No, VRBO isn't solely instant book. Booking.com is.
One nice feature on VRBO is that they have more instant book requirements.
On Airbnb, you can set only A) verified ID (which it seems is questionable), B) positive reviews, and C) profile photo
...as criteria to allow instant book
VRBO has a few extras, like minimum age. We have it set for 30. Anyone under 30 can't instant book.
Now, if VRBO would just a) respond to even one of my inquiries, and b) bring me some bookings, we'd be both rock AND roll 🙂
But Airbnb just keeps bringing them in. VRBO doesn't get much of a chance.
@Elaine701 Thanks for the clarification. I knew one of the platforms only allowed IB, but couldn't remember.
Odd that you aren't getting proper service. I had always read that it was easy for hosts to get quick, on-point responses from VRBO.
Every ticket I've ever opened has been closed without explanation. It's pretty frustrating. But I've gotten used to disappointment from booking platforms.
The ONLY two way dialogue I've ever had with VRBO is a few days after I made my listing public, somebody called to welcome and go over their "market research" that could help get "better results ".
Just moments into the speech about how in the Balearics, the average price for a comparable villa is... (1/3 our price, much like Airbnb says), the phone went dead. I tried calling him back, but the line was eternally busy.
That's the last time I've had any dialogue with VRBO.
@Sarah977 I haven't encountered any VRBO listings that are not Instant-Book, but actually the site is infested with ones that also don't accept direct payment through the platform anyway. Even more frustratingly, it's common in Germany that you don't even find out what the payment process is until after booking.
I never encountered a stage of the booking process that involved any kind of verification, and in fact the first confirmed bookings that appeared on my account were ones I was notified about by email that I didn't make at all. CS did nothing about the apparent hack even after cancelling the bookings, and to this day they remain on my account history. This made things really interesting when, after changing passwords etc, I made a legit booking that was a hornet's nest of problems - the chat-bot could only access the fake bookings from a year prior, and after hours spent waiting for a human respondent I still couldn't get anyone that had any idea how to contact the host. (After some online sleuthing and no help from VRBO, I found the property owner's personal phone number).
I was never prompted to complete a guest profile, and there don't seem to be any guest reviews. It's only collected my email address and some very easily falsified information, and someone obviously had no trouble at all hacking the account and booking with that. I don't know what kind of support VRBO is offering hosts, but it definitely doesn't involve any kind of vetting or security. If they facilitate an actual security deposit, that might make up for it for some entire-home hosts, but homestay hosts are usually more invested in having vetted and trustworthy guests than in coverage for damage. I just can't see anything that VRBO has to offer on that front.
Also, I feel like the poor quality of the platform just looks embarrassing to the tech-savvy youngsters who are likelier to visit destinations like mine. I'm very unlikely to use it again myself, and the subtext of their host-focused marketing seems to be that their target guests are old rich folks who don't know how to internet.
Thanks for that. Good to know.
I lived in Munich for nearly 30 years, and know FeWo well. Along with our newer VRBO listing, naturally, we're also listed there.
We previously were listed on all of them for years, but never received a booking from FeWo or any of the others, except for 2 bookings from Homeaway, which ended up the worst guests we'd ever had up to that point, so we eventually closed all of our accounts on all the other platforms, and went exclusively with Airbnb, and they've kept us well booked with great guests ever since.
But the quality of guest and support from Airbnb has been in obvious decline for about a year. So, we've again spun up on VRBO, but I'm under no illusions that it will somehow be better. We'll have to vet guests even more extensively... So far, it hasn't been "better", but we'll see how this first booking goes.
Ironically, the vast majority of of our bookings on Airbnb have traditionally come from Germany anyway, but Mallorca is a German dominant holiday destination (17er bundesland :-), so it stands to reason.
Anyway, have a good evening.
I don't want to attract large families who are "looking for more" as the ad states. I want those people to stay as far away from my listing as humanly possible. The person who is looking for a "quaint little studio" is much more our target.
I have a hard enough time limiting the number of people who want to squeeze into our cottage as it is.