VRBO and HomeAway are two of the most reputable, well-known vacation rental companies in the travel industry. But did you know VRBO and HomeAway are actually the same company? Whether you are deciding to between VRBO rentals and HomeAway rentals to book a trip, or if you are considering renting your home on VRBO or HomeAway, Tripping.com is here to tell you everything you need to know about joining this exciting travel community.
How did VRBO and HomeAway merge?
VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) was one of the original online vacation rental companies. Since its founding in 1996, VRBO has become one of the most trusted accommodations brands for travelers and hosts. Homeaway was founded in 2005, and it acquired VRBO in 2006 and VacationRentals.com in 2007. Together, HomeAway, VRBO and VacationRentals.com make up the three largest vacation rental sites in the US.
Is there a difference between VRBO rentals and HomeAway rentals?
VRBO has over 794,000 listings worldwide as of 2014. A majority of the VRBO inventory consists of entire homes and apartments. Most VRBO rentals have a backyard, and an average VRBO rental is about 1,850 sq.ft. Due to the typical space a VRBO vacation home provides, this company is ideal for travelers looking for the kid-friendly vacations and or pet-friendly rentals.
HomeAway has more than 1 million listings in 190 countries as of 2015. Whether you want a home near a golf course, a waterfront beach house, a secluded log cabin, or a chic downtown apartment, HomeAway provides plenty of options for globetrotters in every corner of the world.
How do I search for vacation rentals on VRBO and HomeAway?
Although VRBO and Homeaway are the same company, you must search on the separate websites in order to view all of your accommodation options. But you can save time and compare the VRBO listings and Homeaway listings side-by-side by using Tripping.com, the world's largest vacation rental search engine!
Host Fees: Do VRBO and HomeAway charge owners to list their properties?
VRBO and HomeAway offer the same pricing options to potential renters on their separate platforms: annual subscription, pay-per-booking and outside management service. Both sites utilize third party management partners that hosts can choose between if they opt for the outside management service option. The host membership options for VRBO and Homeaway are listed below:
VRBO and HomeAway Host Costs Option
|Annual Subscription||$349 Annually||Year Round Rentals|
|Pay-Per-Booking||10% / Booking||Infrequent Rentals|
|3rd Party Outsourcing||13% / Booking (on average)||Those who don't have time to manage listing|
VRBO and HomeAway also offer a premium membership service with four additional subscription levels: Classic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. See chart below for details:
VRBO and Homeaway Subscription Levels
|Classic||-Basic ranking in search results within your listing's area||$349|
|Bronze||-4th best ranking in search results
-10% more inquiries than Classic (on average)
|Silver||-3rd best ranking in search results
-15% more inquiries than Classic (on average)
-1 month per year will be listed in "Featured Rental" of your area's search results
|Gold||-2nd best ranking in search results
-35% more inquiries than Classic (on average)
-6 months per year will be listed in "Featured Rental" of your area's search results
|Platinum||-Best ranking in search results
-70% more inquiries than Classic (on average)
-1 full year will be listed in "Featured Rental" of your area's search results
Do I have to pay separate subscriptions to list my home on VRBO and HomeAway?
No, you do not thanks to the optional Bundle Program!
In the past, owners who wanted to list an apartment or home on VRBO and HomeAway had to buy separate subscriptions. Now, HomeAway offers an all-inclusive Bundle Program that allows hosts to cross-list their property on HomeAway, VRBO and VacationRentals for a special price. The exclusive deal also lets hosts manage listings on one single dashboard. Any changes the homeowner makes to their listing such as new photos, amenities, or calendar updates will be reflected on all three sites immediately after edits are saved on the dashboard.
Only 30 percent of HomeAway and VRBO's combined users frequent both websites, so purchasing a bundle can help improve your listing's visibility significantly. On average, VRBO and HomeAway hosts experience a 25 percent increase in inquiries when they purchase a bundle at a minimal additional investment.
How do I sign up for the Bundle Program, and what are the prices?
In order to cross-list your property on VRBO, HomeAway, and VacationRentals you must pay an additional annual fee. The cost of the Bundle does not increase based on the subscription level you already have purchased (i.e., Classic, Bronze, etc.). You will retain the same membership level on all three channels when you upgrade with a bundle.
If your listing is in a popular international destination like Hawaii, New York City or Los Angeles, the Global Bundle Program might be the best option to maximize your rental schedule. The Global Bundle will cross-list your property on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, and VacationRentals.com like the US Bundle, but it will also feature your listing on 20 other international, multilingual sites. These sites make your vacation rental visible in popular tourist markets like Europe, Brazil, Canada and Australia all while maintaining your original advertisement!
From July 2013 to July 2014, the HomeAway, VRBO and VacationRental global sites delivered more than 640 million visits, and Classic subscription members experienced a 50 percent inquiry lift on average.
|Bundle Program||Recommended For||Bundle Price|
|U.S.||-Listings within USA||$299 + annual subscription|
|Global||-Listings that attract many international tourists (i.e., NYC, London, Paris, Miami, Hawaii, Las Vegas)||$599 + annual subscription|
24/7 Support: What is customer service like at VRBO and HomeAway?
VRBO and HomeAway have excellent 24/7 support teams that guests and hosts can contact directly.
- For the VRBO support center click here, or call the VRBO telephone number: 1-877-202-4291
- For the HomeAway support center click here, or call the HomeAway telephone number: 1-877-228-3145
VRBO and HomeAway Reviews: How can guests rate their experience?
VRBO and HomeAway use a 5-star rating system with optional comments boxes. These VRBO reviews and HomeAway reviews are viewable on each individual property page. Hosts cannot delete unflattering reviews.
VRBO and HomeAway highly encourage their guests to write reviews after their travel experience. Reviews are posted on the public pages for each listing. Hosts can post a public reply to reviews or respond to guests in a private message. This gives both the hosts and guests the opportunity to express their thanks or work out any problems they came across.
Pet-friendly rentals: Can I bring my dog on my next vacation?
Many VRBO and HomeAway properties are pet friendly! The sites allow users to check "pets considered" when browsing for their future vacation home. This label does not promise that all pets are allowed, but it encourages prospective renters to discuss the possibility with the owner. Sometimes the owner will decide to charge a pet fee, but all of these negotiations must be settled before booking the vacation home.
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