Co-host feature possible on VRBO?

8 Replies

I have an apartment listed on VRBO and want to have a property manager answer/communicate with the guests. However, except if I provide my email/password to the property manager, I don't see any co-hosting features on VRBO, for them to access my account. Airbnb has such feature though. Any advice on how to outsource my VRBO account to a property manager? Thank you!

That's a really good question! I think this is a feature that VRBO needs to add in the future. My advice would be to find a VR management company that you trust in your area.

I would not expect that feature any time soon. It takes them years to copy airbnb. Lol. They just implemented the simultaneous review release feature which is on airbnb since inception. And it usually comes with a bunch of bugs. Yes Vrbo brings good guests but tech wise they suck.

@John Martin I manage properties here in Denver and struggle with the same issue.  I list my properties on VRBO/Homeaway, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor/Flipkey.  Airbnb is the only platform that offers the co-hosting feature.  A property manager will have to add your apartment to their account, or you can give them your username and password so they can monitor the bookings and bill you for their PM fee.  I personally list all of my properties on my VRBO account and pay my clients at the end of every month.  This shouldn't be a big deal since most decent property managers will be using a "channel manager" that allows them to set pricing and communicate across multiple platforms via cloud based software.  

If you're local to your property and want to save some money, Evolve Vacation Rental management offers an online-only management plan for 10% of gross revenue, and there are many other PMs, myself included, that offer a communication-only plan for around 5%.  This can be a good option for owners willing to deal with minor repairs and the occasional guest issue that requires an in-person visit.  Hope this helps!

Best,

Tyler

Hi John,

I have several clients for whom I manage inquiries, bookings and listings on VRBO/Homeaway, Airbnb & TripAdvisor. All of them have their own individual accounts and give me access to them and that is how I am able to manage them.

In CO you have to have a brokerage license to have payments from travelers run through your account and then out to the owners, so that is why each of my clients have their own accounts and the payments from the travelers go directly to the owner's account.

I know that there are larger companies that are similar to mine who pay for & create the listings for their clients' properties in their own company account, and it IS possible for different listings to be linked to different bank accounts. So even though the owners' listings are in the company's accounts the payments from travelers still go directly to the owner.

These companies are doing this because if the listings are in their account they are able to use integration software that makes it MUCH easier and efficient to manage a property's listing on multiple sites like VRBO, Homeaway, Airbnb, Flipkey or TripAdvisor. However, in a situation like this the company owns the listings (and the reviews that are submitted for the listings), the owner does not. This means that if the owner ever decides to leave that company's service they do not get to keep their listing. They have to start over from scratch. That is a big negative in some owner's minds.

So like Myka said, you need to find a good, reputable trustworthy person or company if you are going to give access to your VRBO account to them.

I hope this helps! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how a situation like mine works.

Valerie

@John Martin Not possible and never will be. To manage other people’s properties you need licenses and permits and bank accounts in order so things don’t get co mingled. AirBnB gets away with “co host” because the co host has no access to the money. My guess is VRBO is not interested in walking that line.

Just manage it yourself it takes maybe 5 minutes per day from anywhere in the world.

Don’t forget you can always call VRBO and ask this or any number of questions. The more you call them the more bookings you’ll get!

We are in TN. I have 5 of my own cabins and we manage for a few other owners. In TN a RE license is required and also PM E&O insurance. We first started using the the cohost feature and still do for a few owners who we cover their properties when they Vacation themselves! But for our full time Owners some use their own accounts setup and others use our main account. RnR Cabins. BUT we found that tracking all those accounts is crazy hard so we invested in software for a unified inbox, multi channel sync, owner and cleaner logins with specified access, multi calendar, an app for easy messaging, plus my favorite auto messaging.

We have researched over 15 different software packages and that doesn't even scratch the surface. We went with Hostaway ($500 cost for startup/training and $20 per listing per month) We loved Cirrus and streamline but the cost was out of reach at the moment. $2500 startup/30per account per month plus 1 to 2 % per channel booking. Owener rez also had interesting features but Hostaway won out for us because of the app and promise of growing more sought after features. 

I know this is a little off topic for you searching for a PM for your property but with our growing market and software integrations everyday brings new possibilities. 

I'm a property manager who specializes in STR. I set it up like this for my clients. First of all, I should say that I am also an independent contractor for my clients. So they get all the payments in their accounts and I bill them at the end of the month. This has VERY important tax implications (which work out well for managers). Talk with your CPA about those!

Anyways, you set up a common gmail account which you will share with the owner, and yourself. I just give it the name of the [email protected] gmail .com for example.

Then set up a NEW listing. You can call the helpine, and they will import all the old data including reviews, and I believe the .csv files you may need to show the IRS or state gov't, or a bank if you're looking for a loan. Make sure to use that new email as a primary contact! And the owner's bank account info so that they get the payments. Trust me, if YOU get the payments, then you will be paying state tax for them, and then your federal tax. Things will get very complicated, and you will spend more time than it's worth calculating how much they actually owe you. Writing up an invoice at the end of the month is way way easier in my experience, and makes the owners happy because their bank account gets the money.

Then add yourself to the other contact (email and phone number).

You then go to that common email, and give permissions to forward all those emails to your main management company email, and you're good. 

Why doesn't VRBO allow co-hosts? Maybe because they are just behind the times. They really need to get with it, as they are losing more and more market share every year to ABB.

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