Vrbo Owner Fees: How Much Is Vrbo Charging You? All You Need to Know in 2023
With over 2 million listings worldwide, Vrbo attracts millions of vacation rental guests searching for the perfect stay. So, if you’re serious about turning your side hustle into a real business, Vrbo should be one of the first channels you get listed on. As the Expedia Group’s vacation rental brand, it can help you attract valuable bookings from a highly relevant audience. That being said, it’s important to know how much it costs to list your property on Vrbo. First of all, you need to factor Vrbo owner fees into your pricing strategy.
Secondly, you may want to compare Vrbo’s commission fees to those of other listing sites to make sure that it’s worth it. And thirdly, once you know how much it really costs to list on Vrbo, consider finding other ways to get bookings - with lower commissions or no commissions at all.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Vrbo owner fees: how much they cost and how Vrbo calculates them. Additionally, we’ll give you tips on how to establish multiple sources of bookings.
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How do Vrbo Fees Work?
Vrbo has two different listing models: pay-per-booking and subscription.
Most hosts opt for the pay-per-booking listing model. Instead of paying an annual fee upfront, it gives you the option to pay only for the bookings you receive. This listing model is more flexible. It works best for property owners who:
- Get their bookings from more than one channel.
- Want to have the option to block dates on Vrbo as they wish, without having paid the entire year’s commission fees in advance.
On the other hand, the annual subscription model is a good choice if Vrbo is your main source of bookings and you expect to make more than $6,250 a year through the platform. The subscription costs a one-time flat fee of $499 paid in advance.
How Much are Vrbo Fees for Owners?
The commission that Vrbo charges for pay-per-booking listings starts at 8% per booking.
This is how the overall Vrbo host fees are made up:
- 5% Vrbo service fee. This is calculated from the total amount of the reservation, including additional fees (like pet fees or cleaning fees), and excluding taxes and refundable deposits paid by the guest. The Vrbo service fee contributes to the cost of the secure transactions, product development, and 24/7 customer service that Vrbo provides.
- 3% Vrbo credit card processing fee. This is calculated from the total payment amount you receive from the guest, including extra fees, taxes and security deposits. When you refund the deposit, you get back the portion of the payment processing fee charged for the deposit.
If VAT is applicable in your country, it’s charged on the 5% commission fee.
Why Do Vrbo Fees Vary?
Vrbo owner fees vary because they depend on the amount paid for the reservation. In general, the higher the total amount of the reservation, the lower the percentage of the Vrbo listing fee.
Why Do You Need to Pay Vrbo Payment Processing Fees?
If you list your vacation home on Vrbo, you need to pay Vrbo credit card fees. This is because Vrbo charges the guest for you. The benefit is that you don’t need to have your own payment provider: Vrbo takes the payment and you get the money in your payout, which is disbursed one business day after your guest checks in.
How to Become Less Dependent on Vrbo
Is Vrbo your go-to listing site? Do you rely on it for your vacation rental bookings? While Vrbo works extremely well for a large number of rental owners, putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. What if Vrbo suddenly decides to raise its commission fees, or change its algorithm? This could seriously affect your rankings.
So, here are three ways to become less dependent on Vrbo and protect your rental business against potential losses.
1. Get listed on other channels
If you get the majority of your bookings from Vrbo, you may want to consider diversifying your strategy. While Vrbo is a great platform that gives you lots of visibility, it charges higher commissions than some other websites. So, if you want more money in your pockets, it’s worth getting listed on other channels. For example, Airbnb currently charges most property managers a 3% commission fee to homeowners, which is slightly lower than Vrbo’s.
2. Build a direct booking website and avoid Vrbo fees
An even better alternative is to start accepting direct bookings on your own website. Plus, it’s a great tip on how to avoid Vrbo fees. Direct bookings are commission-free, meaning that you can charge your guest directly without having to pay service fees to any third parties. You’re in total control of your listing and independent from other channels. If you’d like to learn more, check out our complete guide to getting direct bookings and building your vacation rental website.
3. Use a channel manager to avoid double bookings
Once you’ve listed your rental on multiple booking channels and/or built your own vacation rental website, you’ll have a calendar on each booking site where renters can see your availability. Now it’s really important to find a way to keep those calendars up-to-date and in sync. Otherwise, a guest making a reservation on Vrbo won’t see that your rental is already booked for the same dates on Airbnb, and you’ll get a dreaded double booking.
Double bookings are expensive and a hassle to deal with, so preventing them in the first place is vital. And the best way to do that is by using a vacation rental channel manager.
Channel managers like Host Tools allow you to unify your calendars across all the channels you advertise on. This way, there’s no need to export your Airbnb calendar and import it into Vrbo, and vice versa. All you need to do is add your Airbnb, Booking.com, and your Vrbo account to Host Tools and sync them. Since Host Tools has direct API connections with both platforms, your availability and calendars will be updated instantly when you block a date or get a new booking.
But what if you have other sources of bookings, too? Using an iCal link, you can add any calendar to Host Tools – whether it’s from Expedia, Tripadvisor, Agoda, or other booking sites. You can even add the calendar from your own vacation rental website. This way, synchronizing your availability across all your channels is easy.
What’s more, Host Tools has a handy multi-calendar where you can see all your reservations in one place. No need to log into your accounts separately!
Check out our list of the best Airbnb channel managers to find the best solution for your business.
Vrbo Owner Fees: Frequently Asked Questions
Vrbo fees to owners are typically 8% per booking. This is made up of a 5% Vrbo manager fee and a 3% Vrbo payment processing fee.
If you’re on the pay-per-booking listing model, there’s no way to avoid Vrbo management fees. However, you can choose to pay for an annual subscription if that works better for your business model.
The Vrbo service fee is 5%. It’s calculated from the total rental amount, including additional fees and excluding taxes and refundable deposits.
When it comes to Vrbo vs Airbnb fees, Airbnb is currently cheaper. The typical Airbnb service fee is 3% (although it can be higher in specific markets like Italy), while Vrbo charges short-term rental hosts a 5% service fee plus a 3% payment processing fee.
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