IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

How is Vrbo trying to prevent Super Bowl house parties?

Answer: With algorithms.

A smartphone showing the search page in the Vrbo app.
Shutterstock/Tada Images
There’s an algorithm for almost everything these days — and that includes stopping house parties in their tracks. The short-term rental hosting platform Vrbo recently announced that it’s rolling out a new feature designed to help prevent house parties at properties.

The tool comes just in time for one of America’s biggest party days of the year — the Super Bowl, which will be played on Feb. 12. And Vrbo will be leveraging its algorithms to give rental owners/managers a heads up before they become unwilling hosts to a rambunctious Super Bowl party. It works by analyzing data on renters including the length of the stay, the lead time for the booking, number of guests, the rental’s capacity and other factors. The renters will then receive a score based on this data, and the company will alert the property host if that score raises a red flag.

From there it’s up to the host — if they so choose, they’ll be able to cancel the booking without penalty. And the renter will get a reminder about Vrbo’s policy against parties. A pilot test of the feature conducted over the last year reportedly prevented more than 500 unauthorized bookings and saved hosts $2.5 million in repair and cleanup costs.