How to Connect VRBO / HomeAway Calendar Based Channel with myfrontdesk

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In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with people looking for places to stay. Vrbo's purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together.

Vrbo has grown into a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties in 190 countries. The channel offers homeowners and property managers exposure to over 750 million visits to Expedia Group sites each month.

Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) is part of the HomeAway family.

  • Calendar Based Channels only support: availability updates, booking downloads, and automatic adjustments.
    • They do not support rates! Enter rates directly into the HomeAway extranet.
  • Even though VRBO is owned by Expedia, it is not possible to make the connection to this channel through Expedia.
  • Cloudbeds does not control how frequently calendar channels poll us for availability, so it can take 0.5 to 2 hours for availability to reflect on the channel. Please confirm this interval with your HomeAway Account Manager.

How to connect VRBO/HomeAway to myfrontdesk

Step 1 - Getting Started

If you do not have an account on HomeAway:

  1. Create an account on HomeAway.
  2. Once done, proceed to Step 2.

If you do have an account on HomeAway:

Proceed with Step 2

Step 2 - Start mapping HomeAway in myfrontdesk
  1. Go to myfrontdesk and open the Channels page
  2. Search for HomeAway and click on Not Setup, Click to Setup button
  1. Click to enable the channel
Step 4 - Export HomeAway URL (iCal link)

On your HomeAway dashboard, obtain your HomeAway export calendar URL:

  1. Click on Import & Export tab
  2. Click on Export Calendar
  1. Uncheck the option Include Tentative Reservations in the calendar export.* This will stop all guest inquiry reservations coming through the iCal.
  2. Click on Copy URL to copy the HomeAway calendar

*Calendar-based channels work differently than normal distribution channels, and this type of connection does not support cancellations. Also, all inquiry reservations are considered as "confirmed bookings" and not tentative.

When the guest books the room on HomeAway, even if it's only a tentative, the system will send this reservation as confirmed to myfrontdesk -  it means that this reservation will close your availability. Then, the property needs to cancel the existing reservation in myfrontdesk, so they will be able to clear it in the HomeAway calendar allowing the guest to book. 

If the guest decided not to make the reservation, the request would expire after 24 hours on HomeAway side, but the reservation remains on myfrontdesk because the property needs to manage cancellations manually.

Leaving this option unchecked will prevent this situation.

Vrbo Calendar - Google Chrome
  1. Paste the HomeAway URL in your myfrontdesk account

Repeat the steps above for ALL of your HomeAway rooms you'd like to sync with myfrontdesk.

Once you finish all your room types

  1. On myfrontdesk, click to Continue
Other HomeAway Channels Connection

HomeAway has several brands such as Stayz, FeWo, Abritel, VacationRentals.com, Toprural, Bookabach, Alugue Temporada and others.

Within Cloudbeds, we only accept HomeAway or VRBO URLs, but it does not mean that you can not connect the listings from other brands. Follow the steps below in order to connect other HomeAway's brand.

Let's take Alugue Temporada listing as an example. Here's the URL:

When you paste  'Alugue Temporada' URL, you will probably see the error message below

To fix this, replace the highlighted part from 'www.aluguetemporada.com.br' to 'www.homeaway.com' and keep the rest of the URL exactly the same.

 

How does Cancellation work?

Cancellations from a calendar channel cannot be transmitted to any 3rd parties (including myallocator, - Channel Manager by Cloudbeds).

Since myallocator is unaware of any Calendar Channel cancellations, you must manage the inventory manually.

Example:  

  1. Guest books your property and the booking is sent to myallocator (channel manager) 
  2. Guest cancels the booking
  3. Myallocator is unaware of the cancellation
  4. You must log in to myfrontdesk and cancel the booking manually (by changing the reservation status to canceled)

On the following article, learn How to Cancel a reservation.

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