VRBO Premier Host Requirements & Strategies

With the right strategy, becoming a Vrbo Premier Host is easy.
Seth Kniep
Sep 22, 2021
Real Estate Investing
Vrbo’s Premier Host program makes it easy for potential guests to identify top-quality hosts, similar to Airbnb’s Superhost program. If you’re going to host on Vrbo, you want to become a Premier Host as soon as possible.

To become a Vrbo Premier Host, you must meet requirements similar to those you’d meet to become an Airbnb Superhost. Vrbo’s requirements are a bit easier to meet, but it may take longer to meet them because more guests book through Airbnb. 

Tip: Even though Airbnb has more properties and more users, Vrbo is still a great option for investors. In many areas, Vrbo properties rent for higher nightly rates than their Airbnb counterparts. Do your research to see which platform performs better in your area. You can even consider listing on both platforms—just be careful not to accidentally double-book yourself.

Here’s a quick comparison of Vrbo’s Premier Host Requirements and Airbnb’s Superhost Requirements:

As you can see, Vrbo is more lenient overall. Your ratings don’t need to be as high, and you can cancel a higher percentage of your bookings. Additionally, once you pass five bookings, you aren’t required to maintain an annual booking quota to keep Premier Host status. 

Read on for the five requirements you must meet to become a Premier Host. By meeting these five requirements, you’ll enjoy Premier Host perks like 24/7 priority support and “boosted” positioning in search results across all of your properties.

Have an Average Rating of 4.3 or Higher

Earning a rating of 4.3 or higher shouldn’t be too challenging. The strategies that make your short-term rental profitable will also push your ratings in the right direction. First, make sure that you’re killing it when it comes to the basics. All guests must be provided with freshly made beds, clean towels, and fully-stocked toilet paper and paper towels. The dishwasher should be unloaded, and all dishes, cookware, and silverware should be clean and stored in their proper place. The house must be well-cleaned, with particular attention paid to the bathrooms. Have your cleaners keep an eye out for things like stray hairs or toothpaste in the sink. One little piece of evidence will have your guests wondering what else wasn’t cleaned.

Once you’ve taken care of these must-do’s, you can look at going above and beyond to create a “wow!” experience for your guests, making it easy for them to leave a five-star review. Have a little spread of wine and snacks ready to go for them, or provide a custom brochure guiding them to the best attractions in the area. 

Prior to check-in, ask if your guests are celebrating anything. If it’s a birthday, you can put out some balloons. If it’s an anniversary, decorate with rose petals. You don’t necessarily need to keep the effort up forever, but when you’re just starting out, these little touches are like rocket fuel for earning five-star reviews.

Other ways to go above & beyond: Provide shampoo and conditioner, coffee pods and Keurig, and a wine opener. Nothing is worse than arriving at your Vrbo, ready to kick off your vacation with a relaxing glass of wine, only to realize that the bottle opener is nowhere to be found.

Have at Least Three Reviews

First of all, make sure you are providing a great experience with a ton of value. When it’s time for your guests to leave a review, giving you five stars should be a no-brainer.

Your goal should be to get all guests to give you a review. Vrbo prompts guests to leave a review, but you can also politely request a review after they’ve checked out. To make this a bit more automatic, you can set up Guesty to automatically send a personalized text asking them to leave a review after their stay. You want to be careful to disable this automated message if your guest has any problems during their stay. If you suspect that they might not leave you a 5-star review, you should discuss this with them using personalized messages and see what you can do to remedy the situation.

Accept 90% of Bookings

The main thing here is to keep your calendar current and block off any days where the property won’t be available. It’s also a good idea to enable “instant booking.” If a guest’s chosen dates are available, instant booking allows them to book their stay without requiring host approval. This will save you time and ensure that your booking acceptance rate stays high. If you list a property on Airbnb and Vrbo, you’ll need to consistently cross-reference between both platforms to ensure you never double-book (this is another task that can be handled with automation software).

Have a 5% or Lower Owner-Initiated Cancellation Rate

This requirement can be thought of as a continuation of the one preceding it. If you’re on top of your property management strategy, cancellations on your part should be an infrequent occurrence. Barring catastrophic failures (a burst pipe or a fire) or acts of God (like flooding or an earthquake), your goal should be to never cancel on your guests. If you’re canceling because you’ve accidentally double-booked, you’re doing something wrong. That said, Vrbo is a little more forgiving with cancellations than Airbnb, so if you do get booked on both platforms, you may want to cancel the Vrbo reservation.

Have at Least Five Bookings or 60 Booked Nights, Whichever Comes First

The fourth requirement for becoming a Premier Host is to have at least five bookings, or 60 total booked nights. It doesn’t matter which of these two requirements you fulfill; whichever you achieve first will check the box. Getting five bookings isn’t that hard, but it might take a little while since Vrbo receives less traffic than Airbnb. Just be patient, and focus on giving each of these first five guests a five-star experience. 

In our experience, Vrbo properties get more repeat guests than properties on Airbnb. At our Florida properties, for example, many guests will book next year’s stay right after checking out. So, if you can consistently provide a five-star experience, your success on Vrbo will snowball and you’ll have a full calendar in no time.

The Benefits of Becoming a Vrbo Premier Host

Vrbo Premier Hosts get the Premier Host badge displayed both in search results and on listing pages. Keep in mind that once you’ve achieved Premier Host status, you get Premier Host benefits across all of your Vrbo properties. This means that when an existing Premier Host lists a new property on Vrbo, that property automatically starts out with the Premier Host badge.

There is also a Premier Host filter integrated with Vrbo’s search, so that prospective guests can quickly narrow their results to show only properties hosted by Premier Hosts. This is especially useful in large, competitive markets, as guests are more likely to reduce the overwhelming quantity of listings by filtering for Premier Hosts.

Vrbo Premier Hosts also get priority support with “expedited 24/7 access.” For hosts that have an urgent question or are in dispute with a guest, access to expedited support is invaluable. These first three benefits for Premier Hosts are all similar to benefits provided by the Airbnb Superhost Program.

The benefit unique to Vrbo Premier Hosts is the “boost” functionality. As a Premier Host, every time you receive a booking, and every time a guest completes their stay, you will earn “power-ups.” Power-ups can then be redeemed to rank higher in search. Keep in mind that you can’t hoard power-ups forever—they expire about one year after you earn them—so it is best to plan out several times when you want to use them, then use them heavily at those times. 

The coolest thing about Boost is the ability to rank higher for queries for specific date ranges. For example, suppose you purchase a property in Joshua Tree after learning about the numerous advantages of owning a short-term rental in the California Desert. You’ll find it easy to keep occupancy high in the winter and spring, but when summer temperatures hit triple-digits, you may find it harder to maintain your occupancy. This would be a perfect time to use power-ups to rank higher in search and increase your chances of getting booked.

Tracking Your Progress

You can track your progress towards becoming a Premier Host with the “Premier Host Scorecard,” located under “Performance” on the Host Dashboard. The scorecard report will show your areas of competence and help you identify areas for improvement as you strive towards your Premier Host goal.

You’ll earn Premier Host status as soon as you meet all of Vrbo’s requirements. No application is necessary. Vrbo automatically tracks your progress and awards you Premier Host status as soon as you qualify. Once you become a Premier Host, your performance will be reassessed quarterly on February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, based on your portfolio’s performance for the 365 days preceding the assessment date. If performance ever dips below the Premier Host requirements, you’ll lose your Premier Host status. However, Vrbo will reinstate your Premier Host status as soon as you get your portfolio’s performance back on track.

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

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