Vacasa vs Airbnb and Vrbo: A Comparative Analysis

Should you manage your listing through Vacasa, Airbnb, or Vrbo? Find the answer in this detailed comparative analytics.

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Airbnb and Vrbo are popular choices for renting out properties, but they mainly focus on listing services. But what if you need help managing your rental or want to turn it into passive income? That’s where Vacasa comes in.

While all options have their strengths, understanding the differences can help you find the right fit. So, let’s dive into the comparisons between Vacasa, Airbnb, and Vrbo to help you choose what suits you best.

Vacasa vs Airbnb and Vrbo: An Overview

What is Vacasa?

Vacasa is the biggest full-service vacation rental property management company in North America. It was founded in 2009 and now they manage over 44,000 properties. 

With their help, owners can earn rental income without doing anything. Vacasa handles every aspect of managing a rental, including interior design, listing the property on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other platforms, communicating with guests, restocking supplies, cleaning between guests, and more.

What are Airbnb and Vrbo?

Airbnb and Vrbo are online marketplaces for listing and managing short-term rentals. Their main role is to connect guests with hosts, making it easy for both to book and rent short-term accommodations. They are popular solutions for owners who opt for self-management. 

Both platforms have been on the market for quite a while, with Vrbo starting back in 1995 and Airbnb launching in 2007. They are available to guests and hosts worldwide.

The key difference between these two listing sites is their rental types. Airbnb lets you list a wide range of accommodations, including private rooms, apartments, houses, and unique stays like boats and castles. On the other hand, Vrbo only allows you to rent out full property, and they specialize in typical vacation rentals like beach condos and mountain cabins.

Comparing Vacasa vs Airbnb and Vrbo

Services Offered

Vacasa provides everything owners need to make passive income from their rental business. All the basic services are included in the price, but add-ons like smart home setup, property insurance, and interior design cost extra. 

Their services include:

  • Preparing the property for the listing
  • Professional photography
  • 3D virtual home tour
  • Writing optimized listing descriptions
  • Managing bookings
  • 24/7 guest service before, during, and after guests stay
  • Handling guest reviews
  • Cleaning between guests
  • Restocking and changing linens
  • Property maintenance
  • Marketing
  • Pricing strategy
  • Tax assistance
  • Damage protection and liability coverage

Both Vrbo and Airbnb provide online platforms for listing your property and managing bookings. Here’s what they bring to the table:

  • Property listing
  • Messaging system
  • Secure payment processing 
  • Host protection insurance
  • Customer support

Business Models

Vacasa’s business model is to earn a commission from the rental income they generate for property owners and collecting fees from guests. They tailor their fees for each property.

As a mediator between guests and hosts, Airbnb charges both guests and property owners a service fee for every booking made through the platform. The fee is calculated based on the booking subtotal and can depend on the total amount, location, and more.

Vrbo takes the same approach as Airbnb, charging both guests and hosts a service fee per booking. Guests pay a percentage fee, while hosts can opt for either a pay-per-booking fee or an annual subscription fee.

User Experience

If you hire Vacasa, they will take care of everything but you can still keep track of everything on their platform or mobile app. One of their add-ons is setting you up with a homeowner account where you can review your bookings, keep track of performance, and get financial reports.

Vrbo is super user-friendly, and it takes minimal effort to post and manage a listing on this platfrom. If you need any help, the support team is available at all times via chat or phone.

Airbnb is all about simplicity and helping owners make the most out of the platform through their resources. The platform is easy to navigate and their team is available via chat or phone for any questions. They are also an invaluable source of information giving you access to host guides, blog posts, and videos. 

Pricing

Vacasa doesn’t have transparent pricing since they give a custom quote to each homeowner. They charge a flat management fee based on things like number of bedrooms, location, and amenities.

Most Airbnb hosts pay a flat 3% fee on the booking subtotal, but some pay higher fees. Guest fees vary and can reach up to 14% per booking, excluding taxes and additional charges.

Vrbo gives hosts two payment options. If they earn less than $10,000 per year, they can choose an 8% pay-per-booking fee. Meanwhile, hosts who want to rent their property all year can opt to pay an annual fee starting at $499 with no additional charges. When it comes to guest fees, Vrbo changes them from 6% to 12% of the booking total.

Market Reach

Vacasa covers 35 states in the US. They operate in more than 160 markets across North America, Belize, and Costa Rica. 

Airbnb dominates the online booking market with a 30.10% market share, over 260 million users, and around 7.7 million listings. Their popularity continues to rise, and in 2023, they had 13.9% more bookings than the year before.

On the flip side, Vrbo holds just a 1.08% market share. More than 48 million users are on this platform and they have more than 2 million listings in 190 countries.

Reviews

Vacasa has a 4.2 customer reviews rating on Trustpilot, most of them coming from guests. Several reviews from hosts mention that they are prompt to respond and that they are satisfied with their management services.

Unlike Vacasa, both Airbnb and Vrbo have received low ratings on Trustpilot. Vrbo holds a rating of 1.6 stars, slightly better than Airbnb’s 1.3 stars. Users have similar complaints mainly showing dissatisfaction with their customer service. They claim that both support teams don’t respond promptly and their communication in English is poor.

Conclusion

When managing a vacation rental, you’ve got two choices: handle it yourself or hire a management company. If you go with self-management, Airbnb and Vrbo are excellent options, as they will connect your listing with millions of potential guests. Feel free to check out our Vrbo vs. Airbnb comparison to see how they measure up.

But if you’re ready to hand over management duties to professionals, Vacasa might be the way to go. For more options, head to our list of the best vacation rental management companies.

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