10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2019 5:18 PM by ambidextrous RSS

    How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?

    green_mango Active Contributor

      5 years ago (pre-service fee) I booked 100% of reservations through VRBO. 

       

      For 2019 so far out of 23 bookings so far only 6 are from VRBO.

       

      6 VRBO

      5 Airbnb

      7 direct

      5 repeat guests (direct)

       

      So far this looks to be my first year with direct/repeats making up just over half of my bookings - it's been more work to diversify my listings, but things are shifting and I'm so thankful for my direct bookings as those are the easiest ones from start to finish - just like the good ol' days of VRBO pre-Expedia. I still prefer VRBO over Airbnb as an owner, but I haven't been forced into their payments yet so we'll see how that goes....

       

      Guests are wising up and comparing across platforms and learning about the benefits of #bookdirect - so, while initially VRBO said that guests don't mind paying a service fee, I'm thinking that they do mind and more & more guests are realizing that sometimes the same accommodations can be booked without fees (but not often enough - more owners need to get set up to accept direct bookings!).

       

      Curious question - what would VRBO have to change to motivate owners to exclusively list on VRBO?

        • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          we started in feb 2015.  Our bookings, our ADR and our revenue has increased every year.  We have more  nights on the books for 2020 now than we ever have had Before the year starts.  We are almost 100% occupied from Jan 1 thru Apr 11th, with only 2 nights vacant.  This has NEVER happened.    We get all but one or two of our bookings on VRBO every year.  We don’t advertise or list anywhere else.  I don’t like all the changes BUT, they haven’t hurt us thus far.

          • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
            feibus Senior Contributor

            Last year, Vrbo was 76% of my revenue, this year it's 77% and my revenue is up, partially because the restrictions imposed by the booking platform got me to eliminate the "stay for a week and your cleaning is free" discount, which just got too hard to administer.  I count by revenue instead of by bookings, since my bookings are not a fixed length and the pricing varies by season.

             

            But that's MY market, which is dominated by Vrbo instead of ABB or another booking platform, direct bookings grew slightly because ABB totally disappeared for me this year.

            • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
              1500main Contributor

              2019

              VRBO/HA  19 Bookings = 106 days

              AirBnB 13 Bookings = 45 days

              Direct 3 Bookings = 23 days (no LTR)

              Income: (gross increased 13.5% over 2018)

              VRBO/HA:65%

              AirBnb: 23%

              Direct: 12%

               

              2018

              VRBO/HA  19 Bookings = 68 days

              AirBnB 7 Bookings = 56 days

              Direct 2 Bookings = 150 days (LTR off-season)

              Income:

              VRBO/HA:42%

              AirBnb: 29%

              Direct: 29%

              • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                bonesxxx Active Contributor

                I've always been 'Vrbo first' in terms of pricing and marketing attention because of early payouts and the better DD policy.

                 

                FlipKey has died for me... I get 1-2 bookings per year.

                 

                ABB was dead for the first half of this year but has really heated up in the second half.  For the year it will be only 30% of my revenue but, if this pace continues, they will be +/- 50% or more of my 2020 revenue.  And it shows no signs of slowing down.  I don't know why it died off or why it's come back so well but I am already a Superhost.

                 

                I am seeing a slowdown in overall bookings looking forward into 2020 but my cabin has been booked back-to-back almost all year so I am ready to give it some breathing time (and to use it myself).  This is typically my slow season but I normally pick up a few Christmas/New Year's guests which I have yet to do so far.  I'm not worried about it because, as most of you know, I am alway happy to go down there with Guinness the Wonder Dog to 'make repairs' (ahem).

                • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                  timthek Active Contributor

                  Ha!

                   

                  Nights:

                  2017 - 88 / 111 nights

                  2018 - 47 / 113 nights

                  2019 - 4 / 121 nights

                   

                  Revenue:

                  2017 - 86%

                  2018 - 51%

                  2019 - 7%

                  • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                    hmmmm Senior Contributor

                    We are in a saturate market now, with so many vacation rentals and back yard rentals.

                    So, income has dropped due to pricing competition.

                    • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                      wildiris Active Contributor

                      Just like you, before HomeAway decided to become a booking site instead of an advertising site, 100% of my rentals were from VRBO or were repeat guests.  I didn't advertise my vacation rental through any other channels.

                       

                      2018

                      VRBO:  73%

                      Repeat:  9%

                      Direct:  18%

                       

                      2019

                      Vrbo:  50%

                      Repeat:  25%

                      Direct:  25%

                      • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                        Ah, great topic. So this is my 4bd. Note 2017 sharps drop in VRBO bookings. That is when sometime in 2016 vrbo started messing with geo locations, removed neighborhoods and put my property into a town of 500 that no tourist ever searches for instead of the commonly known "market". this can happen to anyone....

                        Note that "direct' and "Facebook" should be added together. I just break out Facebook leads for my own knowledge.

                        BML stats.png

                        • Re: How are your VRBO bookings doing this year compared to previous years?
                          ambidextrous Active Contributor

                          My revenue off, but only by about 10% -- so not terrible and within normal range of variances. If it remains down again -- well, that's not good.

                           

                          What would VRBO have to do to get me exclusively back on the site? Two things:

                           

                          1. Allow me to speak with people before booking. Period. I friggin' HATE taking a reservation that I feel concerned about but I don't want to hurt my response rate.

                          2. Change the way a bad review affects sort and restore the ability to bury a bad review. If you have 50 5-star reviews and get a 4 or 3, it kills you to have that bad review at the top. Round the averages so a 4.95 average appears with the 5s -- and let me put a bad review down a few slots rather that show it at the top of the pile.

                           

                          And a comment on this. The problem is that I have no confidence that VRBO gives a hoot. I'm an old customer. I remember how it used to be. I am fast becoming the minority and the new kids in the biz know nothing other than the new way that Expedia runs the show. So we grin and bear it.