Airbnb vs. Vrbo: Why I use both to rent out my home – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Airbnb vs. Vrbo: Why I use both to rent out my home

Elizabeth Ellington

Elizabeth Ellington, 51, bought her first short-term rental in 2005 in Fiji. Later on  she started using Airbnb and has two properties on both platforms. Ellington uses both, but says they have their pros and cons. 

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Elizabeth Ellington, a real estate investor. This story has been edited for length and clarity.

I owned a rental property in Fiji and have been renting and managing properties ever since. Now I rent out other properties using Vrbo and Airbnb. Although I use both, they have different strengths.

I currently list two properties on both Airbnb and Vrbo

One of my properties is called the Happy Haus and a second one is called the Gilded Nest. I make about $35,000 yearly on Happy Haus and $20,000 on the Gilded Nest.

I manage them myself and work three hours a week. It’s been a significant income source, and I love managing the properties.

I got started in 1999

In 1999, I was a single mom with a three-year-old daughter and worked as a travel agent. I took a trip with my daughter to Fiji and fell in love with the weather, the warmth of the people, and island living.

I was able to purchase a lot on resort land in Fiji. Resort Land is land in a resort area that is specified by a country as such. I built a home with a pool on the ocean.

I was ready to rent it out in early 2005.

I did some research online and discovered Vrbo, which back then was family-owned

While managing this property, I lived in North Carolina. I traveled to Fiji every nine months to keep the standards up, which hurt my ability to travel anywhere else because of how draining the trips were.

I sold the Vrbo Fiji property because it was too much to maintain. Which left me with one property.

Then I bought two properties

In the same year, I bought two additional properties in Hendersonville, North Carolina, as I was married to a man who liked to buy and sell.

We bought a duplex and a five-bedroom house that was a block away. We made more money on the duplex than the house because it was rented more often.

Before Covid, someone was interested in buying the duplex. They told us to make an offer they couldn’t refuse; we added $100,000 to what we thought it was worth, and they bought it.

After the duplex sold, I started house-hacking and listing on Airbnb in December 2020

We were driving through Hendersonville and saw a home with a for sale sign that was mid-renovation. We offered the owner a deal on the spot, and they took it.

We converted half of the home to have a separate entrance and be suited to rent out. We created a kitchen and dining area, so a renter could have everything they needed.

We made part of my house a vacation rental and lived in the other part of it. My husband at the time did the work, so the costs were only the material.

We listed the home on Airbnb and Vrbo, as it makes the most sense business-wise to try to reach customers on both platforms and to give each property more visibility.

I get more bookings on Airbnb, but the guests on Vrbo are better

I’ve noticed that the guests who book with us on Vrbo are a bit older, and they book for longer. They’re easier to deal with, and my prices are higher on Vrbo, which attracts a more serious person.

My findings with being on Airbnb and Vrbo are that you get the most traction where you make the most bookings.

If I shut off Airbnb for a while, I would probably get a greater amount of bookings on Vrbo than I’m already getting, but I also wouldn’t be as full as I am. Being on both platforms is beneficial because each one has its own customer base, which gives us more opportunities for bookings.

I’ve personally never had a problem with Airbnb refunding guests without cause, though I’ve heard that Airbnb doesn’t have a great reputation among owners.

I’ve been a super host since the program came out. I advise people to use their first 30 days on Airbnb to do one-night bookings if you’re allowed, so that you can rack up reviews. You want to get as many five-star reviews as possible.

If you rent out properties and have tips to share, email Jenna Gyimesi at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider
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