fc ford clancy property partners
fc ford clancy property partners

Top Accommodation Websites With Their Pros and Cons

If you are wondering where you should list your holiday rental property, you’ll quickly find that there are quite a few platforms competing in the accommodation booking industry online.

Airbnb is the clear market leader for privately owned holiday accommodation and dominates the holiday rental sphere. It is absolutely the platform we recommend, but it’s not the only one out there.

What accommodation booking sites are there?

There are a lot of online booking options out there.  Below are four of the most popular and well-known booking sites, explaining what they are and the pros and cons of each. Read on to find out how Airbnb, Booking.com, FlipKey and Stayz compete with each other.


Airbnb is the number one global homestay booking site.  It has over 3 million listings worldwide in 191 countries.  You can list anything from entire houses, rooms and shared rooms.  Airbnb comes with a long list of pros and it’s easy to see why it’s our favourite and the one we recommend.


  • Popularity.  Airbnb is well-known and especially popular for holiday travellers. It is the industry leader and dominates the market, particularly for younger demographics. It is the ideal place to capture bookings
  • Low booking fees.  Their booking fee is much lower than average at 3%, particularly when compared with Booking.com.
  • Control.  Hosts have much more control with Airbnb and can review bookings individually before accepting it.
  • Profiles.  Both guests and hosts have verified profiles which helps improve legitimacy and reduces your risk of bad guests.
  • Security.  All payment processing and personal information is kept secure with a payment processing gateway.
  • Rankings. Rankings are based on results, not payment.  You can’t pay extra to reach superhost status.
  • Host Damage Protection. Host damage protection is designed to protect hosts from damage and loss due to guests and their behaviour.  It’ll cover you for damage done by guests, any unexpected cleaning costs and any loss of income from cancelling stays due to damage done by prior guests.
  • Host Liability Insurance. Airbnb’s ‘AirCover’ goes one step further than general insurance and insures hosts if anything happens to guests during their stay.  It covers things like bodily injury to guests, theft or damage to their belongings and property, and damage to surrounding areas such as building lobbies.


  • Competition. The only real downside to Airbnb for hosts and property owners is the competition you face in comparison to less populated booking platforms.  But with our help, we make your property stand out, look unique and attract the bookings you are looking for.


Booking.com is the biggest travel booking website in the world.  It lists everything including hotels, holiday rentals, flights, car rentals and tours. It is not purpose built specifically for holiday rentals and homestays (it’s designed for hotels and motels), but it is extremely popular and gets heavy web traffic.


  • Popularity.  While it isn’t dominating the Australian market specifically for holiday rentals, booking.com is the most visited travel website worldwide.
  • Guest fees.  Guests love using booking.com because there are no service or credit card fees.  This assists in making the platform more attractive.
  • Bookings.  Booking.com attracts a lot of last-minute bookings, which is helpful if you have some date gaps you’d like to fill.


  • Fees for the owner.  Booking.com charges a hefty 15% commission done on a per-fee basis.  
  • Lack of host protection.  Due to the fact that Booking.com isn’t designed for homestays, there is no host protection insurance, or any kind of coverage for extra cleaning or damage that may take place during a stay.
  • Difficult to use. As popular as it is, Booking.com is not made for homestays.  It CAN be done, but it’s not made to be, so you won’t find a lot of the easy to use features that you’ll find on platforms like Airbnb.
  • Relevance.  The site looks after more than just accommodation, so the user facilities are not purpose built and as dedicated for accommodation listings like others are.
  • Confirmed Bookings.  Bookings are confirmed immediately.  Owners do not get to review them to decline or accept bookings, and have no say over who comes to their property once booked.
  • Rankings.  The more commission a property gets, the higher it ranks.  It’s kind of like the saying, ‘the rich get richer’.  Properties that are already popular and more expensive will earn a higher commission and therefore rank higher than all the rest, which can make competition difficult, particularly if you have a new or cheaper property to list.


You may not have heard of FlipKey until now, but you will likely have heard of TripAdvisor. FlipKey is owned by TripAdvisor and has more than 630,000 listings around the world.


  • Credibility.  People trust TripAdvisor as a respected source of holiday information and reviews, and that trust is carried over to the properties and bookings travellers make.
  • Visibility.  Properties are listed on both TripAdvisor and FlipKey.
  • Low booking fees.  Booking fees are quite low at only 3% the same as Airbnb.
  • Payment Protection Policy.  Guests are protected by the Payment Protection Policy that reimburses them up to $10,000 USD for fraud, in accessible or misrepresented properties.


  • No insurance.  There is no insurance for property damage for hosts.
  • High service fees.  To offer their low booking fees, FlipKey increases their service fees.  This can make listings look more expensive for customers browsing the platform.
  • No co-host option. Unlike Airbnb, Flipkey does not have an option to co-host a property.  This becomes an issue when you want someone else to manage and help with your listing.


Stayz.com.au is an Australian company but is part of the ‘HomeAway’ brand owned by Expedia in the US.  It is a sister company to HomeAway.com.au, VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) and VacationRentals.  They have more than 40,000 Australian properties in 2,000 locations listed across all their sites.


  • Exposure.  Stayz gets a lot of website traffic because listings are promoted on partner sites including HomeAway and VRBO.  Stayz also performs well with Search Engine Optimisation and is often near the top of Google search results.
  • User friendly.  This booking platform most resembles Airbnb, so many users will like the feeling in comparison to others.
  • Control.  Owners can review bookings before they are confirmed, giving them power to accept or decline requests.
  • Reviews don’t affect rankings.  If you have difficult customers or unhappy guests, their reviews will not affect your search ranking.


  • Higher booking fees.  Booking fees vary from 7-10% depending on payment method. 
  • Payment delays.  Stayz holds payments and there is a 7-day delay from when the guest pays for the booking to when the host receives it.
  • Rigged rankings.  Like booking.com, rankings are based on commission, making the more expensive properties list higher and competition difficult.
  • Bad Reviews can’t be hidden.  Even though reviews don’t affect your ranking, you also can’t hide them or contest them.  They are only moderated for in appropriate content.
  • Integration.  The Stayz booking calendar does not play well with others and it does not integrate with the other platforms. If you get other bookings on other platforms, like Airbnb, you have to manually update the availability for your property on Stayz.
  • No co-host option. Unlike Airbnb, Flipkey does not have an option to co-host a property.  This becomes an issue when you want someone else to manage and help with your listing.

If you’re wondering to yourself ‘where should I list my holiday property, then we highly recommend your first stop be Airbnb.  While other platforms can be used, Airbnb has the popularity, features, host protection and everything you could ever need to list your homestay or holiday rental property easily. 

We juggle multiple properties on Airbnb while we manage them for our happy clients (check how it works), and we give this advice based on our experience and love for Airbnb’s host protection and easy use booking systems.  It might be tempting to see if you can get a better deal on another platform, but there really isn’t another option that quite compares.  You will save yourself a lot of time, headaches and money using Airbnb.

Need help with getting your holiday rental online?  Sick of the juggle involved with managing your Airbnb property yourself?  We are here to help.

Contact us today and let us take the stress out of your investment and watch as we do everything in our expert tool kit to boost your bookings and take it to the next level.

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