Vrbo’s increasing popularity means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Vrbo property hosts to stand out amongst the competition. Read on to find out the 16 ways to improve your Vrbo listing, secure more bookings, and apply boosts to your Vrbo property ad.
How Do You Increase Your Bookings on Vrbo?
You can increase your bookings on Vrbo by optimizing your listing and making it easier for guests to book with you. Upload high-quality photos, write an eye-catching title, and tag the amenities and location of your property. Make it easier for Vrbo guests to book by enabling instant bookings, having a fast response time, and avoiding cancellations. Always ensure that your listing is accurate, your calendar is up-to-date, and that you’ve got great reviews on your listing.
How Do You Boost a Listing on Vrbo?
Boosting a listing on Vrbo will push your listing higher up the search rankings, enabling it to be seen more easily by guests. Vrbo allows hosts to boost listings for specific date ranges, for example during seasons where demand is lower.
To boost a listing on Vrbo follow these steps:
- Become a Vrbo Premier Host
- Earn ‘power-ups’ for bookings and completed stays
- Make sure you are logged in to your Vrbo account
- Choose the property on your account that you want to boost
- Select ‘Choose dates to boost’ (this is in the Boost widget on the right-hand side of the page)
- Use the calendar to choose the range of dates that you want to boost
- Select the number of power-ups that you want to use
- Take a look at your present and forecasted search position
- Click ‘Accept’ and then ‘Confirm’
16 Ways to Improve Your Vrbo Listing and Get More Bookings
The best way to increase the visibility of your Vrbo listing and generate higher revenue from your short-term rental property is to spend time optimizing your listing on a regular basis. This will ensure that you stay ahead of the competition and make your listing stand out from the crowd. Vrbo’s search algorithm favors relevant, quality listings that guests will love.
Accept Bookings Quickly
To improve your Vrbo listing and the occupancy rate of your vacation rental, you need to make it easy for your guests to book with you. This can be done by enabling instant bookings so that Vrbo guests don’t have to wait for a response from you before confirming their booking. Alternatively, make sure you are able to accept bookings quickly, as Vrbo rewards hosts who are responsive.
Include All Amenities
Guests searching for short-term rental accommodation on Vrbo often filter for amenities such as Wi-Fi, pets allowed, laundry, parking, air conditioning, and parking. List as many amenities as you can on your property ad in order to appeal to a wide range of guests. Vrbo requires that you list at least five amenities.
In the example above, the Vrbo host has included 62 amenities in their short-term rental property listing, and they are categorized into ‘essentials’, ‘kitchen’, ‘outside’, ‘entertainment’, ‘laundry’, ‘parking’, and ‘safety’.
Tag the Location
Vrbo enables hosts to tag the location of a property with various keywords such as ‘downtown’, ‘beach view’, and ‘mountains’. You should include key phrases like this in your listing so that your potential guests know what to expect from your property.
Avoid Cancelling Bookings
Just like on other short-term rental sites like Airbnb, Vrbo favors guests who rarely cancel bookings. Avoiding cancellations will ensure your listing performs better in the search algorithm and gains more attention from potential guests.
State Cleaning Practices
Recent research carried out by Vrbo found that only a very small percentage of hosts listed their cleaning practices on their listing, despite it being a very desirable feature for Vrbo guests. On your listing, including information about who cleans your property and when, and why you care about hygiene and the safety of your guests.
Gather Great Reviews
It goes without saying that five-star reviews are an important factor in building trust with your guests and increasing your occupancy rate. If you’ve only just posted your ad, ask members of your family or friends to review your listing for you until you gather more reviews. The best way to get great reviews from your guests is to deliver a fantastic experience, with clean accommodation and responsive customer service.
The Vrbo host above has 130 five-star reviews, which goes a long way to building trust with potential guests and reassuring them that they’ll enjoy their stay. It means that the host has the ability to increase their prices in line with the demand for their property.
Ensure Your Listing is Accurate
Include accurate information about your property listing, with details on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms available. Avoid exaggerating features as this can result in you not meeting the expectations of your guests, which can lead to negative reviews.
Respond Quickly to Your Guests
Having a fast response rate to booking requests and questions is a great way to ensure that your listing performs well. Make sure you have the Vrbo app downloaded so that you can accept bookings, respond to guests and manage your listings on the go.
Post Optimized Photos
Your photos should be high-quality, visually appealing, and ideally professionally taken. The photos are often the first feature of the listing that Vrbo guests will notice, and so they need to make a good first impression. The property should be clean and staged well, and photos should focus on any unique features that the short-term rental property has.
In the example above, the Vrbo host has provided 21 high-quality photos of the property, and they immediately catch your eye as you are scrolling through the options. The vacation rental is presented beautifully, with tasteful décor and furnishings throughout.
Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
The headline for your listing should be creative, eye-catching, and include relevant, unique details about your vacation rental property. Make the most of the 80-character limit, and accurately describe any special or interesting features of the property.
Regularly Update Your Calendar
Keep your calendar regularly updated, as Vrbo favors hosts who are active and engaging with their listings. Not only will this allow your listing to perform better, but it’ll also help you to minimize cancellations due to double bookings.
Become a Vrbo Premier Host
Becoming a Vrbo Premier Host is similar to being an Airbnb Superhost. Premier Hosts have an average review rating of 4.3 or higher, a booking acceptance rate of 90% or higher, an owner-initiated cancellation rate of 5% or lower, three or more Vrbo reviews, and a minimum of five bookings or 60 booked nights. Premier Hosts have a badge on their listing, a filter for guests to search with, and access to the Boost program to improve the reach of their property listing.
Optimize Your Vacation Rental Description
Your Vrbo listing description should be scannable, interesting, detailed, and specific. Make sure to include all of the information that your guests will need to know, and write down details of your target market. Break up the description into short paragraphs, and use bullet points to make it easily digestible.
In the example above, the Vrbo host has included lots of detail about the property and who it would be suited to. There is extra information about the amenities at the properties and the location it is set in. The vacation rental description is broken up into paragraphs which makes it easy for guests to scan. They could have added bullet points to make it more scannable for readers.
Price Your Property Competitively
Ensure your prices are competitive, and consider integrating dynamic pricing into your listing. This will ensure that your prices are always in line with demand and seasonality. Setting your rates too high or too low can be off-putting for guests. It is recommended to research the price of a comparable listing, and price yours slightly lower. Once your occupancy rate is high and you’ve got lots of great guest reviews, you can start to increase the rates.
Limit House Rules
It’s important to set expectations for your guests by listing some house rules, but be wary of taking this too far. Too many house rules will be off-putting for guests who just want to relax during their stay. Make it easier for guests to make a decision and book with you by listing just a few simple requirements.
Apply ‘Power-Ups’ to Certain Dates in Your Calendar
If you’re a Premier Host, you can earn and apply ‘Power-Ups’ to your listing. This will improve the visibility of your property on the site, and can result in a higher occupancy rate and higher revenue.
Hosts can increase their bookings on Vrbo by optimizing their listing, building trust with guests, and making it easier for guests to book with them. Optimizing the listing with great photos, a catchy headline, an informative description, a competitive pricing structure, location tags, and an accurate list of amenities. Build trust with guests through great customer reviews and a fast response rate. Make it easier for guests to book with instant booking, limited house rules, Vrbo Premier Host status, limited cancellations, and an up-to-date booking calendar.
If you’re looking to improve your Vrbo listing and aren’t sure where to start, I can help you craft the perfect listing headline and description. Get in touch for more information about my Vrbo listing description services.