Vacasa Reviews: What their customers say

By August 19, 2022vacation rentals

Vacation homeowners can reduce the time and hassle of managing their property by choosing to work with a management company like Vacasa. 

But handing over the keys to your property is a big step. So you should first find out as much as you can about the services they offer, how much it will cost, and what their clients say about them.

We've read hundreds of Vacasa reviews to bring you the ultimate guide to working with Vacasa from the point of view of their customers.

All of the reviews featured in this post come from public websites (Yelp, Biggerpockets, and Trustpilot) and include comments from both homeowners and guests on the advantages and disadvantages of working with Vacasa.

Take back control of your short-term rental. Find out how Operto can help you get more value out of your vacation home.


How does Vacasa work?

Founded in 2019 by Eric Breon, Vacasa is a vacation rental service company that offers a full property management solution to vacation homeowners.

Once you sign up to the service, Vacasa takes complete responsibility for managing your property,  handling every step in a guest’s journey from initial booking to departure. 

As well as setting up your listing with photos and a 3D virtual tour, Vacasa markets your property on the main booking platforms and uses dynamic pricing technology to set the nightly rates that guests pay. 

Their local property managers and housekeepers take care of all the behind-the-scenes aspects of cleaning and maintenance and organize inspections and permits for your vacation home. 

To pay for the service, property owners pay a single rental management fee, which is a percentage of the booking price.

Page on Vacasa website showing search results

Vacasa lists your property with a 3D virtual tour on their website

What are the benefits of Vacasa for property owners and investors?

Many property owners work with Vacasa to take away the hassle of managing their vacation home. Once you’ve signed the Vacasa owner agreement a local property manager takes over responsibility for everything from marketing, to cleaning, and maintenance.

Some of the main benefits of working with Vacasa include:

3-D walkthrough of your property 

Vacasa lists your vacation home on their website and includes a 3-D walkthrough of your property, which can be crucial in guests deciding to book your vacation home. The listing is synched with Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo to ensure the majority of guests who are interested in your area and type of property will be able to find it. 

Vacasa manages syncing information across these marketing channels as well as responding to guest inquiries.

Dedicated local team

Vacasa assigns you a local team to manage, clean, and maintain your property. They’ll also handle any issues that arise with guests. Property owners can contact their account support team 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

24/7 customer service

Vacasa manages all guest communication from the moment a booking is made. They answer guest queries before, during, and after the stay, request reviews, and send follow-up emails inviting guests to come again. There’s also a 24/7 customer service phone number for guests in case of emergencies.

Smart tech solutions

The technology that Vacasa uses keeps property owners up-to-date on how their listing is performing and helps Vacasa staff manage the property effectively. Vacasa’s tech solutions include:

  • Dynamic pricing (based on proprietary technology and regional analysts), which sets the optimal rate for each rental home. Rates are updated daily to reflect the current demand for your property

  • Vacasa homeowner app with a user-friendly dashboard containing real-time information on occupancy and revenue 

  • Smart locks to enable contactless check-in

  • Guest screening to make sure they meet minimum age requirements and don’t exhibit the sort of suspicious behavior that might suggest they are party organizers or even fraudsters.

  • Noise-monitoring technology

  • The HomeCare Hub that lets users view service status updates and cleaning schedules

This wide range of services and technology offered by Vacasa should mean that property owners have a hassle-free experience and get to sit back while someone else does the hard work of looking after their listing. 

We're going to show some positive reviews and some negative reviews, so that you can make up your mind.

What percentage does Vacasa take?

Vacasa fees for owners range between 25% to 35% per nightly booking, which is just above the industry average (25% to 30%) for a vacation property management company.

Property owners might be surprised to know that this 25%-35% only relates to the advertised nightly rate for the property. It doesn't include the additional fees that a management company typically takes from guests. These fees, according to the Vacasa owner agreement, include booking, cleaning, pet fees, and early check-in.

Let’s look at how these fees might break down:

Screenshot showing Vacasa fees for a vacation property

Example of what a guest can pay for a Vacasa rental property.

In this example:

  • The guest pays $3,761.52 total for a 7-night stay: $2,739 for rent plus $1,022.52 for fees.
  • The property owner receives $1917,39 (70% of the rent) but doesn’t get a share of the fees.
  • Vacasa receives $1,844,14 (49% of the total amount paid by the guest).

While charging additional fees is standard practice among full-service property management companies, owners are sometimes surprised when they realize they’re not getting the full amount paid by guests.

Another issue is that Vacasa sets the nightly rates. On Airbnb or Booking.com, for example, the host sets the nightly rate based on the platforms’ suggestions. However, Vacasa controls pricing and will drop rates at off-peak times to guarantee occupancy.

Vacasa reviews: Property owners

Vacasa employs 6,500 people and has a portfolio of 35,000 vacation rentals in North America, Belize, and Costa Rica. 

With so many properties on their books, there’s no shortage of feedback from property owners who want to share their experiences of working with Vacasa. 

Here are some of the main areas discussed by property owners on review sites about Vacasa.

Occupancy rates

Many property owners are delighted with Vacasa’s impact on occupancy levels, saying they’ve improved since switching from their previous property manager. One owner even says they have a “99% occupancy rate since opening again after the Covid restrictions” thanks to Vacasa. 

However, we came across several negative reviews where property owners complain that occupancy levels are high only because Vacasa has full control over pricing and can reduce nightly rates to a very low level. One owner writing on biggerpockets criticized Vacasa for charging ‘dynamic rent’ to optimize the chances of a booking.

Customer support

We found several public reviews of property owners singling out exceptional Vacasa staff who’ve helped them deal with guest issues promptly and efficiently.

But we also found reviews from owners who say their experience with customer service representatives was frustrating and there was a lack of follow-through from them.

Cleaning and maintenance

The biggest differences between working with a property management company and working on your own is the matter of daily operations, and Vacasa takes responsibility for maintaining a high standard of cleanliness in their vacation rentals, as well as fixing repairs when necessary.

Image of two women making a bed in a vacation rental

Vacasa is responsible for recruiting and managing housekeepers to clean your vacation home.

While there are dozens of guest reviews describing vacation homes with high standards of cleanliness, we found guest reviews describing badly maintained and dirty properties, too. 

We also found negative reviews from property owners describing problems getting Vacasa to repair damage caused by renters. 

Vacasa reviews: Guests

Many Vacasa reviews describe a wonderful guest experience in beautiful, well-kept properties. The most positive aspects highlighted by guests tend to involve the first part of the customer journey during booking and check-in. In particular, they praised:

  • The easy-to-use Vacasa website with advanced search options and filters to find exactly what they’re looking for

  • 3D tours of properties that give a clear view of the layout and condition and help guests make an informed booking decision

  • The flexible cancellation policy. Renters can cancel any reservation within 24 hours and get a full refund.

However, at later stages in the customer journey, opinions are more mixed. While some guests were delighted with their vacation home and couldn’t wait to get back, others vented their frustrations at their experience focusing on two key issues:

  • A lack of cleanliness and maintenance of the accommodation

  • Poor customer service when the guest tries to highlight the issue with Vacasa pointing to insufficient staffing numbers to deal with the volume of inquiries

You can read a full range of views from Vacasa renters at Trustpilot, Sitejabber, and Yelp

To compare opinions of Vacasa with other vacation booking services, we’ve collated ratings out of 5 in the table below for Vacasa, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com.

Trust Pilot

Sitejabber

Yelp

Vacasa

4.2

1.2

2.5

Airbnb

1.4

1.4

1

Vrbo

2.8

1.25

1

Booking.com

1.3

1.51

1.3

Is Vacasa worth it?

There are many reasons to work with Vacasa, not least the sheer volume of potential guests they can send your way and the hands-off service, which can take some of the hassle of running a vacation rental away from homeowners.

However, in the reviews we read, property owners highlight a number of issues with Vacasa including a lack of control over pricing, high fees, and unresponsive customer service teams.

An option for property owners is to seek Vacasa alternatives that provide many of the advantages of Vacasa but at a much lower cost.

Using an excellent property management system (PMS), combined with a hospitality automation platform such as Operto, you can manage your vacation rental on a booking platform like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com to get maximum visibility and handle payments. The commission for these sites is around 15% including renters’ booking fees and credit card processing.

You remain responsible for communicating with guests and managing cleaning and maintenance, but you can use tech solutions that are integrated into Operto’s all-in-one dashboard to fully streamline these processes.

With an all-in-one dashboard for your tech stack and an intuitive management system for automating workflows, you can manage your short-term rentals remotely—giving you a scalable way to operate properties.

Key features of Operto

Image showing Operto's dashboard

Operto’s manager’s dashboard will give you a bird’s-eye view of guests and operations across all your properties.

Take back control of your short-term rental. Find out how Operto can help you get more value out of your vacation home.

An automated solution to property management

As we’ve seen, homeowners, and guests have a wide range of opinions about Vacasa. The service Vacasa offers can suit property owners who want a completely hands-off experience and don’t mind their fee structure and control over nightly rates.

But for those who want more control over their properties and revenue stream, a management and operations automation solution like Operto can help you get more value out of your vacation home and give you confidence in the guest experience you provide. 

For those growing their property portfolio, Operto facilitates scaling and efficiency across key areas of your business, including operations and guest support.

Take back control of your short-term rental. Find out how Operto can help you get more value out of your vacation home.

Frequently asked questions about Vacasa

What are the benefits of Vacasa? 

Vacasa offers a hands-off vacation rental management service that looks after all aspects of the rental process for homeowners. As well as managing communication with guests and organizing cleaning and maintenance, it offers a number of tech features such as smart locks and noise monitoring technology.

Can you negotiate on Vacasa?

Vacasa charges 25%-35% commission depending on the property. It is often reported on review sites, such as biggerpockets, that property owners can negotiate the nightly fee with Vacasa.

How long does the reservation process take?

The reservation process on Vacasa takes a few minutes to complete. Guests are required to provide personal information and a credit card number.