Short-Term Rentals: Air BnB vrs VRBO

5 Replies

Hey there,

First time caller, big fan of the forums. Currently, I am waiting to receive my STR certification from the local municipality so I figured I would try and get all my ducks in a row in the interim. I live and invest in Charleston, South Carolina and am new to the STR host experience.

I am looking for some up-to-date insight into the Air BnB vrs VRBO (or other online STR rental service) question. I listed a couple talking points below, but any information / tips would be greatly appreciated.

1) Fees

2) Targeted audiences (older vrs younger renters)

3) Customer Service

4) Leads

5) Automated cleaning services / ability to integrate with a third party cleaners 

6) Key policies

7) Onboarding process

You should be on both platforms. I do much better on Vrbo than Airbnb, but I get booking on both.

There is no built in integration for cleaning services that I know of. You can synchronize both platforms with each other and also a Gmail calendar. You can use the Gmail calendar to schedule your cleaners.

Whatever you decide to do, know this: 

Your new listing will probably have “we’re new” discount pricing. So you’ll probably want to only open your calendar for bookings in the immediate future so you won’t be waiting around for your first several reviews. What’s the point of discounting prices when you won’t get the reviews for weeks/months out? 

That said, I’d wait to go live a week or two prior and I’d only open up the first month, with discounted pricing. Get those five star reviews and amp up your prices. Bookings will follow.

Matt - I'm not in Charleston, but close by in Columbia, and have 20 listings under management here.  Send me a PM and we can find a time to talk through thoughts on those items.  Also, interested in hearing how things go in the Charleston market, keep us posted!

My previous answer was for another thread! Sorry about that.

1- Airbnb and VRBO are different fee structures. Airbnb has been 3% for hosts, 10-13% for guests. VRBO is something like 2 or 5% depending on if you pay the fee of $499. 

2-answers will vary

3- not good either way

4- depends on your reviews and frequency of bookings

5 and 6 - none

7- both are easy to learn