When it comes to renting property, it’s no doubt that Airbnb is the world’s leading app. Airbnb disrupted the hospitality industry and took it over by storm. Short-term rentals have become the preferred choice over hotels because they offer a more personalized experience. That’s what makes the Airbnb business so lucrative. However, there have been many competitors that have been popping up over the past decade. Some of these alternatives have become formidable competitors. Continue reading to find out more about Airbnb alternatives.
Best Airbnb Alternatives
The Airbnb marketplace can be very competitive and saturated. This is undoubtedly the case for cities that accommodate thousands of tourists every month.
Some other reasons that investors might benefit from trying alternatives to Airbnb are:
- Wanting help promoting or marketing their property
- Wanting help managing their property
- Wanting their listings to get more exposure
- Wanting to supplement their Airbnb income
- Wanting to start a clean slate after getting pour reviews on Airbnb
- Wanting to avoid Airbnb fees
Continue reading for a list of Airbnb app alternatives.
Vacation Rentals by Owner or VRBO is very similar to Airbnb. VRBO has been around since 1996 and advertises its platform as having over a million properties. However, unlike Airbnb, VRBO’s platform is different in that it can only be used to rent out the entire property. Investors can’t rent out a single room of their property like they can on Airbnb.
VRBO also doesn’t offer a hosted experience, which is typically better for larger groups of people (groups of 4 or more), families, or those looking for a more extended stay. Besides the rent fee, guests pay a booking fee. Besides that, the properties listed on VRBO are similar to Airbnb. Like Airbnb, users can utilize the VRBO app to register and rent their investment properties.
Here are some things you should know about the VRBO app:
- Payment and cancellation policies vary by property
- There’s a 5% booking fee and 3% card processing fee, or a $499 annual subscription
- You can only list private homes
- You can’t delete reviews
- There are free-to-list and paid options available. Paid options get more exposure on the VRBO app on the VRBO website.
Booking.com is another well-known Airbnb competitor. While most users utilize Booking.com to book hotel rooms, it also accepts apartments, guest houses, private homes, etc. Over 1.5 million nights are booked via their site daily, with almost 70% of those being families or couples. Hosts also benefit from their complimentary search engine marketing that exposes their listings.
Hosts can create security and damage deposits, customize their availability calendars, and set rules. If anything goes wrong, they have the guest misconduct reporting feature. Hosts only pay a commission per night booked, up to 15% depending on the city.
Besides regular taxes, the only additional fee is a $50 cleaning fee for apartments. When it comes to pricing, hosts have the flexibility to create per-stay, per-guest, or per-night pricing for their properties.
The only downside is the overwhelming number of options for potential guests. If hosts don’t mind their rental properties being compared to hotels in their area, they should avoid booking.com.
Booking.com also offers a broader range of services, including booking flights, airport taxis, city attractions, car rentals, etc.
Another short-term rental platform to consider is FlipKey, which TripAdvisor owns. FlipKey is one of the more affordable options. It only charges 3% per booking. Hosts can list any accommodation, from single rooms to single- or multi-family homes and houseboats. As a bonus, all listings are displayed in search results on TripAdvisor. This means that people browsing for flights or hotels on TripAdvisor might also find hosts’ properties.
The 3% per booking fee is based on the total rent, including any optional and required fees for the property. Hosts have the free-to-list option and different booking methods such as booking requests, inquiries, and instant booking. Potential guests have great filtering options, such as family-friendly, luxury, low-cost, etc. This enables hosts to focus on their target audience and find the most suitable category for their specific listings.
Hosts can add booking windows, set house rules and policies, and set up seasonal pricing.
FlipKey has many advantages for hosts, such as simple registration and listing procedure, diverse categories of rentals, and access to a top-notch review system. However, on the flip side, FlipKey charges additional fees on top of regular nightly rates and has reduced inventory (at least in comparison to other platforms), which might keep potential guests from booking on the platform.
While Expedia isn’t exactly a short-term rental booking platform, it’s more of an all-in-one aggregator and travel platform. However, hosts can still list their investment properties on the app. Expedia offers many distribution channels and can help get your listing in front of millions of users.
Expedia covers properties of all types and sizes. Each time a guest books, hosts pay Expedia a compensation percentage.
Property management offers very high flexibility, including setting up rate plans, room types, amenities, and property policy (such as fees, taxes, deposits, cancellations, etc.). Expedia is easily integrated with other platforms, and various tools can be used for analytics and revenue management.
While SimplyOwners has a large audience, it isn’t as popular as other rental platforms. However, it’s still an option worth considering, especially for those wanting to invest in a vacation rental.
SimplyOwners operates differently from other platforms. Hosts don’t get to list their properties themselves. Instead, hosts submit their property to a team that comes up with a draft. If the host approves the draft, a fee is charged, then the team lists the property on the platform.
Rental owners pay an annual fee on a per-property basis, and discounts are offered for those with multiple listings. Guests are charged the property price without any additional service fees. The main advantages of utilizing SimplyOwners are:
- Hosts get many potential guests that are looking to rent directly from an owner
- Hosts pay for the service only once a year
- SimplyOwners’ team is very good at providing support
Majestic Vacation Management Helps List Your Property
There are many options when it comes to renting out your short-term rental property. It can be overwhelming for a new investor. However, Majestic Vacation Management has you covered. We provide many services, such as location consulting, cleanings, home staging, landscaping, linen services, security, pool service, home sourcing, and more. Contact us for more information.