scale rentals conference barcelona

Why the buzz around a Vrbo IPO and why it matters to you

vrbo facebook ad how much could you earn_

The incredible success of the Airbnb IPO has awakened the interest in competing vacation rental listing site Vrbo. Financial analysts see a Vrbo IPO as a chance for Expedia Group shareholders to cash in on Vrbo by spinning out and publicly listing the vacation rental website. Meanwhile, Expedia believes so much in Vrbo that it is spending a lot of money on the brand: In the first weeks of 2021, Vrbo represented almost 50% of the TV ad impressions within the whole US online travel category!

The buzz around Vrbo matters to property managers and owners. The massive ad spend on Vrbo commercials keeps the brand present in travelers’ minds. If you own a family-friendly vacation rental and are not listed with vrbo.com, you may be missing out on 2021 bookings. As you will see below, Vrbo is also pushing ads in other markets with a strong domestic demand like France. So, local Vrbo brands such as Vrbo UK, Homelidays.com, Abritel.fr, FeWo-direkt.de, andBookabach.co.nz, and Stayz.com.au may benefit as well.

Signs that people believe in Vrbo’s potential for 2021

Expedia Group keeps on spending money on Vrbo TV commercials and social media ads

Travel news site Skift has revealed that Vrbo and Expedia had been dominating online travel TV advertising in the U.S. so far in 2021. The graph below shows that almost 50% of the TV ad impressions were for Vrbo, from January 1 to January 20, 2021.

Now, ad spending in the travel industry has been quite depressed, so it is also remarkable to see who is not advertising: For the moment, Airbnb is betting on its strong brand to get direct traffic, while Booking.com has cut marketing expenses.

Vrbo is also spending advertising money on social media. Here are recent ads for the brand that we have noticed on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Note that some ads target property managers and owners who may be tempted into listing their vacation rental with Vrbo.

Vrbo Instagram and Facebook ads for US travelers:

Vrbo instagram ads

Abritel Instagram and Facebook ads for French travelers:

publicite abritel 2021

Vrbo Instagram and Facebook ads for US vacation rental owners:

“Renting to travelers with Vrbo this winter could net you a sizeable second income. Come see.”

vrbo facebook ad rent your property
vrbo facebook ad how much could you earn_

Financial analysts think that Vrbo will deliver a lot of value to Expedia Group, either as a subsidiary or as a corporate spin-off,

Airbnb’s IPO makes financial analysts wonder what the true value of Vrbo is. For the moment, Vrbo is not a publicly-traded company: It belongs to the Expedia Group (EXPE). Here are some questions on the mind of industry analysts, M&A experts, and other people whose job is to value property management companies and the online travel sector:

  • If Airbnb is worth US$109.33 billion, how much is Vrbo worth?
  • For reference, in 2015, Expedia bought HomeAway-Vrbo for $3.9 billion.
  • The whole Expedia Group (with brands like Expedia, Orbitz, Vrbo, Hotels.com, Egencia, and others) is at an US$18.3 billion market capitalization.
  • Is Vrbo’s real value then obfuscated behind the multiple brands of the Expedia Group? Would it be worth more on its own, with investors getting more visibility on Vrbo’s individual performance?
  • Unlike sister brands like Orbitz and Expedia, Vrbo does not run on the same technology platform. The Vrbo website can run separately.
  • Porting the Vrbo supply onto the Expedia platform has been difficult, with Expedia account managers sometimes recommending Vrbo partners listed their properties directly with expedia.com.

So, would it make sense for Expedia Group shareholders to unlock Vrbo’s value by spinning it out of the travel conglomerate? Analysts are talking up a Vrbo IPO, but an independent Vrbo may become a target for travel groups like Trip.com, Booking.com, and …. Airbnb.

For the moment, Vrbo is seen as adding to the financial perspective of Expedia Group. Last week, Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald upgraded Expedia Group to overweight from equal weight. One of the reasons for his upgrade was the possibility of “a Vrbo IPO” (which) could represent significant value drivers for EXPE stock.

Conclusion: Keep an eye on Vrbo.com as a booking channel

You may want to make that your properties are listing with Vrbo.com. How much of your calendar availability should you allocate them? If you are pursuing a book direct strategy, it may not matter.


Rental Scale-Up

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.


Table of Contents

Dear Short-Term Rental Industry Member, Join Our Scalers Network

Our Mission

We bring together short-term rental industry members to create valuable business and personal relationships. With the support of vetted peers, you can deliver on your next individual project goals faster, work in private groups to share doubts and successes, and become a new voice that shapes the conversation about our industry.

Whether you are a property manager, an owner, an industry vendor, a listing site operator, an investor, or a consultant, you can become a member of our Rental Scale-Up family.  As property managers and industry vendors may not have the same needs, some of our activities work by affinity groups. For instance, we have one version of the mastermind group sessions reserved for property managers and owners, and another one for vendors and listing sites. This way, you get feedback from peers who understand your pains and can get you faster to getting results.

1. Action, Transformation & Results

  • Mastermind Group for Property Managers & Owners: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask a Property Manager: Hosts, owners and property managers benefit from the experience of a successful property manager. (1 per month)
  • Groupwork: Report of the month co-creationA group of Scalers volunteer to write a report on the topic of the month. The result is published on RentalScaleUp.com, with full credits to each participants. (1 per month)
  • Mastermind Group for Industry Vendors & Listing Site Operators: A mastermind group is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. Facilitated by Rental Scale-Up. One session every 2 weeks with your group for a least 3 months.
  • Ask an Expert Anything (for vendors and listing sites): An outside expert (e.g. a copywriter) shares their experience on a topic in an Ask Me Anything (1 per month)

2. News & Live Discussions

  • Investment & Deals  Discussion: Thibault and an M&A specialist/VC go over recent deals, M&A, investment rounds. Live, monthly.
  • Curated news: Save time. We read the news for you, curate the articles, and add our exclusive comments (weekly, in the Network Newsletter)
  • US Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on US trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. urban vs vacation rental markets).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Monthly Live online conference: Every month, our Network deep dives into a topic that is crucial to the short-term rental industry. 3 experts share their insights, best practices and answer your questions live.
  • European Trends & Data Discussion: We analyze AirDNA’s latest report on European trends and zoom in on key markets (e.g. UK, France, Italy, Spain).  Network members share what they see in the markets. Live, monthly.
  • Weekly Teardown with Thibault: Rental Scale-Up founder tears down one business news, every week, live.  Networker members share their views. No filter.

3. Facilitated Networking

  • Networking Booster: Meet new business partners and improve your networking game at an online event. Our team facilitates the event to make it easy for you to connect with your peers. (monthly)
  • Business Profile: Each new Scaler gets their profile featured in a dedicated article on RentalScaleUp.com. Get more visibility and authority.
  • In-Person Meetups: We meet in real life, either during a large vacation rental conference or in a city of our choice (quarterly)
  • Job Offers: Network members can not only see job offers but also post theirs. If desired, job offers can be extended to all Rental Scale-Up readers (free and paid).

4. Deals on industry software and products

  • Get Discounts: Enjoy exclusive deals brought to you by fellow Network members. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.
  • Offer Deals and Discounts: Network members may offer exclusive deals to fellow members, from discounts on stays at their properties to lifetime deals on vacation rental software. Only in our Deals section. Monthly.

Ready to join right now?

Scalers comes in 3 levels:

  • Scalers Insights, the limited, content-only version of the network. Great those who just want to get the insights but have less time for business transformation.
  • Scalers Network: Transform your business and get results. Get more things done. You get support, accountability, networking, training, and investment opportunities
  • Scalers Network+ : Avoid the hassle of quarterly payments and pick an annual membership. Qualify for bonuses good for your business (e.g. lead generation)

Not quite ready? Sign up for our free newsletter

Weekly insights straight into your email inbox.

On Key

Related Posts

airbnb 2022 summer release update

Airbnb 2022 Summer update release

On May 11, Airbnb will release its 2022 Summer update. Here’s what we can expect from it, as hinted by Brian Chesky, the company’s CEO and guessed by our Rental

Actionable insights

Take the Right Decisions for Your Rental Business thanks to our Weekly Industry Brief.

Exclusive newsletter for rental entrepreneurs.