At first glance, seeing the subscription fees to list your vacation rental on sites like HomeAway and Airbnb may seem steep – but the investment is worth it.
Using sites like these enables homeowners to start generating a stream of revenue that allows them to live the vacation home lifestyle. While there is nothing wrong with using smaller, localized, mom-and-pop sites, the safeguards, support, and exposure of these larger sites are well worth the fees.
Here are 4 reasons you should list your vacation rental on major listing sites:
Whether guests are typing in [BIG VACATION RENTAL SITE].com or searching “vacation rentals [CITY NAME]” in Google, guests are drawn to these bigger sites because of brand recognition and high positioning in search. Since sites like Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, and VacationRentals.com generally receive more traffic than local market sites, hosts can expect more eyes on their property, which will hopefully lead to more bookings.
When listing your property on bigger vacation rental sites, there are protections that exist for both guests and homeowners. Homeowners have the ability to screen and talk to potential guests before allowing them to book, giving them control over who is staying in their home. These larger companies are also able to help offset costs incurred if the home is damaged. For example, Airbnb will cover up to $1,000,000 worth of damage, a higher price tag than most local rental sites can afford.
As comfortable as people have become with paying for clothes, groceries, and travel online, there is a bit of skepticism and concern if a guest is asked to pay for a reservation in an unusual way – like wiring money directly to a host. Sites like VRBO have security encryptions that protect the guest’s information when they pay for a reservation, and if there’s ever a financial dispute, the listing site can serve as the mediator to help resolve it while protecting all involved parties’ funds.
One of the added benefits of working with a larger company is the ability for them to have available support staff 24/7. Whether it’s 1 p.m. or 3 a.m., hosts can always reach the support team for sites like Airbnb. Smaller operations may have a more standard 9a-5p operation, making it hard to get help after-hours.
Overall, prioritizing listing sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO can lead to a greater return on your investment than only using small, local listing websites. If the fee structures of these sites seem like more than you would want to spend, you might want to consider a property manager who can offset those fees. For example – at TurnKey, we list your home on 55+ sites and only take an industry-low commission rate on each booking. You won’t have to pay to be on any of these sites, and we’ll handle all of the bookings, home maintenance, and more for you.
Learn more here.