Being a newcomer in any industry can get overwhelming. Hosting is no different. While you may be excited to host on your property, you might still have some questions and concerns about where to get started. Even if you have been hosting guests, you still might not have all the answers. You might particularly not know the answer to the question; whether you should list your property with Airbnb or HomeAway.
If you are torn as to which platform you should choose to list your short-term rental property on, this article takes a look at some of the similarities and differences between the two platforms, so you can pick what you feel is ideal for you.
Both Airbnb or HomeAway offer the same service and yet, the type of accommodation provided are worlds apart. For instance, Airbnb offers a wide range of property types from entire homes, apartments, private rooms and interestingly enough, even treehouses and castles.
Homeaway however, requires hosts to list their entire property, as they do not offer shared or private rooms. Hence, Homeaway is popular among guests looking for long term stays as opposed to Airbnb which offers stays as short as one night.
Airbnb hosts are also able to curate a wide range of experiences and tours as a value added service that travellers can book, separately or with accommodation. Hence, it is more geared towards adventurous travellers looking to have shared rental experiences.
Homeaway on the other hand is built for family centric, fully private rentals which include homes, entire villas or bedroomed apartments. If your property is specifically kid-friendly and able to accommodate large families and groups, HomeAway is the platform for you.
If you take a close look at the demographics, since Airbnb offers many different types of rentals including treehouses, it tends to attract younger crowds and even solo travellers, seeking unique experiences. If your property is based in an urban area with many exciting things to do around, Airbnb might be the ideal for you.
On the other hand, HomeAway is a better bet for families and older audiences who are willing to pay for full-space rentals. As HomeAway is known for its large inventories of properties in tourist destinations, guests who seek stays in traditional vacation destinations are more likely to book through the platform. If you wish to entice people for longer stays, by all means go ahead and list on Homeaway.
Airbnb charges hosts a 3 percent fee that covers the cost of processing payments for each booking. Whilst listing your property is done free of charge on the channel, you will be charged a commission for each booking. The payment on Airbnb for hosts is rather straightforward compared to Homeaway in the sense that you do not have to make any payments prior to a booking.
HomeAway.com charges guests only a service fee, which can be paid by credit card when a traveler books and pays through the HomeAway websites. The fee is between 6–12% of the rental amount for most bookings, and can go higher or lower depending on the reservation.Homeaway hosts meanwhile have two options of payment, one being a payment of $349 annually or a per booking payment scheme at a commission of 5 – 8%, which makes sense if your rental income is under $10,000. However, if you do not fall into this income bracket and are considering Homeaway rentals are relatively longer-term, it is ideal to opt for an annual fee.
Another important factor that you might want to consider is that Airbnb guests are not charged any additional fees when paying via credit cards, which in turn can be a benefit to the hosts and of course a competitive advantage as Homeaway charges approximately 3% from guests when using credit cards for payments.
HomeAway guests pay between 6% to 12% as a service fee of the total reservation cost.
Meanwhile, a typical service fee under 14.2% of the booking subtotal is charged from Airbnb hosts. While this amount varies due to many factors, the fee is usually displayed to guests during checkout, prior to booking confirmation.
Both Airbnb & Homeaway allow both hosts and guests to leave detailed reviews. While reviews are considered crucial on both platforms, the only significant difference between the two is probably the fact that Airbnb only allows a timeframe of 14 days for reviews whilst Homeaway allows a whole year for reviewing for both parties. However, once a review has been made by one party, the site allows only 14 days for the corresponding re-review.
Let’s face it. Not all transactions go as smoothly as we plan. Whenever there is a conflict or dispute between guests and hosts, both Airbnb and Homeaway expect parties to come to an agreement without a support team’s involvement. Whilst Airbnb houses a Resolution Centre through which disputes may be resolved, Homeaway acts as a mediator between the owner and the host. However, compared to Airbnb, Homeaway makes it more difficult for a guest to claim a refund when a property doesn’t correspond to its description.
Both platforms offer 24/7 customer service complete with a comprehensive FAQ page on the sites and customer support can be reached via both phone and email with the exception that Airbnb support accepts phone calls for only urgent issues.
Both Airbnb and Homeaway offer $1M liability insurance for property owners at no extra cost which might be a compelling reason to get on board. Whilst there are quite a few differences between the two platforms, it is noteworthy that both Airbnb and Homeaway offer reliable solutions and a great way to host your property without having to spend thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising.
There is really no way to lose with either site and which one you should go with entirely depends on the kind of segment you are looking to attract alongside how much the fees make sense for your property.
If you can’t decide your audience just yet, it might even make sense to list your property on both platforms to see which works better for you!
Hostaway is the all-in-one solutions provider for vacation rental property managers. No matter where in the world your property is based, Hostaway allows you to manage a lean operation by helping you to list and manage multiple properties, on multiple platforms, be it Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, etc at the same time to grow your short-term rentals.
Hostaway supports you in terms of listing your property, reservation management, rate management and by providing reporting insights, direct booking support and even communication tools.
Speak to the team at hostaway.com and start listing your property to kick-start your holiday rental business.