VRBO, which is an acronym for Vacation Rental By Owners, was founded by David and Lynn Crouse in 1995. The couple had a condo that they decided to rent out, rather than sell. What began with a single condo offering, has turned into one of the largest vacation rental sites in history. After Lynn was injured in a car accident and David lost his job, the couple decided to move to California for improved job prospects. They purchased a house in northern California and decided to rent their condo.
The internet was in its infancy, so the couple began with an 800 number and a picture of their condo on the back of skiing magazines. Later, Dave built a website and the company was actually run from the couple’s basement.
Today, in combination with their parent company, VRBO operates a vacation rental marketplace with more than 2,000,000 vacation rentals in 190 countries. VRBO was acquired by HomeAway in 2006 for $160 million. The company operates as a subsidiary.
In February 2020, a small suburb of Los Angeles, California, called La Canada, put a hold on banning residents from renting out space to clients on sites such as VRBO, due to problems that occured in 2019.
Also in February 2020, hosts with VRBO are reporting payment problem, some taking weeks to receive payment. VRBO says they are not aware of any issues, but thousands of hosts have complained about the payment problem.
VRBO has headquarters in Austin, Texas. Along with its parent company, VRBO had annual revenue in 2014 of $448.6 million