What to Consider When Listing Your Vacation Rental on Multiple Platforms

It’s not easy to juggle one listing, much less multiple listings on various vacation rental platforms.  But if you’re looking to maximize possible income, it’s a strategy worth exploring.  Let’s examine why.

More Possible Customers

It’s not disputable that listing on multiple platforms exposes you to more potential customers.  Different companies have carved out different spots of the marketplace and while there is some overlap, each platform caters to distinctly different groups.

  • Airbnb owns a solid 20% of the global short term rental market, with a particularly strong showing among Millenials.
  • Booking.com, like Airbnb, has nearly 6M global listings, but also offers hotel and hostel options, which garners more business traveler bookings.
  • VRBO, owned by Expedia, has been developing its relationships with clients and hosts since 1995, longer than anyone else in the industry.

Rather than just being listed on one platform, like Airbnb for example, you could be simultaneously listed on the platforms we’ve already mentioned, as well as Homeaway, Flipkey, and any one of the many platforms that seem to still be popping up every few months.

Being listed on multiple platforms means you’re more likely to fill up any empty booking spots, and voila, you’re generating more income instead of letting those possible booking spots go begging.

But Also, More Work

That extra traffic doesn’t come free.  It costs you time to create listings on each of those platforms with descriptions, photos, etc.  Some of the platforms also charge significant service fees to hosts.  This is to say nothing of the need to maintain a strict control on your calendar so that you can’t get double-booked and incur a dreaded host-initiated cancellation (which, on Airbnb, can cost you Superhost status).

You also have to consider that different websites attract different demographics (who use using different booking windows) and price points, so you will need to tweak and adjust prices and availability on those different platforms rather than keep the same price across all of them.

You Can Get Help

Many platform managers, like Guesty, have stepped up to deal with this pain point.  

These platform managers provide a central dashboard that pushes relevant information to the various platforms, allows you to adjust prices all in one place, and most importantly, has central calendar management so that the possibility of double booking becomes less likely.

But, Maybe Stay on One Platform?

A relevant argument to stay on a single platform is review velocity.  The more recent reviews you have, the higher you score in a platform’s ranking system.  When you are listed on multiple platforms, rather than direct all your reviews to one place, they are spread out, leading you to have a recent listing across multiple platforms rather than a very strong listing on one.

At the end of the day, only you know your income goals and time resources for your listing(s), so you’re best equipped to judge whether you should explore multiple platforms or just stay on one. 

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

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