How does Vrbo Work?

Vrbo, pronounced as “ver-bow” or “ver-boh,” is a popular vacation rental website. Before we dive into how does Vrbo work, lets, its vital to understand it offers a platform for income property owners to list their property on the website for a property listing in order to rent it out to potential guests.

Vrbo was initially formed as an acronym for “vacation rentals by owners” which perfectly surmises the intent of the platform.

how does vrbo work

While there are multiple platforms for similar purposes now, such as Airbnb. Vrbo was one of the first companies to offer the property owners such autonomy regarding the renting of their property without the intervention from a company for overseeing management.

What makes Vrbo unique to date is that, unlike Airbnb, it only offers the rental property exclusively to its guests. The guests do not have to share the space with anyone else during the course of their stay.

Brief History

First launched in 1995, this listing site attracted both individual property owners as well as management companies who were looking for clientele, particularly short-term tenants.

The main initial motive of this platform was to exclude the extra expenditure of involving the management company to oversee the pricing and amenities of the income property and to give certain autonomy to the owners in regards to the maintenance and renting of their property.

How does Vrbo work: Rates

At Vrbo, owners get to set their own anticipated rental rates for their property. They can choose what kind of clientele they desire by offering nightly or weekly rates. Another perk of using Vrbo is that when a property owner lists their property on their website, the property also gets placed on all the affiliated sites of the company which further broadens the horizons.

Considering the Expedia Group is the parent company of Vrbo, the affiliated websites include well-established names in the travelling agency such as Trivago, Travelocity, KAYAK, Cheapstickets, Orbitz and TravelMob.

How does Vrbo work: The Booking Process

The booking process for renters using Vrbo is extremely simple. They can simply write the name of the location or the pin code in the search toolbar and access the variety of property that is available in the desired area.

You can narrow your search by filtering out the number of bedrooms, property type or amenities you require. Each property is rated out of five stars and reviews are available below each page. In case you like a property but are unsure about booking it, you can save it on your ‘trip board’ and compare it later with other desired listings.

After selecting your ideal stay, you need to put in your required information and pay the initial deposit.

To ensure a secure verification and avoid potential frauds, Vrbo provides a platform for direct communication between the property owner and the potential guest.

This is highly effective as this provides verification of identity and establishes a sense of security on both ends, the guests and the owners.

How does Vrbo work: Insurance

Furthermore, while using Vrbo the guests can avail themselves of various insurances, as suited to their requirements and budget, to provide a safety net during their travels.

The types and charges of insurance vary according to the property. It offers a ‘Book With Confidence Guarantee,’ which includes access to a re-booking specialist who will assist you to another property of your comfort as soon as possible, in the rare case of fraudulence.

Vrbo is quite transparent in terms of its financial listings. In other words, it provides a detailed breakdown of the cost charged. It tells you about the nightly rate of the selected property, security deposit, cleaning fee, and service fee in precise terms.

How does Vrbo work: For Property Owners

Vrbo offers thoughtful services not only to its guests but also to the owners who chose the platform for listing their income property.

How does Vrbo work: Payment Plans

It offers two payment models for the property owners availing of their services. One price model offers an annual subscription to the platform at the cost of 499 US dollars only.

This subscription provides its users with some facilities such as Vrbo’s reservation manager and calendar. These tools aid the owners in keeping a track of the guests who are staying and the duration of their stay.

However, the annual subscription model of payment is not feasible to those owners who are seeking to rent out their property for the short term or have an income property that only does well in certain seasons (such as beach houses). Such owners use Vrbo’s pay-per-booking model instead.

In fact, this is the most used form of payment method. Under this payment model, the owner has to pay a 5% commission on their booking amount. In addition to this, there are also supposed to pay a 3% card processing fee. If the card is being used to process has originated outside the United States of America, another additional 2% fee is to be paid to the company.

Property Owner Pro’s and Con’s

The property owners should think thoroughly during the selection of a payment model. There are pros and cons to both the models, you need to be sure which suits you best.

If the tentative income goal from your property reaches 10,000 US dollars annually, the annual model of subscription is more feasible. A commission-based fee includes charges for any additional services such as property cleaning fees.

But taxes and security deposits aren’t charged on commission-based fees. And, while you can have more than one property listing associated with your Vrbo account, you cannot use a single annual subscription of the multiple listings.

Instant Exposure

One of the major advantages of listing your property at Vrbo would be the instant exposure that your property will get.

Vrbo is a trusted platform with good foot traffic which would result in more rental income for you. To ensure that you get the most profit out of the investment, make sure to advertise your property rightly.

This includes choosing rates wisely, adding lucrative amenities, offering seasonal discounts, taking quality pictures, clearly describing your house and so on.

While there are many such platforms available on the internet right now, Vrbo still maintains a reputed and trusted name in the vacation rental business which makes it an easier choice

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