Vrbo’s instant booking: Benefits and drawbacks

Vrbo's instant booking: Benefits and drawbacks

Updated on 16/05/2024

In recent years, the vacation rental market has experienced great growth and a large number of online platforms for booking tourist accommodations have emerged. Among them is Vrbo, an online platform that offers a wide variety of accommodation options around the world. 

Vrbo features instant booking functionality, allowing guests to book accommodation immediately, without having to wait for the owner to confirm the reservation.

In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of this Vrbo instant booking feature and how it can affect owners and guests.

What are VRBO rentals?

Vrbo, or Vacation Rentals by Owner, is an online platform connecting travelers with a diverse range of rental properties worldwide. From cozy condos to spacious beach houses and even unconventional accommodations like the “Cockpit Cabana” in Costa Rica, Vrbo offers a plethora of options to suit various preferences and budgets. Established in 1995, Vrbo was initially a marketplace for homeowners to list their properties for vacation rentals. Over time, it evolved into a comprehensive platform acquired by HomeAway in 2006 and later by Expedia Group in 2015. In 2020, Vrbo and HomeAway merged into a unified website under the Vrbo brand. With Vrbo, travelers can easily browse listings, book accommodations, and enjoy a seamless booking experience while property owners can showcase their homes to a wide audience of potential guests.

More about VRBO rentals

Vrbo is the online platform that has revolutionized the way people book their vacations. With the ability to search and book accommodations around the world, Vrbo has enabled travelers to enjoy a more personalized and authentic vacation.

Unlike hotels, Vrbo vacation rentals offer the freedom to choose your own unique space to suit your needs. From cottages and cabins in the mountains to elegant apartments in the city center, Vrbo has a wide selection of accommodation options.

In addition, Vrbo’s accommodations offer a wide variety of amenities, including fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities and spacious, comfortable living spaces. This allows travelers to feel at home during their stay.

VRBO benefits

In addition to offering a wide variety of options, Vrbo has a number of benefits that make the guest experience of booking your vacation that much more convenient and satisfying. But also making the booking process faster and more convenient for hosts.

From the ability to book accommodations in advance to the freedom to choose your own exclusive space, Vrbo has everything you need for a personalized, authentic and comfortable vacation.

Want to know the main benefits this platform can offer you? Read on!

More guests

If you are a property manager, one of the biggest advantages of Vrbo is the ability to accommodate more guests in your properties. This means that you can increase the number of bookings and the profitability of your accommodations, which in turn will allow you to invest in new properties or improve the ones you already have.

In addition, by having larger accommodations, you also increase the versatility of your properties. You can host larger groups of friends or families, which means your properties will appeal to a wider audience.

Best of all, Vrbo allows you to manage your properties easily and efficiently. You can use the platform to publish your properties, manage bookings and communicate with your guests, or do it through Hostify.

Another benefit of hosting more guests is that you can reduce your costs per guest, which will allow you to offer more attractive and competitive prices.

Improved performance

As a property manager, you know that performance is key to the success of your vacation rental business. One of Vrbo’s biggest advantages is its ability to improve the performance of your properties.

Vrbo has an intuitive platform that allows you to manage your properties efficiently. You can use revenue tracking tools and booking statistics to optimize your business and ensure that your properties are generating maximum yield. In addition, Vrbo has a customer support team that is available to assist you at all times. 

Another advantage is that Vrbo offers a wide variety of marketing and advertising tools that allow you to reach a wider audience and increase the visibility of your properties. This means that your properties will be easier to find and, therefore, you will get more bookings.

Saved Time

You know that time is money, and one of the biggest advantages of Vrbo is its ability to save time in managing your properties.

Vrbo allows you to publish your properties in a matter of minutes. You can add photos, descriptions and details of your properties in one place. If you use a property management system, like Hostify, you can centralize your property management, which means you don’t have to spend hours browsing different websites to post your properties.

In addition, Vrbo allows you to automate processes such as booking management, invoicing and payments. And also enables you to communicate with your guests efficiently. You can send personalized messages, answer questions and provide additional details about your properties quickly and easily, which means you can enhance your guests’ experience without having to spend additional time managing reservations.

In short, Vrbo’s time-saving advantage is a great opportunity for property managers to optimize their business and make the most of their time. This means you don’t have to worry about tedious tasks and can focus on what really matters: growing your vacation rental business.

More flexibility

Vrbo epitomizes flexibility in travel arrangements, offering an extensive range of options that cater to the diverse needs and preferences of travelers worldwide. Unlike the rigid structures of traditional hotels or resorts, Vrbo’s platform empowers guests with unparalleled freedom to customize every aspect of their stay.

With an expansive selection of properties spanning cozy cottages, chic city apartments, secluded beachfront villas, and everything in between, travelers can effortlessly find accommodations that align perfectly with their unique tastes and requirements. 

Moreover, Vrbo’s flexible booking system allows guests to plan their trips on their terms, without the constraints of fixed check-in/check-out times or minimum stay requirements. Whether it’s a spontaneous weekend getaway, a month-long retreat, or anything in between, Vrbo accommodates diverse travel schedules with ease. 

Additionally, Vrbo’s cancellation policies often offer more leniency compared to traditional lodging options, providing travelers with added peace of mind and financial security. 

Furthermore, Vrbo’s commitment to flexibility extends beyond accommodations to include various amenities and features tailored to individual preferences. From properties equipped with fully stocked kitchens for culinary enthusiasts to pet-friendly rentals for furry companions, Vrbo ensures that every aspect of the travel experience can be personalized to meet the needs of each guest.

Space and privacy

One of the primary draws of Vrbo is the abundance of space and privacy it affords guests, setting it apart from traditional lodging options like hotels or resorts. With a vast selection of properties ranging from quaint cottages to sprawling estates, Vrbo ensures that guests can find accommodations perfectly suited to their desired level of comfort and seclusion. 

Unlike the confined spaces of hotel rooms, Vrbo properties typically offer generous living areas, multiple bedrooms, and private amenities such as pools, hot tubs, and expansive outdoor spaces. This ample space allows guests to spread out and relax, whether they’re traveling with family, friends, or enjoying a solo retreat. Moreover, Vrbo properties provide guests with a heightened sense of privacy compared to communal lodging settings. Instead of sharing walls with neighboring rooms or navigating crowded lobbies and hallways, guests can enjoy the tranquility and intimacy of their own secluded oasis.

Whether lounging by the pool, hosting a barbecue in the backyard, or simply unwinding in the comfort of a private living room, Vrbo guests can immerse themselves in a peaceful and exclusive retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Drawbacks of VRBO 

Vrbo’s instant booking can save time and provide guests with a more convenient booking experience. On the other hand, the instant booking feature can also be a potential drawback for hosts who may prefer to screen guests before accepting them. There may be a higher risk of fraudulent bookings since there is no confirmation process.

We want to show you some of the potential drawbacks of Vrbo and how they can affect both property managers and travelers.

Lack of decision-making power

One of the biggest disadvantages of this platform is that property managers may not have full control over the management of the properties on Vrbo. For example, Vrbo has a strict cancellation policy that may not agree with the property manager’s cancellation policy. In addition, Vrbo also has certain restrictions on rate and schedule settings, which may limit the property manager’s ability to make decisions about managing the properties.

Another disadvantage is that hosts may not have as much control over who stays in their rental, as they do not have the opportunity to screen guests before accepting their booking.

Vrbo has very strict policies regarding communication with guests. Property managers cannot provide contact information or promote their own brand in guest communications, which can limit the property manager’s ability to build a direct relationship with their guests and foster greater loyalty.

In short, the lack of decision-making power on Vrbo can be a disadvantage for property managers, as it can limit their ability to make decisions about managing their properties and building direct relationships with their guests. While Vrbo is a useful platform, property managers should consider these limitations before deciding to use it to manage their properties.

Increased cancellations

Vrbo allows guests to cancel their bookings, which can result in financial losses for property managers if they do not have a proper cancellation policy in place, due to Vrbo’s strict cancellation policy.

Another disadvantage is that cancellations can have a negative impact on the reputation of the property manager. This can lead to guests leaving bad reviews on the platform, which can affect the property manager’s ability to attract future guests.

All in all, the increase in cancellations can be a disadvantage for property managers using Vrbo as a vacation rental platform. Property managers should have a proper cancellation policy in place and ensure that it is aligned with Vrbo’s cancellation policy to minimize financial losses and protect their reputation.

Vrbo & Hostify

Now that you know everything you need, it is time to join Vrbo through Hostify and unlock the full potential of your vacation rental business. With Hostify’s seamless integration, you can efficiently manage your properties while enjoying the benefits of Vrbo.

Take advantage of our full two-way VRBO integration and list all your listings with only a few clicks! As a Vrbo preferred integration partner, Hostify supports various features and complies with high-performance standards.

Accommodate more guests, increase bookings, and boost profitability. Take advantage of Vrbo’s wide audience and Hostify’s intuitive platform to maximize your business’s success.


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