How to List Your Property on HomeAway – the Complete Guide

February 1, 2021 | Andrew Kitchell

HomeAway (now called Vrbo) is part of the Expedia brand and is one of the largest online vacation rental booking platforms.

Vrbo, which acquired HomeAway in 2006, is short for Vacation Rental By Owner. This platform specializes in hosting vacation rentals instead of some platforms that allow you to list any type of property.

Simply put, if you have a vacation rental and want to find guests to occupy it, Vrbo is the platform you’re looking for. Read more about hosting with VRBO vs Airbnb vs Booking.com.

The best part is, if you’re new to using online booking platforms, it couldn’t be any easier to list your property – it literally takes a few minutes.

To help you get started, below is a step-by-step guide taking you through the entire listing process on Homeaway/Vrbo:

Table of Contents

Signing up and Getting Started

Unless you’ve previously registered an account with Vrbo, the first thing you need to do is click ‘Sign up’ and create an account.
You’ll be prompted to sign up via signing in through your Google or Facebook accounts. Or, you can sign up by using your email.

If you opt to sign up via email, you’ll be sent an activation link to click before you can start using the Vrbo platform.

Listing Your Property

With your account live, the first step is to click ‘List your Property’ at the top right of the page.
Vrbo then takes you through three steps asking for the:
Vrbo then gives you an estimate of how much you could earn per month with a 75% occupancy rate.
I like that they get straight into the numbers from the offset. It puts into perspective how much money you could be making by using their platform, and I’m sure encourages people to continue signing up.

When you click ‘next,’ you’ll be taken to your progress dashboard. Here you will see all the steps you need to go through to complete your listing.
There are 6 steps to work through before you can hit ‘Publish Listing.’ Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps:

Step 1 – Location Details

The first step is to fill out your property address and make sure Vrbo can find your property and display it on a map to guests.

Once you’re happy your property address is filled out correctly, press ‘Save and continue.’

Step 2 – Property Details

Next, you need to fill out a title, description, and other details about your property. The goal here is to write a catchy title to attract guests and provide an interesting and helpful description.

If you don’t have the inspiration right now, you can come back and change these details after giving it some thought.

Your property description is an important part of creating a listing that converts. If you’re not confident in your copywriting skills, it’s definitely worth finding someone with experience writing property descriptions.

On this page, you also have to confirm:
Amenities
You can also select any amenities your property has from a drop-down list. Think things along the lines of a heated pool, garage, internet, etc.
House Rules
If you don’t want any unwanted surprises or guests doing things on your property that you wouldn’t allow if you were there, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules.

Guests are required to review and agree to any/all rules you set before they can book your property.

Vrbo gives you the option to write some notes for guests. They also ask you to confirm the following common ground rules:

Step 3 – Photos of Your Property

Adding good photos of your property is essential if you want to maximize your chance of getting bookings.

From a guest’s perspective, seeing the room(s), they will be renting is very important. It’s also important that you take the best possible photos of those rooms and keep them looking that way when guests arrive.

If you aren’t able to take good photos because you don’t have a good camera or an eye for a good shot, find someone who does.

Vrbo insists that you upload at least 6 photos. Your listing will benefit from more than 6, though.

Step 4 – Security Details

You have to confirm your identity by either sending an SMS to your mobile or receiving an automated phone call.

This is an extra measure by Vrbo to ensure hosts are who they say they are. Guests also have to go through a similar verification process. It helps reduce fraudulent activity.

Step 5 – Payment Details

After you’ve verified your account, you can set up your payment details. To do this, you will need:
Then you just need to fill out your country of residence, where your bank is located, confirm your citizenship, and state if you’re operating as an individual or a business.

Step 6 – Setting Your Pricing

The final step is to set your availability and pricing. There are four sections to fill out;
Availability
You can choose between;

Full calendar – This option is for full-time hosts that need to block out certain dates.

Blocked calendar – This option is for hosts looking to rent out their space during specific events/times.

After selecting one of the options you’ll be taken to your calendar. You can start selecting which days your property will be available for in the coming months.
Nightly Rates
Next, you need to set a nightly base rate for your property. Setting a base rate can be tricky. Your goal is to set a rate that is competitive enough to attract bookings and keep your occupancy high, while making a nice profit after expenses.

The best way to determine your nightly rate is to look at the Wheelhouse Market Reports to see what other listings in your market are priced at. This will help you calculate your ideal base rate, by looking at what other hosts in your area are charging. Wheelhouse can also calculate your pricing for you.

You also have the option to offer a 20% discount for your first 3 guests. As most guests search by price, this is a great way to get your first customers and get some reviews on your account. Your revenue management all depends on accurate pricing.
Tax Information
Vrbo askes a few tax questions to help you pay the correct taxes on the booking transactions made through their platform.
Additional Fees
You can add fees for cleaning or an extra change for allowing pets to your listings.

Listing Your Property

Once you’ve completed all 6 of the steps we walked you through, you’re ready to hit publish and have your listing go live on the Vrbo platform.

You can change any of your property details wherever you want, so don’t worry if you put something you’re not quite sure about.

The important thing is that you have the right availability on your calendar and you’re setting reasonable nightly prices.

It usually takes a couple of days for a listing to go live. Once your listing is live, you’ll receive an email when someone makes a booking or contacts you. You also check a box to receive an SMS when bookings come in.

Conclusion

Congratulations, if you followed the above steps, you know have a property listing on Vrbo ready and waiting for bookings.

When you’re ready to set your pricing, come visit us at Wheelhouse, we can help!

Listing a property on Homeaway/Vrbo only takes a few minutes and is about as streamlined as it can get. In fact, the entire Vrbo platform is intuitive and incredibly easy to use. You shouldn’t run into any problems.

All you have to do now is fulfill your role as a rental host. This means managing your calendar, keeping your rental property in order, and providing a 5-star service to your guests.

Read to host on Airbnb too? Read the complete guide to listing on Airbnb.
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