11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 13, 2019 12:23 PM by ohst8er RSS

    How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?

    pepowdylan New Member

      We just put up our new listing in November. It has been doing great on AirBnb (13 bookings as of today), but have not had much luck at all on VRBO.


      AirBnb puts your listing at the top of the list for exposure, which has been the key to getting our ranking on Airbnb much higher. It gave us an opportunity to get bookings/reviews/reponse rate/etc rankings up. We should be Super Host by next month.


      VRBO does not have any of these perks for new listings. All of our metrics are low and we are on one of the last pages when searching for 3 bedrooms in our area. The only reason we got the one booking we had is because it was Thanksgiving and we were the one of the only bookings left.


      My father-in-law has 4 properties on VRBO and has never had any issues - until he just bought this new property. Apparently VRBO used to bump your property to the top for the first several days to get exposure, but they have changed something. The previous owners booked the property 300+ days a year, but he has had zero luck on his new site.

        • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
          planthealth Active Contributor

          I am suffering this, AGAIN, too. I bought my 4th VR, have the prices for March at rock bottom, have new listing in the headline. I am about ready to move some of my repeat guests from my other condos over to open my "older" VRs for VRBO, but I need a new VRBO booking so I can start the PAINFUL PROCESS of begging for that first review. I hate this.

          • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
            ohst8er Premier Contributor

            pepowdylan, I see both sides to this.  As a new owner I of course would have loved to have a special boost to get people's attention.  As an owner that is on year 6, in a market that is constantly adding new listings I'd hate to always be swimming upstream against the 5-10 new listings that seem to pop up every month. 


            None of that really matters of course, it's just a matter of opinion from our own views.   All that said, here's what I would do if I was brand new (and what I DO do when I need a bump).


            Post your listing number here.  The people on this site are great for helping new owners be at tip top listing shape.  We can help you trouble shoot anything, make sure you are showing up in filter searches, etc.


            In the meantime, also, make sure your pictures are great, that you have an eye catching thumbnail pic, that your heading gets attention, etc.  Make sure your rates are competitive for each season, etc.


            Once you do all that and feel confident you have everything in place, email your listing to your friends and family, post it on your FB page, etc, and ask everyone to click on your listing (liking your FB post won't cut it).  Have them click on it, browse around it, from their laptops, their smart phone, their tablet, etc.  Have them do that, share it with their friends, they don't need to BOOK your listing, they just need to look at it.  Looks means you are interesting, popular, and will move you up in the rankings, provided your calendar is open of course for when someone is searching.


            That's the catch 22.  If you are heavily booked already then no one will see you when they put in dates, because you are not available.   Not available means no one can see you, no one seeing/looking means you aren't "popular", being unpopular means you fall into rankings, etc. 


            Good luck!

              • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                bookcoralsprings New Member

                Hi, I'm in a similar boat as the other newbies struggling to get traction on VRBO. I saw that you indicated to post your listing number here. I'm not sure where to post it. Can you please clear the waters for me?  Thank you


                Property # 9091182

                  • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                    ohst8er Premier Contributor

                    bookcoralsprings, check to make sure you gave the correct listing #. 


                    Screen Shot 2019-10-08 at 1.49.14 PM.png

                      • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                        bookcoralsprings New Member

                        oh, it appears that the "ha" needs to be added at the end for homeway properties





                          • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                            ohst8er Premier Contributor

                            bookcoralsprings, full disclosure, I don't know your area.  I clicked on your listing and saw it said St George, and Zion Washington.   You are searchable by both.   You ARE NOT searchable by Zion National Park, so FYI.


                            The first thing I would do is search your property by EVERY filter that applies to you and see where you drop off.  I know ONE for sure, when I click on "properties good for families," you disappear.  


                            That's a hard one to overcome.  You need someone to stay at your property, and put in their review that your location was great for families.


                            As far as your actual LISTING... (forgive me, I'm going to be a critical eye here.)  Your first picture WOW'd me.  After that, you lost me for a bit.  Your bedroom, that patio door needs window treatments, even if decorative.  You have several duplicate pics, remove them.  The photo of the w/d with the Tide box does nothing for your listing.   The bunk bed pic is crooked, and I'd put two comforters that either MATCH, or appropriately compliment each other,. and also, decorative pillows.    The bathroom pics are good, the bathroom faucet pics, I'd remove them.  The exterior shots are good, but you need pics of things to do in the area.  Too many pics of the master bed.  From a design standpoint I'd replace the picture over the bed, and also change the comforter and add some decorative pillows.  I'd also lose the velvet chair in the corner, too dated.   The lamps for flanking the master bed look too small for the end tables/bed. (I have the opposite problem, mine are too large, wanna trade!? )


                            Zoom the "sports equipment" pic out a bit.   The bathtub pic is shot so high I honestly thought I was looking into a sink.  I'd lose the towel pictures, they add nothing to your listing.  If providing towels is important, just list that in your description.


                            I'd lose atleast one of the dining room pics, the bathroom faucet pics, two of the master bedroom pics, maybe a couple of the exterior shot pics (the exterior shot of your actual condo), and put in some pics that show what there is TO DO.  People want to be able to imagine themselves THERE.


                            Take the opportunity to go into your listing and comb thru it thoroughly.  EVERY place you have the option to put in a comment, DO.  I know, I know, owners SWEAR no one reads anything, but just in case they DO, have the info they need listed.   Also, I LOVE your kitchen and living area.  Tell me, the traveler, how much I am going to ENJOY spending the evening relaxing in your space, cooking in that amazing kitchen, entertaining my family and friends after a long day of doing ______________.    Click on all your pictures and add a caption, paint your guests a PICTURE.


                            If you are unsure of what you should do, or how your listing should look, shop your area as a traveler.  Pick out the very best listings you find, and see what they did, how they staged their VR, what they put in their copy, etc.  Focus on the ones who truly paint that picture for you.   I make a point of listing  my pictures in an order that tells a story.. the first picture is the HOOK, and I think your first picture is perfect.  But what comes next is just as important.  You want people to look at your master bedroom and go OMG I can't wait to sleep here!!!  You wanna know which of my competitors I have master bed envy over?  See the attached picture.

                            Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 4.45.13 PM.png


                            To me, that photo beckons me to come sleep in that bed.  <<That's what you want to strive for.  I couldn't even tell you what the rest of the listing looks like, every time I see that bedroom I am seriously jealous.


                            Now, once you get thru all that, once you manage to overcome that "good for families" issue, (or even, before), email, text, etc your listing to all your friends, post it on your FB page, etc, and politely BEG all of your friends and family to click on the link and poke around.  Politely beg them to send it to their friends to ALSO click and poke around.  NOTE, let them know you aren't asking them to book (lovely if they do), but to look.  The more looks, the more the algorithms think you are a hot commodity, and the more you move up in the rankings.  Also, consider lowering your rates a bit for times that might be hard to book.  I'm not saying they are too high, I'm saying that, if you can, tweak a few weeks down a bit. That moves you up into the rankings as well, and often results in a booking.


                            Make sure your comp set is SET, and use the data you get from that to understand your rates structure.  I get pretty aggressive with my rates during the hot periods, but I sometimes overshoot the couple weeks just AFTER peak season.  I looked at market maker during the last two weeks of August this year and saw that the forecasted occupancy and the current occupancy was the same, meaning that  our area wasn't really expected book any more than we had.  Then I looked at my rates, saw they were higher than both the booked AND unbooked properties, and tweaked down a bit accordingly.  And booked both the last two weeks of August.


                            Hope this helps!  Let me know if you have questions.

                              • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                                bookcoralsprings New Member

                                Thank you very much for the constructive advice. I've made several changes and will work on the rest. My first booking is scheduled this week, hopefully I get a positive review out of it and inch my way up the rankings.


                                Zion is the big "to-do" in the area, but based on the location of my condo it appears that I don't come up on the search results. The only unit from my resort that comes up in the Zion search results is located incorrectly on the other end of town (maybe that's the trick).

                      • Re: How to improve ranking metrics for new listings?
                        scowol Active Contributor

                        You may want to pick up the phone and call Vrbo CS to inquire.  Explain your concerns and comparison to the performance you are getting on Airbnb vs. Vrbo.   They might have some suggestions.  You're paying Vrbo to post your property.   Asking the company directly is never harmful, and you may get some insight.  Let us know what they had to say.