I’ve participated in these forums for quite some time, and have found them very helpful on SO many topics. I’ve always appreciated learning from other’s experiences, and being able to share my own.
The new VRBO has offered tools that work for some, but do not work for many of us. I think a lot has to do with the rapid growth of Homeaway, since they went to an IPO, after they purchased VRBO, etc.
Most of the problems I see – new Review process, problems with Calendars, Reservation Manager & payments features- seem to be due to the fact that HA IT team is pushing new programs without real testing (happens all the time in today’s IT world- products looks good on paper or in theory, but haven’t been field tested).
Some advice to other HOME OWNERS:
Do not rely on the New and Improved products until the bugs are worked out.
Maintain your OWN calendar. ( check it every day)
If you have a payment process in place ( Credit cards, etc.) make sure you continue that Business Plan- and ONLY use the “new” system once the bugs have been worked out.
Reviews: Pay VERY close attention to your notification that a review has been posted.
Trust yourself. If your business plan has been working well you can find a way to work around the “new and improved” VRBO. Don’t think this new program allows you to get lazy.
READ your initial contract and know WHAT you signed up for, and what you paid for. Simply renewing is NOT an option for anyone who’s been a VRBO Customer for over 2-3 years. The game has changed!
Excellent advice msdebj! I have been reviewing the terms/conditions that's posted on the VRBO website. If you didn't make a copy of the one you entered the last time you re-upped, you are SOL. They only post the most recent/current one, and say they do not maintain a copy of the one you entered the last time. I only have one rental and resist change under any circumstance, so when they started adding all these bells and whistles, I did not elect to follow. I have a lot of my responses and other documents saved, use the calendar feature, but still keep a manual one too, so I'm doing just fine -- even though some of my techniques are from the last century! The management is in such a big hurry to make all these "improvements" and it appears there are still some bugs in them.
Mary, My husband is an IT professional (has been for well over 40 years) & works with a major telecom company. When all this started happening he and i talked and he said, basically "This is a problem everywhere these days. Idea+ concept + write new program = HUGE customer dissatisfaction." IT departments are under huge stress to develope new, improved programs for the investors. Because of the pressure they do not test, let alone ask for input from actual users, before the push a product out. I think HA/VRBO is falling into this category, since it appears they "test" for travelers and maybe property management companies-- NOT individual owners.
You are NOT a dinosaur!!. You are great home owner offering a good product. You should be proud of that! We'll keep on trying to do the best we can - while overiding VRBO's "improved" process. I just feel bad for the new folks who don't know how to do so.
I am NOT a profit margin . I am a human being trying to adhere to all legal requirements and offering a quality product in a- now- difficult business. Of course, my years of working case management and being Chief of Staff in a Senate office helps me read between the lines of cerain "probelm" business practices.
Keep doing what you are doing--you'll be fine, inspite of whatever VRBO thinks it is doing.