Growing up, we’ve been told that it’s better to be a Jack of all trades than to be a master of none. Going by that logic, you may feel that the best way to grow your vacation rental business is to add more listing sites to your channel management strategy. This is specifically helpful in troubling economic climates as it gives you the agility to scale between many different channels.
Whilst this is true, I personally believe that striving to maximize your performance within each channel is a foolproof method to drive your business forward to success. One such way of achieving just that is to gain access to each channel’s elite host program, like Vrbo’s Premier Partner status.
Vrbo is a booming marketplace that features more than two million listings available across 200 countries. This is to say that whilst competition is fierce, there are also many travelers shopping on Vrbo every minute of every day - which is why it is important to stand out!
Vrbo Premier Host is a free, invite-only program that gives you an edge over your competition if you are a good enough Host. According to Vrbo, the program *“recognizes owners and managers who consistently deliver great traveler experiences.” * So essentially, when you meet specific performance requirements, you automatically get bumped to Premier Host status.
Vrbo’s Premier partner program is an invite-only initiative for property managers and owners on Vrbo who deliver above and beyond client expectations. Once you become a Premier Host, Vrbo rewards you with exclusive benefits and services on Vrbo as a ‘thank you’ for being a consistently high-achieving host. Vrbo believes that hosts who “go above and beyond for travelers” help make the entire Vrbo community a better place.
Once you achieve Premier Host status, all listed benefits will apply to all properties in your account automatically when you qualify. These perks that help your listings stand out from the competition include:
Now that you have explored the benefits of becoming a VRBO Premier Host, let’s look at some experts’ tips to become a VRBO Premier Host.
Premier Hosts come in all shapes and sizes, and Vrbo’s requirements vary by the number of properties you manage. If you only have one property, you must meet the following over a 365-day period:
If you have more than one property, there is a two-step process to follow in order to become a Vrbo Premier Partner.
Here are some examples of how performance is measured:
Owner-Initiated Cancellation Rate:
If you have five properties with 20 combined bookings, and canceled one of those bookings, your overall owner-initiated cancellation rate would be 5%.
Average Review Rating:
If you have five properties with 10 combined bookings, and five bookings received a 5.0 rating and five bookings received a 4.5 rating, your average review rating would be a 4.75.
While performance standards will increase from time to time, partners will be notified prior to any updates. First, you must enable online payments and allow online bookings. In addition, at least 10% of your listings must have at least five bookings and three or more guest reviews within a 365-day period.
Once you’ve met those requirements, there are only a few more boxes to check. You must have more than 50% of your eligible properties meet the following requirements:
For example, if you manage 20 eligible vacation rental properties and 10 of which have at least 5 bookings and 3 reviews in one year, then if at least 6 of those properties (more than 50%) meet program criteria, you should receive an invitation to become a Vrbo Premium Partner. It is those 6 properties that will be able to display a Premier Partner badge in Vrbo search results. If the thought of meeting all of these requirements is overwhelming, these 3 tips will put your properties in a position to succeed on Vrbo.
The first thing that catches the eye of any searcher, is beautiful photos of your vacation rental property. Humans process images faster than words, so photos are often the deciding factor on which listing gets a click or not. Beyond photos, make sure that both your headline and description of your property are professional and appeal to your target audience. Finally, to appear in as many searches as possible, make sure you have denoted all of your properties amenities where available. An optimized listing will get you well over the five booking threshold needed to be a Premier Partner.
Not only do you need guest reviews to be a Premier Partner, but they inherently help you to attract more bookings. Vrbo asks guests to review their stay after they’ve checked out, but oftentimes travelers ignore or forget these reminders. It’s best to follow these steps to solicit more feedback from your guests. Requesting reviews from past guests isn’t just a practice to gain channel favor within Vrbo, but should be carried out across channels throughout your business. You should also attempt to screen for bad vacation rental guests so that you end up with more positive reviews.
The best way to gain more bookings on channels is to turn on Instant book. This will help you gain more exposure, capture last minute travelers, and earn a higher ranking in searches. Follow these best practices to get the most out of the feature.