How to List on Vrbo and Airbnb: Hosting Guide

Attract more guests and boost your bookings by listing your rental on both Vrbo and Airbnb. Our simple guide will walk you through the process.

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Check out our guide for first-time vacation rental hosts!

A common debate in the vacation rental world is where to list your property, on Vrbo or Airbnb. Here’s a simple solution: choose both. 

Listing on both platforms lets you reach more guests and maximize your listing’s potential without having to pick sides. Sounds good, right?

Today we’ll walk you through each step of the process, highlight the perks of being on both Airbnb and Vrbo, and share some tips on how to juggle it all.

How to List on Vrbo and Airbnb at the Same Time: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve been wondering whether you can list your place on both Vrbo and Airbnb at the same time, the answer is a big YES! There’s no policy against it, so you’re good to go. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Sign Up for Both Platforms: First things first, create accounts on Vrbo and Airbnb if you haven’t already. Just head to their websites and follow the prompts to get started.
  2. List Your Rental: Once you’re all signed up, it’s time to create your listings. The process is quite straightforward on both platforms, so you don’t need to worry about that.
  3. Review Your Airbnb and Vrbo Descriptions and Amenities: Make sure your property’s details are accurate to attract the right guests. You want to ensure that you list the same features and amenities on both platforms. Keep in mind that some amenities might have different names on Airbnb and Vrbo.
  4. Sync Your Calendars: To avoid double bookings, you can sync your calendars on Vrbo and Airbnb. Our guide on how to sync Airbnb and Vrbo calendars will take you through the process step by step.

Reasons to List on Airbnb and Vrbo at the Same Time

Listing your property on both Airbnb and Vrbo is a strategic move for every host. That one simple action can make a world of difference, and here are some compelling reasons why: 

  • Maximize Visibility: By listing on both platforms, you expand your reach to a larger audience of potential guests. Some travelers prefer Airbnb, while others prefer Vrbo, so by being on both, you cover all your bases.
  • Spread Out Your Risk: If one platform has issues or changes its rules, you’re not stuck. Listing on both Airbnb and Vrbo spreads out your risk, so you’re not relying too much on just one.
  • More Booking Opportunities: With more exposure comes more booking opportunities. By tapping into both Airbnb’s and Vrbo’s user bases, you increase the chances of filling up your calendar and maximizing your occupancy rate.
How to Make Your Airbnb Stand Out
  • Flexibility in Pricing and Policies: Each platform allows you to set your own pricing and house rules. By listing on both Airbnb and Vrbo, you have the flexibility to experiment with different pricing strategies and policies to see what works best for your property.
  • Reach Different Types of Guests: Both Airbnb and Vrbo attract different kinds of guests, so listing on both platforms means you can appeal to a wider variety of people.
  • Opportunity for Higher Revenue: With increased visibility and booking opportunities, you have the potential to generate higher revenue. Competition between the platforms can also drive up demand which means more money for you.
  • Stay Afloat During Slow Times: If demand drops on one platform during certain times of the year, you might still get bookings on the other. It’s like having a safety net for your income.
  • Cross-Promotion: Some people search on both Airbnb and Vrbo before booking. By being on both, you increase your chances of getting seen by these double searchers.

Vrbo vs Airbnb: What’s the Difference?

Vrbo, short for Vacation Rental By Owner, has built its reputation around whole-home rentals, such as cabins, beach houses, and villas. On the other hand, Airbnb offers a diverse range of accommodations, from entire homes to private rooms and shared spaces. 

You can see the first big difference right away. Vrbo only allows you to rent out entire homes or apartments. But with Airbnb, you can list a room, a tent, or even a treehouse. There are no restrictions on what you can offer.

Another thing to note is that Vrbo tends to attract travelers looking for longer stays and vacation-style rentals, and it’s popular among families and groups. Airbnb, on the other hand, caters to all kinds of travelers, from urban adventurers to budget-conscious backpackers.

You might also be wondering about their fees, and they do differ. Vrbo gives you two choices: either pay a percentage of each booking (starting at 8%) or pay an annual fee (starting at $499). Airbnb, on the other hand, has just one option: a 3% fee based on the total booking amount.

To learn more about their differences, be sure to check out our detailed Vrbo vs Airbnb comparison.

How to Avoid Double Bookings

Double bookings can be a host’s worst nightmare, especially when your rental is listed on multiple platforms. But don’t worry, there are ways to prevent this from happening. 

How to Sync Your Airbnb and Vrbo Calendars

You’ve got three options to dodge this issue:

  1. Manual Updates: You or someone else manually adjusts the availability calendars on Airbnb and Vrbo whenever a booking comes in. It’s simple but needs regular checking.
  2. iCal Sync: Sync an iCal file between Airbnb and Vrbo. When a booking happens, the calendars update automatically. Just be aware, it’s not always instant and can sometimes glitch.
  3. Management Software: Use vacation rental management software with built-in channel managers. They sync calendars in real time and offer other helpful features. It’s the most efficient option but it comes with additional costs.

How to Manage All Bookings Across Both Sites

Managing bookings across multiple platforms can seem daunting, but with the right approach, it can be streamlined and efficient. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Sync Calendars: Use calendar synchronization tools or software that can automatically sync your availability calendars across all platforms. This is super important for avoiding double bookings.
  • Centralize Booking Management: Consider using a booking system that puts all your bookings from different platforms in one spot. This way, you can view and manage all your bookings from a single dashboard.
  • Use a Centralized Messaging System or Email Address: Keeping all your communication in one place will help you stay organized and make sure you don’t miss any messages.
  • Respond Promptly: Stay on top of communication with guests by responding promptly to inquiries, booking requests, and messages. Clear and timely communication can help ensure a smooth booking process.
  • Block Dates for Maintenance: Block off dates ahead of time for property maintenance or personal use on all platforms. This prevents accidental bookings during those periods.
  • Check Your Calendars Regularly: Make it a habit to regularly check your availability calendars on all platforms to keep them up-to-date and accurate. 
  • Monitor Reviews and Feedback: Keep track of what guests are saying about your place on both platforms since you need to keep a good rating on both. 
  • Stay Organized: Keep track of all your bookings, guest info, payments, and messages for each reservation. This keeps you organized and gives you a reference in case of any problems.

Hosting Tips for Listing on Multiple Booking Platforms

Juggling listings on two platforms comes with its own set of challenges. We’ve got you covered with some helpful tips:

  • Standardize Listings: Keep things consistent across all your listings, including photos, descriptions, pricing, and amenities. This builds trust with guests if they come across your listing on both platforms.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the policies and guidelines of each platform and any local regulations that might affect your hosting.
  • Optimize Pricing: Use dynamic pricing tools to adjust your rates based on demand and seasons. It helps you make more money while staying competitive.
  • Monitor Performance: Keep an eye on your booking rates, occupancy, and guest reviews on each platform. This helps you see what’s working and what needs improvement.
  • Stay Flexible: Be ready to tweak your availability, pricing, and policies based on guest feedback and market changes. Flexibility is key when managing listings on multiple platforms.
  • Provide Consistent Service: Keep your place clean, be hospitable, and communicate well with guests, no matter which platform they book through. Happy guests mean better reviews and more bookings.
  • Manage Expectations: Lay out your house rules, check-in/out procedures, and other important info upfront to avoid any surprises during guests’ stays.

Final Thoughts

Vrbo and Airbnb are among the best vacation rental sites in the industry, so listing on both can maximize your bookings. 

It helps you reach more guests, earn more money, and have a backup if one platform has issues. It’s a smart move for hosts looking to grow their rental business.

But, remember, managing both platforms means more work. You need to avoid double bookings and respond quickly to messages on both. If you want to make things easier to handle, consider using vacation rental management software that allows you to run everything in one place.

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