If you’re searching for how to get more bookings, consider platforms other than Airbnb. VRBO, also known as Vacation Rentals by Owner, is an online marketplace where people can advertise or book accommodations. VRBO and similar sites benefit travelers and hosts, and they are an alternative source of income for property owners.
Before there was Airbnb, there was VRBO—the former was founded in 2008, while the latter started way back in 1995. Whether you are a traveler or a host, you are sure that VRBO’s policies protect you. Here are things that both groups can expect.
When you’re out on a trip, you want to be somewhere that feels like a second home. VRBO recognizes this, so they have the following policies in place:
Book with Confidence Guarantee
The company has the Book with Confidence Guarantee, including fraud screening measures to protect members. It conducts account and background checks of both travelers and hosts. Also, in case of last-minute cancellations, a VRBO specialist can help you find a place that aligns with your previous requirements.
The company also protects you if you get to the location and find that you don’t have access to the property or it was not portrayed accurately. You can get a re-accommodation if you file a report within the first 12 hours. Finally, VRBO mediates if property owners wrongfully withhold the damage deposit.
One of the fundamentals of getting more bookings is ensuring that you have a secure website. People want to know that their data is protected, and VRBO has secure payment forms with PCI-DSS certifications, ensuring protection for your payment information.
The company also protects consumers against fraudulent actions. If you pay through HomeAway, you are automatically covered by the Book with Confidence Guarantee, and VRBO’s help center is available for doubts and issues throughout the process.
VRBO does not only protect travelers; it also takes care of property hosts. Here are safety measures that hosts will enjoy while they have a listing.
A property manager will have a rental agreement with each guest booking they get. These agreements contain guidelines and rules that guests must follow during their stay. Each property advertisement on the VRBO platform should have this rental agreement on display.
Verification of Traveler ID
Verified travelers need to confirm their identity if they want a greater chance of their booking request getting approved. VRBO values its users’ privacy, so rental property managers do not gain access to more than what they need to confirm a traveler.
Keeping Safe on VRBO: What Else to Know
Although these sites are relatively safe, users must always take the necessary precautions online. Although VRBO is an honest and safe site, avoid scams by doing the following:
Research the Other Party’s Phone Carrier
Do a phone carrier lookup—it will reassure you that the phone number is from a legitimate company. Many people who commit fraud often use VoIP, which lets them make calls through an internet connection without the need for a carrier.
Check the User’s Email Address
It is easy to confirm if an email address is legitimate. Whether you are a host or a traveler, you should check if the person you are speaking to has provided you with a proper address. Having a fraudulent email address is a red flag.
Speak Directly With the Other Party
Though emails and texts are convenient, make sure you still have a phone conversation or video conference before sending or receiving payments. Phone calls can help you gauge if the person you’re speaking to is trustworthy or not.
Do Not Use Your Credit Card to Pay
Use other payment methods like PayPal, which offer you protection in case of misunderstandings or claims. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can still take it up with your bank or with VRBO.
Unfortunately, because VRBO is a little older, that means they’re a bit behind when it comes to technology. As it stands, VRBO does not have a workable “API integration” with channel management systems.
What does that mean? Essentially, you can still sync your calendars via what’s called an “iCal sync” which can take 15 minutes to 24 hours to sync, as opposed to an API which is instantaneous.
And finally, you won’t be able to utilize any of the other advantages a channel management system will provide.
Although there are downsides to the technology side of things, VRBO is a reliable option for travelers and rental property managers alike. Its booking process is simple, and its interface is user-friendly. It also has several protections for travelers and managers, keeping scammers and unscrupulous persons at bay.
Beyond BNB helps you learn how to run your rental property business successfully. If you are a rental property owner and want to maximize your Airbnb earnings, join our free training event to help you learn how to make your Airbnb more profitable. In it, we share the secret of increasing your property’s earnings by up to 112 percent—reserve your spot today!