In March 2010 we listed our Grand Haven Cottage on HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, and VacationRentals.com. The results have been great: the Cottage was fully booked for most of 2010 and spring and summer 2011 are already nearly full.
However, as it becomes time to renew, I questioned whether all three listings were necessary to maintain our current occupancy level. So I sourced all bookings back to their original source. Here are the results:
|HomeAway.com||40||5||8 to 1||$96|
|VRBO.com||38||9||4.2 to 1||$58|
|VacationRentals.com||70||13||5.4 to 1||$15|
Our overall inquiries-to-booking ratio is 5.5 to 1 (5.5 inquiries to every 1 paid reservation). Our ratio is roughly in line with anecdotal reports from other vacation rental property managers, ranging from as low as 3 to 1 to as high as 9 to 1.
It’s interesting that VacationRentals.com, the least-expensive of the three, produced the most inquiries and the most bookings. VRBO.com, the most expensive, produced the highest quality leads, converting nearly a quarter of all initial inquiries to ultimate reservations.
Still, in our case, with an asking price of $3000/week, we’ve resolved to continue listing on all three websites. Property owners with a limited advertising budget, however, should look seriously at VacationRentals.com for maximum exposure.