal. Make sure to look at both and figure out which fits your needs best.

Which Sites do Travelers Love?

Of course, the price and the numbers all matter, but choosing the listing site travelers prefer is far more important. This goes beyond just the site with the most traffic, however. Some types of properties fit better with certain listing sites.

Luxury properties can be found and booked on Airbnb, but this may not be the best site for luxury vacation rentals. Travelers looking for traditional resort destinations often use VRBO or HomeAway over Airbnb, while millennials looking for a more urban destination choose Airbnb more often. Airbnb also tends to grab the interest of those looking for a shorter stay.

When it comes to overall traffic, Booking.com gets more than all of the sites we've discussed. However, Booking.com doesn't focus specifically on vacation rentals. Airbnb and HomeAway are in the top 15 when it comes to traffic in the travel industry. HomeAway gets more than 8 million monthly visitors, while Airbnb tops the 6 million monthly visitor mark.

It's not a cut and dry decision to pick the right listing site for your vacation rental. All three are very good options, but offer something a little bit different. Depending on the type of property you plan to rent and how you want to go about renting it, Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO may be the right choice.

Before you choose a listing site, it’s important to make sure you’re calculating your net income correctly. The rental home financing, listing site fees and all other financial obligations associated with the property must be a part of your calculation. Now might be the time to consider refinancing your rental home mortgages to keep costs down and offset the fees charged by listing sites.

 

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