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I was excited when I noticed VRBO/Homeaway started offering e-mail Templates. They are cusomizable and "I thought" they were triggered responses that went out automatically. These are located in your dashboard under settings.
We set them up with a response sending them to our website so they could see the property and book online etc. We started test inquiries and we never were able to get the "auto response". After a week or more of contacting support I was strucken with the reality that one has to manually send these responses by loging into their account and clicking a send button......now really? What good is that. I can type a customized response in as little time as it takes to log into my account.
I was very frustrated to learn that what I hoped would be a real business help, was nothing more than an illusion. To add insult to injury we actually received a 10:30 p.m. inquiry 2 nights ago, by the time we got to it the next morning they had found another home. Why won't Homeaway do this simple fix to help us all maintain every advantage in a competitive market?
I wrote again asking them to, maybe others are interested or the moderators will see the importance this has to our businesses.
Thanks for your comment. I am sorry that you have not found this feature useful. I will pass along your feedback about the email templates to the appropriate team here at HomeAway.
Meridith, I appeciate your work with these comments. I know it is your job. However, it would be nice if you could send an email to the person who is experiencing the problem - and give them a link to the correct customer support person that can actually help them. A direct phone numer and name would be a good start.
Plese remember, we are the real paying customers . The marketing info HA & VRBO are selling is nothing compared to what they make off of those who have been paying the bills.
We are real people, with our butts on the line in this economy- not just some comment in cyber space.
With all due respect, I think we deserve better customer service.
Got a response from the team in charge of this feature:
Thanks for your comments and insight. Our plan is to provide this “auto-send” functionality in the future (we don’t have a date at this time). The current ReservationManager email templates allow you to pre-populate standard templates that facilitate and simplify your standard responses. By sending them through ReservationManager’s functionality your potential guest gets a copy, you get a copy and the system also populates the inquiry details page with a history of these communications, which remain visible once the inquiry becomes a reservation. We continue to work diligently to make ReservationManager a business asset to better help manage your property.
Hope this helps.
Thank you Deb. Very true words. I would love to have a name and number to keep abreast of what is happening.
Meredith, automatic e-mails should be a pretty simple trigger to install. They do it now with sending an inquiry notification. It is pretty much the same thing.
I do appreciate your checking and would be very happy to see this function available for customer use. It is a "very important tool in securing bookings."
FYI, all our properties are listed on both VRBO and Homeaway, we are not trying to beat the system, just utilize it.
I thought I would check back and visit this topic one more time.
The wife and I are on a cross country motorcycle trip and are sometimes without services for days. Yes, you guessed it, we get inquiries and they may not be answered for days due to the lack of internet and phones service.
I have requested auto e-mails directing people to our personal sites for some time now. I have written e-mails and spoken with customer help folks....all that happens is....nothing.
I list 3 properties with Homeaway and VRBO. I do not link other properties for free advertising. As we travel more and more the need for this service grows in imprtance to us. I am at the point where I may drop my lisitngs. I am fed up with the lack of response and seriousness taken by Homeaway and its affiliates.
I need this service...or at the very least a place to put our personal web sites where they can actually be seen. I am fed up with this parnoia you folks have with letting people click outside your domain.....fix it or I am going.
Sorry to be so blunt be I am fed up losing rentals while you folks play games with my living!
Of course, I refer to
Until they provide the auto sending of email response, might I suggest you implement your own through a gmail account? Take about 6 seconds to make a free gmail account and once made, you can set up filters to look for the VRBO/HA email and auto respond with a canned response that you create. Here are instructions on how to enable the canned responses in the settings by adding the canned response in Gmail Labs and then how to create a filter that triggers the auto sending of the canned response.
If you don't want to change your email to gmail, that's not a problem, you can have vrbo send all inquiries to your gmail account and then gmail can forward all your emails to your existing email account thereby making it a transparent auto responder.
Hope this helps.
I think an auto-responder can be a useful feature at times and Rick's gmail suggestion is a great one until ReservationManager provides this capability. However, I think many guests would be turned off by a canned auto-response and would much prefer a custom quote and a response to any questions in the inquiry email. ReservationManager is a good start in being able to quickly create customized quotes, but needs to go farther in many areas, including better template capabilities and automatic quote generation based on configured rates. I think it will get there over time.
Creator of Vacation Props, an innovative iPhone/iPad app to manage vacation properties and quickly respond to inquiries