At A Place Like Home, we have over three decades of experience managing short-term property lets & holiday let management for high-end properties in London, so it goes without saying that we know a thing or two about the online travel agencies (OTAs) that have sprung up. We are happy to discuss which ones are right your property but, if you’re just after some general information, here’s a bit of background on the most popular OTAs.
VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, and Google Travel are all popular online travel agencies that allow travellers to book accommodations, flights, and other travel-related services. When you’re considering offering your high-end for short term rental or as a holiday let there are some key factors to consider & differences between them.
VRBO specializes in vacation rentals, Booking.com and Expedia offer a broad range of travel services, Airbnb focuses on short-term vacation rentals, and Google Travel is a travel search engine. Each platform has its own unique strengths and target audience, so hosts should consider their specific needs and preferences when choosing which OTAs you would like you high-end short-term rental to appear on.
It’s worth taking a bit of time to understand a little more about each one.
VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner. It is a platform that specialises in vacation rentals, including cabins, condos, villas, and other unique properties. It is part of the HomeAway family of brands, which also includes HomeAway and Vrbo. VRBO primarily caters to families and groups looking for a more private and spacious accommodation option.
VRBO is owned by Expedia Group and specialises in vacation rental properties. Listing your property on VRBO can give it exposure to a large audience of travellers looking for vacation homes and condos, especially in North America. VRBO also offers features such as instant booking, secure payments, and a mobile app for managing your listing.
Booking.com is a global OTA that offers a wide range of travel services, including hotels, vacation rentals, flights, and car rentals. The platform has a broad selection of properties, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury, and caters to a wide range of travelers.
Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies in the world, with a focus on hotels and other accommodations. By listing your property on Booking.com, you can tap into a massive global network of travelers and take advantage of tools such as guest reviews, professional photography, and real-time availability management.
Expedia is another global OTA that offers a comprehensive range of travel services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation rentals. Like Booking.com, it has a broad selection of properties and caters to a wide range of travelers.
Expedia is another major online travel agency that allows you to list your vacation rental property alongside hotels, flights, and other travel services. Expedia offers features such as flexible pricing options, traveler reviews, and a user-friendly platform that makes it easy to manage your listing.
Airbnb is a platform that specializes in short-term vacation rentals, including apartments, houses, and unique accommodations like treehouses and yurts. It is popular among budget-conscious travelers and those looking for unique and offbeat accommodations.
Airbnb is one of the most well-known vacation rental platforms, with a focus on unique and authentic accommodations. By listing your property on Airbnb, you can attract a diverse range of travelers and take advantage of features such as instant booking, secure payments, and personalized host support.
Google Travel is a relatively new player in the vacation rental market, but it has quickly gained traction as a popular search engine for travel-related information. By listing your property on Google Travel, you can increase your visibility to travelers who are searching for vacation rentals in your area. Google Travel also offers features such as detailed property descriptions, reviews, and the ability to book directly through the platform.
Tripadvisor is different from the other vacation rental platforms as it is more focused on reviews and recommendations from travelers, but you can listing properties for rent on Tripadvisor and get good results. Tripadvisor provides a platform for travelers to share their experiences, rate properties, and leave reviews. This feedback helps other travelers make informed decisions about where to stay.
One of the advantages of being on Tripadvisor is that it is the world’s largest travel site, with over 463 million monthly active users. This means that your rental property will be exposed to a vast audience of potential renters. Additionally, Tripadvisor has a trusted reputation, which can help to build credibility and trust with potential renters.
Tripadvisor also offers various tools and features that can help rental property owners to manage their properties, such as a reservation management system and a revenue management tool. Additionally, Tripadvisor offers marketing opportunities, such as sponsored listings and display ads, which can increase visibility and drive more bookings.
In summary, while Tripadvisor operates similarly to other vacation rental platforms, its focus on traveler reviews and recommendations, large user base, and range of management tools and marketing opportunities can make it an advantageous platform for rental property owners.
Are Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) Right For You?
There are several reasons why a property owner might prefer to list their short-term rental property on a private listing website rather than on well-known platforms such as VRBO, Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, or Google Travel:
- More control: By listing on a private website, the property owner has more control over how their property is marketed and rented out. They can set their own rental policies, payment and cancellation terms, and communication channels with guests.
- Lower fees: Private listing websites typically charge lower fees to property owners than well-known platforms, which can significantly reduce the cost of renting out a property.
- Niche audience: Some private listing websites cater to specific niches, such as luxury or eco-friendly rentals, which can attract a more targeted audience of renters who are looking for a particular type of accommodation.
- Personalized service: Private listing websites often provide personalized service to property owners, including dedicated account managers and marketing support, which can help maximize the property’s rental potential.
- Less competition: Listing on a private website may mean less competition from other properties, making it easier for the property to stand out and attract renters.
- Flexibility: Private listing websites may offer more flexibility in terms of rental periods, allowing property owners to rent out their property for shorter or longer periods of time than the standard rental periods on well-known platforms.
Overall, listing on a private website can provide property owners with more control, lower fees, a niche audience, personalized service, less competition, and more flexibility, making it a viable alternative to listing on well-known platforms.