Would you choose VRBO or AIR?

49 Replies

For current STR owners...

So theoretically.....just say you could guarantee the equal amount of bookings with either platform.... which would you prefer to work with?

Based on customer service, website design and functionally, any problems, tech support, company philosophy, etc.....?

VRBO hands down.  They are so much easier to work with.  My wife tells me this all the time!  This is based on customer service, functionality, tech support and company philosophy!

I would never go with purely VRBO, if you're just picking one, I'd stick with Airbnb. They offer insurance built in so if anything goes wrong, you *may* not need additional insurance. Your margins will probably be higher if you're on several platforms and have a software to link them up, but I think Airbnb is the best platform to start with from my experience due to the large customer base. Their customer service has been great so far, and I haven't actually expanded off the platform yet. Where are you looking to invest in STRs? It's important to understand the local regulation first as these can be tricky to permit.

Vrbo is easily better to deal with than airbnb but from the support side and being more "owner friendly"....

BUT you should list on both so you double your market audience.  Then you'll be able to raise your rates quite a bit since you have twice the eyeballs looking.  (Ie - the supply is 2x so the demand is 2x.  You won't get 2x the boost but it may be 20 or 30%)

Also note that each city is different about market share.  Even in my market it'll differ on size:  Airbnb comprises most of the smaller sized units but it flips to vrbo as unit size gets larger.

By the way, I didn't state my preference, but it is VRBO, hands -down..... except with the small issue of their site being not quite so easy to manipulate for me....but that's small potatoes...

Goes by region a bit. You need to do what's popular in your area. Maybe for you that's both. I have pulled the airbnb insurance/guarantee once or twice, it takes a month though always has gone through. Airbnb app is great, I only use the desktop version once a quarter to set up my pricing for the season. 5 mins a day playing with your phone to manage it, pretty sweet! 

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Definitely Vrbo.

If Airbnb shut down, it wouldn't bother me a bit!

I know you prefer and use VRBO. Why is that? Just more bookings in your area?

 Yes about 90% of books are from Vrbo.

I can automatically get a pet fee up front too.

How stupid is it that Airbnb has not added this yet!

My preference is Airbnb. They're putting out commercials, attacking ridiculous regulations, and creating host-friendly tools on our behalf. I love VRBO but I'm not choosing Carl's Jr. over McDonald's...

Originally posted by @Jimmy Woodard :

 and creating host-friendly tools on our behalf

But they are so host unfriendly its just silly......horrible service to hosts, re tech issues, cancellations, refunds......and their people that answer the phone actually speak English...

Good question. If I had to choose one, I'd say vrbo. 

This is from a super host for 5 years who has generated a lot of $ for airbnb. In return they give me renters, true, but they have routinely taken my money and given it to my guests without being logical and reasonable. 

Fairly new to vrbo and compensate for their higher host fees by charging more on that platform. 

Hands down, my vrbo guests have been nicer and reasonable and contrary to the reputation, even the young vrbo guests. Downside is I can't verify their identity but I like that I know their last name upon inquiry.

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :
Originally posted by @Jimmy Woodard:

 and creating host-friendly tools on our behalf

But they are so host unfriendly its just silly......horrible service to hosts, re tech issues, cancellations, refunds......and their people that answer the phone actually speak English...

 Sure, customer service is left to be desired. That's probably why they create all these self-help tools so we don't have to call them :)

Originally posted by @Jimmy Woodard :

 Sure, customer service is left to be desired. That's probably why they create all these self-help tools so we don't have to call them :)

Hahah yeah....Have you noticed a lot of the big corporate monsters are making it nearly impossible to find even a contact phone #...? Yet their self help tools are worthless.....it is rare and surprising to find decent customer service.

I called my local bank the other day (they're state-wide) and someone picked up on the 3rd ring and helped me open a new account....I was nearly speechless!

Not really trying to just bash AIR here, VRBO does this too, but I went on today to increase my pricing for next year as reservations are starting to come in. One place is $110 a night and is booked almost all the time. AIR suggested that the right price would be $81.......huh? Do they know they make zero sense? So I raised the price by $10.

Like I said, they both do this to get more listings (for them, not for us) but I find AIR to be more non-sensical about it if that makes sense.....

I prefer VRBO guests and customer service but their platform is junk and their app is terrible. I have 5 properties on there. Three work fine. One always shows a minimum of two nights even though I have it set to three. The fifth one always shows a minimum of one night even though I have it set to three. Eight phone calls to customer service, no one has any idea what’s going on. All of my double bookings come through VRBO. So I really don’t know which one I’d pick.