HomeAway vs Airbnb

How do these leading vacation rental listings sites differ from each other?

When you’re thinking about renting out a room or an apartment on a short-term basis, Airbnb is not the only option. The vacation rental giant’s number one competitor, HomeAway is another massive listing site that has its own advantages – and it may just suit you better. Here are the main differences between Airbnb and HomeAway, as well as a few tricks to help you synchronize your calendars if you’re using both channels.

Number of listings

HomeAway boasts more than 3 million listings in 190 countries worldwide, but it still can’t knock Airbnb out of the ballpark: Airbnb defends its title as the channel with the most listings (2.3 million) in the most countries (191).

However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a part of the Expedia Group, a large global travel technology company, HomeAway listings may be seen by a new group of travelers who are completely new to vacation rentals.

In an effort to expand its own marketplace, HomeAway has acquired more than 20 vacation rental companies, including VRBO. This means that properties listed on HomeAway will appear in the inventory of several other vacation rental listing sites.

Property types

While Airbnb was the one to popularize renting out spare rooms within one’s home, HomeAway primarily offers private accommodations where guests have the entire place to themselves. Consequently, HomeAway tends to have a greater variety of luxury rentals and private villas than Airbnb, and Airbnb has more options for budget travellers.

Host fees

There’s also a difference in the way that Airbnb and Homeaway charge hosts. HomeAway owners can either choose to pay an annual subscription fee starting from $499 or a commission of at least 8% per booking. Airbnb requires no up-front payment and charges between 3-5% commission, depending on the cancellation policy.  

How to sync your Airbnb and HomeAway calendars

If you decide to upload your listing to both Airbnb and HomeAway, you need to make sure you sync your calendars to avoid getting double-booked.

Both channels allow you to import a number of calendars. In HomeAway, you need to go to Calendar→ Reservations → Import/Export to add a new calendar. You can also export your HomeAway calendar from here if you want to upload it to Airbnb.

In Airbnb, the same process can be done by going to Host → Calendar → Availability settings → Sync calendars → Import Calendar.

If you’d like to manage all your calendars and listings from one place, consider using a Channel Manager like Rentals United!

Check out other sites similar to Airbnb in our post about Airbnb competitors!