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Should I list my vacation rental on Expedia?

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As vacation rentals become increasingly popular in the lodging market, vacation rental owners are looking to advertise their properties on seemingly less-traditional channels to increase exposure to the growing global appetite for vacation rentals, often over hotels or other lodging types. As such, listing on Expedia as a major global booking site should be an important consideration for all property owners looking to increase their online distribution and visibility. This article will go over some considerations to take into account when listing on Expedia as a vacation rental owner. 

How to sign up your vacation rental on Expedia

How do I list a vacation rental on Expedia?

The Expedia sign up page is very simple and straightforward. It gives some reasons as to why it would be beneficial for a business to list their property on Expedia, such as:

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  • the access to the millions of global travelers visiting Expedia Group sites every day,
  • the ability to target specific types of customers through their range of products (e.g., long-stay guests, specific market segments, and international guests),
  • and finally access to a wealth of data and traveler insights collected by their data analytics teams, which can be invaluable for revenue management and decision making.

However, it is important to note that most Expedia Group’s lodging partners, and thus their focus, are hotels. Accordingly, the sign-up page doesn’t actually mention vacation rentals specifically or address any of the unique needs of the vacation rental market (other than a tiny mention at the bottom of the page). Rather, the site focuses more on hotels.

Though it is a shame that Expedia are not seemingly focusing as much on the vacation rental market, the benefits listed above do apply to vacation rentals and the Expedia Group team has made strides to include the vacation rental market. In recent years, they have adapted their extranet and built connections to systems used more frequently by vacation rental companies whilst also increasing their focus on signing up vacation rentals in major markets through their global account management team.

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On which Expedia Group channels will my vacation rental be listed?

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One of the major benefits of Expedia is that when you add inventory and content on one channel, it gets listed on multiple major channels, including Orbitz, Hotels.com, and Hotwire, as well as international channels in major markets around the world such as wotif in Australia and ebookers in the UK, for example.

Is Vrbo owned by Expedia? Do I need to list on Expedia if I am already on Vrbo?

An important consideration for any owner considering listing their property on Expedia is that Vrbo is an Expedia Group brand. As any major online distributor, Expedia works to increase overall availability across all their channels to provide increased choice for their site users.

As such, properties on Vrbo which are both instant bookable and ensure price consistency are already distributed on the rest of the Expedia Group channels. If your property fulfills those criteria, you won’t have to sign up separately via Expedia and you will benefit from the additional site traffic from all Expedia Group websites.

However, if you cannot fulfill those criteria, you can still list on Expedia, but you must create an additional listing separate to Vrbo.

How do I list a vacation rental on Expedia?

How do I list a vacation rental on Expedia?

The listing process starts at welcome.expediagroup.com where they list out four steps to getting your property live on their sites:

  1. Introduce your property: Here you will provide essential details such as property address, property type, and contact details).
  2. Sign their contract: This will include commission percentage and you will be required to provide tax and regulatory information.
  3. Create your listing: This is where you will provide the content about your property, including listing amenities, availability, and photos. Here you will be able to connect your Expedia listing to any channel manager you may be using as well.

The site claims that it will take about an hour to get your listing live on Expedia. However, it could take longer if there are any questions from the Expedia team or if your property has to go under any additional approvals for any reason. Further, there may be additional steps if you need to connect your channel manager or if you want to ensure your content is as robust as possible.

Should I use a channel manager to list vacation rental properties on Expedia.com?

The one major consideration for vacation rental owners is the operational lift that comes with adding another distribution channel such as Expedia.

Expedia has established connections with a variety of channel managers, including Zeevou, Rentals United, Syncbnb, beds24, Tokeet, Lodgix, Cloudbeds, and Guesty. If you are using a channel manager that already connects to Expedia, then other than an initial set-up of content and connection, it shouldn’t take too much extra time to manage the additional channel as all bookings would update directly into your property management system.

However, if you are not currently using a channel manager, it’s important to consider that rates, availability, and bookings will have to be manually updated in the Expedia extranet. The extranet is simple and user friendly; however, it will likely take a significant amount of time if you are also managing other channels.

Conclusion

Unless it is an operational challenge for you as an owner, it is worth considering listing on Expedia Group. The additional exposure coming from the huge amount of site traffic on all Expedia Group’s sites is something that all vacation rental owners should want a piece of.

Further, it’s important to remember that payment is completely commission based, meaning that you won’t pay anything unless you get a booking and that your property will receive additional visibility and exposure simply from having a listing available on Expedia. The Expedia team have made it fairly simple to sign-up – the first steps would be to a) check if your channel manager has a connection to Expedia and b) follow the steps on the sign-up page.

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Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

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