Vrbo, originally known as Vacation Rentals by Owner or VRBO, is an online marketplace for vacation rentals. It was created in 1995 by David Clouse, a retired teacher, with the goal of renting out his ski resort condo. Over the years, VRBO gained popularity among homeowners who wanted to list their properties for short-term rental. In 2006, VRBO was acquired by HomeAway, and in 2015, Expedia Group acquired HomeAway, including VRBO. Today, VRBO is a subsidiary of Expedia Group and continues to be an active vacation rental platform.
- Vrbo, originally known as Vacation Rentals by Owner or VRBO, is an online marketplace for vacation rentals.
- It was created in 1995 by David Clouse, a retired teacher, and gained popularity among homeowners.
- In 2006, VRBO was acquired by HomeAway, and in 2015, Expedia Group acquired HomeAway, including VRBO.
- Today, VRBO is a subsidiary of Expedia Group and continues to be an active vacation rental platform.
- Expedia Group is a leading travel company that also owns other popular travel brands such as Hotels.com, Orbitz, and Travelocity.
The History of VRBO
VRBO, also known as Vacation Rentals by Owner, has a rich history that dates back to 1995 when it was founded by David Clouse. Initially, VRBO was a platform where property owners could list their vacation homes for rent, providing a unique alternative to traditional hotel accommodations.
From its humble beginnings, VRBO experienced rapid growth and popularity. By 2006, the platform boasted over 65,000 rental listings and was adding 100 new listings per day, cementing its position as a leading player in the vacation rental market.
During its early years, VRBO operated on a subscription model. Homeowners paid an annual fee to list their properties on the website, allowing them to connect with travelers looking for unique and personalized vacation experiences.
In 2006, VRBO underwent a significant change when it was acquired by HomeAway, another prominent vacation rental platform. This acquisition provided VRBO with additional resources and support to further expand its reach and enhance its services.
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Today, VRBO continues to thrive as a subsidiary of Expedia Group, which acquired HomeAway in 2015. As part of the Expedia Group family, VRBO benefits from the financial stability and industry expertise of one of the world’s leading travel companies.
Throughout its history, VRBO has remained dedicated to connecting property owners with travelers seeking unique and memorable vacation experiences. With a focus on user-friendly technology, extensive property listings, and exceptional customer support, VRBO has become a trusted and popular choice among both homeowners and travelers.
Acquisition by Expedia Group
In 2015, VRBO’s parent company, HomeAway, underwent a significant change when it was acquired by Expedia Group. This acquisition marked a significant milestone in the history of VRBO, as it became a subsidiary of one of the leading travel companies in the world.
Expedia Group’s acquisition of VRBO allowed the vacation rental platform to tap into the vast financial and operational resources of a global travel giant. With Expedia’s support, VRBO was able to expand its reach and enhance its services, offering a wider range of options and benefits to property owners and travelers alike.
The acquisition brought about a seamless transition of ownership, solidifying the position of VRBO as a key player in the vacation rental market. As part of the Expedia Group family, VRBO continues to thrive and evolve, delivering exceptional experiences and opportunities for both hosts and guests.
Key Benefits of VRBO’s Acquisition by Expedia Group
- Access to expanded financial resources and expertise within the travel industry
- Increased visibility and exposure to a broader audience of travelers
- Expanded range of services and features for property owners and guests
- Enhanced marketing and promotional opportunities through the Expedia Group network
Expedia Group Subsidiaries
|Online travel agency providing a wide range of travel bookings
|Hotel booking platform offering a vast selection of accommodations worldwide
|Online travel agency specializing in flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages
|Full-service online travel agency providing booking options for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more
As illustrated by the table, Expedia Group’s portfolio encompasses various travel brands, each catering to different aspects of the travel industry. VRBO’s inclusion in this lineup ensures that it remains at the forefront of vacation rental platforms, providing exceptional services and experiences to property owners and travelers worldwide.
Changes and Rebranding
In March 2019, VRBO underwent an exciting transformation by rebranding itself and adopting a new name – Vrbo. This rebranding initiative was accompanied by a fresh logo design and updates to the company’s capitalization and pronunciation.
The decision to change its name from VRBO to Vrbo aimed to align the company’s image more closely with its brand identity. The new logo reflects the evolution of Vrbo as a vacation rental platform, showcasing a more modern and contemporary look.
Vrbo, now pronounced as “ver-boh,” emphasizes a simplified pronunciation that is more intuitive for both users and travelers. This change ensures that the platform is easily recognizable and memorable, enhancing its overall brand recognition.
The rebranding of VRBO to Vrbo signifies the company’s commitment to growth, innovation, and adapting to the changing needs of the vacation rental industry. By refreshing its name, logo, and pronunciation, Vrbo strives to provide an enhanced experience for property owners and travelers alike.
A New Look: The Vrbo Logo
Ownership of Vrbo Today
Currently, Vrbo is owned by Expedia Group, a leading travel company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol EXPE. As a subsidiary of Expedia Group, Vrbo benefits from the financial stability and resources of its parent company.
Expedia Group, known for its extensive presence in the travel industry, owns several other popular travel brands in addition to Vrbo. These subsidiaries offer a wide range of travel services and accommodations to cater to different traveler preferences:
Having Expedia Group as its owner allows Vrbo to leverage the expertise and global reach of the parent company. The resources available from Expedia Group enable Vrbo to continue operating as a prominent vacation rental platform, connecting property owners with travelers looking for unique accommodations.
|Vrbo, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity
Criticism and Controversies
Vrbo has faced criticism and controversies over the years, raising concerns among both guests and property owners. These issues have included instances where Vrbo’s policies and actions have been called into question.
Vrbo Refund Policy and COVID-19
One major criticism of Vrbo has been its strict refund policy, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdowns and travel restrictions impacted guests’ ability to travel, Vrbo did not mandate hosts to offer refunds, leading to frustration and calls for a boycott. Many guests felt that Vrbo should have shown more empathy and flexibility in helping them navigate the challenging circumstances.
Chrissy Teigen Backlash
Vrbo faced backlash after featuring a video with Chrissy Teigen, a well-known celebrity, in their marketing campaign. Accusations of cyberbullying against Teigen emerged, and Vrbo faced criticism for not thoroughly vetting their ambassadors before associating them with the brand. This controversy highlighted the importance of considering the reputation and conduct of public figures when partnering with them.
Some guests have reported instances where Vrbo failed to honor its “book with confidence” guarantee. This guarantee is meant to provide assurance to guests that their accommodations will meet certain standards and requirements. However, there have been cases where guests experienced issues such as misrepresented properties or unresponsive hosts, leaving them dissatisfied and questioning the effectiveness of Vrbo’s guarantee.
Hidden Cameras and Non-Compliance with Rental Laws
Reports of hidden cameras discovered in Vrbo rental properties have sent shockwaves throughout the vacation rental community. These incidents raised concerns about privacy and guest safety, highlighting the need for stronger measures to prevent such violations.
In addition, Vrbo has faced legal battles, such as a lawsuit filed by the city of Los Angeles for non-compliance with rental laws. This case shed light on the importance of vacation rental platforms adhering to local regulations and ensuring compliance with rental laws in the jurisdictions where they operate.
It is crucial for Vrbo to address these criticisms and controversies transparently, taking proactive steps to improve its policies, protect guests, and enhance the overall user experience. By addressing these concerns head-on, Vrbo can regain trust and continue to provide a reliable and secure platform for vacation rentals.
Comparison to Other Vacation Rental Platforms
Vrbo, as one of the leading vacation rental platforms, is often compared to other platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway. With each platform offering its own unique features and catering to different types of travelers, property owners should explore and compare their options to find the platform that best aligns with their needs.
Factors to Consider
When comparing vacation rental platforms, there are several key factors that property owners should consider:
- Fees: Compare the fees charged by each platform, including listing fees, commission rates, and any additional charges.
- Booking Process: Evaluate the ease and convenience of the booking process on each platform, including the ability to communicate with guests and manage reservations.
- Guest Demographics: Consider the demographics of the guests typically attracted to each platform. This can help determine which platform aligns best with the target audience for a property.
- Available Features: Explore the range of features offered by each platform, such as marketing tools, analytics, and customer support.
By carefully evaluating these factors, property owners can make an informed decision when choosing a vacation rental platform that suits their specific requirements.
Comparison Table: Vrbo vs Airbnb vs HomeAway
|Annual subscription or pay-per-booking
|User-friendly interface with direct communication
|Families, groups, and travelers seeking whole property rentals
|Owner dashboard, marketing tools, 24/7 customer support
|Host service fee, guest service fee, and other transaction fees
|Integrated messaging system with Airbnb reservations
|Diverse range of travelers, including solo travelers and those seeking unique accommodations
|Host dashboard, professional photography, and Airbnb experiences
|Annual subscription or pay-per-booking
|Email-based communication and booking process
|Families and travelers seeking larger, more traditional vacation rentals
|Owner dashboard, visibility on multiple websites, and booking management tools
This table provides a summary comparison of Vrbo, Airbnb, and HomeAway based on the factors mentioned above. It is important to note that individual experiences may vary, and property owners should conduct their own research and consider their specific needs before making a decision.
Customer Service and Support for Vrbo Owners
At Vrbo, we understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and support to our valued property owners. We strive to ensure that you have a seamless experience managing your vacation rental listings. Our dedicated team of representatives is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
When you join Vrbo as an owner, we’re here to guide you through the process of setting up your account and optimizing your listings. Our support team can help you navigate the Vrbo owner dashboard, a powerful tool that gives you full control over your vacation rental properties.
The owner dashboard allows you to manage all aspects of your listings, including rates, availability, and guest communication. With just a few clicks, you can update your property details, add photos, and highlight unique features to attract potential guests. You have the flexibility to customize your listing to reflect your property’s unique charm.
Our customer support representatives are also available to assist you with understanding the fees associated with listing your property on Vrbo. They can provide detailed information about the different pricing options available, including our pay-per-booking subscription and yearly subscription. With their guidance, you can choose the pricing model that best aligns with your rental income and preferences.
Benefits of Vrbo’s Customer Service and Support:
- 24/7 availability for assistance
- Guidance in setting up and optimizing your listings
- Expert assistance with navigating the owner dashboard
- Control over rates, availability, and guest communication
- Transparent information about fees and pricing options
With Vrbo’s customer service and support, you can confidently manage your vacation rental properties and provide an exceptional experience for your guests. We are here to empower you as a property owner and help you maximize your rental potential.
|Customer Service and Support Features
|24/7 support representatives
|Available round the clock
|Quick response to queries and issues
|Accessible at any time
|Full control over property listings
|Assistance with fees and pricing
|Available during business hours
|Clear understanding of costs and revenue
Fees and Pricing on Vrbo
As a property owner on Vrbo, you have two flexible pricing options to choose from that cater to your specific needs and preferences. Let’s explore these options in detail:
If you opt for the pay-per-booking subscription on Vrbo, you will be charged a commission of 5% for each booking made through the platform. This pricing model is ideal for property owners who prefer to pay fees based on the actual bookings they receive, aligning the costs with their rental income. It offers a convenient and cost-effective solution, ensuring that you only pay when your property is successfully rented.
Vrbo also offers a yearly subscription option for property owners who prefer a more predictable and upfront pricing structure. With the yearly subscription, you pay a flat fee of $499 per year, regardless of the number of bookings you receive. This pricing model is suitable for property owners with consistent rental demand or those who prefer a fixed cost for their Vrbo listing. It provides peace of mind, knowing your annual subscription covers the entire year, allowing you to focus on managing your property and providing an exceptional guest experience.
By offering these two pricing options, Vrbo ensures that property owners have the flexibility to choose the model that best suits their unique rental income and preferences. Whether you opt for the pay-per-booking subscription or the yearly subscription, you can take advantage of Vrbo’s robust platform and extensive traveler network to maximize your property’s rental potential.
|5% commission on each booking*
|Flat fee of $499 per year
*Commission calculated based on the total booking value.
Benefits and Challenges of Owning a Vrbo Property
Owning a Vrbo property can be a rewarding venture with its unique set of benefits and challenges. Let’s explore the advantages and obstacles that come with Vrbo ownership in the vacation rental business.
Benefits of Vrbo Ownership:
- Supplemental Income: By owning a Vrbo property, you have the opportunity to generate additional income by renting out your vacation home. It can serve as a lucrative source of revenue, especially during peak travel seasons.
- Flexibility in Rental Rates and Availability: As a Vrbo owner, you have control over setting rental rates and determining the availability of your property. This flexibility allows you to maximize your earnings and accommodate your personal preferences.
- Access to a Large User Base: Vrbo provides access to a vast user base of travelers actively seeking vacation rentals. This exposure increases the chances of attracting potential guests, leading to more bookings and occupancy.
Challenges of Vrbo Ownership:
- Competition from Other Vacation Rental Platforms: The vacation rental market is competitive, with various platforms vying for the attention of travelers. Differentiating your Vrbo property from others and maintaining a competitive edge can be a challenge.
- Effective Marketing and Customer Service: Successful Vrbo ownership requires effective marketing strategies to attract guests and provide exceptional customer service to ensure positive guest experiences. Engaging with potential guests and promptly addressing their inquiries and concerns is crucial for maintaining a positive reputation.
- Property Management and Maintenance: Managing and maintaining your Vrbo property entails responsibilities such as regular cleaning, repairs, and ensuring the property meets guest expectations. This includes maintaining the safety and comfort of your guests throughout their stay.
Owning a Vrbo property offers the potential for financial gain, flexibility, and access to a wide user base. However, it also comes with the challenges of competition, effective marketing, and property management. By navigating these challenges effectively and leveraging the benefits, Vrbo ownership can be a rewarding venture in the vacation rental business.
Vrbo Mobile App and Traveler Experience
Planning your next vacation just got easier with the Vrbo mobile app. Available for free on both Apple and Android devices, the Vrbo traveler app offers a seamless and convenient way to search for and book vacation rentals worldwide. With over 2 million listings to choose from, you’ll find the perfect home-away-from-home for your next trip.
Take advantage of the app’s robust features to enhance your mobile experience. The Vrbo app allows you to apply various property search filters, ensuring you find rentals that meet your specific preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a beachfront villa, a cozy mountain cabin, or a pet-friendly apartment, the app’s search filters make it easy to narrow down your options and find the ideal vacation rental.
The Vrbo app also offers a convenient way to save your favorite listings. Simply mark properties as your favorites, and they will be readily accessible whenever you need them. It’s a great way to keep track of the rentals that catch your eye and compare them before making a final decision.
When it comes to booking, the Vrbo app provides a secure and reliable platform. You can book your chosen vacation rental directly through the app, knowing that your payment and personal information are protected. The app’s commitment to ensuring a safe booking process gives you peace of mind as you plan your vacation.
Experience the power of the Vrbo mobile app, designed to make your travel journey seamless and stress-free. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, finding and booking your dream vacation rental has never been easier.
Key Features of the Vrbo Mobile App:
- Easy property search with filters
- Saved favorites for quick access
- Secure and convenient booking process
Comparing Vrbo and Other Vacation Rental Platforms
|Vacation Rental Platform
|Number of Listings
|Over 2 million
|Over 7 million
|Over 2 million
|Property Search Filters
|Secure Booking Process
Vrbo, owned by Expedia Group, is a well-established vacation rental platform that has been providing property owners with the opportunity to list and rent their vacation homes since its founding in 1995. With its rich history and extensive network of vacation rentals, Vrbo offers a unique travel experience for guests looking for a home away from home.
Despite facing criticism and controversies over the years, Vrbo remains a popular choice among both travelers and property owners. As a subsidiary of Expedia Group, Vrbo benefits from the financial and operational backing of a leading travel company, ensuring its continued success in the vacation rental industry.
As the vacation rental industry continues to evolve, Vrbo, along with other platforms, will play a significant role in shaping the future of travel accommodations. With its user-friendly interface, extensive property listings, and commitment to customer service, Vrbo is well-positioned to cater to the evolving needs of travelers and property owners alike.
Whether you’re a property owner looking to rent out your vacation home or a traveler searching for the perfect getaway, Vrbo offers a reliable and convenient platform for connecting property owners and guests, creating memorable experiences for both parties.
Who owns Vrbo?
Vrbo is owned by Expedia Group, a leading travel company.
What is the history of VRBO?
VRBO was founded in 1995 by David Clouse as a website for property owners to list their vacation homes for rent. It quickly gained popularity and was acquired by HomeAway in 2006.
How did VRBO become a subsidiary of Expedia Group?
In 2015, HomeAway, the parent company of VRBO, was acquired by Expedia Group, making VRBO a subsidiary of Expedia Group.
Did VRBO undergo any changes or rebranding?
Yes, in March 2019, VRBO changed its name to Vrbo and introduced a new logo and updated capitalization and pronunciation.
Who currently owns Vrbo?
Vrbo is currently owned by Expedia Group, a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Has Vrbo faced any controversies?
Yes, Vrbo has faced criticism for its strict refund policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, accusations of cyberbullying in a promotional video, non-compliance with rental laws, and instances of hidden cameras found in rented properties.
How does Vrbo compare to other vacation rental platforms?
Vrbo competes with other platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway, each offering different features, fees, and user bases.
What customer service and support does Vrbo provide for property owners?
Vrbo has representatives available 24/7 to assist owners with setting up accounts, managing listings, and answering questions. Owners can access information and control their listings through the owner dashboard.
What are the fees and pricing options for Vrbo?
Vrbo offers a pay-per-booking option with a 5% commission and a yearly subscription option for a flat fee of $499 per year.
What are the benefits and challenges of owning a Vrbo property?
Benefits include supplemental income, flexibility in rental rates, and access to a large user base. Challenges include competition, marketing, customer service, and property management.
Does Vrbo have a mobile app for travelers?
Yes, Vrbo offers a free mobile app for travelers to search for and book vacation rentals from over 2 million listings worldwide.
What is Vrbo’s significance in the vacation rental industry?
Vrbo is a well-established vacation rental platform and remains popular among travelers and property owners.
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