A study released in November of 2019 found that Bend has 1,658 Airbnb listings per 50,000 people which puts our beautiful city fourth on the list when it comes to the most saturated vacation rental markets in the U.S. IPX1031, an investment property exchange service, surveyed more than 750 U.S. cities and found that our little slice of heaven on the Deschutes River was the only West Coast city to break the top 10. It’s estimated that there are over 2500 vacation rentals near Bend.
That huge number of available properties is both a good and bad thing. It means there are a ton of options for your vacation. That’s good! However, could easily spend hours searching for the right property. That’s bad. To top it off, rates vary tremendously depending on time of year. Here are 2 very real examples we found:
• $149-$1,537 a night depending on travel dates
• $139-$784 a night depending on travel dates
Like with hotels, our first suggestion when looking for a vacation rental in Bend would be to put very specific filters on your search. There are obvious things like are you bringing a pet? What part of town do you want to be in? What is your budget? But there are also other important things to narrow down. For example, if you are looking for a home that sleeps 5 people do you need 3 bedrooms or are you ok with 2 bedrooms and a pullout couch? Does the vacation rental come with bikes or other sports equipment? Would you prefer access to a garage? What other amenities are “must haves” for your group?
Obviously the list of questions you should ask yourself prior to booking a vacation rental in Bend could go on and on. So lets move to a more important topic: booking direct. Sites like AirBnB and VRBO are great for narrowing down your vacation rental options. But because they are such big, powerful sites they also charge a hefty service fee for booking through them. The amount they charge varies depending on several factors, but the “service fee” is typically between 8-15%.
On all the big vacation rental websites you can find the name of the person or company that manages that property. We strongly recommend doing a quick search for that companies direct website or shooting the host a message to inquire about booking direct.
As we highlight a few local vacation rental property management companies below, we’ll give you examples of the rate difference when booking direct versus booking through AirBnB or VRBO.
Bluebird Day Vacation Rentals
Our friends have Bluebird Day manage over 30 properties that are all located on the Westside and in downtown. Their properties are walking or biking riding distance to shops, restaurants, craft beer and plenty of attractions. Many of their homes come with cruiser bikes for guests to enjoy. We also love how they partner with other local businesses in an attempt let their renters experience the best of what Bend has to offer.
While Bluebird Day does manage a few larger homes, one of our favorites is the Riverfront Cottage Retreat. This property is a nicely appointed 1-bedroom home on the river with a hot tub. It’s perfect for a romantic get-a-way anytime of year.
A 3-night reservation (we randomly picked 6/17-6/20) will run you $711 when booking direct versus $777 on AirBnB.
Stones Throw Bungalow
Like Bluebird Day, all of the properties managed by Stones Throw Bungalow are located on the Westside and in downtown. Many homes feature hot tubs and all of their homes have outdoor spaces for lounging. Bringing the pup? Not to worry Stones Throw does have pet friendly homes. You can also expect comfy beds with fresh and clean blankets, duvets and duvet covers, high thread counts linens and fluffy towels.
Looking for a house that can fit your family, but still want to be right on the river? Check out the RiverBend Bungalow. This is a 2 bedroom with a sleeper sofa in the living room and can accommodate up to 6 guests. Imagine relaxing in the hot tub right on the river while the kids feed the ducks a few feet away.
We priced a random week in March (3/6 – 3/13) and found a $163 service fee on VRBO.
Premier Vacation Rentals – Bend
Premier Vacation Rentals as a whole manages over $125mil in properties throughout 12 different cities. All of the markets they operate in are centered on the outdoor adventure lifestyle. Don’t let the big numbers fool you, Bend Premier Vacation Rentals is locally owned and operated. It’s the best of both worlds. The vacation rentals near Bend are managed by a local who loves our community and the majestic outdoors of Central Oregon, but has the support and expertise of a large, experienced vacation rental company.
Bringing the family to Bend, but still need to do a little work remotely? Bend Premier Vacation Rental’s newest property, Parkview, is a perfect option. This modern, 3-bedroom property is at the end of a cul-de-sac that boarders Pilot Butte and has an office nook with a desk and printer. The close in Eastside location is minutes from both Costco and Worthy Brewing, but is still a very quick drive into downtown Bend.
Looking to stay for a week during spring break 2021? Booking direct will cost $2400. VRBO adds just over $200 in service fees, coming in at $2605.
Homespun Vacations offers a very hands on rental experience for those who want it. When booking direct, you can reach out to Erin via phone or email to finalize all your details. Almost all of the homes have hot tubs and are well appointed with an authentic local vibe.
One of the only properties without a hot tub is the Minni House. This is a newly build tiny house with it’s own private outdoor area and a 6’x4’ storage shed. With so many people working from home these days, this is a great spot for someone traveling by themselves to come live like a local. Spend a few nights or a few weeks working in this low maintenance property and exploring all Bend has to offer.
Since Erin handles all direct booking personally, we don’t have an exact cost savings example for the Minni House. But feel free to check out the rates on AirBnB and then call Erin for a quote. You’ll be happy!