Considering VRBO is one of the largest online travel agencies (OTA) it's not surprising that thousands of property managers are trying to learn how to list on VRBO. With millions of guests booking accommodation each and every year on the platform, there is a huge opportunity for property managers to gain more visibility, increase occupancy and overall generate significantly more revenue.
Before you dive into listing on VRBO there are several things you need to know. Firstly the platform was developed with property managers and larger operators in mind. This means that hosts that are used to the Airbnb platform may find quite a few differences, especially regarding taxes, damage deposits, payment processing, and options for charging extra fees.
VRBO will charge lodging and sales taxes depending on the agreement between VRBO and your jurisdiction. This means that if they’re required by law to remit on your behalf, then they will. If your jurisdiction does not require them to do so then they will allow you to charge guests directly and you will be responsible for remitting those lodging and sales taxes. Follow these steps to determine whether VRBO collects and remits taxes on your behalf:
You have the option of requiring a damage deposit or not. This deposit will be paid upfront by the guest at the time of the booking. This is a significant improvement over Airbnb’s system, which does not actually charge the damage deposit fee until after an incident is reported. You also have the option of offering guests a Property Damage Protection insurance. This insurance is in lieu of the guest having to pay an upfront damage deposit.
Few things to note about VRBO’s damage deposit:
VRBO unlike Airbnb provides more options related to processing guest payments. You can either have VRBO handle guests charges or charge guests directly via Stripe, Braintree, or other major credit card processing companies.
This flexibility can be great for property managers that want more control over their guests.
VRBO is a popular OTA and has quickly become a must list site for most property managers. They are extremely property manager focussed; providing ample support to thor property manager partners.
VRBO prioritizes large family bookings so it’s a great marketing channel for managers with larger homes in desirable family destinations such as vacation markets. The channel has become the largest competitor of Airbnb and allows for largely the same types of inventory.
In order to easily set up your VRBO listing you will need to have the following information organized: the property address, high resolution photographs, banking information, details about the property, and your pricing strategy.
If you’re setting up a VRBO listing, then it is worth thinking about also setting up an Airbnb listing. By utilizing a channel manager you will be able to synchronize both the VRBO and Airbnb calendars and have a unified inbox so you can communicate on either platform without toggling between both applications.