Best Airbnb Alternatives
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Not everyone wants to list on Airbnb. And sometimes you feel like it can be better to add a platform. Maybe it reaches more people and you get more money. But which platforms are worth it? Today’s video shares my answer.
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We made $150,000 in revenue last year with our short term rental. Every booking but one was made on Airbnb alone.
(The one booking was a direct booking.)
In my emails I’ve also talked about focus. It’s important to focus on the thing you’re good at. For me, that’s the Airbnb platform.
That being said, there are other choices out there to get your short term rental full of guests.
Like anything, they each have their pros and cons. I’m going to dive into those best choices today.
First we go into the biggest “competitor” for Airbnb. We discuss where they came from and the types of properties that do best on this platform. As a bonus, I share what I think about the types of guests that come from this platform.
Next is a booking platform that does best with smaller properties. I explain why and how much you can expect to make here.
Then we discuss the best platform to list for month to month rentals. If you have a property that can’t be a short term rental, this might be your next best bet.
Finally, I share my thoughts on direct bookings. That’s right – it’s possible to just take reservations directly! But there are (you guessed it) pros and cons. I share my strategy for these.
If you’re wondering about where to list your vacation rental, this video is all you need.
What's up guys, it's James here and in today's video, we're gonna be talking about the best Airbnb alternatives. So we're going to talk about and break down what the best alternative platforms are, if you don't want to list your property on Airbnb, or if you want to list your property on Airbnb, and other platforms, as well, to try to increase your demand for your property, increase your overall return, I'm gonna kind of break that down. Now, if you do want to either invest in properties for Airbnb, or you want to manage other people's properties on Airbnb, then make sure you check out the links in the description down below, we've got free training for both. Those are two things that I've got a tremendous amount of experience in. And then we built some really great step by step processes for that have allowed us to both manage property successfully for other people, and invest in properties really successfully for short term rental. So if you want to do either of those, make sure you check out the links in description down below to check out those free trainings. Investing is fantastic if you want to actually own the real estate. Managing properties is great if you want to build a business and an income stream that isn't going to require you to put any money down on actually buying a property, renting a property furnishing it or anything like that. So again, those links are in the description down below, make sure you check them out. So you can get access to that free training and also some really great free tools from us. That being said, let's jump into it. Let's talk about the best Airbnb alternatives. The best overall Airbnb alternative, in my opinion has to be VRBO I'm gonna go through a few different alternatives, and honestly gonna kind of break down why I feel like certain ones are better than others in certain situations. VRBO is probably the best all around alternative to Airbnb, or competitor to Airbnb, because they're very, very similar in the way the platform operates in terms of the way that the payouts operate. So it's equally simple to list your property on VRBO compared to Airbnb. Now, there are some complications, if you're using a channel manager on the back end, then the guests communication through VRBO is typically a little bit worse because their API is not that great. So that's a little more technical, it's an issue that you might run into. And then the other thing is that VRBO is just a smaller platform that gets fewer guests going through it than Airbnb. And so there is going to be less overall demand, I always tell people, if you're only going to list on one platform, one platform alone, then Airbnb is generally going to be the best one to list on for most properties, because the properties just performed so well. The vast array of properties will perform so well on Airbnb, because there's just so much demand. Now VRBO is great, because although it is less demand that you're going to get on VRBO, it is going to be a different type of demand. So typically the people that are going on VRBO to look for properties, it's you know, if anyone doesn't know, VRBO just stands for vacation rental by owner. And that's a good indication of where the company started, the company started as vacation rentals. And then they evolved to take on a lot of the different types of properties that Airbnb also takes on. But as a result, their initial kind of their the majority of their momentum, I should say, on the guest side is with people looking for vacation rentals. And so typically the people that are looking for vacation rentals are going to be families are going to be even large friend groups. And so you just tend to get larger groups on VRBO. And you tend to get better generally a bit more respectful guests. But that being said, I also talked about on this channel, in other videos how to make sure you do get really good quality guests on Airbnb, that is something you can do, as long as you know exactly how to do it, you know what the right steps are and everything like that. But VRBO is a little bit easier to get great quality guests, and they tend to be larger groups. And they also tend to be willing to pay a little bit more. So you're kind of making a trade off where people are going to be just generally better quality, larger groups willing to pay more, but there's fewer of them. So you're not gonna get as many bookings through VRBO in most cases with most properties in most markets, but all is elastics isn't on it as you would on Airbnb. So if you're curious, I recommend just listing your property there as well, it's a really great platform to try out, you can generally get some increased returns from VRBO. It's not true that all properties are going to perform well on VRBO. Because it is generally larger groups. If you have a smaller property, it's generally not going to perform as well on VRBO. And that brings me to my next good alternative. But it's got a few different drawbacks. And that's booking.com booking.com can be a really great alternative to Airbnb, if you do have a smaller property, because booking.com is predominantly hotels. And so people that are on there are generally looking for hotels or hotel equivalent properties. Again, it's really helpful when you're thinking about this to think about who the typical guests is, it's going to these platforms book.com was mainly used just for hotels originally, and then they kind of transition into trying to take over some of this sharing space, and this kind of vacation home space. And so the majority of the guests that are going there and looking for places to stay, they were looking for hotels, and so if you can present them with a bachelor or a one bedroom apartment, that's generally going to do quite well. But if you have a larger home, it generally doesn't do as well on booking.com because that's just not really what people go to booking.com for. Now, the other kind of challenge that comes up with booking dot Calm is that they were built for hotels to use. And so their whole back end interface in the way that they operate, the way they structured payouts, everything like that. It's all kind of custom tailored and catered around hotels, which we are not right. And so hotels where they would have a front desk staff, we do not where they would collect credit card details at the property, we do not. And so there's a few different challenges. It's not nearly as simple as listing your property on Airbnb, because that's just not what the platform was built for. You can list your property on there, but you're going to need to have a payment processor. So you can process transactions, you're going to need to deal with refunds yourself, any disputes, you're going to deal with yourself. There's any kind of fraud that happens on credit card payments you would need to screen for and deal with yourself. So there's a few different complications with it. Again, if you have the right systems and the right tools and right processes in place, then it can work well, especially for some of those smaller properties. Because generally speaking as well, people that are looking for hotels are willing to pay more hotel prices tend to be higher. So I've pretty consistently found that the rates we get on booking.com for those smaller properties tend to be better than the nightly rates that we get on a platform like Airbnb. But it comes with its fair share of challenges. And I've also found that the demand just isn't quite there compared to Airbnb. So you're gonna get higher value bookings, but just not as high volume of bookings. So those are the two kind of main competitors there. Now, there's a whole suite of other platforms that you can list on their different options. But honestly, none of them are that great furnish Finder can be a great one, if you are looking to rent more mid to long term, I just did a video on our channel that talks about the kind of pros and cons of that strategy as well, for that purpose furnished trainer can be really great, because it tends to be a lot of traveling nurses traveling executives, they're looking for a mid term rental that is fully furnished, so it can be great for that. But as far as all those other kind of secondary or third level platforms that are out there, there's a whole number of them, they honestly just tend to be not that great. And also, I would caution you if you have looked in any platforms that charge a flat fee, as opposed to a percentage fee. I know it sounds great in the end when you initially look at it. But if you look at the way that that that kind of shapes up their incentive structure, it's not that great. The really great thing about platforms like Airbnb, VRBO booking.com is that they are earning money off a percentage of the revenue they generate for you, which can be a hit to your pocketbook if you look at it that way. But it also means that they're really incentivized to get you more bookings and higher value bookings, because that's how they make their money. And so I have consistently found that those types of platforms, net us in our pockets way, way, way more money than the platforms that do charge a flat fee for having your property listed on the platform. So that's my thoughts. The only other one I want to mention. The other platform I want to mention is direct booking. And that's another platform that is really great. Honestly, I do recommend setting up a direct booking platform. Again, if you want to learn exactly how to do that, how to kind of manage everything. If you are listening on multiple different platforms, then I highly recommend checking out the trains are linked below whether you're doing this because you're investing in properties and you own the properties. Or you want to or if you want to start managing properties for other people. There's links in the description down below for training on all that. And then direct booking is really great just because you can get repeat guests who you already know, like and trust to book directly through you. And therefore avoid the commission that any of the other platforms are charging. You can also use direct bookings as an approach for getting guests cold and getting them to come to you right off the bat, as opposed to just focusing that strategy on repeat guests. But I don't generally recommend that for people that are starting out just because you then have to do a lot more of the there's sort of a lot more headache involved with processing payments and everything. And you need to make sure that you're doing even an even better job of screening your guests because there's a lot more potential for the wrong type of guests to book and for you to not really have any backups in place like Airbnb, 's liability insurance, their security deposit, their resolution, center, all that sort of stuff, which can be very helpful especially for those starting out. So generally speaking, I really recommend using a direct booking platform for repeat guests because it's just a great way to drive some additional revenue to your listing and to get people that you already know like and trust to book it again, enjoy their stay again. So that's basically everything I've got. Those are the different alternatives to Airbnb Again, links in the description down below. If you want to check out some of our free trainings on how to either manage or invest in properties for Airbnb. Make sure you check those out. We're gonna give you some free tools along with them as well. If you liked this video, make sure you hit that like button it helps me out a huge amount with YouTube's algorithm with me being able to grow this channel reach more people just like you share this knowledge share this training so make sure you hit that like button. Make sure as well that you drop a comment down below if you have any questions, thoughts, anything you want to share with me anything you want my thoughts on just let me know in the comment section down below. And also make sure you hit that subscribe button. subscribing to the channel will keep you up to date with the two new videos we post every single week on this channel. I've been consistently posting for years now so you can absolutely depend on every Tuesday and Thursday. Getting a new video that's going to give you more value are going to give you more training to help you on your journey with Airbnb. So again, make sure you hit that subscribe button so you can stay up to date. All that said, my last thing is just to make sure you have a great rest of your day and I will see you again in the next video.Expand