Airbnb Vs Vrbo Vs Booking.com (2022)
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Which platform is best? Airbnb or Vrbo or Booking.com? Which platform should you list your Airbnb on? I dive into them in today’s video.
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Where’s the best place to list your short term rental?
Today’s video dives into the three big ones: Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com
First, we dive into Airbnb.
It’s for sure the gorilla in the room. It’s literally synonymous with short term rentals!
People say things like, “I’m going to book an Airbnb.”
I love it as a starting point. The Airbnb platform has a lot of benefits to host, too.
In the video, I outline how to think about Airbnb as a platform. And I also outline those extra benefits.
Then, we dive into Booking.com a bit.
This one isn’t as popular with short term rental hosts for a couple of reasons.
We dive into what those reasons are, and when should you list on Booking.com.
(There is one type of property that does best on there.)
Finally, the other popular platform: Vrbo.
The Vrbo vs Airbnb discussion is no different than Nike vs Adidas or Coke vs Pepsi.
Finally, I outline for you the exact steps of where to start and when should you expand to other platforms.
There are similarities to the platforms, sure. But there are nuances to each. And it’s important to understand them all.
Only then can you master them.
Watch the video now!
PS – Subscribe now! Two new videos every week!
What's up guys, it's James here. And in today's video, we're going to be talking about the different OTA platforms. So the different booking platforms, namely, Airbnb, VRBO, and booking.com, we're going to walk through the pros and cons of each one of them, when you should use each one of them and which ones are best. So that is something you're wandering about, you've been curious about, you want to know more about, and this video is for you. Before we jump right in, just remember to give this video a like hit that like button. If you do gain value from this, if it's answering a burning question for you, then please take a quick second to just hit that like button. It does help me out tremendously with growing this channel and helping more people to learn about short term rentals. Also, if you are new here and you're not yet subscribed to the channel, make sure you hit the subscribe button. And if you're interested at all, in investing in short term rental properties, you want to actually buy properties to use as vacation homes and short term rentals. Or if you want to manage other people's properties and earn a full time income managing other people's properties on Airbnb. Or if you want to just host your own space as a short term rental a home that you already own. Or let's say you've got a spare bedroom, then we've got free trainings down in the description below, there's links to all three of them for the three different kinds of people that are looking to take advantage of hosting on short term rentals. So just make sure you check out the free trainings are linked down below, all you have to do is sign up. And it's completely free, we're going to give you some tools and resources with each one of them that are going to help you along your journey, all that completely free so that we can help you to improve your hosting and improve your investing and improve your your property management. So with all that being said and out of the way, let's dive right into it. And let's start with the most popular one, Airbnb. So Airbnb is a really, really great platform it is my personal favorite is definitely where I recommend people start out if they're looking to host a space or a property on short term rental or if you're looking to manage other people's properties, that is ultimately just going to always be the number one place to start, the way that you want to look at a booking platform overall, is that it's really just a booking engine. It's sort of like a marketing platform for your property. Now, each one of these marketing platforms does come with additional bells and whistles. So for example, with Airbnb, you get their host protection policy, which air cover covers you for up to a million dollars for the damages that a guest might cause that's a really a nice bonus. They also have a whole bunch of features built into their platform that allow you to better screen gas, make sure they have good reviews, all that sort of thing. So there certainly are additional bonuses on top of just the marketing they provide to you. But really, that's the main distinction there. That is really what the platform is there for is to be a marketing platform, they also do payment processing. Again, that's
fantastic as well. But the marketing is really the main value out and the main difference between the different platforms. And that is ultimately also what's going to cause you to want to expand out to other platforms is if the kind of point of constriction and you having your property perform as well as it could and getting more bookings is getting more distribution getting more marketing. So the reason I like Airbnb the best is a number of reasons. The main one though, is that they just have the biggest market, right, they just have the most people on there looking for properties like your typical short term rental. Now booking.com As another example, has a ton of people visiting there every single day looking for places to stay. However, booking.com is typically where people go to find hotels. Now, over the last number of years, they have built up way more of an audience of people looking for short term rentals. And they've kind of distinguished themselves as also offering short term rentals on their website. However, they were initially designed and built for hotels. And so a lot of people know booking.com as the place to go to book hotels, not necessarily a place to go to book short term rentals. You can you know, think about it. When people say they're getting a short term rental, they oftentimes will say Let's book an Airbnb, right and so Airbnb has just become synonymous with short term rental. So the majority of people that are looking for a short term rental property are going to be looking on Airbnb first and foremost. So what I've seen is that when people list their properties on Airbnb, if they're only listed on one platform, whether it's Airbnb, VRBO, or booking.com, they're going to get a landslide more bookings on Airbnb than they will on any of the other platforms. So Airbnb is fantastic for that. I also really like that they do all the payment processing for you makes it really nice and easy. It's the easiest from a user interface perspective, they've got the best user interface for someone looking to just set up their property, start getting bookings, start taking guests, they really do make it incredibly easy. So Airbnb gets my vote as the number one platform to list on out of those three. Now, if you are looking at if you have a hotel equivalent listing, I do actually think booking.com is a phenomenal sort of second option. And what I mean by hotel equivalent is think about Your one bedroom or Bachelor condo that's in a downtown or urban area, that's going to be a really kind of neck and neck, you're going to be directly competing with hotels, but you do have a leg up on them. Because you have like a full kitchen, your unit, maybe there's some other amenities that you've got. And so if you're going to be sort of in that same market segment as hotels, then booking.com can be a really great place to list your property, because those people that are going to booking.com to look for a hotel can potentially Book your place. Whereas if you have a rural like a cottage four bedroom home, no one's going to be going to booking.com looking for a hotel room, and he's gonna then make the jump to book a four bedroom rural getaway right, it's just not really going to happen. So booking.com really good for hotel equivalent properties. Now there is some nuance to using it, it's not going to be nearly as user friendly as Airbnb from the hosting perspective, actually getting yourself set up your property setup, accepting payments, all that stuff. So booking.com is another good option. But mostly for hotel equivalent properties. VRBO, on the other hand, is another good option, but not so much, it's kind of the opposite. It's kind of the opposite of booking.com, where it's another good second second option or alternative if you're looking to get more exposure for your vacation rental listing, because again, VRBO, it stands for vacation rental by owner, right. And so the majority of the people that are going there are looking for vacation rentals, their crowd tends to be people that are more kind of used to booking like a vacation rental in Florida, that sort of thing. And so there's not nearly as many properties on VRBO, as there are on Airbnb, and there aren't as many guests that are looking on VRBO. But there are still people looking and typically those people are looking for whole home listings, and are willing to pay a little bit more typically is what I found. So you can command a bit higher rate on VRBO. But you're just not going to get as much volume of traffic to your listing, and therefore you're not going to get as many bookings. Now the next question becomes when should you actually expand? You know, should you just launch on all three of them right out of the gate? Because hey, what's the what's the downside of that? Should you expand slowly? And my answer there is that you really want to focus on solving the point of constriction in your hosting business, whether you're managing other people's properties, managing your own space, you really want to want to, you know, look at your goal, look at where you're at and figure out what is the main point of constriction here. And so what I see people doing often is they list their property on Airbnb, they're not making as much money as they want. And so their initial response is, okay, let me list it on booking.com and VRBO, so that I can get more bookings and make more money. And though that seems logical at face value, it's actually really illogical because in most cases, what's happened is the reason that that host isn't getting as much revenue as they would like on Airbnb has more to do with their pricing strategy, or their listing optimization or other factors, and not so much to do with the amount of volume, the volume of traffic actually going to their listing. So in other words, if you just, you know, if you take a machine that is fundamentally broken, think about it like a car, right, if you take a car and the engine is broken, pouring in more gasoline to the to the fuel tank is not going to make the car go any faster or further, right, it's just going to fill it up with gas. And so similarly, if you have an underperforming listing, where the photos aren't optimized, the listing isn't optimized, the pricing isn't dialed in, and you inspect and expand that out to VRBO or booking.com, you're just going to be getting more gasoline on that fire gonna get more people seeing this fundamentally underperforming listing. So what I generally recommend people do is I always like to do a deep dive with people and ask them, you know, have you let's let's look at your photos, right, I'll just look through their photos, and nine times out of 10, their photos could be better. And then the next thing I want to look at is the listing headline, the listing description, the rest of the kind of body of the listing and see, okay, is that actually optimized, then from there, we can look at their pricing strategy, and their pricing strategy. If you're unfamiliar with how to price your property effectively to maximize your revenue or maximize your bookings, and really hit your goals, then I highly recommend you check out the links in the description down below. Those free trainings are gonna go way more into detail on that. But essentially, you want to make sure that you're pricing your property appropriately for the different seasonal periods of the year, different days of the week, all these different factors. And so, you know, 99 times out of 100 people aren't doing those main key things properly. And when they are at that point, that's when it makes sense to go and expand out to VRBO and or booking.com or other platforms. Because at that point, you're taking a machine that actually is running as well as it possibly can run. And now you're just filling it up with more gas so it can go further it can go better, right? And so that's ultimately when you want to expand to other platforms when you've really got things dialed in. And what I recommend doing is expanding out to VRBO or booking.com After Airbnb depending on the type of property that you have. So if you have a hotel equipped Want property, you'll want to go on Airbnb first, then booking.com. Second, if you have a vacation rental listing, you'll want to go on Airbnb first and then VRBO. Second. And then the important thing to remember as well as a really big mistake I see people make as well is that they just go and expand out, and they think it's going to be the exact same. And the reality is there are nuances to each platform, both in the way that they operate and the way you want to optimize your property on them. So you can't just go and expect that you're going to take your listing on Airbnb, parked right over to VRBO without changing anything, use the same exact pricing and do everything the exact same. There's definitely a lot of similarities. But there are a few key differences and nuances to the way they work, the way you collect payments, the way you should be screening gas, the way you should optimize your listing the way you should set your pricing, there's slight nuances to each of those. So make sure that you don't just go in blindfolded and try to do the same thing on both platforms, it just isn't going to work nearly as well. And so if you do all that properly, then what's going to happen is that in most cases, the lion's share of your bookings are going to come from Airbnb, and then you're gonna get some more coming in from VRBO or booking.com, kind of filling in those gaps. Now, I've also talked about on this channel, another way to do that to fill in some more of those gaps is to get repeat bookings through your own direct booking platform. So that's a way of what we do is we like to collect email addresses from every single guest that stays with us. And then we can send an email blast out to them to invite them to book again, and do it directly through our own direct booking platform. So we can avoid that 15% fee that we're paying to Airbnb or whatever other booking platform. So that's another great way, it's actually pretty low hanging fruit doesn't require you to learn the nuances of a new platform, you can quickly and easily if you're using a channel management software like coastway really quickly and easily set up a direct booking platform, start taking payments, you avoid the feet, you only do that with people that you already know, like and trust because they stayed with you before. And so that can be a really big win win. It's pretty low hanging fruit for a lot of hosts. But that's my overview of the main differences and kind of pros and cons of Airbnb versus VRBO versus booking.com. If you have any other questions or if you have any of your thoughts you'd like to share anything else, let me know in the comment section down below. Like I mentioned before, make sure you check out the free trainings that are linked in the description down below. All of those are geared up to help you with your hosting with your property management or with your investing. So make sure you take advantage of them again, they're completely free. And we're also going to give you some tools and resources when you sign up for them again, all that completely free. Last but not least, if you liked this video, if you got value from it, if it answered a burning question for you, then make sure that you hit that like button, it really does help me out tremendously. I really do appreciate it. So just take a quick second hit that like button. And also if you're new here to the channel and you want to stay up to date, we post two new videos every single week all about the world of Airbnb in short term rentals, investing in them managing them hosting, so make sure you hit that subscribe button if you want to stay up to date. With all that said, thanks so much for watching. I'll see you in the next video.