With the vacation rental sector expected to be valued at $119.0 billion within the next few years, the vacation landscape is clearly in a time of huge transformation. Those who have invested in rental properties, or work in the property management sector, will know that Airbnb is the brand most commonly associated with the growth of the sector. The company had led the way in revolutionizing how people search for and book their vacations.
However, Airbnb are not the only leaders in the sector. Sites like Airbnb are popping up all over the web, each positioning themselves as Airbnb alternatives, and with varying USPs.
So, which are the best Airbnb competitors? What makes them different? And how do you know if they’re right for your properties? Here we explore some of the top global OTAs and vacation rental search sites, to see which alternatives to Airbnb are going to perform before for your business.
- Undoubtedly one of the most recognizable vacation rental companies in the world, Airbnb is still reigning supreme, with over 6 million listings globally.
- Airbnb guest profiles typically fall into the Millennial bracket, with tourists looking for unique, characterful properties.
- As Airbnb includes the option for hosts to rent out sections of their property (a bedroom or annex for example), many Airbnb hosts offer a more personal, home-from-home experience, compared with a hotel room or resort.
Airbnb and Avantio
We’ve been connected to Airbnb since 2016, and we were one of the first European channel managers to make the connection. We’ve also been awarded Preferred Partner status by the top OTA for the last three years, in recognition of our consistently successful API connection.
Consider this portal if…
- You want your properties to be displayed on one of the most globally recognized vacation rental platforms.
- Airbnbs tend to have longer bookings, compared with booking.com for example, so this may be a good option if you’re smart with your pricing strategies.
- You have a unique property with Instagram-ready features, that will appeal to a more aesthetically-driven market.
- Another of the ‘top 3’ most recognizable OTA sites, booking.com has over 28 million listings, over six million of which fall into the vacation rental category.
- Booking.com is more generally recognized for its hotel listings, but the vacation rental listing function is also very strong. There’s also a very wide range of properties listed, from budget hostel beds to luxury apartments.
- The site tends to attract families, or a more mature audience, compared with Airbnb for example.
- Booking.com is known for having a lot of filter and search functions, making it easier for guests to narrow down the many search results to show only specific features, for example parking or breakfast included.
Booking.com and Avantio
We’ve been connected to booking.com since 2012, and have been awarded Premier Partner status for the last three consecutive years.
Consider this alternative to Airbnb if…
- Your properties offer lots of valuable features that guests may be filtering their searches for.
- You have all-purpose (not niche) properties, that can appeal to guests with a variety of rental needs, e.g. family vacations, corporate stays.
- You don’t mind competing with hotel rooms.
- You’re happy to receive shorter bookings. Booking.com tends to have shorter booking periods compared with other sites.
- One of the biggest global vacation rental sites, and one of the first, predating Airbnb by 12 years.
- Vrbo generally features entire rental properties, with no ‘shared spaces’. As a result, there are no hosted experiences, and guests always have the entire place to themselves.
- The properties listed on Vrbo are usually on the larger side, and more geared towards family and group vacations.
- There are fewer budget-friendly options listed on the site.
Vrbo and Avantio
Vrbo connected with Avantio’s API in 2013. When we saw how valuable this was to our clients, we were one of the first companies to develop a full content API. We’ve been Preferred Partners of Vrbo since 2020.
Consider this alternative to Airbnb if…
- You have family-friendly properties you’d like to present to a global audience.
- You’d like to encourage longer bookings.
- You’d like the option to choose either an annual fee or fee per booking.
Google Vacation Rentals
- Google’s meta search feature draws vacation rental listings directly from some OTAs, and some approved connectivity partners.
- If your properties appear through an OTA listing, the client will be taken to that site to complete the booking.
- If you’ve registered with one of the few approved connectivity partners, you can publish your listings directly to Google. This means that any clicks on your property will take potential guests straight to your website.
Connected to Avantio since
Google launched the ‘Vacation Rentals’ product in 2020, and we connected the following year.
Consider connecting to Google via Avantio if…
- You’d like to showcase your properties directly on the world’s biggest search engine.
- You’d like to increase your direct bookings, with zero commission or fees.
- You want your company’s logo to appear on the search listings.
- Plum Guide offers a high-end collection of rental properties, featuring only 1 in every 100 properties in each area.
- Each property is handpicked through a stringent vetting process, needing to pass a full checklist of tests to be accepted. Everything is considered, from pillow quality to the shower pressure.
- The client profile is affluent and prepared to spend for the experience they’re looking for.
- The majority of properties listed are currently in Europe and the US.
Plum Guide and Avantio
We formed our connection with Plum Guide in 2022, and are delighted to offer this exclusive platform to our clients.
Consider this alternative to Airbnb if:
- You have outstanding properties that are likely to pass the Plum Guide test.
- You’d like to welcome a more high-end audience.
- You’re passionate about providing an immaculate guest experience.
- Boasting the world’s largest selection of vacation rentals, HomeToGo is a vacation rental marketplace, enabling guests to search and compare over 17 million properties.
- There’s a remarkable variety of properties offered, from single budget rooms to sprawling castles.
- The website is available in 12 languages, meaning wide reaching visibility for your properties.
- Instant booking functionality makes it simple for guests to book properties.
HomeToGo and Avantio
We first connected with HomeToGo in 2016, and now our clients have over 30,000 properties connected to the site at any one time.
Connect to HomeToGo via Avantio if:
- You have a varied portfolio of properties you’d like to target to different audiences.
- You want your properties included in the ‘worlds largest selection of vacation rental properties’, with millions of users each year.
- You like a ‘low risk’ listing. It’s free to initially list on HomeToGo, and you can choose between split-fee or host-only fee for any bookings received.
Homes and Villas by Marriott
- Marriott launched their rental property brand in 2019, as an exclusive channel for professionally managed luxury properties.
- The platform has properties in 45 countries, each with premium amenities.
- All listed properties must be registered with one of Marriott’s premium property management companies.
- As the name suggests, Marriott only offer private homes – no shared apartments or room rentals.
Homes and Villas by Marriott and Avantio
We launched our connection in 2021, and have been going from strength to strength ever since.
Consider this alternative to Airbnb if…
- You have luxury properties which will meet Marriott’s quality requirements.
- You’d like your properties to be promoted by an esteemed global brand with nearly 100 years of prestige.
- You’re happy to work with one of Marriott’s approved property management companies.
Connect with confidence
Whether you choose to list your properties on one or all of these channels, be sure you’re using the tools that enable you to list in confidence. Choose a channel manager with intuitive functions, zero commission on bookings, and consistently excellent connections to the world’s best vacation rental websites.