How to Connect Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO)/HomeAway (Calendar Based Channel) with myfrontdesk

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

This article will walk you through the entire process of mapping your myfrontdesk rooms to your Vacation Rentals By Owner Channel rooms/HomeAway. Once you have completed all of the steps below, myfrontdesk will update VRBO/HomeAway with your availability and will download VRBO/HomeAway bookings into your reservations page of myfrontdesk.

Vacation Rentals By Owner/HomeAway is a calendar-based channel, which works differently than normal distribution channels. For example, only availability can be updated, no rates or any other stay restrictions will be sent or updated. You can learn more about this by reading our article here.

As a reminder, Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO)/HomeAway only supports the following:

  • Availability updates
  • Booking Downloads (Channel sends booking to myfrontdesk; myfrontdesk can automatically adjust availability)
  • Automatic Adjustments
  • Close (Disable room for bookings without overwriting the original availability)
  • MinLOS, MaxLOS (Minimum length of stay, maximum length of stay)

 

Note: Calendar channels do not support receiving rates from a channel manager. You must enter rates directly into your VRBO/HomeAway extranet.

Cancellations 

Cancellations from a calendar channel cannot be transmitted to any 3rd parties (including myallocator).

Since myallocator (channel manager by Cloudbeds) is unaware of any Calendar Channel cancellations, the property 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. The property must log in to myfrontdesk and cancel the booking manually (by changing the reservation status to "canceled")
How to connect VRBO/HomeAway to myfrontdesk
Step 1 - Getting Started

If you do not have an account on VRBO/HomeAway:

  1. First, you need to create an account on VRBO/HomeAway.
  2. Once done, please proceed to Step 2.

If you do have an account on VRBO/HomeAway:

Go ahead and proceed with Step 2

Step 2. Start mapping VRBO/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

3. Click to enable the channel

Step 4. Exporting VRBO/HomeAway URL (iCal link)

On your VRBO/HomeAway dashboard, follow the steps below

Obtain your VRBO/HomeAway export calendar URL:

1. Click on the two arrows icon again
2. Click on Export Calendar
3. Copy the URL.

4. Uncheck the option "Include Tentative Reservations in the calendar export". This will stop all guest inquiry reservations coming through the iCal. 

Why?
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 VRBO/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 VRBO/HomeAway calendar allowing the guest to book. 

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

Leaving this option unchecked will prevent this situation.

5. Once you have copied the URL from your VRBO/HomeAway account, go ahead and paste the VRBO/HomeAway URL into the Exported calendar URL in myfrontdesk.

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

Once you finish all your rooms:

6. On myfrontdesk, click "Continue"

7. Perform a Full Refresh to send an update from myfrontdesk to the channel

Other HomeAway Channels Connection

HomeAway has several brands such as Stayz.com, FeWo, Stayz, Abritel, VacationRentals.com, Toprural, Bookabach, Alugue Temporada and others. Currently, within myallocator, we only accept HomeAway or VRBO URLs, but it does not mean that you can not connect the listings from other brands. Please follow the steps below in order to connect other HomeAway's brand.

Let's suppose that you want to connect your 'Alugue Temporada' listing and you have the following URL:

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

SOLUTION: go ahead and replace the highlighted part from 'www.aluguetemporada.com.br' to 'www.homeaway.com' and keep the rest of the URL exactly the same.

 

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