As many people may have heard, VRBO and HomeAway were purchase by Expedia in December. Their goal is to make booking a vacation home as easy as booking a hotel room. In order to accomplish this goal, VRBO will start prioritizing listings that provide travelers with the best overall experience. That means that as a homeowner, you are going to have to put a lot more effort into your listing so that your property appears within the top search results. You can review the Listing Quality Scorecard on HomeAway located in your dashboard on a regular basis. The category that appears at the top of your scorecard will have the greatest impact on the performance of your listing so be sure to prioritize your efforts. Below is a synopsis of some of the factors that VRBO will be using to score your listings…
The faster you respond to an inquiry, the more bookings you are likely to receive. Responses made within 24 hours will maximize your quality score, but studies show that travelers are even more likely to book when owners respond immediately. Send an auto email to all inquiries or use the Book it Now feature.
The review quality score takes into consideration two factors: first the number of reviews you have, and second the age of your reviews. To receive the highest score, your property should have at least 12 reviews and you should continually focus on acquiring new ones. Don’t forget to ask your guests to review your listing every time. It is not obtrusive to ask for reviews a second time. A personalized note to your renter goes a long way.
To get maximum credit in this area, be sure to update your calendar frequently. Keeping your calendar up to date also helps to prevent issues like double bookings. If your calendar has not been updated in 60 days, your listing may be removed from search results entirely.
Online Bookings & Payments
Travelers want the option to book online. In order to improve this quality score, you will need to accept online bookings and payments directly through your listing.
Nothing has the potential to impact the performance of your listing more than photos. To receive the best quality score possible, upload 24 high-quality photos that accurately represent your home. Anything less than 24 will cause you to have a lower score. Professional photos are highly recommended.
Travelers often search for properties based on the price they’re willing to pay. Activating quotable rates will improve your quality score and your property will be included when travelers search by rate.
Improving your location quality score is as simple as providing HomeAway with a valid address. Your exact address will never appear on your listing, but this is necessary to help travelers locate your property on map related searches.