Should I list my property on more than one booking platform?

Should I list my property on more than one booking platform?

Most owner operators of Short Stay Rentals (STR)s only rely on one booking platform. In Australia the predominant platform is Airbnb and according to various online sources more than half of STR properties in Australia are only listed on Airbnb. Scanning comments in the various STR Facebook groups the main reasons for only listing on Airbnb are:

  1. Unsure how to list or concerned about additional workload / effort
  2. Comfort from Airbnb guest reviews and Airbnb Insurance

Running a short stay rental is a business so the decision should come down to money. So to assess if you should list on more than one platform let’s look at what impacts how much money you can make out of your STR:

  1. Revenue – This is determined by:
    1. Occupancy level – How many nights are booked and;
    2. Nightly rates – How much you charge per night
  2. Cost of delivery – What does it cost you to deliver the accommodation (this includes commissions, cleaning fees, your time and of course, all of the costs associated with your property).


Assuming you are renting a pretty standard sort of property, I’m excluding people who lease out their Yurts for my assessment, if you rely on just one or even two Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb to get your bookings you will be missing a huge number of potential guest eyeballs.

You may ask here: But everyone looking for a holiday rental uses Airbnb right?


Airbnb actually only ranks as the 8th largest booking platform in Australia.

The world’s number one STR and hotel online commerce platform Siteminder publishes a booking revenue maker’s list. The top 10 booking platforms for 2021 are, in order:

  2. Direct Bookings
  3. Expedia Group (Stayz, VRBO, Homeandaway)
  4. Global Distribution Systems (These power the more traditional Travel Agent Network)
  5. Qantas Hotels
  6. Agoda
  7. AOT Group
  8. Airbnb
  9. Hotelbeds
  10. HRS (Formally Lido)

Note this includes for hotels so some of the booking channels are not relevant however even when you exclude these the compelling argument is that other platforms are critical to booking volumes for your STR.

And for our places in St Kilda this is what our last 6 months of bookings by value looks like:

This is straight from my property management system and is 6 months from 1 December 2201 – 31 May 2022. The first thing is that yes Airbnb is number 1 however VRBO/Stayz which is Expedia represents over 1/3rd of my booking volume. It’s also important to note that for the past 2 months I have been building out Host Extension and partner site which means I have not been accepting online bookings, but still people call, email and book!

To maximise your revenue you need your property to be distributed as widely as possible and all platforms need to have up to date information and pricing.  You can learn more about what we do to maximise price at Yield Maximisation.

In addition to missing out on a huge amount of revenue a single platform strategy leaves you very vulnerable to change on any one platform, like the latest Airbnb redesign, or an unfair review that hurts your bookings.

So yes if you want to maximise your revenue, you cannot do this with a single platform strategy you need to list everywhere.

Cost of delivery:

Back to the Facebook groups and the issues relating to time, cost and fear of unvetted guests comes us to cost of delivery. I believe these issues and can be quite neatly grouped into three categories:

  1. Effort in managing multiple platforms
  2. Guest vetting
  3. Insurance / Guest bonds

1. Effort in managing multiple platforms:

Let’s cut to the chase, you absolutely need software. Sure, you can sync calendars download all the apps on your phone and juggle multiple log-ins, but you will hate it, I promise.

However, with the right software there is no more effort in managing 5 OTAs than 1, and if you have the right support it will be even easier.

If you would like to have Host Extension help you it will cost you an hour of your time for your onboarding and pricing meeting and from there a small extra fee only if we deliver bookings and add value. You can learn more about what we do in services.

If you would prefer to do it yourself, one of the nicest, best value solutions to this is it’s only about $25 per month and quite easy to use. There are lots of better solutions out there like or the one we use, but they get expensive, hostify is $100USD per month and whilst its feature set is lovely and it is powerful it’s a bit of overkill if your managing just one property.

If you’re pretty handy with a computer setting up Smoobu will take about 5 hours and listing on all the main platforms for the first time will probably take you a day in hours spread over a week (there is typically a bit of back and forth with each platform’s support teams). Following that it’s not set and forget but pretty easy to keep on top of providing you know what you are doing.

2. Guest vetting:

From my facebook group research it appears that many hosts trust guests from Airbnb more than other platforms, however should they really?


Not according to the media where Airbnb seems to be the only platform blamed for parties. And not according to Airbnb who have had to implement strict rules around parties:

For the record every platform can deliver a party to your property and in my experience all are the same.

Just today I received a booking for our St Kilda Penthouse from Airbnb from a guest who had 4, 5 star reviews. Thankfully our guest vetting process caught them:

And please don’t believe that exchanging a few emails back and forth is any protection, unfortunately people lie.

Learn more Host Extension’s guest vetting process here.

3. Insurance:

In 3 years I have made one claims on Airbnb’s insurance for $250 from a guest that took our parking permit and went MIA, and one from my VRBO bond from guests that smoked in the house and denied it, so we had to steam clean everything and wash the walls, came to just over $800.  Both claims were actually super simple.

From my experience these small issues are simple across most platforms (if you set up a bond). But I certainly wouldn’t trust a platforms insurance or a $1,000 bond with my entire property.

Every single host really needs to make sure their insurance policy covers the way they use their property. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have insurance that covers you from fire, theft or any other damage unrelated to Airbnb?
  2. Will operating a short term rental impact your ability to claim on that insurance?
  3. It pays to do your homework and make sure you are protecting what is often people’s largest asset.


If you are wanting to run your STR as a business then listing on multiple OTAs is essential. There are some additional costs in doing so and potentially some extra effort however most of the additional effort, like vetting your guests properly, making sure you are adequately insured, setting up the right systems and software or choosing the right partner to do it for you, like us 😉 will not only make you more money but make your business more robust and secure.


Mark, 09 Sep 2022

Thanks for your blog, nice to read. Do not stop.

Leave A Comment

Popular Post