Hello All - I'm new to the forum but not to VRBO or HA. I'm glad that you're all here and have enjoyed reading up on many topics that are near and dear to many of my own situations as an owner.
I have one property listed on both sites, and I've always gotten a steady stream of inquiries from VRBO, but only about half that much from HA. In the more challenging months, inquiries from HA dry up to about one a month. Being a curious person, I decided to search for my house on HA and see if it was in some kind of siberia. Well, it was kind of. Here's what I found:
If you search for # of bedrooms, (my house has three), my house will come up when you list three or three+. If you search for # of sleeps, my house will only come up if you put in 13 or more. This is because my house has four futon couches in addition to the three bedrooms.
HA asks on your amenites page what is the maximum # of sleeps. With two people in each bed, my house sleeps fourteen, (and as its a spacious place nobody is squeezed.) However, if you put in 1-4, or 5-8, or 9-12, my house will not come up in the search engine. Only if you put in 13 or more.
I called HA about this glitch and asked if there was something they could do about it. They said no. They admitted it was a problem, and they'd submit it to the 'feedback dept' but that there was nothing I could do except lower my sleeps. This presents a problem as I'm one of the few houses in my area that can sleep that many people. However, I can, and do, house smaller groups. So its really up to the random choice of the potential renter whether they pick the bedroom or sleeps option. It is my opinion that half the inquries I could be getting are going right by me.
VRBO has a completely different system. HA does not allow you to choose a neighborhood. VRBO does. Has anyone noticed this? With VRBO you pick a 'hood', then you choose bedrooms, high to low, or low to high. You may not be interested in everything you see, but you at least get to see all the options in the hood. HA does not allow you to pick a hood. It only allows you to choose locations such as: beach, waterfront, ocean, mountains, and downtown. This is really pretty ridiculous. And in the 'downtown rentals' of which I'm lumped in with, I only come up if you press 13 or more sleeps.
If VRBO and Homeaway share a dashboard, and a calendar, and so many other features, why can't they share a search engine? VRBO's search engine is far superior, and I'm pretty sure the only reason I get the amount of inquiries I do.
Do you own a home that has four or more sleeps? Or five or nine or twelve? Go search under the sleeps. You won't show up for anything but the number you put in as your maximum.