Rental lodging

Peer to Peer Rental Lodging Metasearch

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A search engine browser window with a magnifying glass

Metasearch tools allow you to see search results from multiple websites all in one convenient user interface. These search engines are popular in many aspects of travel; think Expedia, Kayak, and other similar sites. And in sharing economy travel metasearch is a growing area. In this post I want to talk about rental lodging metasearch engines. Since I last wrote an overview of the peer to peer rental lodging space, where I mentioned two metasearch engines, I’ve come across a number of others.

Why use a metasearch site?

I think the real question is why not. Why would you want to limit yourself to just one site, like AirBnb, when you could search for places to stay in New York City across multiple sites. Going to just one lodging website to search is the equivalent of going to just one airline to look for flights. No one just checks when they want to book a flight if they’re interested in competitive pricing and a range of flight options (well, unless you have some sort of frequent flyer incentive to do this and your company is paying for the ticket).

Just to make this totally clear: AirBnb and HomeAway are the two biggest players in home rentals, claiming 1.5 and 1 million listings each. Most of the metasearch engines return results from at least 2 million listings. That’s a pretty big difference. However, if you use a search aggregator that doesn’t include both AirBnb and HomeAway you’re missing out on a lot of listings.

Metasearch engine options

I’m currently aware of seven sharing economy lodging metasearch sites: Zilyo, Likibu, AllTheRooms, HomeToGo, Vakast, Tripping, and HundredRooms. Many of them include hotel listings in the mix. That’s actually pretty useful for the traveler who is interested in maximizing value. It’s possible there’s a good hotel deal out there that beats the other rental options. But this does interfere a bit with my ability to compare them on number of sharing economy lodging listings. Not surprisingly, many of them claim to be the biggest. And most don’t make it possible for me to verify their reported counts of listings. So I’m just going to assume they are all accurately reporting actual listings they cull from the websites included in their searches.

Some of these sites do not publish which websites they are aggregating from. I find that very annoying because it’s important to me to know that the sites I would use to book directly are a part of the search (especially HomeAway and AirBnb). And I can’t think of a good reason for them NOT to publicize this info. I’ve noted below which sites include AirBnb and HomeAway as well as which include hotels in the results.

Metasearch Site Features

NameListingsAirBnb includedHomeAway includedHotels included

Here are a few additional notes on the companies listed above:

  • Likibu is focused on French market
  • AllTheRooms is the only one that has the option to include Couchsurfing listings
  • HundredRooms is focused on Spanish market

I do care about features other than number of listings. Accuracy of the listings is important, and I haven’t done enough testing of these sites to say anything conclusive about that. Usability of the search engine is also key. I want flexibility in filtering on various features of the listings. And I find dynamic maps to be very helpful when done right. I’m not offering reviews on other features besides inclusiveness of the sites’ search results, but hopefully this post gives you some guidelines to make an informed choice about which search engine will include the results you want to see. From there you should do your own testing to find the ones(s) that best serve your search style.

Testing the search results

As with most searches, bigger is better. And keep in mind that some sites that include hotel listings in their search results are counting those in the total listings so that means fewer peer to peer rental listings. Based on my research, I plan to use the search engines that include both AirBnb and HomeAway, which leaves me with: Zilyo and AllTheRooms. Though I will probably also do searches on HomeToGo for European stays because I’m impressed by the number of listings they have without including AirBnb, suggesting they have a nice diversity of other peer to peer rental sites.

To test out my theory about which ones would return the most results I ran a few searches. One on Dublin, Ireland for 2 nights next month and one on San Francisco, California for dates in November. I also tried to run searches without dates specified but some sites don’t allow that so the results are not comparable.

NameDublin search resultsSan Francisco search results

Note, for the AllTheRooms results I’m reporting peer to peer rental numbers but about double that come back if you include all listing types.

What does this tell me? I don’t have a good explanation for the super low results from Likibu and HundredRooms. And remember that some of the above include hotels.

Bottom line: AllTheRooms and Zilyo appear to have the most comprehensive listings and it gives me added confidence that their numbers are pretty similar. They don’t force you to include hotels in the search but both make it optional which I like. Those two are my top picks overall for peer to peer rental metasearch tools. HomeToGo gets an honorable mention for European lodging metasearch.


  • I would like to know if it is possible to rent my apartment in Nashville, TN while I am away for six months.
    I don’t know where to start to do this. I don’t need to exchange homes. I just want to rent mine. It is a one bedroom, one bath, living room, bathroom, with facilities for doing laundry, exercise, in-house libraries, etc. It is located across the street from Green Hills Mall, the nicest mall in Nashville. City bus service stops in front of the building.

    • Hi D’Anne, you will need to join one of the rental networks like AirBnb and list your home on there. I have a list of all the peer to peer rental networks in my spreadsheet which you can find easily on the home page of this site. Hope this works out for you!

  • Great overview thx!
    Alltherooms beats Zilyo because you can filter by reviews (which to me is very important when searching peer to peer rentals). However I just did a search for Tokyo, Alltherooms only displays a few of the best rated homestays available on the Airbnb site. Their crawler is not that powerful after all. Direct search on Airbnb is still better (though Airbnb surprisingly does not allow to filter by review!).

    • Thanks for the feedback Julien. I’ve had a few other reports that some metasearch engines aren’t pulling in all the Airbnb results. So it sounds like it’s still worth searching directly on Airbnb in addition to using the metasearch engines. I’m surprised by this and hoping someone with these crawler companies will chime in here to explain why we see these results.

  • should check out which is from the founder of zilyo, they provide the same type of searching of hotels and airbnbs except around events