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VRBO, HomeAway etc needs a mobile app. The primary reason is that owners that rent, use their phones for calls. They can use their PHONE anywhere in the US, the World, etc. The phone is available in any situation and very convenient. Why have to wait and remember to go back to your desktop/laptop computer in a few hours and add all the details? This functionality should be available via the phone, just like email, facebook, twitter, etc. It could even be additional revenue generation for the company.
The HomeAway App for iPhone/iPad was updated recently to provide some of the ReservationManager functionality. Click the Account button and enter your account info. I haven't been able to try it out since it only works if you list on HomeAway and I only list on VRBO. I'm told its a subset of the functionality of ReservationManger, but hopefully it will grow over time. I don't know if there's an Android version.
If you have an iPhone or iPad you can also check out my app called Vacation Props. I built the app because I needed a way to quickly and easily respond to inquires and knew that the majority of my inquiries could be handled with a simple wizard interface that automactically determined if my property was available, created a quote automatically using configured seasonal rates, and used email templates that get filled in with information from the inquiry and my property. My users and I can respond to most of our inquiries without any typing unless the guest asks a specific question. The app has been available since August of 2011 and I update it regularly. In fact, there's a major release awaiting approval in the App Store right now. See the links below for more information.
Creator of Vacation Props, an innovative iPhone/iPad app to manage vacation properties and quickly respond to inquiries
I have used the HA iPhone app and it is basically a 1.0 version. I can only bet they will have a neat app with more Reservation Manager functionality soon. Without custom rate quotes it really does not do much.
However, I have used the iPhone app vacation props (mentioned below) to quickly respond to over 240 HA and VRBO inquiries in the past 4 months. It's pretty cool.
I have seen my bookings increase and it is surely due in part to being able to respond within seconds on the go with this app. You can key in your various rates too. The app works with iPad too.
Now I even use it to follow up with confirmations, check in instructions, and review requests, with email templates that make it custom to the reservation.
Between this app and reservation manager, my part time business has been highly automated, so much so that I am confidently adding 2 more properties soon!
Ricky Cox, MBA, PMIC
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"It's your vacation, keep your eye on the Horizon"
This sounds like an advertisement more than a realistic review.
I see the app, have read reviews.
I need an app with a VRBO calendar sync option.
I have no interest in using it to simply answer a message. I need it to update the calendar as well. Otherwise I still have to go to my computer and update the calendar. VRBO should have a seamless app solution..it only makes sense, just like eBay/Paypal/etc.
Lol. Fair enough. But remember where we were a year ago.
Instead of going to my computer at night to reply to inquiries, I now go to reservation manager to "book it" for folks I quoted throughout the day on my phone with this little app.
If you use RM your calendar will update when they pay and you can then mark it reserved on the app. I agree HA and VRBO's app should have more capabilities and that was my point. But it is new, and way better than 12 months ago without RM.
As far as an advertisement, I may have gotten carried away, but this $10 iPhone app and RM (from laptop) both have saved me lots of time as last year I used PayPal to get paid (tons of data entry on laptop) and lots of cut n paste text fields to reply to inquiries from my phone for various properties.
I guess it depends on what part of the process you're trying to optimize. For me, I answer 10 or more inquiries for every reservation and since I have a day job I need to be as effecient as possible. When I get a reservation I use Reservation Manager to find the inquiry and add it to the calendar. It's pretty painless if you only have a small number of properties. Hopefully Vacation Props will get calendar synchronization with VRBO/HomeAway in the not too distant future. There's no good supported way to do that currently, but I'm hopeful that will change.
Yesterday we launched a new mobile app for iPhone (and other Apple products).
Some of the upgraded capabilities:
We’ll have a date for Android release soon.
Download the app in the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/homeaway/id416091677?mt=8