It’s 2019, and by now, there are plenty of vacation rental listing sites to choose from. Still, VRBO (owned by HomeAway) and Airbnb are two of the biggest vacation home rental players in the travel industry today. To maximize exposure for our homeowners, InvitedHome ensures all our offerings are listed across each website’s distribution portfolio, providing increased visibility for our homes. And while we handle all listing features on both sites, we wanted to share with you the differences between the two companies, and how InvitedHome optimizes the way your home is positioned on them. To learn more about our refined approach to vacation rental management, check out our property management page.

You can also look through our list of 13 sites like Airbnb to explore all your options for listing your vacation rental.

Are you a traveler wondering which site is better for booking vacation rentals? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Airbnb charges guests a service fee as high as 20%, which comprises the cleaning fee and additional guest fee. On top of this, you’ll pay Airbnb’s fees and taxes. This is why the price jumps so much between the time you see a home and when you check out.  
  • The VRBO/HomeAway guest service fee ranges between 6%-12% on a “sliding scale.”


VRBO/HomeAway: If you want to list your home on VRBO, you have two options. The VRBO rental agreement shows you can pay an annual fee of $499, which will allow for unlimited inquiries and bookings. If you choose a pay-per-booking fee structure, you’ll be charged a commission starting at 8% per booking. This number comprises the 5% commission charged for the rental amount and the 3% credit card transaction fee on the total payment received from your guest. An additional 2% may be charged if the credit card isn’t from the U.S.

So how do you choose? VRBO suggests that if it’s rented more than six weeks out of the year, the annual subscription is a better option. It’s worth noting that if you opt for the subscription model, you’ll pay even if your home never books. However, if you’re with InvitedHome, we’ll take care of that subscription cost, and optimize your listing to maximize its visibility on VRBO and HomeAway.

A note on VRBO guest services fees: Since HomeAway was acquired by Expedia, the company has been introducing new service fees on a sliding scale. In this post, we break down the cryptic HomeAway guest service fee, or you can check out this easy-to-understand table, so you know exactly what your guests are experiencing when they book through these channels.

Airbnb: Airbnb is a little more straightforward. There’s no annual subscription here — instead, you’ll pay a flat 3% fee on every booking. With Airbnb, you also won’t have to pay any credit card fees. Once again, homeowners with InvitedHome don’t have to worry about any of these costs. We’ll take care of them.

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