Property Management Blog

Top 5 reasons not to list your home on VRBO

Michael Taylor - Thursday, March 9, 2023


Hey guys. Mike Taylor Broker Owner, Red door Property Management today we're going to be talking about short term rentals and we're going to talk about VRBO. Do you or do you not want to list your home on the VRBO website? So today we are going to be talking about the top five reasons that you do not want to list your home on VRBO. There are some positives that come along with listing your home on VRBO. We did a video on that. It is the top three reasons that you do want to list your home on VRBO. So please take a look at that video to find out the pros and the cons. Today we're here to talk about the top five reasons you do not want to. 

Reason number one 

So, reason number one, higher fees. Airbnb charges roughly around 3% to the owner for their booking fees. They pass most of that on to the guest. It's kind of the opposite situation for VRBO. They have various pricing models, but you're looking closer to like twelve to 15% of the booking that you're going to pay as the owner of the property for the booking fees. Now you can't pass that along to the guests. That's what most people do, that's what we do. So, when we list a home, it actually has two different prices. So, if you look on Airbnb, it will be slightly cheaper than if it's listed on VRBO because we just pass that on to the guest. So, it'll be call it 13% of a markup on VRBO. So, a way to work around that. But just know that you will pay higher fees if you list your home on VRBO. 

Reason number two

Reason number two, you're going to have to manage two calendars. It's annoying, it stinks. There are some certain technology pieces that you could put into play to help automate that. But you do have to be aware that if you get a booking on Airbnb, somehow, whether it's manually or through a piece of technology or a piece of software, you have to communicate that booking to VRBO so that you don't get double booked. And opposite, same is true if you get a booking on VRBO. You have to have some ways to communicate that to Airbnb so that you say that those days are no longer available and you don't get double bookings. So, again, it can be managed, but you've got to put some pieces in place to allow you to not trip up on getting the double bookings by managing two different calendars at once. 

Reason number three

Reason number three, you have to pay taxes. So, Airbnb does all of that for you. They withhold it for you, they remit it for you. VRBO does not, they will charge it and then they will pass it on to you. But then you are responsible to find out the tax rate in your particular county is the way we do it here in Indiana, and then remit that on a monthly basis to the county. It's like an innkeeper's tax. So that is something that you have to do on your own if you're going to list your home on VRBO.

Reason number four

Reason number four is, again, Airbnb kind of does all this for you. VRBO does not verbo does not manage any payments. So, they're the platform that you advertise on, but then you have to go set up a payment processor. So, we use Stripe, there's several of them out there, but it's another software that you have to work with. It's just another piece of the puzzle that you have to manage if you're going to list your home on VRBO. So just know that you've got to set up I think most people probably use Stripe is probably the default kind of go to, but you've got to set up that account so that you can manage the payments. If you have a problem with the payment, there's really no contacting VRBO. It is between you and the guest and Stripe is the intermediary who is handling those transactions. 

Reason number five

And let's see, the fifth one is you're not going to get as many bookings as Airbnb. You're just not Airbnb is kind of the people to beat out there. They're the biggest platform. Most people, when they think of short-term rentals, think of Airbnb. So, you're just not going to get as many bookings on our homes that we manage. We got about 15% to 20%of our bookings coming through Airbnb. Now, that's not insignificant at all. But if you're managing this yourself and you're like, hey, I'm doing fine in Airbnb, I don't want to do all these things. I don't want to set up a Stripe account, I don't want to manage two different calendars. That's understandable. And you're just not going to get as many bookings on Verbo as you are on Airbnb. So that's the reason number five. I'm going to give you a bonus one. I said five, but there's six. 

Reason number six

The bonus one is VRBO is just annoying. They're just super annoying to work with. Like everything about it is a special exception. We work with a separate management software to handle all of these transactions and the communications and the juggling of the different calendars. And every time it just doesn't work with Airbnb. Sometimes the communication doesn't come through the software or there's certain things that you can't sync with VRBO. So, there's just like the list goes on and on about the annoyances of working with VRBO. It is just an annoying platform to work with. It's frustrating and annoying for us. We do list our homes on VRBO because 20% of our bookings do come from there. That's a big amount that will really basically pay for our fees. So, we feel like it's the right thing to do for our clients. We do it on our personal homes that we own, so we do recommend it. But you have to know that there are some annoyances that come along listing your home on the verbal platform. So, you decide if it's worth it for you. 

If you hire us, we will do it for you. We will take care of those annoyances for you. So, your choice to make. But please take a look at the other video that we created on the top three reasons that you do want to list your home on VRBO.