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Why is it that after 200 plus inquiries, I still get the same ads and junk in the signiture line of my inquiries from vrbo.com?
This junk is forwarded to my potential guests when I hit the reply from my phone or computer or whatever I'm responding with and probably confuses them because it says things like "increase your bookings" etc etc, stuff that only I should be reading,
The only way to delete it is to reply via a computer at home and highlight it and delete it every time I reply to an e-mail inquiry, this is a huge inconvenience, is there something I'm missing or a way to not get this in my inquiry e-mails anymore?
I dont' liek it either. I just delete it.
I delete it before sending my response, too. And then feel embarrased if per chance I was in a hurry and forgot to delete it
Wish vrbo would stop including it with every inquiry.
Thanks for your input on the signature line of VRBO emails.
I have passed along your feedback!
So..... What is going on with VRBO and our request in deleting all the "stuff" at the bottom of our inquiry E-Mails???
Ooh and more more thing Melanie....When we(the community) have a suggestion or a request. It would be respectful and satisfying to us to at least get an answer, in a timely matter.
I am not trying to be rude or to put the burden on your shoulders, but what good does it do if we take our precious time(also) to enter our concerns if all we get back is that they will look into it. It seems to me, at some timely, point, we should receive an explanation back from our request/concern.
You said it, sister!!!
Thanks for your patience. Got an answer for everyone today, VRBO has removed half of the marketing content at the bottom of thier emails.
LOL Meredith, Sorry that I called you Melanie. Anyway, what is the reasoning behind VRBO removing half of the annoying content? This means we still have to spend time deleting content, before we respond to an inquiry This does not solve the problem for the owners that correspond through their mobile device. Seems like a rather silly solution. Especially, because there was no explanation on why they chose to delete half of the content .
Can you follow-up and report back on the other half of the Marketing material on the e-mails that we receive for guest inquiries for BOTH HomeAway and VRBO?
There is also a bunch of other extraneous information / links / buttons on the page that make the e-mail very inefficient.
Please also mention to both VRBO and HA that they have set a colour background on the e-mail -- I have to remove the colour (for readability and for compatibility with some guests' e-mail progrms) in order to reply to the e-mails and that is very time consuming.
Please reply back with an action plan to resolve this matter or an explanation of why HA / VRBO has the marketing material and other information in the e-mail.
VRBO / HA,
Have you had further internal discussions on this?!
This is wasting a lot of my time deleting all the extraneous junk that is not applicable to my reply to my guests.
Please help us out here. My time is valuable.
Will you please provide us with an update on the progress of removing the junk from the e-mails that we owners receive with property inquiries?
I (and many of my fellow owners) can not afford to continue to spend time removing the chaff from these e-mails before replying to guests and it is unacceptable to my business to keep the links and other junk in there when replying.
I think what we're asking for is reasonable.
Can I count on you, personally, to follow-up and champion this issue on behalf of us owners?
Please let us know.
Hi Peter, Thank you for your feedback, I have passed it on to the team for their review and prioritization. On June 20th I reported in this discussion that some of the content was removed but at this time there are no plans to further reduce it. Thanks, Meredith
Thank you for raising this to their attention again.
>>at this time there are no plans to further reduce it
Is there any explanation from the HA mothership why these extraneous links and information are in the e-mail in the first place? Removing them should be trivial -- and I think we owners have made a compelling case to do so -- therefore there must be some other reason HA put the stuff there in the first place and refuses to remove it.
Please help us understand.
Can you follow-up with the development team to find out how this is going?
This should be a fairly simple fix.
I agree it is annoying. I hope Meridith can stop it.
I have been furious about this since singing up with VRBO. I have had to seek out a computer when I have been traveling so I will not have that 'crap' on my response. I find it totally unprofessional to simply reply via my phone as I cannot delete that mess. This has become a real source of anger and frustration to me! VRBO needs to listen and correct this behaviour.
I only reply from my computer, but yes, I always delete the bottom part of the inquiry email!
It'd be nice to avoid this step, though, with our busy lives every minute counts...
Great idea! I, too, find that extra signature to be dreadful, but I never thought of writing to VRBO and asking them to get rid of it. I hope this works.
Many of us would love to do a quick reply from our smart phones. We might be out for the day and unable to get home to respond with a quick "Yes, it's available, and here's the price" for another 12 hours. And speaking for me, personally, in my android phone, I am using gmail, and there is no way for me to edit the fields and delete that stuff, when I am replying. So if I want to delete that signature, so it's not visible to a guest, I have to get home to the computer to make the response.
Hope VRBO can fix this!
Thanks for posting the question.
What kind of smart phone do you have? There are ways to reply to an email and delete the original email, but it can be a little tricky. On an iPhone you press and hold and then a menu with appear that contains "Select All". Press that and then press Cut.
Also, you might be interested in an iPhone/iPad app that makes it really easy to respond to inquiries from HomeAway and VRBO. It's called Vacation Props and its available in the App Store. It will generate an email response to an inquiry using email templates that you customize and seasonal rates that you configure. See the links below if you're interested.
MyVRMS is a service that can help you automate the reply to the inquiries you receive with a picture of your property, quote for the requested dates, custom text (calling out your properties best features), and property restrictions (if you choose). You can turn it on/off as needed, if you choose to respond yourself while close to a computer. We dont include any junk content in the email, only your information and contact data. The email is sent with your email address, so the inquirer simply responds to the email and it goes directly to your inbox. This solution gives answers to the renters questions fast. Are you available and how much is it?
If your interested in learning more, send me an email; firstname.lastname@example.org
A few semi-solutions...
1. If you use Outlook: Tools>Options>Preferences>Email Options: Under On replies and forwards, in the When replying to a message drop-down list, select Do not include original message.
2. If you use Gmail: Mail Settings>General>Conversation View: Turning Conversation View Off turns off threading (consolidating one email + response together). It does not, however, eliminate the original message. Gmail does not have a feature for this. You can suggest a feature to them here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=suggestions.cs
3. If you happen to be using an Android or Blackberry, simply uncheck the Original Text box or select Delete Original Text respectively (I don't know of any setting that makes this the default so you have to do it on a message-to-message basis). If you are using an iPhone, the easiest thing you can do is hold down your finger on the original message. This does a 'select all' -- then just start typing and it removes the original message/signature/any junk you may find annoying. Almost all other smartphones have an option to "delete original text" or "clear field" -- Blackberry and Droid have announced a setting for this feature will be offered in coming versions.
Lastly, I keep VERY close tabs on my reservation rate (the percentage of inquiries that convert into actual bookings) and personal, prompt, informative correspondence is of the utmost importance. If you are often on the road and don't have the time/capacity to respond fully to your rental inquiries, I like to recommend using an auto-reply that says something to the effect of "Hi renter! I'm on the road this afternoon but it looks as though we do have availability and I'll get back to you ASAP." If you can include some useful links of interest for them in the meantime or perhaps give them a call instead, you're 5x more likely to seal the reservation. On average 63% of vacation rental inquiries don't make it past the first point of contact.
Matt is the author of Obsessing Over Your Reservation Rate, how vacation rental owners can double their bookings simply by converting more of the guest inquiries they already have!
I like to reply to the guest with the original email received from VRBO so there is no questions about the original request by the guest (names, dates, comments, etc.). It also lists my property so they know exactly who is responding to them. It establishes the start of a chain of emails that gets exchanged between me and the guests. This way there is never a question about any of the facts of the reservation and what has been exchanged between the two of us.
VRBO does not want you to use this email to respond to your guest. They want you to use their services so that they can track your interaction with your guest. It is a big pain to remove all that trash that they put in the email that comes after the important guest information. A suggestion to VRBO - give us an option to not recieve all that extra trash! If they must send it to us, send it to us in another email that has nothing to do with a specific guest.
If you use HomeAway, they have made it even harder to remove all their trash before responding to a guest! It is all about control for VRBO & HomeAway and NO control for us (their customer)! Just like they have now changed the guest review process and now require guests to create a travel account before they can enter a guest review for us.
With the busy Holiday and Ski season coming, I'm finally getting some leads from HA / VRBO.
Notwithstanding that guests don't bother to look at my calendar any more (HA has enabled guests to "cheat" and send multiple enquiries -- but this is a different issue), I find myself spending a significant amount of time removing the crap that HA/VRBO has put in the e-mails before replying to guests.
We all should be aware that the link back to our property has all sorts of tracking information in it from HA/VRBO. Here's an example of what the link under your property number looks like:
It is possible that this URL allows HA/VRBO to track information about your guests (geography, time of reply, etc.) It may be just for statistics or it could be more nefarious.
For my part, I have also started editing this URL to its simplest form:
Please VRBO/HA -- get rid of the crap in the e-mails. It is driving me crazy.
I see you have some guest reviews. Have you heard what the HomeAway site has now done to the guest review process? Your guests will now have to set up an account with HomeAway before they will be able to enter a review for your property. So if your guest reviews slack off this winter season, it could be because of the new process. I know of three reviews that I have lost since they implemented this process a month or two ago.
You would think that since we pay HomeAway and VRBO to list our properties, they would treat us like the customer. They keep making changes that negativly impact our business. They have decided that they will do everything their way because they just don't care what we have to say!
They need to get rid of all the crap at the bottom of the inquiries and stop requiring guests to open an account just to provide a guest review! At the very least they could give us an option if we want to receive the crap and give the guest the option if they want to set up an account. I don't think we are asking to much from them!
We have not been able to beg a review from anyone since June. Now we know why We had also summized that people were sending out mass inquiries, but thought they were doing the old copy and paste. Does anyone at HomeAway/VRBO have any idea how much effort an owner has to put into a reply - even those that ask the most lame questions like 'it is available' or our most recent one for a 4 BR home, 'what is the rate for 2 people'. We are told to answer these emails ASAP, but they make it less and less user friendly for the owner. Exhausted with their lack of customer service.
HomeAway has dumbed down the inquiry process so that they can raise their inquiry rate (effect: you think they are doing their job). It is as simple as that! What this does to the consumer is make us look insignificant - our TIME is theirs to waste! "Don't select a property on how you like it - select on how CHEAP you can get it." Then once the customers select you, well, then the fun begins. They STILL LOOK! Why, because HomeAway has created a lack of respect for owners! Our time, Our Home, has become a generic commodity. It is like the clearance aisle where these people can pick over the remains. Even their FAQ's tell guest to not respect the owner, we may be frauds! IMAGINE! You don't have to here it is! Guess what? HA says even if the property is on their site it may be a fraud! Create respect for us HomeAway. NOT FEAR!
If HomeAway/VRBO wants to, they can incorporate an automatic rate response in a pop-up window at all listing websites, so owners will no longer get tons of emails for rate inquiry; instead owners will only get email for bookings or specific questions. The auto popup response can even be very detail showing all charges, taxes, deposit and total amount.
tfv>> they can incorporate an automatic rate response in a pop-up window at all listing websites
... and also please check my calendar for the guest and let them know if it's already booked.
... and also please get rid of the crap on the reply e-mails so I don't need to do it myself.
"Gross margins remained steady, but margins based on profits from continuing operations fell by more than 50% as product development and marketing costs soared."
Really, they spent millions on product development and they can't even get their web developers do a simple database comparison of the availability dates?
C'mon HomeAway -- make it happen.