Just like search engine optimization for a website, the VRBO website has criteria to determine where your home ranks and displays in response to a travelers search query. VRBO has developed a listing quality score based on 7 items. The higher the score the better your ranking. Your home needs to get in front of potential guests eyes to get rented.
VRBO is gradually moving toward a “best match” or a combination of travelers’ preferences and the booking experience the listing provides. You can pay a premium to appear higher in the search results, but it will not guarantee your position. Many question if it is really worth the cost. Subscription levels do not fully determine sort order, like when travelers apply specific filters.
Here is a handy guide to how you can boost your property standing on VRBO:
Respond to Guest Inquiries
This just makes good business sense. You must respond to inquiries immediately! While VRBO allows a 24 hour response time for your quality score, guests are not that forgiving. Customers in the digital age are used to immediate gratification. Typically, guests may make several inquiries on properties that appeal to them and the first owner to respond will usually get the booking.
Owners who respond within the first three hours are two and a half times more likely to get the booking than owners who wait 24 hours or more. While a response less than 24 hours will not improve your response score, it does display to guests to increase your reliability.
VRBO measures the response time from when you receive an inquiry until you reply and the response rate is the percentage of the last 10 requests you responded to. Responding by phone counts toward your response time and rate for subscription customers. VRBO pay per booking owners do not have access to guest phone numbers until after the home is booked. Subsequent inquiries from guest within 60 days are not calculated in your VRBO response score.
You should continually strive to get the best reviews and respond to any negative reviews you do get to minimize the impact on potential guests. The quality score for the VRBO listing takes into consideration the number and age of the reviews. At minimum, you should have a dozen reviews and continually strive to get new reviews. Guest are not allowed to extort you with threat of bad review nor are you allowed to offer guest a discount in exchange for a good review.
The more frequent your calendar updates the better your score. Typically, you should update the calendar every 30 days or less. If you don’t update your calendar in 60 days, your listing could be removed from VRBO results. If you have online booking, your calendar will be automatically updated.
Online Booking & Payments
In the digital world, guest expect to be able book and pay online. The trust factor is reduced once the online option is not available. To get the best VRBO ranking, accept online booking and payments.
Photos are what sells your home and you want to show off your home with high quality photos. The format should be JPEG with horizontal layout with minimum dimensions of 1920 x 1080 and VRBO recommends 3840 x 2160 pixels. The maximum file size is 20MB. VRBO allows 24 photos to be uploaded and you should have 24 for the best listing quality score. You can archive additional photos and change them out seasonally or for other marketing reasons.
Complete the VRBO rate table to show all your rates and activate quotable rates to get the highest quality rating score. If guests are searching by price, your home can’t show up if you don’t have the rates.
Providing a valid address for the property is all that is required for the highest score. VRBO will not show the address on your listing. VRBO will let you show the exact or approximate location with a pin on the map and selecting either does not impact you quality score.
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