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4133 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2012 12:47 PM by cpnmikes RSS
Active Contributor 295 posts since
Jun 9, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 11, 2011 11:19 AM

An appeal to VRBO/HomeAway to reduce Spam Inquiry by giving Owners an “Edit Inquiry Preference” like Flipkey

I get more quality inquiries from Flipkey because I have the option to modify my “Edit Inquiry Preference” to do the following:

 

Block inquiries missing traveling dates
Block inquiries if traveling dates are under minimum stay
Block inquiries if any traveling dates are already booked
Block inquiries if traveler’s phone number not included
Block inquiries if number of guests is not specified

 

I wish that VRBO/HomeAway would see the logic in doing the same and make it a choice for Owners to block certain inquiries. We don’t care for Mass Inquiries as they are Spam Inquiries and takes a lot of our precious time.

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011

    Hi -tfv.  Thank you for that information.  I just happened to wander over to this Traveler section ....I find this "Flipkey" inquiry format interesting. I think other Owners, including myself, have recently commented about the inquiry system/preferences, etc.....not specificially what Flipkey does as you shared...but some similar suggestions.  I do not use Flipkey {yet}.  That other discussion was in the Owner section.  I'm not certain how many Owners "journey" over to this section for Travelers....so maybe you should put it up on the Owner section, as well {?}.   It will probably start a useful discussion, among us, over there, where some  of us have commented about the 'poorly targeted' inquiries due to the way the inquiries are "managed" by HA/VRBO.  I, for one, have recently suggested that they "mandate" the inquiry form so it must be completed, in full, or it will not be sent to the Owner(s).  And, if there could be "preferences" that can further narrow down the "results"...for both Traveler and Owner...that could be useful for both "Client Groups".  I would like more "targeted" inquiries to my property....according to the preferences that I would like to be able to 'set'....and then Travelers could [would] most likely get more responses from Owners.

  • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 878 posts since
    Sep 3, 2011

    Here's the thing from 2 prospectives: As a VR owner with a listing on VRBO, a got an inquiry a few weeks ago without number of people. This inquiry turned into a week rental for Christmas week for 2 people. Last year, I had an inquiry without specific dates. This ended up being a high season week rental and the tenant has booked again for 2012. So, I don't care if people inquire without all the requested information. People are busy. As a renter, I don't want to give my phone number until I know that there is at least some chance that I will rent the place I inquired about and often this decision depends on the owner's response. (I won't rent through property managers) Also, my dates are usually flexible so I sometimes leave that section blank.It seems a lot of owner's posting on this forum are getting hot and bothered when they should be viewing every inquiry as a potential rental. If an owner is going to be upset about an inquiry, just hit the delete button. That takes less than a second.

    • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
      Aug 25, 2011

      Susan,

      I think that you misunderstand the issue.

      All of the reasons you list above are valid reasons why a guest might want to send an inquiry without complete information (in fact when their dates are flexible, not including dates IS the complete information).

       

      I doubt that any owners are having issue with legitimate inquiries like those you detail above and, speaking for myself, I also appreciate when people ask about my property and specify flexible dates, etc. I reply to all inquiries as a matter of integrity and good business which is part of why I would like to have only quality inquiries -- potential guests who have expressed an interest in my property.

       

      Hitting the delete button is a band-aid (and one that disrespects the guest).  It is not a solution and should not be an acceptable solution for any owner, in my opinion.  This would also entail owners guessing which inquiries are targeting our properties and which are not -- surely error prone and we may miss a booking.

       

      To clarify the problem is that HA/ VRBO have enabled guests to make inquiries without even looking at our listings or our calendar -- and, to make it worse -- HA have automated this process for guests resulting in effective SPAM to owners.

       

      P

  • New Member 14 posts since
    Jul 29, 2011

    I personally would applaud this type of option, however I have turned more than a few of those generic inquiries into bookings by personally responding and answering questions, even though at the time it seemed to be a waste.  Most of those people think we are all part of some huge rental property corporation and when they find out we are really just like them, regular folks with one property that we own and manage,  their attitude changes a lot.  We can educate people via our replies to inquiries.  It doesnt always achieve anything, but every little bit helps. 

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