Airbnb RentalsAirbnb vs VRBO: Where Should You List Your Rental Property? by Nadia Abulatif June 16, 2019June 16, 2019 by Nadia Abulatif June 16, 2019June 16, 2019Airbnb vs VRBO: Which one is better for marketing a rental property?Your main goal as a real estate investor is to make money from your investment property. What could be better than a vacation rental business that’s achieving maximum profit? Nothing, of course. For that purpose, vacation rental listing sites are one of the many real estate marketing strategies to get your property booked. However, not all vacation rental websites are suitable for your specific investment goals. In this article, I am going to give you a detailed comparison between two major platforms: Airbnb vs VRBO. So, without further ado, let’s see which one is better.Related: Which Are the Best Vacation Home Rental Sites Out There?Airbnb vs VRBO: Type of Rental PropertyWhen comparing Airbnb vs VRBO, one major difference is the type of short-term rentals you can market on each site. For example, Airbnb offers a property owner the option of listing an entire house, a private room, or a shared room. Moreover, Airbnb allows hosts to list a wide variety of properties from basements all the way to luxurious castles and boats which have a living space.VRBO, on the other hand, is different in the sense that it only allows rental property owners to rent out entire houses. They could be anything from a small apartment to a luxurious villa in a high-end neighborhood. Therefore, you can expect more group/family bookings.Airbnb vs VRBO: Location and Market BasisOne major distinction with Airbnb vs VRBO is the fact that they attract different types of guests based on the destination. For example, Airbnb is more popular amongst young travelers, people who travel solo, business travelers, and mostly those who look for city locations due to the convenience and the variety of options Airbnb rentals offer. VRBO, on the other hand, attracts people in vacation destinations such as beaches- locations where people go to get away and might need a full house for their stay. Therefore, location can be a strong factor in determining which site you list your property for rent.Related: The 5 Most Profitable Airbnb Locations According to Mashvisor’s Investment Property CalculatorAirbnb vs VRBO: Rental DetailsThe rental details for Airbnb vs VRBO are slightly different and this can also be a major contributor to your decision. Here are five main areas you need to know about:FeesFees are another aspect to look into since it has a direct impact on your rental income. For instance, listing fees are different when you look into Airbnb vs VRBO. Airbnb fees do not include any listing fees. You can create an account and list your property entirely for free. However, there is a commission that is 3% per each booking. On the contrary, VRBO does charge hosts listing fees if you choose the subscription option which is $499/year. Otherwise, if you choose to pay-per-booking, it charges you 5% for each transaction in addition to an extra 3% for payment processing.On top of the listing fees, there are vacation rental management fees which Airbnb charges if you choose to use the services of a super host. With VRBO, you’ll probably go with traditional professional property management since you rent out an entire house and so these fees are typically separate from the fees you pay for the site itself.BookingWhen it comes to booking, both Airbnb and VRBO are somewhat similar in the sense that they both offer instant booking as well as the option to review the guest before approving. In the latter case, the guests click on the ‘request to book’ button and hosts have 24 hours to review it and approve. Two major differences when viewing Airbnb vs VRBO are last minute bookings and payments. In the first case, Airbnb does offer last minute bookings which most often come with an additional charge. VRBO, on the other hand, offers the same option without additional charges, in most cases.As for the payment process, Airbnb handles all payments and bookings through their website. Moreover, its payment options are inclusive of all types of international banking as well as credit cards. In contrast, when listing on VRBO, you are not obligated to process payments through their site. Choosing this option means that VRBO is no longer obligated to provide any guarantees for either side of the transaction (guest and host). However, if you choose to pay through the website, it can be done through the HomeAway platform.Related: Marketing Vacation Home Rentals to Increase BookingsCleaning ServicesOf course, when listing your vacation rental, it is common sense that you should have the place cleaned before you let guests in. But there are no specific guidelines for an Airbnb rental property nor for VRBO properties when it comes to cleanliness. Therefore, a host is expected to, at least, have the place vacuumed, clean the dust, and make sure the place has all the essentials such as towels and other elements.The only difference in regards to ensuring cleanliness on Airbnb vs VRBO is that Airbnb has a cleanliness review system for guests. This system could be useful and detrimental at the same time. If you get positive Airbnb reviews, it means that your place is more likely to attract more guests. The contrary could be said if your cleanliness ratings go down which might harm your rental venture.Unlike Airbnb, VRBO has provided hosts with a general rule which states that rental properties must be clean enough for the guests and not just for you. Moreover, they have a general guideline for the most important aspects which must be clean in addition to a list of must-have items.Pet PoliciesIn regards to pet policies, both listing sites have the same policy, so there’s not much to compare here. Both sites adopt a non-discriminatory act regarding service pets. In this case, the guest is not obligated to give any notice to the host of a service pet. Also, service pets are not subject to any laws restricting certain animals due to breed or weight. One more thing to mention about service animals is the fact that the hosts cannot charge extra fees on them, nor do they need to check for any documentation.As for regular pets, the host is free to choose whether they want to include the option in the amenities section. This comes with an extra charge for guests. However, this option is not mandatory. Therefore, even if you have a pet in your property, that does not mean that the guest can bring theirs.TaxesWhen deciding whether to list your vacation rentals on Airbnb vs VRBO, taxes and deductions are a huge part for you to consider. Since taxes can affect your rental income, you must understand how they work on both listing sites. Of course, both Airbnb and VRBO charge VAT. However, in the case of Airbnb, they send your listing history to the IRS without consideration to how many times your property gets booked. Unlike Airbnb, VRBO may or may not send you the 1099 form. In any case, you must keep a record of your listings.Which One Should You Go With?Now that you know all about Airbnb vs VRBO, it is time to decide. Your decision must be based on the single question “how to get more bookings?” which has a huge impact on your potential rental income. Of course, you must perform an investment property analysis to calculate cash flow and other profitability measures to ensure that a venture of this nature is the right thing to do. We, at Mashvisor, can always help people like you aspiring to make money in real estate. Mashvisor’s investment property calculator is the best when you’re trying to decide which way to go. It will help you perform a rental evaluation taking into account all the rental expenses that you might need to take care of.To learn more about how we will help you make faster and smarter real estate investment decisions, click here.Besides expenses, review the other points we have presented here and see which website checks off all the things you need to allow you to market your rental property smoothly and you’ll have the answer. Start Your Investment Property Search! START FREE TRIAL Marketing 1FacebookTwitterGoogle +PinterestLinkedin Nadia AbulatifNadia Abulatif is an experienced Content Writer at Mashvisor. She was a trainee lawyer before switching to writing about real estate. She is currently doing an LL.M. in Human Rights and International Law. Previous Post The Secret Guide to Pocket Real Estate Listings Next Post Airbnb Palm Springs: A Good Real Estate Investment in 2019? Related Posts What Is a Good ROI for Vacation Home Rentals? 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