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What is STR in Real Estate? A Complete Guide for Investing Newbie

What is STR in real estate? Learn the answer from this article and get the complete guide to succeed in this exciting kind of rental game!

Home > Resources > Guides 

What is STR in Real Estate? A Complete Guide for Investing Newbie

what is str in real estate

What is STR in Real Estate? A Complete Guide for Investing Newbie

What is STR in real estate? Learn the answer from this article and get the complete guide to succeed in this exciting kind of rental game!

What is STR in Real Estate? A Complete Guide for Investing Newbie

After years of hard work and meticulous savings, the time has come to let your hard-earned money work for you. It’s time for you to start investing in real estate. But a few questions remain, and one of them is “What is STR in real estate?” 

Real estate investing has many sides. For starters, short-term rentals are among its most popular and lucrative facets. And with the right strategies, it’s not really that hard to succeed in them. But we’ll caution you that it takes some dedication and hard work. These are the qualities that we’re sure you already have.

So, let this article be your trusty guide as you set to become a real estate investor! We will unveil a comprehensive roadmap to help you understand STR in real estate. We’ve got every aspect of your STR journey covered.

  • The STR real estate definition
  • STR vs LTR
  • Things to consider in real estate STR investing
  • How to invest in STR (ways to maximize profits)
  • Creating an Airbnb Listing
  • Optimizing Airbnb Nightly Rate

What is STR in Real Estate?

STR in real estate is the shorthand for short-term rentals. These are investment properties that are rented out for short periods, usually for fewer than 30 days. 

This is a revolutionary business model popularized by Airbnb that has redefined how travelers experience accommodation. There are other companies in the business like Vrbo and Booking.com. However, Airbnb still remains the leading home-sharing platform. 

But these companies are not alone in making profits. In fact, more property owners have shifted from long-term rentals. Many investors have benefited from short-term rental properties’ higher rental income potential. And the cherry on top? STR listings get free marketing and promotion on these home-sharing platforms!

And for anyone who wants to have a slice of action, any property type and size can listed on Airbnb. Short-term rental properties can be a single room, entire house, apartment, and what have you? This provides travelers with a wider range of options, making them ditch hotel accommodations. So there’s a huge pool of customers.

STR VS LTR: The Difference

Let’s talk about two types of rental investment: one for long-time tenants, and the other for short-time guests. 

Long-Term Rentals

A staple in the real estate market, long-term rentals are properties rented for a very long time, (at least six months). This is bound by a lease agreement. Long-term rental homes charge rent a bit higher than the mortgage, so they get more money every month. This rent from LTRs stays the same regardless of economic conditions, such as rising inflation or interest rates.

Why Should You Consider LTR?

  • Stable Rental Market: With a staggering 334 million residents, the United States stands as the third most populous nation on the planet. Just ponder that for a moment – this sheer abundance of people ensures a steady hunger for long-term rental properties.
    We have just given you the possibility of doing LTR in the US. But it’s still best to check the local population to verify the local demand for traditional rentals in your area. 
  • A Steady Revenue: For those who opt for the long-term rental route, a river of income flows steadily into your coffers. This financial lifeline remains remarkably resilient even in the face of changing market conditions. The average monthly rent in the United States clocks in at a substantial $1,702, ensuring a robust financial foundation for property owners.
  • Cost-Efficient Comfort: No need to empty your pockets upfront for furnishings. In the world of long-term rentals, tenants typically arrive with their own belongings, sparing you from the furnishing frenzy.
  • The Low-Key Landlord Life: If you prefer a hassle-free management style, long-term rentals have you covered. Expect less to zero day-to-day interactions with your tenants. This allows you the luxury of hands-off property management. But, tread cautiously in this tranquil territory – neglect can breed trouble, with property damages compounding if left unattended.

In this world of long-term rentals, the benefits may be abundant. And yet the potential is limited. But it’s still a route for property owners to find security in stability and prosperity in predictability. 

Short-Term Rentals

Now, let’s embark on a journey through the exhilarating landscape of short term rentals. Here, you can find a more flexible opportunity and enjoy unique advantages. 

While LTRs have tenants, STRs have guests who stay in your rental for a shorter period. Short-term rentals offer their property to guests who prefer cheaper accommodation in the area compared to hotels. 

Why You Should Do STRs?

  • Go-To Accommodation of Millions of Tourists: Picture a world where the travel and tourism industry reigns supreme. In the United States, this sector dazzles with an astounding $1.9 trillion in economic output. It employs 9.5 million Americans, contributing a substantial 2.9% to the country’s GDP.
    But here’s the kicker: the United States stands tall as the epicenter of international traveler spending, accounting for a staggering 14.5% of global travel expenses. 

Does your own city have enough market for STRs? Then find out the STR demand in your area!

  • Pricing Flexibility: Flexibility is the superpower of STR hosts. You can adjust your nightly rates at will. This can help you ride the waves of seasonality and changing market demand. With this, your property becomes a chameleon, seamlessly adapting to the ever-changing tides of the rental world.
  • Frequency of income: Imagine a stream of wanderlust-filled travelers choosing your STR! With every booking, you get to enjoy a frequent cash flow. The possibility of securing multiple guests all year round is high. This makes the income stream from STR real estate more exciting compared to LTRs.
  • The Art of Hosting: In this vibrant short-term rental world, you become a maestro of property management. It’s not just about spaces. it’s about the stories you create with every turn of guests.
    And here’s the twist: even if you’re not the “hosting” type, automation comes to your rescue. You can orchestrate your property remotely with the symphony of automated management tools.
  • Control Unleashed: Embrace the thrill of control! With guests coming and going like the tide, your property remains agile and ready for reinvention. Minor hiccups? No problem! Damages can be fixed in a jiffy, and the safety net of Airbnb insurance has your back.

In the realm of short-term rentals, every day is a new adventure, and every guest is a fresh chapter in your property’s story. It’s a dynamic world where income potential from an STR knows no bounds. Plus, the rewards are as boundless as your imagination.

Cons of STRs 

Here are a few crucial considerations that STR investors should know:

  • Airbnb Regulations – Every major travel city is threatened with STR regulations. These may cover zoning laws and permit requirements for starters. During operations, you should ensure that you meet the safety standards and comply with sanitation rules. On the other hand, stricter regulations include occupancy limits.
    Please refer to your area’s STR regulations as they may vary depending on the area. They are found on your local government website. 
  • Seasonality – Seasonality is the change in demand for rentals depending on the time of the year. The high season, where you can earn the most, includes favorable weather and popular holidays. But it’s not usually the case all year round, so you can expect and prepare for the low season in your area.
  • Startup Expenses  – Starting a vacation rental from scratch requires you to make it homey. There’s a list of startup expenses that you need to cover, and this will depend on your aesthetic and budget. 
  • Monthly Upkeep – Once a guest stays in your STR, they will unavoidably use electric appliances. This, among many other expenses, is shouldered by the hosts. In the LTR setup, tenants pay for these every month. But STR properties come with monthly expenses shouldered by the hosts. These include water, cleaning, internet, and mortgage, among others.
  • STR Financing – Financing for STRs is a bit more challenging to secure. Typical financing options may not work here. For one you cannot apply for a government-backed loan since it will be used as an STR. It’s only for people looking for a primary residence. 
    But there’s still good news. You can explore personal loans, as well as short-term rental lenders to finance your STR venture.

How To Invest in STRs

You now know the answer to “What is STR in Real Estate?” Imagine the potential income from an STR. It’s really enticing, right? But before investing in STR property and listing it on Airbnb and VRBO, there are more tips that we can share. It’s leading your money to the best STR properties!

The most successful investors are willing to pay more attention to research. In this part, we’ll provide you with simple steps to ace your STR venture!

  • Finding The Right Market (High-Demand Area for STR)

In the STR industry, short term rental markets refer to cities. And as in all aspects of real estate investment, location can mean everything. Best STR markets have a high demand for both tourists and business travelers.

Such cities offer a constant influx of potential guests, ensuring a steady flow of bookings throughout the year. Metropolises, tourist hotspots, and business centers tend to be top choices for STR investors.

You may already know this and have a list of target STR markets. But which among them offers the highest return? What you’ll need to know before investing in STR is the market’s capitalization rate (cap rate). 

Cap rate helps you figure out how much money you might make from a property investment when you pay for it in full without getting a loan. It’s a way to see how good an investment is and compare different properties. It shows the yearly profit as a percentage of what you paid for the property.

This metric is derived by dividing the property’s annual net income by its purchase price or market value. In this case, you already know your budget. You’ll need a powerful STR analytics provider to get an accurate average net income in the STR market in your list.

What is a Good Cap Rate?

For a good Airbnb investment, a cap rate between 5% and 10% is ideal. If it’s higher within this range, it means you have the potential for better returns on your investment. But be cautious. A cap rate beyond 10% might look great. However, it could also indicate risks, such as unstable property income or an uncertain market.

On the other hand, if your cap rate falls on the lower end of the 5-10% range, it suggests you might earn less, but your earnings will likely be stable. This is a safer option, especially for investors seeking a reliable, long-term income.

Cap rate does not end in letting you understand what a good investment is. It also helps you understand the risks involved in buying income-generating properties. Usually, when a property is riskier, it has the potential for bigger profits. Alternatively, lower-risk properties may give you more stable but smaller profits. So, the cap rate is like a tool that helps you balance the potential rewards and risks of property investments.

Finding the Best Submarket

I know what you’re thinking, “there’s a market, then there’s a submarket?” Yes, there is! But it’s not as complicated as it seems. When it comes to investing, submarkets are just smaller segments of your market. In fact, these are just bite-sized pieces of data that make your property search simpler to do!

For example, you have found out that you can earn the most in Miami. You’re deadset that you’re already in contact with the local realtors. Wouldn’t you want to know where exactly in Miami is most profitable for your future vacation rental?  To have a good investment in the rental market of your choice, all you have to do is dig deeper! So, before grabbing the phone, you can still push your luck and read first about submarket analysis!

Selecting the Optimal Property Type

Location, neighborhood, what’s next? It’s selecting a property type. The good thing about STR investments is all types can listed on Airbnb. If you’re investing in a short-term rental, you should know the optimal property type in EVERY STR MARKET!

Apartments and condos do best in some cities, while entire houses outperform the rest in some. Each property type option boasts each of its own distinct features that can attract the highest number of guests in your market (or submarket). 

So instead of tossing a coin to guide your decision, why not heed advice from rental analytics? “What is the Best Type of Property for Airbnb? (with 3 Sample Markets)” provides a clear methodical roadmap to assist you in making an informed decision!

Discover The Best Property Size

Just when you thought we’d stopped at property type, we’re introducing property size to the mix. This simply refers to the number of STR bedrooms. 

When we discuss this, you’ve got a range from 1 to 6 bedrooms to play with. But don’t let the result of a six-sided die roll determine the property size you’ll invest in.  Instead, tap into the wealth of Airbnb analytics to make an informed discovery. And just like property type, the number varies depending on the market.

Just remember this, “Size matters when it comes to (STR) bedroom!” Intrigued by the bedroom conundrum? Then master the numbers game from “What is the Best Number of Bedrooms for Airbnb?” It’s your key to unlocking valuable insights and a data-driven approach, ensuring you pick the perfect number of bedrooms for your specific location!

How To Create An Airbnb Listing?

As we have said earlier, Airbnb is the leading platform when it comes to home-sharing. Its share comprises an estimated 20% of the entire vacation rental market. So operating a short-term rental will not begin without its Airbnb debut. Here’s how you create a listing on the platform:

1. Create an Airbnb Account.
2. Complete your profile with a picture and verify your identity.
3. Click “Become a Host” to start listing your property.
4. Describe the details of your space. Specify the property type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the number of guests it can accommodate.
5. Set your house rules, pricing, and the availability of your property.
6. Upload clear and well-lit photos that showcase your property’s best features
7. Create a catchy yet accurate property description
8. Choose your booking settings, whether you want to accept instant bookings or prefer to review guests beforehand
9. If you have any, add amenities and features such as wifi, kitchen, or hot tubs.

How To Set Nightly Rate?

You do not have to doubt yourself when setting a nightly rate. But we understand your concerns. Setting it too high might make potential guests skip your listing. When you go too low, you’ll only leave money on the table.

The great thing about our guide is we’re leading you to the most profitable location and property size and type in your market. But how much exactly should you charge?

STR real estate works best if you’re updated with market trends. For fluctuating revenue, occupancy rate, and nightly rate,  all you need is accurate and comprehensive data insights. And you can only rely on STR data analytics provided by the powerful Airbtics Dashboard. With this in hand, you can quickly respond to changing market conditions throughout the year by leveraging the LTM data in your area! 

With Airbtics Advanced Filters, you will know exactly how much you should charge your rental according to its location, property type, and the number of bedrooms.

STR Investment, For The Win!

Now that you know “What is STR in real estate?”, does your heart beat with excitement for the possibility? This investment may be new. However, investing in STR real estate has proven to be highly profitable. Especially, if you have found the right property, oh boy, you’re set for life!

But your success will depend on a lot of factors. You need to find the best short-term rental properties in the right location and with optimal market-specific attributes (property type and number of bedrooms). And this should be the least of your concerns! You already know how to find STR real estate investment that ensures financial security!

Got an eye on an STR property and wanna know how you can cash in? Then know its profitability with the most powerful Airbnb Income Calculator!

Unlock Worldwide
Short-Term Rental Data
Find unsaturated neighborhoods with the highest occupancy history.

Unlock Worldwide
Short-Term Rental Data
Find unsaturated neighborhoods with the highest occupancy history.

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How To Run Airbnb Remotely? A Comprehensive Guide For Remote Hosts

Don’t pass up a profitable opportunity simply because of distance. Learn how to run Airbnb remotely, and seize profits from afar!

Home > Resources > Guides 

How To Run Airbnb Remotely? A Comprehensive Guide For Remote Hosts

how to run Airbnb remotely

How To Run Airbnb Remotely? A Comprehensive Guide For Remote Hosts

Don’t pass up a profitable opportunity simply because of distance. Learn how to run Airbnb remotely, and seize profits from afar!

How To Run Airbnb Remotely? A Comprehensive Guide For Remote Hosts

You have found a profitable property in a lucrative market. You’ve checked a reliable Airbnb Calculator, and the profit potential is astonishing. Everything is alright, the numbers are fine. Until you realized, the market is so damn far, and you’re now wondering how to run Airbnb remotely!

It’s like discovering a treasure chest filled with gems, and you simply cannot pass it up. Diversifying your portfolio while getting higher profit should not stop you! Take the distance as an opportunity to conquer new territories! 

And you won’t be blazing a new trail here. Managing an Airbnb remotely has been all the rage for quite some time. As a matter of fact, many investors have already reaped the rewards of this approach!

How To Manage Airbnb Remotely?

Managing an Airbnb property remotely can be both rewarding and challenging. As an Airbnb remote host, you’ve got a lot of things to cover. In this guide, we’ll explore essential strategies on how to run Airbnb remotely:

1. Set Your Local Team

Quality control in Airbnb significantly impacts guest reviews and repeat bookings. In fact, it is one of the ground rules of Airbnb hosting. And what any other way to ensure this than setting up your own local team of a cleaner, a plumber, and an electrician?

Cleaning and preparing your Airbnb rental for new guests after check-out is critical. Should there be a busted pipe or an electrical problem, having local professionals on standby can prevent significant property damage and ensure guest safety.

You might also want to consider including an Airbnb virtual assistant on your team or hiring a local rental property manager who will manage your property on the ground.

2. Explore Airbnb Co-Hosting

Another worthwhile option, Airbnb co-hosting involves partnering with a trusted person to assist you in various aspects of remote Airbnb management. A co-host can coordinate the services of the members of your local team. A co-host ensures that any cleaning or maintenance issues are addressed effectively and immediately. 

Having a reliable local team and trusted partner can provide Airbnb remote hosts some peace of mind. It reduces the stress and uncertainty associated with managing property issues from afar.

3. Keeping abreast of Airbnb Regulations

For all kinds of Airbnb investors and hosts, regulations are a hard pill to swallow. And in all forms of law, ignorance is no excuse, even if you’re hosting Airbnb remotely.

Airbnb regulations vary depending on the city. Local governments introducing new rules and meaning existing ones are just rubbing salt in the wound. Furthermore, violating these regulations can result in hefty fines or even the closure of your Airbnb.

Therefore, regularly checking the official websites of the local government where your property is located is the best way to keep informed. Aside from getting official updates, they regularly published other developments related to short-term rentals on their websites.

4. Join Online Communities

Talking over the fence with your neighbors about the latest happenings is not your only option. And this is physically impossible for you. Hosting Airbnb remotely and knowing your fellow Airbnb hosts’ concerns have never been so easy. Just check the internet, and you will find a space for short-term rental discussions.

Every city has its own Facebook groups specifically for its Airbnb market. You can also check out BiggerPockets. Online communities offer a sense of support. This allows any Airbnb remote host to connect with like-minded people who understand the unique challenges of managing Airbnb properties within a particular city. 

Members often share timely updates and offer valuable insights into local market conditions, trends, and even regulations.

5. Create An Airbnb Guest Book

An Airbnb guest book ensures that guests have all the necessary information during their stay. A guest book can be in digital or physical format, but we suggest providing a physical copy. It’s easily accessible, especially when placed in a prominent location in your rental.

A typical Airbnb guest book includes:

  • Welcome note
  • House Rules (Yes, you can set your own rules)
  • Contact Information (Yours, your co-host, your cleaner, etc.)
  • Wi-Fi Password (Include a troubleshooting guide)
  • Check-Out instructions

However, you can still add other information such as:

  • Local Recommendations
  • Emergency Information (Contact number of the police or fire department)
  • Appliance Manual
  • Public Transportation Options
  • Local Events Calendar
  • Housekeeping and Cleaning Guidelines

You can include other things in your Airbnb Guest Book. Your personalized recommendations can enhance the guest experience. A guest book also highlights your rules (your house, your rules). And if there should be an emergency, guests can easily contact concerned parties to raise their concerns.

6. Invest in Technology

Technological tools such as cameras and noise monitors can offer remote Airbnb hosts some peace of mind. 

Cameras give hosts a watchful eye on their properties. This remote surveillance provides a sense of reassurance and control. They’re just a staple of remote Airbnb management. They make sure that you’re updated with the condition of your rental.

Also, cameras can discourage inappropriate guest behaviors. But if worse comes to worst, recorded footage may come in handy should there be disputes.

Now that you have an eye, you’ll still have to have an ear on your property. Airbnb permanently bans parties, and there’s no other way to track this than installing a noise monitor. 

Noise monitoring systems can send alerts to the Airbnb remote host when noise levels surpass the defined thresholds. This enables hosts to intervene swiftly by contacting the guests or local authorities, if necessary.

7. Consider Self Check-in

Self check-in isn’t just about convenience. It’s a game-changer for both your guests and your local team (if you have one). 

Think of it as a round-the-clock key to exceptional guest experiences. Whether you’re welcoming travelers during the hustle and bustle of the day or in the quiet hours of the night, self check-in gives guests the freedom to arrive at their leisure.

With Airbnb smart locks, there will be no more fussing with schedules or feeling the pressure of travel hiccups. It’s all about putting the power in your guests’ hands, granting them the privacy and independence they crave especially during long trips. 

And for remote Airbnb hosts, self check-in is always ready to streamline operations and make your life a whole lot easier. 

8. Tap Into Airbnb Automation

Automation is also a universal lifesaver, especially for remote Airbnb hosts. Sync up your Airbnb calendar with other platforms, and voila, you’ve just thwarted those dreaded double bookings. Say goodbye to booking-related stress and hello to seamless reservation management.

Automation doesn’t just streamline your remote Airbnb management. It supercharges your guests’ experience. 

Imagine instant responses to their questions and messages, thanks to savvy chatbots and automated messaging systems. These digital wizards can tackle common queries, dish out smooth check-in instructions, and troubleshoot everyday issues, all at the speed of light. 

Important reminder: Automation is a tool to assist, but never lose your personal touch with guests!

Unlocking Airbnb Remote Hosting Success!

Not everyone hits the jackpot, so congratulations on discovering a profitable STR property.  And now that you know how to run Airbnb remotely, go for it! 

Managing an Airbnb remotely may not be as straightforward as it seems. But armed with a reliable on-site team and these technological advantages, you’re well-prepared to embark on remote Airbnb management!

So, don’t let distance deter you from seizing the opportunity to purchase a profitable STR property. It’s time to take that step with confidence, as success awaits in the world of remote Airbnb investment!

If you want to learn more, learn the insights of hosting Airbnb remotely from this couple!

Here’s how a host couple manages their Airbnbs remotely!

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Find unsaturated neighborhoods with the highest occupancy history.

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What is Vrbo and How Does it Work for Vacation Rental Hosts?

What is Vrbo and how does it work? Discover the company that predates Airbnb and how it can help you with your STR game!

Home > Resources > Guides 

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work for Vacation Rental Hosts?

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work for Vacation Rental Hosts?

What is Vrbo and how does it work? Discover the company that predates Airbnb and how it can help you with your STR game!

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work for Vacation Rental Hosts?

Airbnb is the undisputed king of the home-sharing economy. But every monarch is challenged from all fronts. And one of Airbnb’s mighty opponents is Vrbo.

Vrbo is the battle-hardened veteran of the industry, a pioneer that predates Airbnb’s rise to fame. In this article, let’s uncover the untold story of Vrbo and how it’s poised to challenge the mighty Airbnb for the throne of the home-sharing kingdom. We’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is Vrbo and How Does it Work?
  • How Is Vrbo Different than Airbnb?
  • Is Vrbo Safe?
  • How to List a Property on Vrbo? 

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work?

Vrbo is short for Vacation Rental By Owners. It is an online marketplace where property owners list their homes as vacation rentals that travelers can book. Like Airbnb, Vrbo manages these transactions as a bridge between hosts and guests. 

12 years before Airbnb’s grand entrance, Vrbo was founded in 1995 in Colorado. The man behind it was David Clouse, a retired teacher who wanted to rent out his ski condo as a vacation home in Breckenridge.

But here’s the twist: he had no patience for the traditional travel agencies and all the cumbersome intermediaries.

His determination to streamline the process became the fiery fuel behind this venture. It was the spark that ignited the creation of a groundbreaking rental site where property owners could proudly display their rentals 

And Vrbo was born because of this. Its birth paved the way for a new era of direct connections between homeowners and eager adventurers. If you think about it, Vrbo started the revolution in the world of vacation rentals.

Vrbo: Acquisitions and Global Expansion

In 2006, Vrbo’s journey took a new turn as HomeAway, a Texan vacation rental marketplace, acquired it. This partnership became the launching pad for Vrbo into the global arena while retaining its unique identity. With more capital at its disposal, it offered homeowners a bigger and better platform to showcase their properties.

Under HomeAway, Vrbo spread its wings beyond the US borders. It quickly became a household name for travelers seeking vacation rentals worldwide. This partnership between HomeAway and Vrbo did not just help homeowners profit. It also helped HomeAway secure its position as an industry leader as it gobbled up other vacation rental websites along the way.

A giant in online travel came into the mix in 2006, wanting to expand its horizon. The Expedia Group acquired HomeAway. Of course, the acquisition included Vrbo. Vrbo became an integral part of this conglomerate and was poised for even more significant developments.

Currently, Vrbo operates in 190 countries with 2 million short-term rental properties listed on the platform.

How Does Vrbo Work For Hosts?

Vrbo is an online vacation rental platform that also offers a wide range of accommodation options. Hosts can list on Vrbo a wide range of properties, from seaside and urban residences to urban apartments and posh houses. Later on, we’ll tell you how to create a Vrbo listing.

But your vacation rental listing will not only be offered exclusively on the platform. Remember when we said that it had been acquired by Expedia? Well, this acquisition has also benefited Vrbo hosts. 

Once you list an accommodation on Vrbo, your listing will spread on the extensive network of the Expedia Group. Vrbo provides your vacation properties wider exposure via Trivago, KAYAK, TravelMob, CanadaStays (if applicable), and websites under this conglomerate.  This increases your chances of booking requests from various platforms!

How Is Vrbo Different than Airbnb?  

Vrbo cannot seem to escape the shadows of Airbnb. While Vrbo is very similar to Airbnb, there are still key differences between the two. 

For starters, Vrbo only allows you to list an entire property. This means that guests can enjoy the entire place for themselves. On the other hand, Airbnb allows hosts a variety of property types. A medieval castle? A full-floor Manhattan penthouse? A cozy private room? Shared spaces? What have you? Hosts may even create a listing for their couch for all they (Airbnb and guests) care.

In this section, we’ll provide a list of how Vrbo is different from Airbnb:

Hosting Experience

Vrbo

Airbnb

Property Type and Variety

Specializes in entire home rentals only

Offers entire homes, private rooms, and shared spaces

Property Management and Hosting Fees

Offers options for flat annual fees of $ 499 or 5 % individual booking fees for hosts

Charges hosts a 3% fee, with variations for Airbnb Plus hosts

Profile and Review System

Lacks individual host and traveler profile pages;
single satisfaction rating

Requires comprehensive host and traveler profiles;
detailed reviews, and separate ratings for cleanliness, communication, and location

Superhost and Premier Partners

Has “Premier Partners” with specific criteria for hosts, including low cancellation rates and an average guest rating above 4.5

Has Superhosts with higher requirements, including an average rating of 4.8

Insurance for Hosts

Includes $1M liability insurance with bookings

Provides AirCover for Hosts, covering up to 1M worth of damage and liability

Cancellation Policies

Offers varied cancellation policies, including a “no refund” option

Also offers varied cancellation policies with a “no refund” option

At the end of the day, it’s all about contributing to the best vacation for short-term renters. From the check-in process to leaving reviews, which of these two vacation rental sites is for better guests?

Guest Experience

Vrbo

Airbnb

Pricing Transparency

Pricing details, including cleaning and service fees, revealed on the final listing page

Displays pricing information upfront on listing pages, offering more transparency

Website Interface

More advanced filters for a more personalized search

Map with nightly rates of each property

Payment Options

Permits monthly payments for those eligible through Affirm

Does not offer the same monthly payment option

Insurance for Guests

Provides a Book with Confidence Guarantee and optional protection plans

Prices and Fees

Charges guests 6-12% of the reservation cost

Charges service fee varies for both guests and hosts following a fee structure

Guest Reviews

Allows reviews up to one year after the visit

Requires guests to leave reviews within 14 days following check out date

Loyalty Programs

Prioritizes guest safety, participates in the One Key rewards program

No loyalty program

How to List a Property on Vrbo?

Imagine your rental as a performer wanting to be seen. So make them known to people looking for vacation rentals! A great way to shower your rental with attention is by listing it on Vrbo. Here are the very simple steps:

1. First things first, start by logging into your account. If you’re not part of the hosting community yet, create your account and get ready to open your doors to travelers.
2. At the top of the homepage, you’ll find the key to your hosting dreams: “List your Property”.  
3. Set the scene by sharing the details of your property (location, number of rooms). Introduce your rental to the world! Ready? Then, hit “Next
4. You’ll now see a checklist. Think of it as a guided tour to set up your listings. This includes:

    • ‘Details’: Tell the world about your unique property.
    • ‘Photos’: Capture your space’s essence in high-quality pictures.
    • ‘Security’: Ensure peace of mind for both you and your guests.
    • ‘Payment’: Set the financial stage for your hosting venture.
    • ‘Pricing’: Find the sweet spot between affordability and profit.

5. If you’re satisfied with your choices, take a deep breath and make it official. Click ‘Go live‘ to release your listing to the world!

Remember when we said that your Vrbo listing would appear on other Expedia websites? Though they’re a lot, the fact remains that your property will not appear on another important site, Airbnb. So, while you’re at it, why not create an Airbnb listing for your property to get all bases covered?

Is Vrbo Safe?

“How safe is Vrbo?” is a valid question. To answer your question, Yes, it is safe to use Vrbo! As a legitimate and well-established company, Vrbo is an American vacation rental platform that offers host and property managers a degree of safety. This company has been at the forefront of the vacation rental industry for decades. Its rich history brings a wealth of experience to the table, making it a trusted name among travelers and hosts alike. In fact, many vacation rentals had already made a significant profit from it way before Airbnb came to the scene 12 years later. 

Legitimate booking platforms like Airbnb have put a layer of security for all stakeholders. In the case of Vrbo, it offers secure and reliable payment processing. Vrbo sends the partner payout as early as one business day after checkout. Depending on your bank, the payout will reach your account roughly five to seven business days later. 

Vrbo also provides clear and transparent policies. This includes cancellation policies that allow you to set the terms for your vacation rental properties. You have control over your listings and can tailor them to your preferences. Vrbo offers property damage protection options, providing an extra layer of security for your valuable assets. These are safety nets for unforeseen incidents, offering peace of mind to rental owners.

Vrbo, A Worthy Player in the Home-Sharing Arena

Vrbo is a vacation rental platform with a legacy predating the rise of Airbnb. Currently backed by the Expedia Group, this formidable player has positioned itself as a strong challenger to Airbnb’s dominance.

As Vrbo continues to carve its path in the home-sharing economy, it is still poised for significant developments and has the potential to reshape the industry’s dynamics. Can it unseat Airbnb from the throne? This remains to be seen. However, its presence and contributions to the vacation rental market are undeniable, making it a noteworthy contender in this ongoing rivalry.

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