As a host of a vacation rental, you probably ask yourself: On which portal should I advertise to achieve the highest possible occupancy with little effort and low commissions?
The answer to this question is not simple, because every host has different needs. However, it to advertise on several booking sites to improve your occupancy rate and increase your revenue. Since there are many portals, it is difficult to keep track of all the options. Especially the costs are often not immediately recognizable, because the OTAs work with different commissions. In our guide, you will find all the important information about the fees and pricing models of the various booking portals.
There are different commission structures portals charge. Booking.com charges the host a commission. Vrbo offers both a commission and a fixed price model and charges the customer additional fees. Airbnb charges – depending on the model – either host and guest service fees, or a host-only fee.
Other portals offer often have two pricing models: they either charge an annual one-time fee per property or they take a commission every time your vacation rental is booked.
Why is that? Depending on the number of accommodations, different models can make sense for hosts. However, you should not only pay attention to the commissions imposed, but also try to advertise on the most popular portals. Because the more platforms you use, the greater the reach of your rental. The more reach will lead to a higher occupancy rate of your vacation rental.
When pricing your vacation rental, you can then of course consider the different commissions.
In practice, portals on who offer a commission structure, tend to be more popular. Since costs are only incurred in the event of a booking, there is nothing to stop you from advertising with these portals and simply trying them out.
Many portals give users the choice of only allowing requests to book or instant bookings. Booking.com, for example, only allows instant bookings. Other portals rank listings without the ability to instant book option further down the list. We always recommend that you always enable instant bookings.
This makes it easier for the guest to make the booking and you will require less effort on your part. However, in times when your accommodation is not 100% occupied, it can make sense to deactivate instant bookings. This way, you can control occupancy and, for example, only accept bookings with a longer length of stay or schedule arrivals and departures so that there are no gaps between the bookings. At other times, however, instant bookings can help you fill your booking calendar. If you offer instant bookings, you should use a channel manager, otherwise double bookings can easily happen.
Airbnb is used by millions of guests and hosts worldwide. The platform is so big it hardly needs another introduction. The online booking portal from California regularly releases innovative updates to meet the needs of its customers.
Learn more about Airbnb with our comprehensive Airbnb guide for hosts.
Founded in 2006, this portal is one of the largest booking platforms in the world. Meanwhile, the online portal provides hosts an easy way to reach many potential guests with their listings. We at Smoobu also know how important this portal is and Smoobu is even a preferred partner with Booking.com.
Learn more about Booking.com with our comprehensive Booking.com guide for hosts.
Vrbo is part of the Expedia Group and one of the most popular platforms for vacationers searching for vacation rentals worldwide. In some countries Vrbo operates under the brand of smaller portals that are part of the network, such as Abritel in France, FeWo-direkt in Germany or Stayz in Australia.
Learn more about Vrbo in our comprehensive Vrbo guide for hosts.
HomeToGo has rapidly become one of the biggest players in the holiday rental industry, with an impressive number of 50 million users monthly. HomeToGo has launched their own listing functionality for hosts across the world who desire to broaden even further their visibility and increase their bookings. HomeToGo offers two pricing models.
HomeToGo “Split fee” pricing option:
HomeToGo “Host-only fee” pricing option:
Expedia offers vacation rentals in over 70 countries and already has over 3 million properties. As a rental vacation host, you should take advantage of this large reach.
This US website was launched in 2000. It provides reviews and travel tips for millions of visitors. Travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find accommodation deals, book experiences, reserve tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places nearby. As a vacation rental host, you can post your ad on the booking platform.
If you want to target a specific group, you should also think about booking portals with a special focus such as LGBTQ, sports vacations, travelers with pets, etc.
In general, we always recommend advertising on several portals. This way you don’t make yourself dependent on one platform. Hosts who use Smoobu often are on 6 – 7 different portals on average. We also recommend you test different prices on different platforms. This way you can experiment, but don’t risk a complete vacancy of your accommodation.
If you use Smoobu for managing vacation rentals, you can easily connect all portals and manage them in centralized calendar. Our channel manager takes over the tedious synchronization between the various portals. In addition, you always have an overview of which channel receives the most bookings and other useful statistics.
We wish you success in advertising your vacation rental on the best booking channel. Once you do, our channel manager will help you to keep your calendars up to date and to avoid double bookings on multiple booking platforms.
Note: This guide is constantly updated, but we can not guarantee the accuracy of commisions and fees listed with it.