Vrbo is one of the largest vacation rental sites around, attracting 15.9 million worldwide visitors monthly.* However—since the platform is owned by the Expedia Group—the potential audience for bookings is even larger. Vrbo cross-posts some vacation home inventory on Expedia sister sites, like Expedia.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity. In total, homeowners who list on Vrbo have potential exposure to more than 750 million visits each month.
Needless to say, there’s money to be made on Vrbo—but you still have to stand out and be smart about driving bookings. We should know. We’ve helped tens of thousands of vacation home owners like you succeed on Vrbo (and many other vacation rental sites). Your earnings on Vrbo come down to this: a winning listing that’s built to boost bookings and garner consistently high reviews.
Here’s how to do it.
The first component of a profitable vacation rental on Vrbo is knowing what travelers need and want while vacationing. First, cover their essentials. Shopping for these can be easy using a vacation rental inventory checklist. Then, consider investing in the most searched vacation rental amenities, like a hot tub (which can increase your revenue by 15–20%) and central A/C.
Vrbo markets heavily to parents planning family vacations. So, appeal to families with items like play pens, kid-friendly dinnerware and cutlery, and baby gates.
When capturing guests’ attention, looks do matter. In Vrbo search results, visitors see one main photo per vacation home (make sure this lead photo is attention grabbing), then can toggle through the rest of the images. From there, the formula is simple—the more people look at your listing, the more bookings you’ll get. Your photography needs to be compelling and showcase your vacation rental property in the best possible way. Here are some vacation rental photography tips:
If you work with Vacasa, we provide professional photography (and a 3D virtual tour) as part of our full-service vacation rental management. Our virtual tour alone can help set you apart. Travelers can filter their Vrbo searches to show vacation home listings with virtual tours, increasing Vacasa homeowners’ visibility.
While attractive photos can grab a traveler’s attention on Vrbo, it’s a compelling description that will hold it. The best vacation rental listing descriptions (included with Vacasa’s full-service vacation rental management) sell the positives of your home with full transparency—gaining trust, building excitement, and closing the deal.
It all starts with a compelling headline. Our Vacasa copywriters offer these tips:
Some samples of Vrbo headlines, written by our Vacasa copywriting team:
Then, consider these tips when writing your rental description:
Don’t be tempted to guesstimate your nightly rate based on what the short-term rental next door is charging. Here’s the secret to making the most money on Vrbo and Airbnb—tweak your rates daily according to demand. But don’t forget, demand is based on so much more than just your peak and non-peak seasons. Demand for your vacation rental can change with events, weather, travel trends, and holidays.
Don’t forget to take into account how much you’ll pay to Vrbo as well. They offer two payment models:
1. Pay-per-booking model that collects a commission starting at 8% per booking.
2. An annual subscription for $499, which covers all your Vrbo bookings and includes a 50-photo limit and interactive map with your listing.
At Vacasa, our dynamic pricing software (with oversight by our local market analysts) automatically adjusts your rates on Vrbo based on local market conditions—all in real time. Which means, you can potentially make top dollar per booking.
Vrbo guests rely on the reviews and experiences of other Vrbo users before booking. That’s why high guest satisfaction is crucial to your success on the platform (and overall). Plus, consistently great reviews pushes up your average review rating and can mean a higher ranking in Vrbo’s search results.
Some ways to get good reviews on Vrbo:
Ask past guests to leave a review if they haven’t already done so. Vrbo gives guests a full year to leave feedback. However, if you leave a review for the guest (Vrbo has a two-way review system which allows both hosts and guests to submit feedback), they have 14 days to leave a review in return.
Managing your own vacation rental—not to mention making the most money possible—with Vrbo takes work. So much work that many vacation home owners often describe it as a full-time job. There are always guests to assist, repairs to handle, rooms to clean, reviews to respond to, marketing to to keep up with, rates to adjust, and so much more.
Full-service vacation rental property managers (like Vacasa) will handle it all—keeping your vacation rental running smoothly, caring for your guests and home, and making sure you’ll earn top dollar year after year.
Expedia-owned Vrbo offers vacation home owners a massive audience of travelers to advertise to. That number gets even bigger when Vrbo cross-posts its vacation homes on other Expedia sites. The opportunity to make money on Vrbo is there for the taking, but you still need to battle for bookings with the competition. These tips will help you stand out and boost your rental income potential.
Yes, listing your vacation home on Vrbo is a good way to make money. Not only is it one of the most popular vacation rental sites in the world (attracting 15.9 million visitors each month), Vrbo also cross posts its properties to fellow Expedia-owned sites. Think Expedia.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity. This dramatically boosts your visibility, which in turn can increase your bookings.
We recommend listing your vacation home on many other vacation rental sites as well—both well-known and for niche audiences—to get even more exposure to travelers looking for homes just like yours.
Homeowners who opt for Vrbo’s pay-per-booking listings pay a starting commission of 8% per booking. In return, they get the flexibility to only accept bookings for the dates they want to rent their vacation home, with no upfront costs.
Vrbo also offers a subscription model for an annual fee of $499, which covers all the bookings made on the platform and all the service fees that would otherwise be charged to you when a guest books, such as a payment processing fee.
Vrbo offers an estimate of your earnings on their site if you provide preliminary details about your vacation home.
For a more in-depth estimate and more accurate assessment of your earning potential (after listing your home on Vrbo and several other vacation rental sites), use Vacasa’s vacation rental income calculator. It looks at your home, your market, and your competition to produce a custom income estimate.
Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.
If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.
Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Susan Scanlon, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan E. Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate Corporation, California DRE #02105811, Joseph Czapkowicz, California DRE #01380722; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado, Daned Kirkham); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Maine, Michael McNaboe, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.