Hosting Tips & Tricks

August Host Wrap up: VRBO vs Airbnb and Wacky Hotel Ideas

August Host Wrap up: VRBO vs Airbnb and Wacky Hotel Ideas

Howdy to all you happy hosts and rental rock stars! I hope your August was full of booked nights and 5-star reviews. I hope you went and got your custom URL's from Airbnb already. If not, go and do that now!  Make sure to pick something simple, descriptive, and with good SEO for your area.  Don't get too complex or long. The best advice as always is to keep it simple. Now that you got your custom URL, let's get on with the August Host Wrap-Up!  


VRBO vs. Airbnb

In case you missed it, Homeaway and VRBO merged leaving only two major players in the short term rental platform game. So as hosts the magic question becomes which platform should you use? If you are a professional host with multiple properties the answer is likely both with a program to sync the calendars. But for those with a single property or just starting out the answer is not so simple. Because everyone's situation is a little different, I am not here to tell you what is the best option for you. But I have found 3 solid write-ups that will help you understand the differences. Just make sure you are clear on what your hosting goals are so you can choose the one the best helps you achieve those goals.  Check out the write ups from Invited Home, Mashable, and Territory Supply


Wacky Hotel Ideas to Steal 

Sometimes you need some off the wall ideas to help make your rental stick out. Great reviews with great picture will always come first. But once everyone in your area has those, you are going to need something else to keep those bookings flowing. That is when I like to take a look at some of the fun things high-end hotels are doing to entertain guests. Things like a card to help foreign guests get back to the rental, having some plant life in your rental for solo travelers to talk to, or take a book leave a book libraries. I recently found this list of 50 fun hotel surprises which might help inspire you to add a little something extra to your rental. Not all of them are winners, but you never know what is going to inspire you!

Listing Spotlight

Ahoy there Matey, on this month's listing spotlight we take a look at a full Pirate Ship on Mississippi River that can be yours for the weekend.  Talk about committing to a wacky theme to inspire bookings! This rental is all in! Besides the commitment to a theme, other hosts can also learn from their listing write up. It's informative and fun. I especially like how they break out the bullet points with all the important information to help ensure guests see it. The only critique is the pictures are very low quality. A little more time taking talking impressive pics would like help increase an already impressive booking rate.  Got a listing you want us to feature? Send it our way at


Hosting Tip: How to respond to a bad Airbnb guest review.

There is no way around it, if you host long enough you are going to get a bad review. You could be the greatest rental host to ever live, and someone will eventually give you a negative review. So the trick to dealing with them is not freak out or get angry, but calmly and coolly leave a fact-based, unemotional response aimed at alleviating the concerns of future guests. You can not do anything about the past guest but you can do everything about the future guests. So write your responses with only future guests in mind, because a well-worded response to a negative review can actually make you look like a responsible host. Need a full break down on how to respond to negative reviews? Check out our write up that will help you make lemonade from lemons.


Question of the Month

Rental hosts rarely receive the opportunity to see how other hosts operate. Which makes it hard to learn and improve. The solution? Every month I ask a question so we can all learn from each other. Let's take a look at last month's question:

How far away do you live for your rental? (or how far is your farthest rental)

  • 36%   - Down the Street
  • 18%  - Across Town
  • 27%  - 2+ hour drive away
  • 1%    - 4+ hour drive away
  • 0%    - 8+ hour drive away
  • 18%  - I have to fly to get there

Okay that 4+ and 8+ hour drive away was not a popular option, which makes sense if you think about it. Local knowledge is a huge benefit when finding and opening a rental. Local knowledge helps you understand why people come to your area so you can tailor your rental to their needs. Once you get further than 4 hours away, you start to lose that local advantage so you might as well get a place in a super high demand area. Thanks for answering!

This month, I want to look at the washer and dryer access:

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