Can You Make Money With VRBO? ($33,000 Per Year)

Have you ever dreamed of converting your property into a vacation rental to generate a lucrative income stream?

With the average homeowner earning $33,000 per year on VRBO, that dream might be closer than you think.

In this post, we’ll share valuable tips and strategies to maximize your earnings on VRBO – from creating an irresistible listing to setting competitive rates.

Ready for a deep dive into the world of vacation rentals?

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Can you make money with vrbo

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Key Takeaways

  • Improving your vacation rental property with desirable amenities like high-speed internet and updated appliances can attract more bookings and increase profitability.
  • Using professional photos of your property can make a significant difference in attracting potential guests and increasing bookings on VRBO.
  • Crafting a compelling rental headline and description that highlights the unique features of your property can capture the interest of travelers browsing through numerous listings on VRBO.
  • Setting competitive rates based on market demand, location, amenities, and positive reviews is crucial for maximizing your earning potential on VRBO.

What Is VRBO & How Does It Work?

VRBO means Vacation Rental By Owner. It’s a digital platform where homeowners can list their idle vacation homes for rental.

Now, let’s talk about how VRBO works in your favor.

  1. List your vacation home on their platform. This step is a breeze. You’re in control. You decide on listing details like pricing, availability, and house rules.
  2. Keep the property in great shape. A clean, comfy, and cozy home attracts more guests. A well-kept property earns glowing reviews. Good reviews bring more bookings.
  3. Show stellar customer service. Provide a warm welcome. Respond swiftly to guest queries. Satisfied guests could turn into repeat clients.
  4. Use the secure payment platform. VRBO ensures all payments go through their secure system. They handle the payment process. You receive your money straight into your account.

Your listings on VRBO gain worldwide visibility and people from different corners of the world can find your property.

Think about it – a cozy cottage in Scotland, an Ex-Aussie beach house, a rustic lodge in Canada. Potential guests can discover your vacation homes.

You can adjust your listing availability according to your preference too. Are you using the property for certain periods? Mark it off on your calendar. Rent out when you won’t be using it.

VRBO brings vacation homeowners and travelers together.

It’s an easy, convenient, and secure way to rent or book your perfect holiday home.

Considerations for Making Money on VRBO

Is VRBO a profitable platform?

Yes, VRBO can put extra money in your pocket. But how much?

Well, it depends on several key factors.

  1. Location of Your Property: Properties located in popular tourist spots or near major attractions often get more bookings. Consider this: a condo offering an ocean view might earn more than a housing unit in a secluded area.
  2. Number of Guests Your Property Can Accommodate: More guests equals more money. A five-bedroom house might generate more income than a one-bedroom apartment.
  3. Peak Seasonality: If your property is in a high-demand season like summer for beachfront locations or winter for ski resorts, you may earn more.
  4. Quality of Your Property: High-quality furnishings, updated interior design, and extra amenities can attract more guests and higher rates.
  5. Your Pricing Strategy: Competitive pricing is a crucial aspect. Setting the right price can make you a popular choice among travelers.
  6. Responsiveness and Service: Good communication wins hearts. Swift, helpful responses to booking inquiries or guest situations can earn you positive reviews. This, in turn, can draw more bookings.
  7. Photos and Descriptions: Clear, inviting images and detailed, engaging descriptions can entice potential guests to book.

If you play your cards right, VRBO can become a lucrative platform for you.

It takes a little strategy, a dose of hospitality, and a touch of business sense to make the most of this opportunity.

VRBO owner fees and charges

VRBO offers two pricing options for homeowners to choose from:

  • Pay-per-booking
  • Subscription plan

These pricing options come with different fee structures which owners need to consider while listing their properties.

Fee TypePay-per-BookingSubscription Plan
Service Fee5% of the booking amountNo service fee
Listing FeeNo listing fee$499 per year
Commission Fee3% of the booking amountNo commission fee
Credit Card Processing Fee3% of the booking amount3% of the booking amount

The pay-per-booking option may be more suitable for owners who rent out their properties occasionally, as the service and commission fees are only charged when a booking is made.

On the other hand, the subscription plan might be more cost-effective for those who rent out their properties frequently, even though it requires an upfront payment of $499 per year.

You should note that regardless of the pricing option selected, there is a 3% credit card processing fee for every booking.

Estimating potential earnings

To estimate your potential earnings on VRBO, you can use the income calculator provided by the platform.

This helpful tool takes into account factors such as location, property type, and average nightly rates to give you an idea of how much you could make.

Keep in mind that actual earnings will vary depending on various factors like occupancy rate and seasonal demand. According to data collected by Airbnb and VRBO, homeowners who offer short-term rentals through VRBO can earn an average of $33,000 per year.

When you optimize your listing with appealing amenities, competitive pricing, and positive reviews from satisfied guests, you can increase your bookings and maximize your earning potential on VRBO.

Expenses to consider as a VRBO host

As a VRBO host, there are various expenses you should consider as these can impact your overall earnings and profitability.

Here are some key expenses to keep in mind:

  1. Maintenance and Repairs: Regular maintenance and unexpected repairs are essential for ensuring that your vacation rental remains in good condition. These expenses can include routine cleaning, landscaping, fixing appliances, or repairing any damages caused by guests.
  2. Utilities: You will be responsible for covering the costs of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet access, and cable TV. These expenses can vary depending on the size of your property and the number of guests you accommodate.
  3. Insurance: It is highly recommended to have insurance coverage specifically designed for vacation rentals. This can protect you from potential liability claims and property damage caused by guests.
  4. Property Taxes: As a property owner, you will need to pay property taxes based on the assessed value of your vacation rental property.
  5. Furnishings and Amenities: To attract guests and provide a comfortable stay, you may need to invest in quality furnishings and desirable amenities such as linens, kitchen equipment, toiletries, outdoor furniture, and entertainment systems.
  6. Advertising and Marketing: Promoting your vacation rental through effective advertising channels may come with additional costs. This can include professional photography services, listing fees on VRBO or other platforms, or even hiring a marketing agency to optimize your online presence.
  7. Cleaning Fees: Unless you prefer to handle all cleaning yourself, you will likely need to hire professional cleaners between guest stays. The cost of cleaning fees should be factored into your overall expenses.
  8. Management Fees: If you decide to hire a vacation rental manager or property management company to handle bookings, guest communication, check-ins/outs, maintenance requests, or housekeeping duties; their services typically come with management fees that will reduce your net revenue.

Tax implications of vacation rental income

Vacation rental income is not exempt from taxes, and it’s important for homeowners to understand the tax implications.

The income generated from renting out your property on VRBO is considered taxable by the IRS.

As a host, you will need to report this income and potentially pay taxes on it.

So, you need to keep track of all rental-related expenses such as maintenance costs or professional fees as they can be deducted from your overall rental income.

Also, depending on your location and local laws, there may be additional taxes or licensing requirements that you need to comply with.

Tips for Maximizing Earning Potential on VRBO

1. Invest in desirable amenities

Improving your property with sought-after amenities can play a significant role in attracting more bookings.

Travelers often look for upgrades that boost comfort and convenience like high-speed internet, updated appliances, comfortable bedding, or an outdoor hot tub.

Adding such facilities to your rental property not only satisfies the needs of visitors but also positions your listing as premium quality on VRBO’s platform. This investment ultimately pays off by increasing the appeal of your vacation home and improving its rental profitability.

2. Use professional photos

High-quality photos can make a significant difference in attracting potential guests to your VRBO listing.

So, make sure to use professional photos that showcase the best features of your vacation rental property.

Professional photographers have the skills and equipment to capture stunning images that highlight the unique selling points of your property such as a spacious living area, picturesque views, or luxurious amenities.

Studies have shown that listings with professional photos receive more clicks and bookings compared to those with amateur shots.

Investing in professional photography could be very well worth it!

3. Craft a compelling rental headline and description

If you want your listing to stand out from the competition, you need to craft a compelling headline and description on VRBO

Your headline should be catchy and descriptive, highlighting the unique features of your property.

Use keywords such as “stunning views,” “luxurious amenities,” or “central location” to grab attention.

In your description, provide detailed information about your vacation rental including its size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and any special amenities like a pool or hot tub.

Showcase the benefits of staying at your property such as proximity to popular attractions or breathtaking scenery. Remember to use positive language and paint an enticing picture for potential guests.

4. Set competitive rates

By pricing your property right, you can draw more potential guests and increase your chances of getting bookings.

Use the income calculator provided by VRBO to estimate your potential earnings and make sure that you’re offering a fair price based on market demand. Keep in mind factors such as location, amenities, and positive reviews when determining your rates.

With the right pricing strategy, you can maximize your earning potential and stand out among other listings on VRBO.

5. Encourage 5-star reviews

Positive reviews are important for maximizing your earning potential on VRBO.

When you provide exceptional experience and go the extra mile for your guests, you can encourage them to leave 5-star reviews.

These positive testimonials will attract more booking requests from potential guests, as they serve as a trust signal and reassurance of the quality of your rental property. Don’t hesitate to ask satisfied guests to share their feedback and consider offering incentives or perks for leaving a review.

Remember, excellent guest satisfaction leads to higher occupancy rates and ultimately more income in your pocket.

6. Hiring a Vacation Rental Manager

Partnering up with professional rental management can play a big role in maximizing your income on VRBO.

When you hire a vacation rental manager, you can benefit from their expertise and industry knowledge to optimize your listing.

They can help ensure that your property is priced competitively and attractively based on real-time data and market trends. Also, they can handle all aspects of the rental process, from guest inquiries to check-ins and maintenance issues.

This level of professionalism not only helps streamline operations but also enhances guest satisfaction, which leads to positive reviews and repeat bookings.

With professional management by your side, you can maximize your income potential on VRBO while enjoying peace of mind knowing that every aspect of your rental property is being well taken care of.

Frequently Asked Questions About VRBO

What is VRBO and how can you make money with it?

VRBO is a platform for short-term rentals where you can list your property for vacation rental, control pricing, and manage guests to earn money.

How much control do hosts have over their listings on VRBO?

As a host, you get full control over your property listing including setting rental fees and welcoming guests at prices suitable for both initial and repeat bookings.

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