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The Investor’s Guide to HomeAway (Now Known As Vrbo)

Though Airbnb is one of the largest platforms for short term vacation rental properties, there are other sites available that can be just as helpful. Is HomeAway one of such platforms?

Table of Contents

  1. What is HomeAway?
  2. How to Get Started on HomeAway/Vrbo
  3. Tips for HomeAway Users
  4. Airbnb vs HomeAway
  5. How Mashvisor Can Help
  6. Recap

To learn about how useful other websites can be for vacation rental properties, Mashvisor is here to help you. Continue reading to learn all about HomeAway, also known as Vrbo, and its different features. Find out also how Mashvisor’s tools can help you succeed in the short term rental business.

What Is HomeAway?

HomeAway is a real estate platform used for listing vacation rental properties. The listings are typically for short term rentals only. Many of the types of properties seen on HomeAway are homes, condominiums, and apartments converted to a short term Airbnb.

On HomeAway’s site, users list their Airbnb properties, along with reasons as to why people should not only rent their property for their short term rental but also why to use Airbnb rather than hotels. Some reasons include houses are bigger than hotels and with more space, and there are more rooms available, so more guests can stay.

HomeAway rentals are available internationally. It means users looking to find a short term rental property anywhere in the world would benefit from accessing the platform. Additionally, users looking to list their vacation property can do so from any part of the world.

It is also important to note that HomeAway is now referred to as Vrbo.

Related: The 10 Best Real Estate Apps for Investors

Who Owns Vrbo and HomeAway?

Users accessing HomeAway Vrbo may be curious as to who actually owns the website. To answer, a company called Expedia Group owns the company. Expedia is a US-based digital travel company that focuses on consumer and small business travel.

Expedia Group is also the owner of other popular travel websites, including hotels.com, Travelocity, and Trivago.

HomeAway Has How Many Unique Places to Stay?

HomeAway offers plenty of unique places to stay when you are looking for your perfect vacation property. It is due to the fact HomeAway is available internationally. It means users can search for various kinds of properties in most locations throughout the world.

HomeAway offers different types of properties that can be listed as short term rentals. Rather than your typical hotel room, on HomeAway, you will see listings for houses, condominiums, and apartments. Such types of spaces usually offer more room and additional amenities than your average hotel room.

It also means people can travel in larger groups because there is usually more space available. It can be a good option for larger families looking for places with multiple bedrooms or people planning to travel in groups.

How to Get Started on HomeAway/Vrbo

Before you get started on HomeAway, it is important to identify what exact reason you are using the website for. HomeAway’s services can benefit various types of users. Below are different people who may use the platform:

Owner-Managers

They are the people who both own the short term vacation rentals and manage the property. Their business is solely run by them, and they do not work alongside outside companies in any capacity. They are responsible for creating the listing and getting the property ready for renters.

Property Owners/Management Companies

They may work for outside companies and are just responsible for managing the properties. The listings will then be owned by someone else other than the management company. The company is only hired to manage the listing on the website and the property.

Users Looking for Available Listings

They are the people actually looking to rent short term vacation properties. Such users search through the platform to find listings that match their wants and needs. They are also looking for properties available in their desired area.

Tips for HomeAway Users

No matter what you are using the website for, below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

Make Your Listing Desirable on HomeAway

If you are using the site for the purpose of listing vacation rentals, you should consider adding fun facts or enumerating desirable traits about your property on the listing. The amenities can include a pool, beach access, or any special things located on the property. They will help your listing attract guests all year round.

Be Prepared Always

If you are in charge of managing the property, you should always be updated on everything that is going on with that property. It includes when guests are checking in and checking out, along with any issues that may occur on the property for the location of the stay.

You also should consider going above and beyond for your guests. It may mean leaving little gift baskets or small extras. It can also contribute to better reviews and encourage your guests to refer your listing to others they may know.

Provide Guests With Everything They Need

When managing a property on HomeAway, it is always a good idea to make sure your guest have everything they need when arriving at the property. It means clean towels or toiletries they may need. You can also provide them with a map of the property to ensure they can access all of the rooms and amenities available.

Airbnb vs HomeAway

Though the two platforms are quite similar, there are some key differences between Airbnb vs HomeAway that may appeal to a different set of users. Below are some of the differences found between the two websites:

Types of Properties

HomeAway and Airbnb offer different properties. While both list standalone vacation home rentals, only Airbnb offers shared spaces. Additionally, it offers hotel rooms, as well. It is a key factor to note when you are searching for properties.

If you are looking for a rental that is more private or an exclusive space, HomeAway vacation rentals are a better option. If you are looking to find a property you can share between multiple families, Airbnb may have better choices.

Search Functionality

The two websites’ search engines share a few similarities. Though, each provides unique search functionalities for the user. For example, HomeAway offers search filters for property review and if pets are allowed. Such filters make it easy for people traveling for pets to locate available properties.

As Airbnb might not offer as many search filters, they do provide a much more up-to-date map when you are searching through properties. Airbnb’s map offers prices so people can see all of the available rates in their location.

Bookings Available

As Airbnb offers more types of properties on its website, they are bound to include more overall listings available. It means potentially more bookings. It is hard to compare the number of bookings on each platform, as Airbnb offers more types of properties than HomeAway.

Overall Selection of Properties

Though both websites offer many active listings available to their users, Airbnb most likely includes more active listings than HomeAway. It is only because Airbnb offers more styles of properties. As a result, it can be said Airbnb may offer a wider selection to choose from when it comes to vacation rental properties.

Related: The Investor’s Guide to Finding Long Term Airbnb Guests 

How Mashvisor Can Help

Previously in this article, we discussed HomeAway and some of its features to real estate investors. Now, we will look at another option that may help investors even more. We are referring to Mashvisor.

Mashvisor is a real estate investing platform that helps users locate the best short term rental markets anywhere in the US. We offer a variety of tools and services to guide investors through tricky decisions.

To do so, we use trustworthy and reliable data from other sites such as Airbnb and the MLS. Then, we filter through the data to produce real estate metrics to help you find investment properties. Our many different options of tools can cater to all kinds of users, depending on the service they need.

Though some of our data is taken from Airbnb, it is our algorithms that make our tools unique. Rather than show you the same data you can find there, our algorithm checks data from several reliable sources to produce the most accurate real estate data overall. It is what makes our tools useful to investors. Below are some of the most helpful tools we offer:

Property Finder

If you are looking to buy a vacation rental property, Mashvisor’s Property Finder is the one for you. The tool makes searching through all available listings easy. We offer several filters to help you locate a property that fits all of your wants and needs. Below are some of the filters offered:

  • Location (Users can search multiple locations at once)
  • Budget
  • Property type
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Rental strategy (traditional or short term)

Along with your filtered requirements, we show you the best properties that can generate a high return on investment.

Investment Property Calculator

After finding a property that fits in with all of your requirements, you next need to make sure it will be profitable. To do so, use our Investment Property Calculator. The calculator helps analyze any property, whether it be an Airbnb or traditional, to determine if it will generate a return on investment.

Our rental property calculator uses various real estate metrics to calculate data for your income property. Metrics are the best way to determine how well any property is likely to perform. Below are some of the metrics we include:

  • Rental income
  • Cash flow
  • Cash on cash return
  • Cap rate
  • Occupancy rate

Mashvisor’s Rental Property Calculator allows investors to analyze property data, using metrics such as cash flow, cash on cash return, cap rate, and occupancy rate.

Real Estate Agent Directory

No matter how experienced you are in real estate investing, it is always a good idea to work with an agent when purchasing any property. Our Real Estate Agent Directory tool makes locating an agent easy.

If you’re looking to invest in a state you are not as familiar with, you might not know any local agents. Our directory lets you search through hundreds of agent profiles so you can find one in any city. Working with a local agent helps to get you the best price on your property, as they know the market the best in that area.

Additionally, they can help with any investment questions you may have. As various states likely require different licenses or certificates to run a short term rental business, a local agent can make sure you are set up for success. To help find the perfect agent, we provide users with the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Agent websites
  • Real estate licenses
  • Experience
  • Agent specialties
  • Areas served

You can use the information to easily find an agent in any city.

Related: The 9 Best Real Estate Agent Directories

Recap

HomeAway is a platform mainly used for listing and finding short term vacation properties. They offer Airbnb properties in the form of houses, condos, and apartments. Customers use the site mainly to list their properties or find one to stay in on vacation. HomeAway doesn’t offer many services for investors.

Mashvisor focuses on helping investors make profitable real estate decisions. We provide you with a variety of tools and services so you have help every step of the way in finding your dream investment property. While HomeAway is really useful for people with short term rentals already, Mashvisor helps you find and analyze profitable listings.

To access our real estate investment tools, click here to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Mashvisor today, followed by 15% off for life.

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Julia is a content writer with a background in marketing. She studied Anthropology and Law & Society at Oberlin College.

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