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I have a rental property and have advertised on another site, getting some results but I still have a lot of unbooked time. I have seen a lot of comments on this community about how people do not like Homeaway, I am surprised they allow it. But honestly, is it worth paying for their high fees?
Also I am uncertain about VRBO or Homeaway, which site is better.
Honest answers please!
As an owner you must do your due diligence to determine the right marketing methods for your vacation home. As you mentioned, you are advertising elsewhere (you didn't mention where but it doesn't matter), and this is not providing you a full calendar.
I am satisfied with VRBO and Homeaway, and after doing my research I found that these sites are top ranking in visits, especially from US travellers.
There are other sites but their volume of hits is much lower.
|Site||Global Rank||US Rank||Country 1||Country 2||Country 3|
|VRBO||2,980||632||USA: 77.6%||Canada 4.2%||Mexico 3.4%|
|Homeaway||3,880||1,048||USA: 62.6%||Canada 3.8%||Italy: 3.8%|
|Flipkey||11,769||5,542||USA: 36.7%||Italy: 8.6%||Spain: 5.9%|
|Vacationrentals||15,759||3,393||USA: 72.4%||India: 6.2%||Canada: 5.3%|
I can only speak for myself. I keep a log each month where my inquiries come from. I also make notes on the inquiries where I wasn't available and my calendar showed that I was booked. I tally them up and see what I was able to convert into a reservation. I get little to no traffic at all from HA. I get a few from flipkey which happens to be a tad better than HA. I had one inquiry from HA in November I believe and it was the scam from Ukraine. So to me that was not a valid inquiry. VRBO clearly is my front runner hands down. Kristin
Take a look at this thread that's been going on for some time. It has a lot of statistics and information:
When you read the thread recommended by Sophie you will see many different opinions, and in my experience, it has a lot to do of your area. Some areas are more american internal tourist zones, some are more adventurous americans zones, some attract international tourists.
My personal property gets more rentals from Homeaway and more inquiries from VRBO, which is different from Kristin.
That is an owner's opinion, and as I stated before, real estate is local. The title of the post was from one owner to make a point and generate discussion, it may be true for that owner, but not for the rest. The fact is that VRBO is the most popular vacation rental followed by Homeaway, the fact that there is competition is positive for all of us, as VRBO recently changed its policy and started publishing pictures on the cover, something that was previously reserved only to the highest paying members. Thank you competition!!!
I find that the thread about other sites or criticism of VRBO is being used to put pressure on the company to make some changes. But most owners are staying with their current listings.
What is best for you? Try several and depending on your results, pick the ones that give you the most sales, not the most inquiries.
We list on both HomeAway and VRBO. It seems that in the past 2 years we have gotten about an equal number of inquiries and bookings from them and are happy with spending the money to be on both. Can't comment on FlipKey ourselves, but others can.
I own 4 vacation rentals and I can assure you I am quite serious about my business.....HA is my lowest reservation producer compare to other sites that I advertise on.
To insinuate that owners aren't serious about their rental business because they don't advertise on HA is a pretty harsh statement.
Different advertising works for different people in different parts of the country. Isn't is great we have more than 1 advertising site to choose from?
There is some great info in this thread. Thanks to everyone for chiming in!
I also recently posted the below information in a similar thread, inquiring about the difference between HomeAway and VRBO. I hope this adds clarification:
The most important distinction between HomeAway.com and VRBO.com is each site’s unique traffic. By listing your property on VRBO.com, you are reaching a different audience that you would not necessarily reach on HomeAway.com alone. In 2011, we found that only 20-30% of travelers visited both sites. That means roughly 70-80% of the travelers on HomeAway.com are not visiting VRBO.com, and vice-versa.
This difference in traffic is largely related to the sites varying performance in the search engines, depending on the keywords used. It can also be related to the search experience. Travelers who prefer VRBO.com tend to favor the journey and enjoy the process of searching, discovering and planning their vacation rental experience. Travelers who prefer using HomeAway appreciate the ease and convenience of the search options and information displayed in the results.
We appreciate your feedback as we are always working on ways to improve our products and processes, so please keep it coming.
As many have said in other comments, it comes down to search results. And each of the sites seems to do differently depending on location and amenitites.
Put on your customer hat and bring up Google. If you were looking for a place to stay, what would you type in?
Boca Raton vacation house?
bungalow on St. Johns with air conditioning?
ski lodge house at camelback mountain?
Once you try one phrase, look through the results at the terms that come up in the titles of some of the results -
beachfront, wooded, game room, etc.
Incorporate some of those additional keywords as they relate to YOUR rental, doing different searches with different combinations of words, even changing around the order of the same words in each search.
Notice a pattern about what hosting sites come up for your searches?
I certainly did for my search for vacation rental homes in the Poconos, especially when I included our town name. 4 or 5 of the first listings for each search were homeaway.com listings. Next were a couple VRBO's plus an AirBnB, a TripAdvisor or two, and a few single-site web pages.
If you do the search for places on the California shores I understand VRBO comes up first in many searches. In Europe, the HomeAway sites are starting to make headway, but most of the results are for more localized listing companies.
80% of my bookings come from my HomeAway listing. The rest are mostly VRBO and VacationHomeRentals. There have been a few AirBnB inquiries, and I just had my first actual sale through them. But overall, I've found that the inquiries from HomeAway are the highest quality since they display the calendar on our listing page instead of requiring the guest to click a link to see the calendar - like VRBO. Nearly 4 out of 5 VRBO inquiries are duds since they are asking for dates that are already booked. And the AirBnB listings usually go nowhere because they don't let you include any links to show the guest more about the property before committing to a reservation.
Do the Google research at the top of this response. It will become very clear, very quickly, where you should be spending your money for the best results.
I advertise on tons of sites. I will try a site once, run for a year and see what happens. Renew those that provide results. Homeaway provides the largest quantity of results thus far. Flipkey is starting to move up the pole.
BUT, the largest bookings are as a result of Homeaway.
Have tried listing in http://www.zaranga.com. Its free listing and nominal charge for per transaction
Read the success story http://blogs.zaranga.com/2012/07/25/kudos-from-our-host-greg/