Having your property listed on multiple vacation rental platforms is an excellent way to get more exposure and more bookings. However, managing your short-term rental property on several sites is a challenging task, even for experienced hosts.
Here are four questions and answers that offer a better insight into the benefits, challenges and tips for managing listing a rental on multiple sites.
1. What are The Benefits of Listing a Vacation Rental on Multiple Sites?
Firstly, it’s a good idea to cover the advantages of listing your rental property on multiple sites at once.
Reaching a Bigger Audience
To come on top of your competition and reach as many potential guests as possible, you ought to play the game of sheer numbers. The more ground you cover the better the chances are that you’re going to have a higher occupancy rate.
The best way to maximize your reach is to list your property on the best property rental sites. The consequence of such exposure could be a substantial increase in bookings, as long as you use a vacation rental channel manager to automate the process (we’ll talk about it a bit later).
It’s no secret that increased marketing efforts yield great results in terms of revenue and cash flow. If you cater to a diverse demographic and offer quality amenities, comfort, and affordable pricing–you should see a substantial increase in revenue when listing a rental on multiple sites.
2. Which Websites Should You List On?
Since the property rental market is quite saturated, there are numerous options and websites you can choose from. However, only a handful of them offer good exposure, favorable pricing models, and great opportunities for hosts to push their property to the top. You might want to think of the combination of several vacation rental sites that best suit your business.
Here are some of the most popular options you should look at:
Airbnb is hands down, the fastest-growing vacation rental website in the world. As such, it offers an excellent opportunity for you to reach a massive audience of potential guests, some of whom will inevitably see your listing and book a vacation.
Currently, Airbnb has over 650,000 active hosts and over 7 million listings worldwide in over 220 countries.
As far as Airbnb service fees go, it is 100% free to list your property on the platform, but you will be charged a 3-5% commission per booking. This service fee is charged once the booking is confirmed.
If you’re looking to list your rental on multiple sites, listing on Airbnb is an absolute must.
HomeAway (Vrbo family) is yet another great vacation rental platform, and with over 70 million travelers per month, it is an excellent avenue for you to reach new audiences. However, unlike Airbnb, HomeAway does not let you list private or shared rooms. Instead, you need to list an entire property if you’re looking to use this website.
In terms of pricing for hosts, HomeAway uses a pay-per-booking listing model. You can expect an 8-10% commission fee. In case you make more than $8,000 per year, consider buying their yearly subscription for $499 since it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
There are some other subtle differences between Airbnb and HomeAway you should look into, but it’s safe to say that HomeAway is suited more towards families and more extended rentals/stays in comparison to Airbnb.
While Booking.com is used more by people who want to book a hotel room, almost half of the monthly visitors are looking for other types of accommodation, such as vacation rentals. Given that this website attracts more than 430 million monthly visitors, it’s quite evident that you should seize the opportunity, list your property, and use its popularity to improve your exposure.
While listing on Booking.com is completely free, they take a hefty commission per booking. Commission fees range between 10-25%, depending on your country, property type, and property location.
3. What are the Challenges of Listing a Rental on Multiple Sites?
Managing your listing on multiple vacation rental platforms is not easy, and it’s especially challenging if you’re not using automation software. You may run into various obstacles, most of which wouldn’t exist if you were using a channel manager.
Here are a couple of challenges that may arise if you decide to list your rental on multiple sites:
It’s a Time-Consuming Process
It takes a lot of time to submit your listing, upload quality photos, write an engaging description, and manage your prices across multiple platforms. On top of that, you are forced to visit each website to communicate with your guests, manage inquiries, and organize your schedule.
You could invest that time into more productive things like reading the feedback from your guests and bettering your service accordingly.
The Problem of Double Bookings
One of the worst things that can happen to a host is having to deal with double bookings. The concept is pretty simple–if two people book your property at the same time, what can you do to mitigate the inevitable booking issues?
The only way you can avoid these scenarios is by using a vacation rental software that features a channel manager functionality. Without it, you would be forced to manually cancel double bookings, which is time-consuming, frustrating, and frowned upon by the majority of online travel agencies.
4. How can Hosts Effectively Manage Vacation Rental Listings on Multiple Channels?
The short answer is–with the help of automation. While there are countless benefits tied to using a vacation rental software, the one that stands out the most is your ability to synchronize everything and manage your bookings, logins, messages, and inquiries via one automated interface rather than doing it manually.
For instance, iGMS is one of the top-rated vacation rental management software that allows you to maximize performance of your short-term rental business, avoid double bookings, and save time on routine tasks.
Popular features iGMS offers include:
- Seamless integration with the biggest platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com and Vrbo.
- Channel manager
- Single inbox for guest communication + triggered messaging
- Task management and progress tracking via the team coordination dashboard
- Financial reporting
Listing your rental on multiple sites is a great idea as long as you consider all the aspects of this venture and make sure to use tools to streamline the whole process.
Why lose substantial potential revenue if you can control and manage everything from a single interface? Help yourself by using a vacation rental channel manager, and more importantly–grow your income while investing less effort than before!