If you’ve been contemplating the idea of advertising your properties on VacationHomeRentals.com to get more bookings, you’re in the right place!
Below is a detailed review of the VacationHomeRentals.com website, and vacation rental advertising services.
We've put this review together for the sole reason of helping you decide whether or not they are the right vacation rental website to add to your advertising portfolio.
A little history about the VacationHomeRentals.com
VacationHomeRentals.com was founded in 2004 by Tom Gilmore. Inspired by his grandfather, Gilmore aimed to set up a service to provide renters with “affordable vacation rentals they can trust.”
Because of their consitent success since their foundation in 2004, VacationHomeRentals.com has recently become TripAdvisor's newest acquisition.
Although not the most populated website, they provide over 13,000 rentals across the US and in more than 100 countries.
VacationHomeRentals.com embraces their smaller catalogue, with the idea that a smaller count of higher quality rentals means better experiences for travelers, and better advertising results for the owners who list their properties.
And we believe that TripAdvisor's recent backing only reinforces that fact.
Listing your properties
As far as rental sites go, the features are fairly basic. The emphasis is on renters finding the perfect property and so there are some features designed to protect travellers from fraud.
Beyond that, the website functions primarily as a property listing service and information resource.
There are useful tips and tricks for marketing property as well as learning to manage rentals over a longer term.
The straightforwardness of the site is admirable and creates a sincere yet professional attitude.
Last minute deals
One useful feature for owners, is the ability to create Last Minute Deals.
As an owner, you can list your properties as Last Minute Deals, allowing you to discount them to gain more attention and replace last minute cancellations.
Unlike other vacation rental listing sites, adding a last minute deal to your property listing on VacationHomeRentals.com is absolutely free.
A great advantage to those who need it.
VacationHomeRentals.com also has a community for vacation rental owners with many resources and useful tips and tricks. The point of the forum is to help turn casual owners into professional property managers.
There is an incredible amount of information on just about everything a potential host might need to know before, during, and after renting out their property.
There are five different pricing packages, starting at the Basic for $299, and topping off with the Platinum for $799.
Each package affects your ranking differently. The more you pay, the higher your rank, the more inquiries/leads you’ll get.
The table below outlines the differences between tiers.
The Basic listing package gets you a normal listing on the site, just like any other site.
You can upload pictures and add a description, but cannot add external links and or see any other benefits offered to higher tier subscribers.
Listing price and ranking factors
You’ll notice that all four tiers above the Basic package include external links, progressively better listing placement, a featured placements, and even highlighting in order to attract inquiries.
Gold and Platinum, the top two tiers, also offer preferred customer care, while Platinum has the added benefit of being featured on the homepage and at the top of the listings.
Guests can also publish reviews once they’ve stayed at a property.
Vacation rental owners can start with a 60-day free trial which provides them the services offered to basic subscribers.
The trial is a great oportunity to try the service for a couple of months completely risk-free.
For property managers
There are many property managers advertising their vacation rentals on VacationhomeRentals.com. Generally speaking, the site works the same way others do for managing multiple listings as it does for managing a single listing.
With that said, they offer bulk discounts starting at 10% off for spending over $800, and go up as much as 30% for spending over $3000.
Receiving payments from travellers
As it stands, listings on VacationHomeRentals.com don’t have any online booking payment capabilities. They take absolutely no part in mediating any exchanges between owners and travelers, so when it comes to accepting payment for your potential guests, you’re on your own.
Throughout the site, travellers are advised to use secure payment methods in order to protect themselves from fraud. So if you’re not already accepting credit cards, you’ll need to start. (Learn how you can here)
What travellers are saying
Travellers can look forward to the Happy Rental Guarantee, which insures the traveller in the case of a mishap with the rental.
The company offers up to $10,000 worth of protection against things like foreclosure, bankruptcy, double-booking, and misrepresentations, which cannot be said of other websites.
They also price-match, so that if a traveller books a property and finds that same property at a lower price somewhere else, they’ll refund the difference. A great feature for those who avidly scour listings for the best deal.
As mentioned earlier, VacationHomeRentals.com is a listing site. And they do very little mediation between guest and host.
That means unless the guest has bought travel insurance or has paid by credit cards, there’s little they can do in the event of a problem.
And although VacationHomeRentals.com does screen their listings and work with security agencies to try to eliminate fraud, some listings can fall through the cracks. And as a result, there have been a few horror stories published online.
The company suggests using good judgment when communicating with hosts and always using secure payment method (credit cards) rather than directly transferring money to an owner.
All communication is done independently of the website, but the company will be forthcoming with information should any legal problems arise.
What owners are saying
The service itself is a little cheaper than some of the other competitors.
And the smaller pool of competing properties does mean more views for a single listing when comparing to larger sites like AirBnB or VRBO.
The website also has a wealth of information within their owner forum, and their 60-day free trial makes giving them a try a risk-free venture.
All in all, it’s a great place to start for people who are just getting into renting out their space, or for people who aren’t looking for a long-term situation.
Because VacationHomeRentals.com takes no responsibility for the listings, using the site might not be as intuitive as others. Owners can use property agents or not, but VHR doesn’t offer any services other than hosting the listing.
In this way, it is somewhat less advanced than its competition, but for some users a simpler interface can be preferable.
The grand conclusion
Overall VacationHomeRentals.com is a great place to advertise your vacation rental properties.
They have less competition for owners, and offer more visibility per individual listing.
Whether you’re looking to add a new website to your advertising portfolio, or just starting out, VacationHomeRentals.com’s 60-day free trial should help make the decision a little easier for you.
But don’t take our word for it!
If TripAdvisor saw enough value to acquire them, it’s most likely a pretty safe bet to turn a healthy profit.
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