March 8, 2016

The 3 Best Alternatives to HomeAway and VRBO

Ingrid Genest is a travel blogger specializing in alternative lodging trends, marketing, and advertising including Vacation Rentals, Inns, B & B's, private rooms, and sublets.

With the recent acquisition of HomeAway by travel giant Expedia, which also includes flagship sister sites VRBO and, comes a slew of changes that has vacation rental advertisers seriously questioning value. Here is a glimpse at just a few of the problems at HomeAway leaving owners and property managers scratching their heads for viable alternatives:

- Expensive pay-for-positioning packages that do not convert to increased inquiries and bookings
- The heavy-handed push toward a "one-size-fits-all" booking and quotable rates model (think hotel)

- Mandatory traveler booking fees offering no particular benefit for Owners or their Guests

- Ever changing search algorithms forcing advertisers to play by HomeAway's rules, or risk having their listings pushed to the bottom of the pile

For advertisers looking to differentiate the way in which they market and advertise their vacation rentals, or those who have already begun the process of moving from HomeAway altogether, consider these 3 alternatives:

List Your Space: 

Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet.

Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.

Connecting Rentals Worldwide
List Your Property:

While relatively new to the online vacation rental marketplace, the company is no stranger to the vacation rental industry, and promises to deliver big. Formed by members of Connecting Rentals, Inc., a leading vacation rental agency in Bethel, Maine since 1991, Connecting Rentals Worldwide was developed by expert programmers in conjunction with rental professionals to deliver a secure, affordable, user friendly, full-featured listing alternative.

Connecting Rentals Worldwide offers affordable listing packages at a fraction of the cost of other listing sites. Packages range from just $19 for 3 months to $49 annually.

Flipkey / TripAdvisor
List Your Home:

FlipKey is the exclusive provider of vacation rentals on TripAdvisor - the largest travel community in the world with more than 35 million unique monthly visitors. With TripAdvisor's multiple lodging types, you can attract travelers who may have never considered a vacation rental.

Guest reviews give travelers more comfort in booking, which leads to better inquiries, higher booking rates, and more guests. FlipKey enables you to easily collect and manage guest reviews. These reviews can be seamlessly integrated onto your own website through a variety of tools.

FlipKey provides verification services for both professional property managers and individual homeowners. This verification process gives travelers more confidence when booking a property.