If you’ve ever thought about renting your home as a short-term vacation rental, there is no time like the present. According to Vrbo, the site for renting vacation homes, cabins, condos and more, they are observing a significant spike in traveler demand around both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
“This is the perfect time to list your home as a vacation rental, as we are only going to see traveler demand continue to increase as we get closer to the festival,” says Bill Furlong, VP of North American Business at Vrbo. “The average rate for Austin homes during ACL Festival is over $500 per night, compared to the city’s typical $343 per night rate. There are even two-bedroom homes going for up to $1,600 per night.”
For those only looking to rent their home for ACL weekend, the extra income isn’t the only motivating factor. Currently, owners renting their home for fewer than 15 days in a tax year aren’t required to report the income from this activity on their federal tax returns, potentially making that payout even bigger.
Vrbo is currently seeing the most traveler demand downtown and in nearby neighborhoods like Barton Hills and Zilker. But as the festival approaches and homes and hotels quickly fill up, travelers will be more willing to stay farther from the city center for a chance to be at one of the country’s biggest music events of the year.
To help new renters up their chances of getting a booking, Vrbo recommends using Instant Booking on your listing. “Travelers prefer to book their vacation rental instantly rather than waiting for the owner’s approval, so they can start planning the rest of their trip,” says Furlong. “For busy weekends like this, using Instant Booking is a big advantage.”
For those homeowners looking to rent for the first time, Vrbo provides all the tools and support you need to get started — from helping you decide on the best price for your rental to effectively promoting your rental to their hundreds of millions of travelers.
“We’re here to help homeowners capitalize on the many visitors headed to Austin in the easiest way possible,” says Furlong. “Once a property is listed on Vrbo, we work to match that property to the right travelers and maximize bookings and rental income for homeowners.”
Interested to see how much your home could make? At www.vrbo.com/earn, you can enter basic information about your home’s size and location. You’ll receive an instant estimate of your property’s annual rent potential based on nearby comparable rentals.
 Based on the average increase in average nightly rates for 2017 and 2018 ACL weekends.
 IRS Publication 527 (2018) Residential Rental Property. Consult your tax professional for more information and to confirm current tax treatment when filing.
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