How to start a VRBO property and financing options

in this article:

How VRBO properties work?

Launched in 1995, VRBOVacation Rentals by Owner, or Vacation Rentals by Owner, is an online platform that allows individuals to find and rent vacation properties from individuals who directly own or manage the property. In recent years, these types of systems offered by VRBO and similar companies have grown in popularity. Airbnb, VRBO as a leader from other companies is offering only full property rent and no shared space rent. VRBO offers renters an alternative to traditional hotel and motel bookings when it comes to temporary housing for vacations, work trips, or a simple change of scenery. Renters are drawn to VRBO because it offers options that are both unique and affordable. Properties that a renter can book through VRBO include:

  • single family house
  • condo
  • apartment
  • RVS
  • the cabins
  • houses
  • beach house

How do people use VRBO as a business?

Small business owners who use vacation rentals for revenue earn an $33,000 per year on average, But the earning potential is unlimited. How much annual revenue a VRBO business can generate really depends on the owner’s business plan and the amount of risk/debt they are comfortable with. Like many other industries, entrepreneurs who choose to start a small business as a VRBO property owner have several business models to consider:

  • Inactive Some property owners choose to earn passive income by renting out their primary residence through a VRBO a few times a year. While their home is occupied by customers, the property owner may be on vacation or staying with friends and family.
  • side hustle Entrepreneurs can buy real estate through the VRBO platform for the purpose of renting it out. Additional property can become a source of additional wealth that does not interfere with the owner’s full-time job or residence.
  • all the time – Business owners looking to profit from the next million dollar business idea One can buy multiple properties, hire a property manager, and earn a full-time income.

After all, starting your own business as a VRBO property owner can be whatever you want. The amount of money a business owner can make will depend on the number of rental homes, location, marketing and development strategies, management styles, and of course, customer demand.

how to start vrbo

The steps you need to take to start a VRBO business will depend on the business model you choose. Whether you rent out your primary residence or buy multiple new properties, the same basic guidelines should be followed.


an important part of every business plan is research. For VRBO businesses, entrepreneurs should research the housing market in the area where you want to start your business. When researching for VRBOs, consider the following:

  • housing market in the region
  • Rental trends in the area
  • commercial real estate prices
  • Residential real estate prices and mortgage rates
  • property tax cost in the area
  • Local competition providing similar properties, services and facilities
  • Vacation rental prices in the area

property inspection

Entrepreneurs in the real estate business should obtain a property inspection of any structure they are renting to the public to protect themselves from liability, damage and unexpected repairs. In addition to being required by some banks, lenders and insurance companies, inspections are a useful tool for accurate budgeting for upcoming operating expenses and necessary capital expenditures, such as roof replacement and HVAC repairs. Property inspections also protect future guests from injury and illness, which attracts potential customers.

Consult a CPA

VRBO businesses are required to pay several types of taxes, including property tax, income tax and sales tax. Federal and local tax rates may determine whether the VRBO is set up as a limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, corporation, or not at all. Organizational Structure, The best way to understand tax obligations is to talk to a certified public accountant (CPA) or other tax expert.

get the right insurance

Depending on whether the rental property is the business owner’s primary residence, VRBO business owners must have either a homeowner’s insurance policy that allows them to act as a landlord or a landlord. business insurance policyWhich includes property insurance and general liability insurance.


One advantage of using a national brand like VRBO is that listing rental properties on an online platform provides exposure to countless new customers. Setting up your rental property to look unique and appealing to potential renters is important, as are the photos and descriptions you use on the VRBO website. Descriptions that use SEO strategies and include popular keywords tend to attract more business. In addition to being featured on the VRBO site, entrepreneurs can also grow their business by marketing properties on social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace. Of course, the most important thing is to get solid customer reviews by making sure that your listing is accurate and that you respond to customer communications promptly.

consider the cost

Before deciding whether a VRBO vacation rental business is the right investment for you, consider the three main types of capital requirements for a VRBO business.

  • capital expenditures Include money needed to purchase or maintain fixed assets such as homes, buildings, vehicles, or land. Capital expenditures may also include furniture, fixtures, carpet, elevators and equipment.
  • repair and maintenance costs May include the cost of maintaining the yard or grounds on the property and preventive maintenance of the home.
  • operating expenses Covers real estate costs such as mortgage payments, insurance costs and taxes. These also include necessary expenses for cleaning, supplies, utilities, VRBO fees and HOA payments.

Financing Options for VRBO Businesses

There are many different financing options for VRBO property owners and homeowners who are interested in earning passive income. The loan that works best for a VRBO business depends on the needs of the business and the loan amount.

real estate loan

If capital is needed to purchase a new home or building for a VRBO business, a commercial real estate loan, conventional mortgage or cash-out refinance may be a viable option for the entrepreneur.

  • Commercial Real Estate Loan (CRE)) is a type of financing for the purchase or expansion of a building or land. CRE loans typically have loan terms of up to 30 years and may have a fixed or variable interest rate, like a term loan. They require a significant down payment and a borrower with a good credit score.
  • conventional home loan, like conventional mortgages, FHA loans and VA loans. When the loan is for a second home or vacation rental property, the down payment is typically 25% and repayment terms include higher interest rates than primary residences because short-term rental properties carry a higher risk.
  • cash-out refinance There is a type of loan where borrowers can convert their home equity into cash. In real estate investing, the cash from a refinance can be used to purchase additional properties or cover the operating and maintenance costs of an existing VRBO property or Airbnb rental.

Term loan

Term loan A common type of financing is used to cover large purchases, maintenance costs, or other operating expenses. Term loans allow vacation rental owners to receive a lump sum amount upfront that is repaid over time with a set number of payments. Approval requirements vary for term loans, and the application process may include a review of the business owner’s financial records, including debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of property owners. Credit is used to determine the amount of down payment required, if any. Borrowers with poor credit history can also consider a term loan secured by personal guarantee or using property as collateral. It is recommended to obtain a copy of your credit report before starting the application process.

Short Term Loans

Traditional term loans don’t work for every real estate investment business. Financing options for these business owners include short-term loans, business lines of credit and working capital loans with repayment terms of less than five years.

  • A business line of credit Often considered a short-term loan. This type of revolving credit provides borrowers with the capital they need with a great deal of flexibility to start a VRBO business. Lines of credit provide faster funding, but typically have higher interest rates than real estate or term loans. This type of financing is common for fluctuating cash flows, large purchases, and asset management.
  • working capital loan Can be another great financing option for property owners as they are used for short-term, small business ventures. They offer fast funding times so are great for borrowers who need to act quickly on an investment opportunity or emergency maintenance expense.

Tips for getting the best financing for VRBO properties

Loan applications for vacation property financing can be difficult because each type of loan has its own eligibility requirements and stipulations regarding rental income. To secure the most favorable loan terms, try implementing the following best practices.

raise the down payment

Borrowers with rental properties often pay higher interest rates and are approved for shorter loan terms. To improve your loan terms, consider making a higher down payment. For non-owned real estate loans, a down payment of up to 20% may be required.

keep accurate records

Traditional banks and online lenders will require certain documents when underwriting a loan for a VRBO business. Be sure to keep records of rental income, annual revenue, sales tax paid and property expenses so that the P&L statement or income tax return can be used to obtain approval for financing.

create equity

If you are using lender-provided financing for VRBO, consider purchasing a home that can benefit from a value-added business model. Investors can buy a home that needs some work using a term loan or traditional mortgage, increase the home’s value through repairs and renovations, and then refinance the home loan or buy a one-time home loan. After revaluation, you can complete a cash-out refinance. high value.

ground level

VRBO is an online platform that gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to earn revenue by providing short term or long term rentals to customers using a flexible business model. Some VRBO business owners only rent out their primary residence, while others purchase multiple investment properties with hard money loans for the sole purpose of generating income.

Before starting a VRBO company, property owners should do market research and consult experts regarding taxes, insurance and marketing strategiesAlso prepare a detailed budget detailing capital expenditure, repair and maintenance costs and operating expenses.

Contact Biz2Credit today to learn more about funding options for your VRBO business. Budding entrepreneurs can learn about the financing process by reading Gaurav PatelHere’s the story of how Biz2Credit experts helped them facilitate CRE loans to meet their business goals.

How to get quick access to funding

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