Homeaway Premier Partner Checklist causing to dump Airbnb?

17 Replies

Homeaway has published their Premier Partner Checklist and it is interesting.

I personally don't get much business from Airbnb but I have kept my Airbnb listing active because I pickup a few rentals per year there.

It appears to me that HA/VRBO is king for true vacation rentals and least in my area.

Notice item #1. I don't know if this means that if they detect you have an Airbnb or other platform listing that this could mean you don't qualify for the Premier Partner or not.

I'm also not sure if Premier partner does anything to your search placement. I am still getting more page views than 95% of my competition set. And I show up pretty high on search results. Maybe this status means nothing...currently?

I saw criteria for this before that mentioned you can't have lower pricing on another platform than on HA/VRBO, not sure if this is still criteria.


How to qualify:

  • Process all bookings through the HomeAway checkout
  • Listing Quality
    • Add high quality photos that highlight all unique aspects of your home - ensure that your photos are well-lit and high-resolution.
    • Up-to-date amenities list
    • Competitive and accurate pricing
    • Up-to-date calendar
  • High booking acceptance rate
    • Accept bookings and respond quickly to traveler requests with all bookings remaining on the HomeAway platform
  • High average rating and reviews per listing
    • Give travelers clear and consistent expectations about your property and provide quality experiences that lead to great traveler reviews
  • Low cancellation rates
    • Honor bookings and avoid cancelling on travelers. For tips on how to avoid cancellations, click here.

Hi John,

I am curious about these as well.   You might want to post this to a group on FB called "Say no to VRBO Service Fee".  Don't be fooled by the name, it has become a very large group of HA/VRBO owners.


If you're not on FB, let me know and I can post it for you and send you the responses I receive.


Originally posted by @Michael Greenberg :

If you're not on FB, let me know and I can post it for you and send you the responses I receive.



I am a member of that group on FB as well but I don't go on their and that often. I can post it or you are welcome to do so.

This really sounds like they just want you to process payments through home away checkout instead of whatever external processor you might use. Not really a big deal in my opinion.

I'll post it now and see if the results differ from BP.


I agree with @Jared Higginbotham . The language used infers that payments are to be processed through homeaway only; not allowing for outside deals, therefore bypassing their service fees.

Originally posted by @David Mohrmann :

I agree with Jared Higginbotham . The language used infers that payments are to be processed through homeaway only; not allowing for outside deals, therefore bypassing their service fees.

 David, Isn't processing payments through Airbnb, bypassing their service fees? Would this not be considered an outside deal? This could be interpreted different ways and I'm nor sure what HA's interpretation is.

@John Underwood they are inferring to reservation leads that originated from their site. Essentially, they are hoping you are honest and do not try to take conversations off their site and book them directly in order to bypass their service fees. 

@John Underwood look at it this way, did you sign a contract with Homeaway to exclusively list on their site in return for a premiere listing?
We have 3 Airbnb properties in our family that are listed on both Airbnb and Homeaway and one of them is listed as a premiere listing, while the other two are awaiting more reviews.

@David Mohrmann   That is good to know, thanks for the feedback!  This seems to be in a constant state of flux. Who knows what will be different next month or next year.

I think they mean that inquiries coming through HA/VRBO are to be booked through same as opposed to sidebar agreements with guests. Prohibiting booking through other platforms seem too obnoxious even by Expedia's lowered standard.

I just submitted feedback to HomeAway stating their parameters need more specifics - they're so vague as to be useless right now.  What DOES it mean to process all bookings through HomeAway?  What percentage qualifies as "high booking acceptance rate", "high average rating/reviews", "low cancellation rates"?

Currently this is nonsense and gives them the latitude to cherry-pick their Premier Partner listings at will.  Which is fine IF that's what they say they're doing, but it's not.

Once again AirBNB is far better with owner tools, as their Superhost criteria is explicitly spelled out and you can view your progress in detail at any time.

HomeAway still offers calendar synch with Airbnb, which tells me they don't particularly oppose owners using both. My understanding is in agreement with some of the above comments that HomeAway wants to avoid situations where guests find the listing on VRBO but then end up communicating and booking with the owner/manager "off-platform" to save on the booking fees. 

I have a VRBO “concierge” who I can email directly anytime I have a question or concern. I asked her about this last month. I can’t remember the exact response but it was something like “we’re not exactly sure how premier partner will work we’re still testing it”

AirBnB just rolled out APlus and this seems to be VRBO’s answer.

We have a number of properties that are at premier partner status and we also are on Airbnb so I don't think competing listing platforms is what they are referring to here. 

We just discontinued all our HomeAway listings because of the fees and their horrible customer service. Air BnB is quadruple the amount of active users and such a better platform. They are always trying to copy Air BnB which tells me they really lack innovation.

We found that the majority of HomeAway guests in our properties around the country are one week vacationers once or twice a year. They tend to be demanding because they don’t travel much and think they should receive hotel service at a much lower price. Air BnB vacationers are the opposite in most cases. Again, this is in our markets which are year round destinations.

It’s sad to a certain extent seeing we were some of the first VRBO listings in our areas. I guess times change, and so does the marketplace.

Best Regards,

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