What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (2023)

Whether you’re going on vacation, looking for medium-term apartment rental while you work and travel, or just simply prefer to stay in unique accommodations rather than hotels, you have options besides Airbnb. One of those choices is Vrbo, an online marketplace that connects homeowners who are renting out their place with people looking for vacation rentals.

If you're considering renting a vacation rental on Vrbo, here's what should know before you book.

What is Vrbo?

Vrbo is short for Vacation Rentals by Owner, and it's a website that does exactly what it sounds like. Vrbo is an online vacation rental site where property owners can list their homes for rent, travelers can book them and Vrbo handles the transaction.

Vrbo properties range from massive cabins in the mountains ideal for a group ski trip to more conventional homes in the suburbs to unique dwellings, like Costa Rica's "Cockpit Cabana," where you actually sleep inside of an airplane.

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (1)

Vrbo launched in 1995 as an online vacation rental marketplace and was acquired by HomeAway in 2006. After travel giant Expedia Group acquired HomeAway in 2015, Vrbo fell under the Expedia umbrella. Then in 2020, the two brands — HomeAway and Vrbo — merged into a single Vrbo website.

Staying overnight in a vacation rental like a Vrbo can sometimes be cheaper than hotels (especially when traveling in groups), as you can often find multiroom properties that fit multiple people. In addition, the rentals commonly include amenities like washing machines and kitchens, allowing you to pack less and cook more. Sometimes Vrbo provides the best and only lodging available, especially if you're traveling to remote areas not served by hotels.

But renting on Vrbo isn't always as easy as booking a hotel. Unless the property is listed as "Instant Book," you'll have to submit a request to the owner to book it, adding one more bump in your trip planning. In addition, some properties have minimum stay requirements, and maximum stays sometimes pop up.

Throw in the fact that you're staying in a nonstandard property, and you should expect inconsistencies that you likely won't find when staying at hotels, whether it's the types of available amenities, the check-in process, or the condition of your rental.

If you're ready to rent on Vrbo, here's what you need to know to improve the odds of it being a smart money move.

How does Vrbo work?

A key differentiator between Vrbo and other vacation rental platforms is that Vrbo only allows you to rent entire, private homes. Contrast that with competitors like Airbnb that allow shared spaces, and Vrbo rentals mean you'll never stay on a property while the owner (or other guests, for that matter) are also living there.

The available listings vary in quality and amenities, cancellation policies, and the number of guests allowed.

Vrbo's platform has about 2 million hosts worldwide (almost half of the 4 million hosts that Airbnb claims).

How to rent on Vrbo

Set up an account on Vrbo

To get started on Vrbo, you'll need to create an online account, which entails simply entering a name and email address. From there, you're offered several optional pieces of information to hand over, including a short bio about yourself and your photo.

There's also the option to verify your identity. If you choose to, Vrbo asks you to provide your physical address and birth date. Vrbo then attempts to verify that info and — if successful — will flag your account as a verified guest.

Filling out those optional boxes is typically a wise move, as most rentals require you to request a reservation (and the host can choose to accept or reject your request). A verified account increases the odds that your booking request will be accepted.

By the way, hosts won't see all the identity information you provided. Instead, they'll only know that you're a verified guest — as well as receive some basic contact information, like your email and phone, so that they can get in touch with you about your trip.

Finding your rental

To find a Vrbo rental, use Vrbo's array of filters to narrow a search on the website after inputting your preferred dates, destination and the number of guests. Filters include the more standard options you'd expect, like the number of bedrooms, availability and price.

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (2)

(Video) Smart Alternatives to Airbnb

Vrbo also has robust filters that drill down on the minutiae of your dream vacation rental. You can filter by property type and it's not just limited to a house or apartment. Zany home types are included, such as castles, lodges and yachts. You can also sort by nearby activities (with options including skiing, fishing, theme parks and breweries) and whittle it down by property features such as pools, cribs or outdoor grills.

When you select a listing, you'll be able to see an assortment of photos, a detailed description of the property and reviews from past guests.

🤓Nerdy Tip

During your Vrbo selection process, base your decision on the property description and not just the photos, as photos might not capture the whole experience.

It's also wise to read recent reviews, as a beautifully crafted description accompanied by aesthetically pleasing photos doesn't necessarily translate to having a great experience. Likewise, a poorly photographed home could still be great. After all, you'd probably prefer that your host is an expert in hospitality, not photography.

Also, understand cancellation policies, as they can vary by property. For example, the strictest cancellation policies are completely nonrefundable, while more flexible policies offer a 100% refund if you cancel at least 14 days before check-in.

If you have a question about a property, you can message the host directly from the property page. Once logged in, select the "Contact Host" link located on the right side of the listing details page, and fill out the form with your message. You can expect a response from the owner within one or two days. If you don't hear back, consider booking a different rental.

Vrbo Premier Hosts

You might also opt to filter your search results by Premier Hosts, who have a special badge displayed on their property listing pages to designate their status. Premier Hosts are reviewed quarterly by Vrbo and selected based on factors including low cancellation rates, high review scores and the number of bookings.

Booking and paying for your Vrbo

Once you've settled on the place you want to rent, you need to determine how to book it next. The steps generally fall into two categories: 24-Hour Confirmation or Instant Book.

  • 24-Hour Confirmation: Submit a request to book, and the host has 24 hours to accept or decline.

  • Instant Book: Your booking can be confirmed without waiting for the host to accept.

For both options, you'll have to enter your arrival and departure dates, the number of adults and children in your group, and whether any pets are coming. You can also include optional rental notes for the host.

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (3)

On top of the booking rate, most properties also include additional fees such as cleaning, which the host sets. In addition, Vrbo also tacks on its service fee.

Some hosts also require that you leave a card on file, put down a refundable damage deposit or purchase property damage protection to cover any damages you may cause.

Vrbo always handles the transaction, and it accepts Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Don't consent if the host messages you to pay separately. Hosts who request cash, check or money transfers could be scamming you.

(Video) Woodwork | NerdWallet Commercial

The timeline for making payments can vary. Some properties require you to pay upfront in full, while others let you break it up into two or three smaller payments.

Even if your host requires full payment upfront, there's a way you can pay in installments because of Vrbo's partnership with Affirm, a point-of-sale loan company. Affirm allows you to book your vacation rental and pay it off over time, even past the dates of your stay. However, Affirm is only available to qualified customers and only on specific properties in the United States.

Checking in

The check-in process varies by Vrbo rental, but you can typically expect to access your property either through a lockbox with a key inside or through a door that opens by a code.

Three days ahead of your stay, Vrbo will send you an email with check-in information provided by the host, including how to access codes or keys to enter, the property address, cancellation policy and additional host contact information.

If you have a question ahead of or upon arrival, reach out to the host, as they (or one of their property managers) are likely to be nearby and can help you.

Checking out

The checkout and locking up process varies across Vrbos, much like checking in. Don't be surprised if your host has specific cleanup instructions or other requests; however, many will ask that you leave the house as is.

Most likely, your host will share details about your checkout process either before or upon arrival.

Is Vrbo safe?

In theory, yes. Vrbo is a legitimate vacation rental service with safety precautions in place to mitigate risks. But ultimately, this is a business where strangers enter your home — and you enter a stranger's home — so issues can arise.

Safety measures between guests and hosts

Vrbo does not conduct background checks on guests. In contrast, competitor Airbnb does conduct background checks. Instead, Vrbo offers badges for people who may be more trustworthy.

As a guest, you can get a "Verified Identity" badge added to your account, earned by providing your address, birth date and other personal information, which Vrbo verifies. Hosts will more likely accept your request if you have one of those badges.

Meanwhile, hosts can receive a "Premier Host" designation. Although that won't necessarily dive into their criminal record, the Premier Hosts title is doled out by Vrbo (and reviewed quarterly) to hosts who have exemplified positive attributes, including low cancellation rates, high review scores and the number of bookings.

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (4)

Safety measures for money

Your payments are protected against fraud as long as you pay through Vrbo. That way, if your money ends up in the hands of someone other than the host, Vrbo will refund you. Don't agree to make a deal for cash outside the app.

Safety measures for natural disasters or travel advisories

If a natural disaster like a hurricane, earthquake, or tornado has impacted a trip you're currently on — or your destination has suddenly undergone a travel advisory — you can contact Vrbo through the contact button on its natural disaster page. If you haven't left yet, Vrbo recommends contacting the host first to discuss the next steps. Then, if there are still issues, contact Vrbo.

Vrbo's stance on surveillance devices

Vrbo allows surveillance devices in some capacity. In general, surveillance devices are never allowed inside homes, aside from smart devices (like Amazon Alexa) or baby monitors. But even in those instances, owners are required to disclose their locations to guests and give guests the option to deactivate them.

Outside the home, surveillance device usage can be more liberal. For example, security cameras and smart doorbells can be used for security reasons as long as their location and coverage are disclosed to guests. However, from there, rules around outdoor surveillance devices are relatively vague.

They include:

(Video) HELOCs: What Home Owners Should Know

  • Areas where guests have a reasonable expectation of privacy (say, an outdoor shower), should not be under surveillance.

  • Reasonable measures should be taken to limit access to surveillance data.

  • Surveillance data should be deleted when no longer needed.

Vrbo is generally considered safe, but that doesn't mean risks are off the table. Safety issues can happen at any form of lodging. But since Vrbo doesn't scout out individual properties, some additional risks might not be as common at a standard hotel.

How to cancel a Vrbo reservation

To cancel your Vrbo reservation, sign in to your account and go to the "My Trips" tab, then select "Change or cancel trip." From there, you'll be able to review your property's cancellation policy. If you are automatically eligible to cancel for a full refund, then you'll be able to select the "Cancel booking" button. Otherwise, select the "Request cancellation" button, submitting your request to the host to process.

Cancellation policies vary by property and host, but they'll be spelled out on the listings page so you can see them before you book and pay. For example, the most flexible Vrbo cancellation policies let you cancel up to 14 days before check-in for a full refund. Meanwhile, other listings are entirely nonrefundable.

What to do if you have issues with a Vrbo reservation

If it turns out that your rental has serious issues (or if the host is entirely unresponsive), turn to what Vrbo calls its "Book with Confidence Guarantee." For no additional cost to you, Vrbo promises to help you if the owner unexpectedly cancels your reservation up to 30 days from your stay, if the property was materially misrepresented in the listing, or if it has serious health or safety issues.

If you need help, click the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of Vrbo's "Book with Confidence Guarantee" page.

How to save money on Vrbo

Vrbo prices are set by hosts — not Vrbo itself — so most tricks for saving money on hotels won't necessarily apply. Still, here are five ways to save money on Vrbo rentals:

What is Vrbo and How Does it Work? - NerdWallet (5)

1. Book a longer stay

Some Vrbo hosts offer discounts if you stay for longer chunks of time. Hosts can opt to provide weekly or monthly discounts at a rate determined by them. If the property you want to rent offers a discount and your stay is long enough to satisfy the requirements, the discount is automatically applied at checkout.

Sure, a more extended stay will typically net out to be more expensive than a shorter stay, but if you can condense what would otherwise be multiple trips into one longer trip, you'll save money. Plus, that enables you to save beyond just the Vrbo, but other trip costs, like airfare.

2. Redeem credit card travel statement credits for Vrbo stays

A few credit cards offer travel statement credits covering various travel expenses and typically include Vrbo rentals, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

3. Earn points by paying with a travel rewards credit card

Sure, this tip won't save you money upfront, but it'll earn you travel rewards to cover future trips: Pay for your Vrbo with a travel rewards credit card.

If you've got a travel credit card that offers bonus points on travel spending, then Vrbos typically fall under the travel umbrella and qualify you for an elevated earn rate. Read your own credit card's terms, as some issuers define travel differently, or might only give you bonus points for travel booked directly through their travel portals (in which case a Vrbo wouldn't qualify).

Premium travel credit cards can be particularly rewarding towards your travel spending, with some offering returns of around three to five cents per dollar spent back in rewards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3 points per $1 on all travel, and Vrbo falls into that category. If high annual fees aren't your jam, there are plenty of travel credit cards with no annual fee to pick from.

(Video) 10 BIG Differences Using VRBO

4. Earn United miles by connecting your accounts

Your Vrbo stays are an easy way to rack up United Airlines MileagePlus miles, which you can accumulate and redeem for free flights. You'll need to book through United's dedicated Vrbo webpage to qualify to earn points, and you'll also have to enter your MileagePlus membership number in the correct field.

When you do, you'll earn 3 MileagePlus award miles per $1 spent on the cost of the vacation rental after the completed stay, excluding taxes and fees.

So if you book a $1,000 stay, you will earn 3,000 miles. Since NerdWallet values United miles at 1.2 cents each, those 3,000 miles are worth $36. Although it's not a significant amount, connecting your accounts can be an easy way to accumulate some extra United miles with minimal effort.

5. Travel when no one wants to

Vrbo hosts can set different prices for different days — and they'll likely charge higher prices in line with demand. So, for example, a cabin near the ski lift base will probably cost more in winter, while the beachfront cottage will likely cost more in summer.

If you don't mind going to the beach on a cold winter day or riding the ski lift with no snow on the ground, then you might be rewarded financially. You can sometimes get the destination's best seasonal offerings coupled with lower prices by traveling during shoulder season.

Is Vrbo better than Airbnb?

The two vacation rental companies have a few key differences. Airbnb offers standalone homes, shared spaces and hotel rooms, while Vrbo only offers standalone accommodations.

Though Airbnb has more properties, Vrbo has more robust search capabilities. When we compared the cost of vacation rentals between Airbnb and Vrbo, we found that bookings were priced similarly.

Want to know more about how these two companies stack up against each other? Check out our comparison guide here: Airbnb vs. Vrbo: which is better for travelers?

Vrbo vacation rentals, recapped

If you’re looking to rent a vacation home for your upcoming trip, Vrbo offers plenty of properties around the world to choose from. Once you make an account, you’ll be able to search for properties and book them through the platform.

Since Vrbo properties are people’s homes, the cancellation policies as well as the check-in/checkout process will differ from place to place so keep that in mind as you plan for your trip.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

  • Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

  • Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

    (Video) Save money on Airbnb, Booking (.com), and VRBO rentals.
  • Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card


How does owning a VRBO work? ›

Vrbo offers two options for property owners: a commission model and a subscription model. For owners who choose the commission structure, they pay a 5% fee to Vrbo on each reservation, and they may also pay a 3% payment processing fee depending on how their payouts are set up.

Why do people use VRBO instead of Airbnb? ›

Vrbo tends to have lower fees.

Both platforms allow hosts to set their nightly rate, cleaning cost, and pet fee. As when staying at a hotel, occupancy taxes are added to the nightly price on both platforms.

What percentage does VRBO charge hosts? ›

A 5% commission fee is charged on the rental amount and any additional fees you charge the traveler (such as cleaning, pet, and boat fees).

Do VRBO owners make money? ›

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.

Do you have to pay to host on Vrbo? ›

When you sign up for the annual fee option on Vrbo, you have to pay a flat rate of $499 to list your properties. This one-time fee covers all the service fees that would otherwise be charged to your account when a guest makes a booking and is the only time that you can expect to pay for the entire year.

What is the average earning on Vrbo? ›

The average Vrbo salary ranges from approximately $52,000 per year for Sales Representative to $196,472 per year for Senior Engineering Manager. Average Vrbo hourly pay ranges from approximately $10.00 per hour for Babysitter/Nanny to $31.67 per hour for Housekeeper.

What is safer Airbnb or VRBO? ›

Airbnb offers a specialized safety feature for solo travelers. It allows them to share their reservation itinerary with family and friends. The feature also offers safety tips and provides questions to ask hosts. Vrbo has fewer complications regarding guest safety since they only offer private rentals.

How much does VRBO charge guests? ›

Booking Fees

There are no guest service fees for experiences. Booking with Vrbo, guests are charged a 6% to 15% service fee of the subtotal (minus taxes), so this can be cheaper than Airbnb in some circumstances.

How reliable is VRBO? ›

Yes, Vrbo is a legitimate online vacation rental site. As with any vacation rental site, pay attention to amenities, reviews and cancellation policies. Anya is a freelance writer and full-time traveler based in Salt Lake City.

Why are there so many fees with Vrbo? ›

The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees paid by the guest. This fee helps cover the cost of secure transactions, product development, and 24/7 customer service.

How do Vrbo hosts get paid? ›

You get paid through our secure payment platform, which allows you to take advantage of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express processing.

Do Vrbo owners rate renters? ›

Hosts can rate their guests when they book and pay through our sites. When a guest submits a booking request and they've been rated by previous owners, their rating will display within the conversation for the owner. On checkout day, a marketplace feed card will display in the host's account to review their guests.

How much profit should you make on a vacation rental property? ›

Vacation rental owners should look to make no less than a 10% return on their investment. That means your income minus expenses (net operating costs including any mortgage payment) should be no less than 10% of your initial investment per year.

How can you tell if a VRBO listing is real? ›

Common signs of a scam
  1. Incorrect or unusual spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.
  2. More information provided than usual.
  3. A request for you to communicate offsite.
  4. A request to pay by certified check, cashier's check, or unsecured wire transfer.

How much money can you make from a vacation rental? ›

On the other hand, the data collected by Airbnb and Vrbo suggests that vacation rental owners can make anything from about $11,000 to as much as $33,000 per year.

Does Vrbo have a no party rule? ›

If a traveler hosts an unauthorized or disruptive event, we may prohibit them from renting again. If a house party event becomes a nuisance, and an owner or property manager allowed the event, we'll evaluate and take appropriate action, which may include removal from the website.

Is Vrbo owned by Airbnb? ›

Airbnb vs Vrbo General Facts and Figures

Airbnb was founded in 2008 and, as of December 2021, they boast 6 million active listings in more than 220 countries. Vrbo (originally known as Vacation Rental by Owner) was founded in 1995 and now is owned by the Expedia Group.

What are host fees? ›

A Host Service Fee is a fee you pay to list your property on Airbnb's platform. It's a percentage of the total booking price and is calculated based on how many nights guests book, how much they spend per night and the price of your listings.

Is it worth it to list on VRBO? ›

Vrbo is excellent for owners who want to rent their entire home. Although many other vacation rental sites include renting suites or single rooms, if you intend to rent the property as a whole, Vrbo is a great way to find potential guests who are looking for a place they will have all to themselves.

How do you become successful on VRBO? ›

Tips for success
  1. Present your property in its best light. ...
  2. To reach a wider audience, list on multiple sites. ...
  3. Make sure your space is guest-ready. ...
  4. Obey local regulations on short-term rentals. ...
  5. Set property rules. ...
  6. Accept guests carefully. ...
  7. Communicate with guests before, during and after a stay.
Apr 22, 2022

What happens after 24 hours on Vrbo? ›

If your listing has 24-hour confirmation, a hold is placed on your calendar after a guest submits a booking request. You have 24 hours to either accept or decline their request. If you accept the booking, the request is moved to your reservation list and the status updates to Booked.

How does Vrbo verify renters? ›

Vrbo asks for details including first and last name, email address, mobile phone number, physical address, and date of birth. For example, once a user signs up to Vrbo using their email address, they'll receive an email at that address asking them to confirm it via a unique link.

Who is Airbnb's biggest competitor? ›

Who are Airbnb's competitors? Airbnb competitors include websites like Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Agoda, Expedia, TUI Villas, TravelStaytion, HomeToGo, Plum Guide, and Google. Not all of them are vacation rental marketplaces.

What is the difference between pay per booking and subscription on Vrbo? ›


Pay Per Booking: This offers no up-front fees and charges 10% of all pre-tax booking dollars. Note that the total includes line items for services such as cleaning fees. Subscription Pricing: This is an annual fee of $499.

How do I add a cleaning fee on Vrbo? ›

To add or edit fees:
  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select the listing if you have more than one rental property.
  3. Select Calendar.
  4. Select Settings, then Fees.
  5. Under Standard Fees, select up to three appropriate fees.
  6. Select Fee type.
  7. Enter amount.
  8. Add custom fees details, if needed. You can select up to 3 custom fees.

Does Vrbo refund cleaning fee? ›

Vrbo Cleaning Fee Refund

If guests cancel their stay before the check-in time, the cleaning fee will be refunded to them in full. But if a guest cancels after their booking has already begun, they won't receive a Vrbo cleaning fee refund regardless of your cancellation policy.

Does Vrbo clean the house? ›

After each guest stays at a Vrbo rental, hosts must thoroughly clean their properties so that they're ready for the next guest to arrive, just as if it were a hotel room. Vrbo hosts may decide to clean and maintain their properties themselves, or they might hire outside cleaning services.

Does Vrbo use cameras? ›

Vrbo has a policy that surveillance devices, which include video or audio recording, can't be used inside of a property. Security devices and smart doorbells outside of the property are allowed to record audio and video if they follow certain rules.

How to use Vrbo safely? ›

Top 5 tips for using VRBO safely
  1. Look closely at a listing before you book. Read the listing's specifications, including the cancellation or re-booking policies. ...
  2. Contact the property manager. ...
  3. Do some deeper research. ...
  4. Buy travel insurance. ...
  5. Use a secure payment method whenever possible.
Mar 18, 2022

What is Vrbo's service fee? ›

What is the service fee on Vrbo? The Vrbo service fee is 5%. It's calculated from the total rental amount, including additional fees and excluding taxes and refundable deposits.

What is the credit card fee for Vrbo? ›

A 3% payment processing fee is charged on the entire payment amount, including taxes. The processing fee doesn't apply to the Vrbo service fee or products like Property Damage and Cancellation Protection.

Can Vrbo cancel my reservation? ›

Vrbo Cancellation Policies Options Explained

While we'd all prefer that vacation booking plans go ahead smoothly, there is a myriad of reasons why a booking could be cancelled unexpectedly, from disaster weather conditions impacting travel to an unexpected accident.

Can Vrbo owners delete bad reviews? ›

Reviews that meet our content guidelines can't be edited or removed by owners or property managers.

How does Vrbo calculate average nightly rate? ›

The average rate paid is calculated by taking the average revenue of all booked units within your market. This is the average rate for properties that aren't currently booked for the corresponding stay date.

What does premier host mean on Vrbo? ›

Premier Host is a free, invite-only program that recognizes owners and managers who consistently deliver great traveler experiences. As soon as you meet the eligibility criteria, you're automatically added to the program.

What is a good monthly profit from a rental property? ›

The amount will depend on your specific situation, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 10% profit after all expenses and taxes. While 10% is a good target, you may be able to make more depending on the property and the rental market.

What is the rule of thumb for vacation rental property? ›

The general rule of thumb is that a potential 2% profit margin is reasonable and would make a rental property a good investment. In simple terms, if your rent is 2% of the purchase price, then you should generate a positive cash flow.

How do I make my vacation home pay for itself? ›

6 Tips To Make Your Vacation Home Pay For Itself
  1. Rent your property short term. ...
  2. Handle your rentals yourself. ...
  3. Tax deductions. ...
  4. Buy your vacation home with your IRA or retirement account. ...
  5. Rent seasonally or long term instead of short term. ...
  6. Trade for services.

Why is my property hidden on Vrbo? ›

Your listing might be hidden because:

You hid the listing in your account. The listing has 3 or more expired reservation requests for the last 90 days. We've temporarily hidden your property to prevent more declines from affecting your listing performance. You have a low listing acceptance rate.

How long does it take for a property to go live on Vrbo? ›

It generally takes about 48 hours for the syncing to go live once users add a Vrbo listing to a MyVR account.

How long does it take for property to show up on Vrbo? ›

It takes between 24 and 48 hours from publishing a new listing to it being visible in search.

What is the 50% rule? ›

The 50% rule is a guideline used by real estate investors to estimate the profitability of a given rental unit. As the name suggests, the rule involves subtracting 50 percent of a property's monthly rental income when calculating its potential profits.

What is the 2% rule in real estate? ›

2% Rule. The 2% rule is the same as the 1% rule – it just uses a different number. The 2% rule states that the monthly rent for an investment property should be equal to or no less than 2% of the purchase price. Here's an example of the 2% rule for a home with the purchase price of $150,000: $150,000 x 0.02 = $3,000.

Do vrbo owners make money? ›

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.

How quickly does vrbo pay owners? ›

Payouts are typically disbursed one business day after your guest checks in. Depending on your bank's policies, the money should be available in your bank account five to seven business days later.

How do I start a VRBO property? ›

Start renting in 3 steps
  1. Create your free listing. Everything you need to list your home is in one place. ...
  2. Welcome travelers. After your listing is published, guests can request a reservation. ...
  3. Start earning. You decide when you rent and how much you earn.

Do vrbo owners rate guests? ›

Hosts can rate their guests when they book and pay through our sites. When a guest submits a booking request and they've been rated by previous owners, their rating will display within the conversation for the owner. On checkout day, a marketplace feed card will display in the host's account to review their guests.

How much does Airbnb and Vrbo charge owners? ›

Should I list on Airbnb and Vrbo? You can list your property on both Airbnb and Vrbo. Host commission rates are 3% for Airbnb and 5% with Vrbo plus a 3% credit card processing fee.

How do I run a successful Vrbo? ›

Tips for success
  1. Present your property in its best light. ...
  2. To reach a wider audience, list on multiple sites. ...
  3. Make sure your space is guest-ready. ...
  4. Obey local regulations on short-term rentals. ...
  5. Set property rules. ...
  6. Accept guests carefully. ...
  7. Communicate with guests before, during and after a stay.
Apr 22, 2022

Is it safe to book outside of Vrbo? ›

“Paying outside of the Vrbo platform could result in phishing or payments ending up in the hands of someone other than the intended host.

Are Vrbo owners verified? ›

No, on Vrbo the host only sees whether the user is verified or not. This protects the guest's privacy, which is a valid concern, but it also opens the host up to potential issues as they can't verify the guest's ID or background themselves, or see which details have been verified.

How much does it cost to join VRBO? ›

How Much Does It Cost to List on Vrbo? If Vrbo feels like a good fit, there are two base cost options. You can opt to pay a 5% service fee on every confirmed booking, or you can choose an annual subscription of $499.

Can I list my house on Airbnb and VRBO? ›

Luckily, property managers and owners looking to list on VRBO or Airbnb don't have to choose between the two. If you wish to list a property type that is accepted by both platforms, you can list on both platforms.

How does Vrbo protect hosts? ›

Our $1M Liability Insurance provides owners with $1,000,000 in liability protection for all stays processed online through Vrbo checkout at no additional cost to you. If you don't already have a liability policy, this policy is your first defense if a guest makes a claim against you.

How is the average nightly rate calculated on Vrbo? ›

The average rate paid is calculated by taking the average revenue of all booked units within your market. This is the average rate for properties that aren't currently booked for the corresponding stay date.

Why does Vrbo have so many fees? ›

The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees paid by the guest. This fee helps cover the cost of secure transactions, product development, and 24/7 customer service.

What is a host fee? ›

A Host Service Fee is a fee you pay to list your property on Airbnb's platform. It's a percentage of the total booking price and is calculated based on how many nights guests book, how much they spend per night and the price of your listings.


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