Since the workforce changes in 2020, people have become more creative about finding ways to make money. Now that travel restrictions are starting to lift and people are booking vacations again, more people are using their homes or rental properties to make additional income.
However, more and more hosts are feeling like they are being abused by Airbnb’s policies concerning cancellations and siding with guests on disputes, despite the host providing evidence to the contrary. So is Airbnb the only option for hosting your home?
The best Airbnb alternatives include Tripping, Vrbo, Homestay, Plum Guide, HouseTrip, FlipKey, Kid and Coe, and OneFineStay. Kid and Coe is for family-friendly properties, Tripping lands your home on several listing sites, and Plum Guide is for upper-scale rentals.
This article will provide you with more info on all of the above-listed platforms. It’ll highlight some of their perks and give you an idea of what kind of properties each one prefers to feature, as well as letting you know which types of guests usually use the sites.
We all know that Airbnb holds a big chunk of the market share for hosting, and since they’ve gone public they are expecting to grow even more.
Our criteria for finding Airbnb alternatives include:
- Ease of use
- Hosting fees
- Hosting features
- How many users are on the platform
So is it really a feature then?
We think it’s important that a hosting platform be easy for hosts and guests to use, while also being reasonably priced. It’s also important that people actually use the platforms, as it doesn’t do you any good if you post your property on sites no one is booking through.
So below is a list of Airbnb alternatives that we put together that might be worth your time:
Lodgify is a direct booking platform that streamlines the process of hosting your own guests, either through your own site or on their hosted platform. This enables you to make your own rules and agreements so you don’t have to be a victim of retaliatory reviews on Airbnb.
The downside of hosting your own guests through direct bookings is the fact that you have to do your own advertising, which isn’t a problem if you are familiar with Google and Facebook Ads, take amazing pictures, and know where your travelers are coming from.
The upside, however, is that you remain in total control of your property, your policies, and your money.
Tripping is currently home to over eight million different properties in more than 150,000 places and 190 countries. It’s been in operation since 2009, and it teamed up with Booking.com in 2015 to further increase its scope. When you list your property on Tripping, you’re actually listing it on other popular booking platforms, such as HomeToGo, Vrbo, and others.
Tripping simply provides an easy way for renters to compare properties, rates, amenities, and more between its partner sites. When you sign up with Tripping and list your home, you’ll be listing it to one of its other partner sites. However, using Tripping as the base for the listing will ensure it gets seen by a ton of potential renters. Think of it like Kayak.com, only for rental properties.
Although it may not be as well-known as Airbnb, Vrbo – short for “Vacation Rentals By Owners” – has been in business longer. While the user interface for Vrbo isn’t quite as user-friendly as Airbnb’s interface, the quality of properties listed on the site is superior to those listed on Airbnb.
This is thanks, in large part, to the fact that Vrbo only allows you to list your property if it’s a full property. If you’re renting suites, rooms, or any other type of shared space, Vrbo isn’t the platform for you (check out the option below).
However, if you have rental properties, homes, condos, or other fully furnished but empty dwellings, you might want to check it out.
The commission Vrbo takes is quite reasonable, so you can make decent money listing your property on Vrbo. They also have a 24/7 dedicated support team to take care of any questions or issues that might arise. There’s also an option that’ll allow you to register with them as a property manager if you have 11 or more properties.
If you’re listing a single room or a few rooms within your home, Homestay is a great place to start. All Homestay listings are exclusively room-only listings, and renters are encouraged to interact with and get to know their hosts. If you rent a room on Homestay.com, you should be prepared to interact with and maybe even cook for or entertain your guests.
The benefit is that there aren’t a ton of properties listed on Homestay, so your competition to attract renters is much smaller than it would be on a larger, more well-known site. The commission Homestay takes also comes directly from an additional 15% booking fee they tack on to your rates, so whatever you charge is precisely what you’ll get in terms of payment.
Listing your property with Plum Guide is challenging because they only accept about 5% of the properties they see. That’s because your property must be the crème de la crème and meet all 150 of Plum Guide’s criteria to list it here.
If that sounds like your home, though, listing on Plum Guide is a sweet deal. The best properties also pull down the best nightly rates, so if you have an incredibly high-quality vacation property to rent, you could make some serious money with this platform.
TripAdvisor owns HouseTrip, and because TripAdvisor is one of the go-to sites for booking vacations, HouseTrip is a rising star in the booking platform world. It’s on par with other platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo and lists the same variety of properties.
Property listed here is found primarily throughout the US and UK, so if you’re listing a property in an outside country, you won’t have nearly as much competition on this site. The downside is not a lot of people search HouseTrip for non-US/UK properties yet.
The 3% commission HouseTrip takes from your price is also nice and low, allowing you to keep most of your money.
FlipKey is another TripAdvisor-owned platform, and it’s home to over 300,000 properties in 179 counties. Because of the TripAdvisor connection, it’s also a popular place for renters to search for listings, meaning yours should get a lot of traffic. The advanced filters in the search bar are also a big draw for renters.
FlipKey accepts multiple property types, but if you have a large property in a known tourist location, this is the platform for you. FlipKey caters more to large groups looking for rentals in some of the most tourist-friendly cities worldwide. So, if you have a six-bedroom house in Malibu, you should definitely list it here.
Kid and Coe
Kid and Coe isn’t one of the more well-known platforms, but it’s one of the best for people traveling with kids. If you have a kid-friendly property to list, you absolutely want to list it with Kid and Coe. They help manage your calendar, and more importantly, they have a great marketing campaign that markets your property specifically to families wanting to travel.
Suppose you plan on listing your property here. In that case, it not only needs to be kid-safe, but it should also have plenty of kid-friendly amenities such as:
- Kid-specific furniture and rooms
- Lots of toys and games
- Close proximity to kid-friendly restaurants, stores, and entertainment
OneFineStay is similar to Plum Guide in that it only takes full properties that are the best of the best. Your property needs to be upscale and located centrally to the most popular tourist destinations in the US, UK, Europe, or Australia to list it here.
The OneFineStay team will send someone to stay at it to check its amenities, location, and upkeep before they ever allow you to list it on their site. There are a few hoops to jump through, and if you have anything less than the best, you might as well not apply. However, if your property does make the cut, you can charge some very high rates with this platform.
Finding the best platform for your property depends on what type you have. Are you renting a single room? Do you have an apartment to rent? Can you accommodate long-term rentals, or would you prefer only short stays? All of these are questions to ask yourself before deciding where to list your property.
You may find it fits on a few platforms. That’s fine. Just remember to sync your calendars to mark the listing as unavailable on all sites if someone rents it on one. There are plenty of options; shop around until you find the one(s) that best suits you.