ReservationManager™ is HomeAway’s new reservation management software designed for individual homeowners. Visit www.ReservationManager.com for more information.
A few weeks ago at the annual HomeAway Summit, I had the opportunity to meet with homeowners and property managers and I posed a simple question to the group: how many folks paid for their hotel stay with a check? Other than a few quizzical looks, the room was filled with a deafening silence.
The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we do things. We’ve come to expect the efficiency and convenience of shopping online and booking travel accommodations is no exception. Popular travel sites such as Expedia and Priceline.com have made the process of selecting and booking hotel accommodations simple and fast. The ability to pay online by credit cards enables travelers to finance vacations, not to mention accrue credit card reward points.
To help travelers discover the benefits of vacation rentals, and thereby maximize the results we deliver to your rental businesses, HomeAway believes we must “eCommerce – enable” our category. This translates into providing your guests the option to make easy and secure payments online. In fact, this initiative is so important that we’ve made it one of our strategic priorities for the coming years.
So you might be thinking, “Okay, accepting traveler payments online is certainly easier and faster than waiting for checks in the mail, but my booking process is where I need the most help. And I don’t want to pay more than 3% for credit card processing! How will you HELP ME?!”
Over the past 3 years, I’ve heard from thousands of vacation rental owners via market research surveys and focus groups, HomeAway Seminars, and 1x1 interviews over the phone, email, and in person.
Here’s what you told us about booking guests:
• Turning inquiries into bookings takes a lot of time and effort: you’d like to simplify the booking process
• You want tools to decrease “busy-work” (data entry, reminding guests of payments due, etc.), increase your productivity, and keep you organized
• You’d like to provide a more professional and consistent guest service, while maintaining control of the booking and screening processes
• You want to spend less for online payment processing - or figure out how to accept online payments in the first place, and
• You’d like a consolidated view of guest and reservation information across all HomeAway, Inc. marketing sources (HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, etc.)
We’ve heard your needs and ReservationManager is our solution.
ReservationManager is meant to simplify your overall booking process by making it easy for you to respond to inquiries, generate quotes and rental agreements, and offer online payments to your guests. In addition to simplifying your booking process, we’ve used our scale to deliver standout pricing, saving you money:
• 2.5% Visa, MasterCard, and Discover card processing
• 1% eCheck (ACH) processing
And it’s important to note that neither the credit card nor eCheck payment options involve hidden costs – no set-up, no monthly or per transaction fees, and no long-term commitment.
ReservationManager is now available to all U.S. homeowners who list on HomeAway.com, and we are working to enable online payments for non-U.S. homeowners. And while we don’t yet have a specific date, we plan to offer ReservationManager to VRBO.com homeowners too.
Visit www.ReservationManager.com to learn more. And, if you'd like to see how ReservationManager works, join us for an online product demonstration followed by questions and answers with the ReservationManager product team. View upcoming dates and register now.
I look forward to receiving your feedback and suggestions on ways to make ReservationManager even better. If you have questions, suggestions, or simply want to continue the Reservation Manager conversation, please check out these discussions:
To stay up-to-date on new ReservationManager features and enhancements please join the ReservationManager Group.
As always, we’re here to serve you – our success depends on it.
Director, ReservationManager Product Marketing