Hi Kim, thanks for your question about the payments feature.
HomeAway did recently launch a beta test of ReservationManager, a new online platform that simplifies the booking process. ReservationManager offers online guest payments via Visa, MasterCard, Discover and eCheck (ACH), payment scheduling, rental agreements, and online quotes.
At this time, however, the beta is open to a limited group of homeowners in order to test the product before we release it to all US homeowners who list on HomeAway.com Although we do not have an exact date, we hope to be in a position to release the product to all US HomeAway.com customers in early Summer.
I hope this helps, and if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Director Product Marketing, ReservationManager
Is this the same thing as the "Accepts Online Payments" link in HomeAway?
We accept payment online via PayPal.
We've been wondering how to get that "Accepts Online Payments" thing activated for our account, but I've never seen a place to activate it. Is that because it's actually connected to this invitation-only beta thing?
I've actually been meaning to ask a question about this. The "Accepts Online Payment" thing has been available and/or something that I could see on other people's listings for several months, but I've never figured out how to activate it for our own account.
At this time, the beta is open to a limited group of homeowners in order to test the product before we release it to all US homeowners who list on HomeAway.com Although we do not have an exact date, we hope to be in a position to release the product to all US HomeAway.com customers in early Summer.
Please read my response to kim.coleman abaout my lost e mails and comment when you have time.
Thanks so much !
Also, I have been told by support staff at Homeaway that Reservations Manager does not "like" macs, which is what I use.
I was copying and pasting a Rental Agreement ( the one you can download from the Homeaway site) and Reservations manager did fine with the changed text in the Rental Agreement, but in the product they title Booking Confirmation, the traveler received some "?" question mark characters after her first name, the dates and number in party.I went over this with support staff and we did a test. The support staff did not receive the "?" mark characters, but my copy shows that the traveler received the goofy "?" in her copy, so I felt I had to send her a seperate e mail and apologize.
I'm new to this forum and was looking for an answer.
I currently use paypal to accept credit cards and have tried to use the reservation manager to accept credit cards but it says to call the 800 number and i did twice and someone was suppose to call me back to see what the problem was but no one has at this time.
My question is we own a condo and rent it through vrbo ourselves, I also have a construction business which the condo is on the tax return of the business not personal. Can I use reservation manager to accept credit cards?
I have good news!
Yesterday I noticed that the Online Payments feature had become AVAILABLE for me on HomeAway.
All you need is your name and bank routing number, etc, to sign up.
It literally took less than 5 minutes to sign up! Woo-hoo !.... Except I spent about 20 minutes reading the Service Agreement, and I spent about 5 minutes on the phone clarifying some things with the HomeAway customer service agent. Okay, so half an hour, really.
But if you're not persnickety about contracts, like me, and if you're somebody who simply clicks "agree" without reading the Service Agreement ... it really will take less than 5 minutes to sign up.
This is a much easier process than what I had to go through with PPI.
Just be sure to have your checkbook with you, as you'll need to enter the routing number etc from your bank account.
Also I'm very excited to see that the rates are LOWER than what PPI offers.
At PPI, the merchant fee is 3.5% if they're not using a Rewards card, and 4.5% if they ARE using a Rewards card. (The 4.5% really hurts!!!)
The rate at this HomeAway Service (managed by Yapstone, what a terrible name) is:
2.5% normally, 3.75% for international cards.
That's at least a little bit better.
Also, the guest can choose Echeck payment instead of credit card and the fee is only 1%.
However, I don't know of any benevolent guest who will choose that, since everybody wants to get their "miles" and "rewards points," etc.
I'm very excited to see how this will all work. Apparently it's all part of an online reservation system. The person makes a payment, and the dates get automatically input on your HomeAway calendar.
What I'm really excited about is that I will have the "Accepts Online Payments" feature enabled on my HomeAway listing. I think that will really help me attract more clients.
I don't know yet how it's all going to work, but I want to say Thank You! And I am looking forward to trying this.
I was just alerted to this new payment option for credit cards and it looks promising. I'm trying to figure out how it works. I understand PayPal and have my account with them. How does it work if a traveler reserves with me and wants to pay by credit card through Homeaway? Is there something that I have to do and direct them to the proper place to pay? I don't want guests reserving dates without contacting me first but I just wasn't sure how this works. I looked at the Homeaway information on it but I couldn't see where they tell you exactly the process. I called Homeaway this morning to ask if this payment option would spread over to VRBO and VacationRentals.com where I have my properties also but they said it only works through Homeaway. It would be better if I sign up for this at one place and it would work on the other sites too.
What about Security Deposits? It looks like Reservation Manager is trying to charge a renter for the security deposit which I then have to remember to refund after their stay has ended. If so I pay 2.5% then refund 100%. Isnt there a way to have Reservation Manager put a "Security Hold" on their card for their stay, which simply gets released when no damages are discovered? The would be easier to manage and cheaper, no?
No, I don't think they allow us to the "hold" on it like we used to do.
We have to charge it and then refund it back.
If your security deposit is only $250, that's about $6.25 to charge it and $6.25 to refund it back. (Assuming they are domestic. If it's an international transaction, 3.75% of $250 it's $9.38 to charge it, and $9.38 to refund it back.)
Another thing I don't like is, they say that the amount must be FULLY REFUNDABLE prior to your cancellation date. But what about those of us who have a cancellation fee? And what about those of us who offer a pro-rated refund amount ... in other words, as the time gets closer, the guest would get less and less of their money back?
It's an online computerized system with only specific options to choose from.
So it doesn't allow for all possible situations, unfortunately.
The guests cannot reserve dates without contacting you first.
From my limited experience so far, I believe it works like this.
The guest makes an Inquiry through HomeAway.
Then you can call the guest and talk to them on the phone, or you can respond through the HomeAway e-mail system using their "quote" feature ... you can e-mail them separately from your own e-mail account ... you can communicate with them in any way you like. This part doesn't matter, for the online payment.
Once you and the guest have agreed on the price and the terms and all of that, using your regular methods that you feel comfortable with ....
THEN (this is the important part) ....
you go into the HomeAway system and find that person's reservation in your list of inquiries. Then you click on BOOK IT! When you do that, you will see various screens asking you for the amount of the booking, the amount of tax, the payment schedule, etc. We had to modify our standard payment schedule, based on this, because the Payment Schedule is based on drop-down lists. The number of days ahead of time when the payments are due can only be multiples of 15, like 15 days, 30 days, 45 days, etc. And you only have a choice of the guest paying the money as 1 lump sum, 2 payments, or 3 payments. And they always calculate it so that the security deposit is paid with the final payment.
For example, if you say that you want to do 3 payments.
You can select anything you like for the initial payment.
Let's say the total rental cost is $1500, and the refundable security deposit is $333.00.
Let's say your required initial reservation deposit is $800.00.
If you pick 3 payments, the HomeAway system will calculate the payment plans as follows:
Payment 1 (due now) = $800.00
Payment 2 = ($1500 - $800 ) / 2 = $350.00
Payment 3 = [ $1500 - $800 - $350 = $350 ] + $333.00 for security deposit = $683.00.
There is some flexibility, but you can only operate within the choices available from the drop-down lists.
Once you have input the appropriate info, you click the button to send the person an Invoice.
The person will then receive an e-mail. I haven't gotten to this point yet, but I believe there will be options in the e-mail for the person, perhaps links that they can click on, to pay by Echeck (domestic transactions only??) or credit card.
NOTE: After you sign up for the Payment System, you can try this out yourself. Go into your HomeAway reservations manager, and click BOOK IT! next to any of the inquiries you have received.
That's how I got in there and started experimenting.
And that's how I have this info to share, even though I haven't fully processed a payment with this system, yet.
Another thing to note is that if the guest found you through word of mouth or through FlipKey or some other site ... there will not be a reservation for them in HomeAway. So there will be nothing in there for you to click BOOK IT! on.
So .... my work around solution is, I go to my HomeAway listing, pretending to be the guest who wants to book with me. I input the exact dates that we have already agreed upon for the guest staying with me, being sure to input the guest's correct and real e-mail address. Then I submit the inquiry. Now I can go into the HomeAway system and click BOOK IT on this fake inquiry that I made for the guest. When I submit the information, the invoice will go to the guest's e-mail that I entered when I created the fake inquiry. And if the guest responds with payment, HomeAway will automatically book the calendar for the correct dates. (Assuming I entered the dates in correctly, when I made the fake inquiry.)
I got to thinking ... this system might come in handy for those situations when we have multiple guests vying for the same dates. We can send an invoice out to each one. After that it will literally become a race to see who submits their payment first. Because if HomeAway's computer system automatically marks the calendar as BOOKED, the instant one guy's payment goes through ... then I assume, when the second guy TRIES to submit his payment, HomeAway will come back with an error message ...
"SORRY, BUDDY! You missed the boat. Those dates are no longer available. (Fade out with the trumpet waah-waah.)"
(OK, hopefully they will think of a more diplomatic message, LOL! I know it is disappointing to miss out on a place you really wanted. Who knows, maybe the trumpet wah-wah sound will help people laugh through their tears.)
Anyway ... I hope that's how the HomeAway system works. Because if not, we would be in for some serious problems if multiple guests send payment for the same dates.
But I do wonder ... how "real time" does it happen? What if two payments are attempted for the same dates, within a minute of each other? Will the system freak out? Hopefully not. I'm sure HomeAway has got it all covered!
I hope you have copied these 2 emails to me with the explanations. You have gone over the top for me in explaining. If you have to tell even one more person how this works your hands will fall off. My problem with the trumpet waah waah is that I think of everyone as a potential guest either now or later or next year. However, I do love the sound effect. I was doing a perfectly sounded waah waah as I read your email. I sort of hate it when you have 3 parties inquiring for the same dates and it becomes a race to it. I think people think I'm hurrying them up when I tell them that you can't wait long when you are working with the internet. But, first come first serve. Waah Waah.
I will play around with Homeaway tonight and see how this all works. After reading your discussion I question how many owners are going to go to the lengths you have to make this happen. Most will probably just keep paying their processors all their extra fees and charges that drive me crazy. I stopped taking credit cards a couple of years ago because of it. That's why I became interested again if Homeaway's is doable and really doesn't cost any extra.
Thanks again for taking the time to explain to me this process. You have an excellent sense of humor. And not a bad trumpeter.
I'm glad someone appreciates the humor.
By the way, I am operating on very little sleep right now so I'm a little frazzled.
A few minutes after I sent the message about the trumpet waaah waaah, I though to myself ... trumpet? What the heck, it's a TROMBONE, not a trumpet, that makes that sound, isn't it???
But I've been running around taking care of things all day and didn't have time to go back and fix it.
OK, now back to the subject at hand.
When it comes to fees, the interesting thing is that PPI has now lowered its fees so that now its fees capped at 2.5%, which I really like. There is a big difference between 2.5% and 4.5%, which is the amount I used to pay when people were using rewards / points credit cards with PPI.
Check my thread about PPI's new pricing scheme.
I like using PPI because I can bill the person for the exact amount I want, on the exact schedule that makes the most sense for me. And I can charge cancellation fees and give partial refunds, etc.
That being said ... I am still kind of excited about this HomeAway system because it does make life blissfully easy. I replied to someone yesterday using the QUOTE feature (this is not part of the Payment System, but it's sort of related), and it took me only 5 minutes to respond. Normally I think it takes me more like 15 or 20 minutes to calculate everything and fomat it and put it all in the e-mail response for the person. And when the next morning these people wrote back wanting to book ... I though to myself, WOW ... all I have to do is go into HomeAway, click BOOK IT!, and ....
Paste in my Guest Rules
(this is one part I haven't mentioned before ... the system allows you to do a copy and paste of the Guest Rules .... and I assume this means the Guest will need to click on a box that says "I have read and agree to these terms and conditions" before submitting payment ... however, obviously, HomeAway SHOULD explain that for us ... spell out the process in black and white, instead of leaving us guessing!)
Hit "Send" and .. voila! BOOM! I'd be done.
I wouldn't even have to do my usual thing where I type up the Payment Contract, save it as a *.PDF, and open up a new e-mail, and attach that *.PDF file, and copy and paste the main info in the e-mail, and then e-mail it to the guy, and then wait for them to write back, saying they accept the Guest Rules. And then call them to answer any addtional questions and to get their credit card number.
The HomeAway system would eliminate so many of those annoying little steps.
So I might use it. We'll see.
I will still call the person before I send the invoice, though. I do think the phone call is really important.
But note that for international transactions, I am going to try to use PPI instead ... because they are only charging 2.5% instead of 3.75% (HomeAway's new rate for international transactions).
Thanks for the great questions and feedback. ReservationManager is designed to make managing your inquires, payments, and reservations easy. I wanted to help clarify a few of the items discussed in the thread:
- ReservationManager is now available to all US HomeAway.com owners with an active listing. Just look for the Payments link on the Property Home page to sign up
- Owners who signup with ReservationManager Payments will receive a “Accepts Online Payments” icon on their public traveler-facing listing
- Owners have complete control of their reservations. With an inquiry or reservation, you can send your guest a quote or schedule and send payment request emails in a few easy steps. With a payment request, guests receive a formatted email with a “Pay Now” button that links them to an online secure payment page (hint: from your payment details page, you can click the Traveler View link to see the payment page)
- As an owner, you can request a security deposit. Any payment that the guest has paid can be fully or partially refunded. You DO NOT pay transaction fees when you refund a payment.
- ReservationManager does not enable “Holds” on credit cards. Holds, and their subsequent cancellation, incurs extra processing fees and would increase the credit card processing rates you pay.
- Guests are required to agree to your Rental Agreement before making the online payment
- When the guest makes the first online payment, ReservationManager will automatically move the guest to your calendar and reservation list as "reserved".
- You and the guest will receive a receipt email when a payment is made
- ReservationManager won’t allow overlapping “reserved” reservations on your calendar. If a guest tries to make a first payment for dates that are already booked on your calendar, they will receive a message to contact you for help
- ReservationManager will send the guest a payment reminder email for future payments
- If you get an inquiry from another source (ie Craigslist, Flipkey) and you want to use ReservationManager, simply create a new “Tentative” reservation using the reservation list or calendar (make sure you enter the guests email!) and then use the BookIT! button to schedule and send payment requests. Once the first payment is made, the reservation will be changed to a “Reserved” state.
- We dont have a timeframe yet, but we plan to make ReservationManager available to VRBO owners
Visit http://reservationmanager.com/howitworks for more information and to view videos on how ReservationManager works.
Please keep the feedback coming!
HomeAway Product Manager
Pete, thank you for the detailed response!
Some beefs I have with what you wrote ....
1) I didn't see anything in the Rates info which explained that we will get all the fees refunded for any money that is returned to the customer. This is important info (and very helpful!). Please add that info if you haven't already.
2) Have you guys done away with the little drop down boxes that restrict what people are able to do? When I looked in there a few days ago, there were only drop down boxes for making 1, 2, or 3 payments, and the only choices of when those payments would be made, were like 15, 30 days in advance, etc. And the formula calculated the amounts for you. The only payment I could manually input was the very first one. After that, there were no choices for me and the HomeAway software calculated the other payments according to its own method.
3) When I was in there, the HomeAway system had a canned cancelllation policy that was something like "All amounts FULLY REFUNDABLE for cancellations up to ___ days in advance." The only choice we had, was to choose either 15, 30, 45, 60 days, etc for the cancellation deadline, from the drop-down box. There was no option for deleting that sentence from the Payment Contract. From the way it was set up, it looked like I had to agree to make the amounts "fully refundable up to ____ days in advance." Have you deleted this "canned" cancellation wordage from the system? Or did I somehow misinterpret it, or was there some screen with additional options that I didn't click on?
This is all based on my memory of the experience, from when I went in to the reservation system a few days ago and yesterday. I do not have time right now to go in there and check on it again, but if you changed the system since how it was yesterday, that's great!
This is my first time posting to the Community, but in light of the new changes to the HomeAway payments feature I've become motivated to share my thoughts. I have listed our vacation rental on HomeAway for 3 years, and have been very happy with the service. Initially I was concerned that my apprehension to the new Reservation Manager was simply an aversion to change, but as I continue to live with it I have uncovered a number of considerations that make it unusable for me (and possibly you).
1) While Pete mentions that there are no transaction fees for returned deposits, he neglects to remind you that you had to pay transaction fees to receive the deposit initially. For example, if a tenant pays $500 for your refundable deposit, you'll have paid $12.50 to receive that payment. When you refund the $500 (as Pete said) you will not be charged an ADDITIONAL $12.50 on the refund. Alternatively, when using PayPal, the $12.50 in fees is refunded to you when you process a refund (if processed within 60 days from the payment date). Considering my receipts for our 2010 rentals, it would cost me $621.25 to use the "new" system on returned deposits alone.
2) Additionally, while at first blush the very competitive fees of 2.5% seems attractive, the addition of the 1.25% for international tenants is also a deal breaker. 1/3rd of my 2010 renters were international (HomeAway considers anything outside of the US as international, including Canada and Mexico). By considering the processing fees for domestic and international renters the "new" system would have cost me an additional $61 last year. Not a lot of money, but added with the additional fees above and we're talking serious cost.
3) Lastly, sfvacationhut makes a great point about the "fully refundable" fees - by this language, when I refund their "full" amount, I'll have to eat the credit card processing fees. If they're an international renter who pays $2500 for their stay, and they cancel within the appropriate amount of time, I'll have to pay the [close to] $100 in initial credit card fees. At the very least they "fully refundable" statement should allow for processing fees to be excluded. Or maybe the "cancellation" fee drop down could include a "see attached contract" for more information (where I could better explain the cancellation policy)?
Now, many of my concerns could be remedied by allowing the processing fees to be paid by the renter (or, allow for the processing fees to be refunded with a refund/cancellation like PayPal). But that option does not exist in the current system, and I don't want to jack up my nightly rate unnecessarily in anticipation.
More then anything, I'm disappointed because the Reservation Manager offers so many other great tools and features, but if I have to accept all of the limitations by the 3rd party credit card processing company in this "all or nothing" approach from HomeAway I'm left out in the cold.
Thanks for indulging my verbose post,
HomeAway Property #221506
Awesome, thorough post!
I'm not really sure HomeAway or their Merchant Card Processing partners "get" the vacation rental industry. They clearly don't understand deposit fees taken with credit cards. Not surprised though. From my discussions with many during the Summit, it was clear that none of the employees owned short-term vacation rentals.
I was equally disturbed, after attending the Summit, that the Damage Insurance (from $39 - $59) was a policy COVERING THE RENTER, not the Homeowner. We were told to do both - accept damages deposits, but also buy the $39 coverage to insure damages. Did you know that the Renter receives an e-mail stating that their damages are covered, once you purchase the Insurance for their stay? How ridiculous is that? I go to the trouble of covering myself for renters that may damage my property, with a damages deposit, and then CSA sends an email to the guests letting them know that they are covered. I bought over $300 worth of damages insurance from CSA, before this was explained to me. Needless to say, it's a useless form if Insurance for property owners, and actually (in my mind anyway) encourages guests to be careless.
Thanks for your feedback everyone!
Fee Refunds – Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the topic of fees on refunded payments with VacationRentPayment, the initial payments service provider integrated into ReservationManager. Today, VacationRentPayment has informed us that they will be updating their pricing protocols so that all fees paid on payments that are subsequently refunded will also be refunded to you (i.e. there is no cost/obligation to you on traveler payment transactions that are refunded). VacationRentPayment may have additional details to share as they roll this out, but I wanted to let everyone know that this pricing change is on its way! My understanding is that the software development to make this happen is being worked on now and should be implemented later this summer. I will keep you informed as I learn more.
Property Damage Protection – While it’s true that the Property Damage Policy is “covering” your guests, it’s covering them for accidental damages they cause to YOUR property with YOU as the beneficiary of any settlement. In this regard, the policy is quite unique as our insurance partner, CSA, deals directly with you, the homeowner, not the guest for any claims. Regarding concerns that guests who are aware of the policy are more likely to cause damage, CSA’s experience (over tens of thousands of policies) is that they have never seen a guest intentionally damage a home because a policy was in place. This product may not be right for every situation, however, we believe it provides expanded protection above a typical damage deposit and eliminates the hassle of collecting and refunding deposits for you and your guests. Here’s a brief article which explains Property Damage Protection further: http://community.homeaway.com/docs/DOC-2002
I hope these updates are helpful and thanks again for your input - we greatly appreciate it.
Director, ReservationManager Product Marketing
Hi everyone -
I want to let you know that our payment partner VacationRentPayment has updated their code and all processing fees are now refunded for any payment refunds to your guests.
For example, if you collect a $1,000 credit card payment from a guest, and receive $975 in your bank account ($1k minus $25 (2.5%) processing fee). You then refund $250 to the guest and pay no additional fees to do so. When refunding money to a guest, you will also be refunded the transaction fee for the amount refunded, for this example that amount would be $6.25. ($250 refunded to guest, 2.5% of $250 is $6.25).
Enjoy the holiday weekend.
I just did the booking reservation form and when I create the rental agreement and send to guest for payment it sends multiple other properties to compare rate before paying......?? Anyone know if this is going to change to be specific to an owners property. I sure don't want to spend my time creating a rental agreement and then send payment link with other properties to compare rates because my property does not compare to some of the properties it compares mine to on the booking form??
The reservation payment invoice needs to be customized to the owners property at this point??
That is the most egregious fault of them all! There is NO WAY I would use/support/recommend a system in which, after I've put all of the work into securing a renter, they are offered comps at the time of booking!! I'm actually shocked that HomeAway would be that opportunistic.
Has anyone else had the same experiences as coastal1?
In response to the posts http://community.homeaway.com/message/5000#5000 and
When you create a quote or payment request, ReservationManager sends a formatted email to your guest and sends you an owner copy. The payment request email contains all the relevant data about the potential reservation, the thumbnail picture of your property, a link to your properties page, a link to your rental agreement, your contact information, and the message you entered. There are NO comparable properties or rates on these emails.
Here is a screenshot of a payment request email (owner copy):
Thanks and keep the feedback coming!
HomeAway Product Manager
The guest version looks exactly like the owner copy with two changes:
- We remove the "(Owner Copy)" language in the subject line of the email
- We remove the "Owner - For your records this is a copy of the email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org" section
Otherwise, everything else is identical. This same pattern applies to all emails you send to your guest through ReservationManager This ensures you have copies of all correspondence in your personal email client.
Here is screenshot of the guest version:
HomeAway Product Manager
In case you didn't see it, I wanted to point you to Patrick's latest post in the Reservation Management Group. Good news in that HomeAway's payment partner, VacationRentPayment, has updated their code and all processing fees are now refunded for any payment refunds to your guests.
All the best,
Hi everyone -
I wanted to let you know about a weekly ReservationManager webinar where we'll provide an online product demonstration followed by questions and answers between you and the ReservationManager product team.
We look forward to your participation!
Laura & Patrick, this is great news.
I could not participate in the webinar, but it sounds like it was a great learning opportunity!
Two questions I wish I could asked, if I had been able to attend the webinar ..
1) Can we use the Reservation Manager to process just the initial deposit only, for example if we have a client who wants to mail us regular personal checks for the main bill portion, but who wants to be sure to send us her initial deposit in asap, to secure the reservation?
2) Is there a way that we can specify on the invoice, before sending it out, that we will be asking for payment by Echeck only (not credit card)? I'm sure that in some instances we will want to accept credit card ONLY (for example in the case of international transactions) from that customer. In other instances we will want to accept Echeck only ... for example, if we are giving that particular customer a discounted room rate for using Echeck instead of credit card ... in that case, we would want to limit that particular invoice, so that it only accepts payment by Echeck. It would be great if there is away for us to specify that each particular invoice is vaid for Echeck only, Credit card only, or BOTH types of transactions. Is it possible ??
I don't know why, I thought the webinar had already passed.
Now I see there are more webinars coming up at 12 noon next week and the weeks following that.
I plan to sign up for one of these.
(But of course in the meantime I would love it if you can provide the answers to my questions, if the info is available ... )
1) Yes, you may use ReservationManager to process the deposit only. Simply schedule the reservation payments as normal and have your guest pay their initial payment online. Then, when ReservationManager send you the reminder email 10 day before the next payment is due, login to your account and mark the upcoming payment as paid to cancel any payment request emails from being sent to your guests. Note: once you mark the payment as paid, you will need to remind your guests to send you a check in the mail. ReservationManager will think the payment has been received.
2) I just posted on another thread on this topic - view my response.
3) Please join us next Wed or another time for our live Webinar - feedback has been very positive! Sign up
I starting using the "Payments" feature a couple of months ago and I love it. It is so easy to use. I can see everything I need to know with a click or two. And having bookings, inquiries, calendar and payment info all in one place makes my life so much easier.
PayPal is a great service, but with "Payments" it's no longer necessary to coordinate between the two services to stay on top of your rental finances.
When a renter pays, I don't even know how they paid, the money just shows up in my account that I set up. Very easy to make refunds too!
Along with the Payments feature I started using the damage deposit insurance. It's great not having to keep track of damage deposits. You can add the fee into the price of your rental.
Very happy with these enhanced services!
Bomoseen, VT rental
There is a possible BIG general problem using Reservation Manager that three support staff and two of their "leads" ( bosses) were not aware of at Homeaway!!! They said nothing could be done- but they were wrong !
I was receiving an initial inquiry from travelers (and a text) from Reservations Manager - and then their second or third inquiries were not coming into reservations manager, but my separate gmail account instead ! I could not understand this, as I made sure my e mail was NOT listed anywhere on the public Homeaway site. It turns out that I needed to DELETE my gmail under Reservation Manager in "Settings" under my name in the "respond as available template" and "respond as unavailable template".If you do not do this, and expect all inquiries and subsequent conversations to come to you in Reservations Manager- they will not- you will lose bookings if you do not check your other e mail account regularly. Just make sure you delete any e mail under settings in the template section and all inquiries will be sent to Reservations manager.The traveler will be forced to hit the "reply" button or call you, if you list a phone number. My e mail was automatically put in the template section for me when I signed up for Reservations Manager, and was not put there by me. I had to remove it manually.Only one support staff had this information and was able to help me with this.
I've just signed up for VRBO's new payment system and have several questions. My current reservations have already paid a $250 security deposit using PayPal. I'd like to schedule payment reminders using the new system. Here's the problem. If I click on the "Book It" option and then select the one payment option, I can only select the "due now" date. What I want to do is advance schedule reminders with the balance due 15-days before their arrival. Looks like the only way to do this is manually schedule the reminder for each reservation 2-weeks before it's due. Not convenient at all.
Once someone has paid in full, how do I flag this fact on their reservation? I tried adding a note, but it doesn't show on the reservation page unless I open each reservation individually. That's a hassle, especially if I'm going to have to track the dates and manually send out payment reminders.
Any help would be appreciated. Jennifer
Hey, guess what kids? Something I bet y'all didn't know about Homeaway's/VRBO's Reservation Manager and how it uses your Guest data to manipulate. Did you know that if you use Reservation Manager, your Guest will be AUTOMATICALLY ASKED TO INPUT GUEST COMMENTS to your listing, just hours after their scheduled departure????? Why were we not notified of this important detail?? Imagine if you haven't even had the time to inspect the property for damages! Looks like just another example of Homeaway's/VRBO's strong-armed tactics to control OUR Guest/Owner relationship, all the way down to acting on our behalf without our knowledge. My suggestion? Do NOT use Reservation Manager!!
Actually, this has been the case for a couple of years based on the dates provided by a prospective guest in their inquiry form on our websites. It has nothing to do with what is entered in ReservationManager. So if you manually enter reservations that came in from another source, that guest information is not captured in our inquiry system, and nothing is sent to those guests post departure.
Hope that helps!
With all due respect to HA/VRBO, etc. these are reasons I do not and will not use their Reservation Manager. I also never include detailed info about my guests when I update my calendar. I use a code, or name that I know, but offer no contact information about my guests. In this day and age, any information you provide on line will eventully be used as a marketing tool. ( I found THAT out by running a test when a good friend booked our home). He's STILL getting VRBO spam)
There are so many options available for credit card processing now, and I prefer to manage my own client lists .
Yes, I'm old school, but my system works for me just fine. And, I maintain control over as much as I possibly can, on the email junk mail my guests get.
I'd feel horrible if my guests got emails phising for reviews before they've even gotten home! It's important to me that I be the first one to contact them, after our home's been inspected. If they HAD any problems they neglected to let me know about during their stay I can then make the decision of how to proceed.!!! I once sent a guest a $100 Visa gift card because of a shower issue- and got a splendid reveiw.
HA/VRBO state that they are not an involved party between the traveler and the owner, but it sure seems as though they interject themselves into MY private business more than any other site I advertise on.
Owners, beware and make sure you know what you're getting into before you sign up for RM.( and what you put on your VRBO calendar, as well)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts from a Homeaway/VRBO Employees perspective, however, you are completely misinformed.
I personally have been renting VRBO's for over 10 years, which obviously includes many years prior to Homeaway's buyout of VRBO and the introduction of "Reservation Manager" recently, and they have NEVER requested a submission of a Guest Comment from me (as a renter) until only very recently, when I rented from a Property Owner who (unfortunately for them), chose to utilize Reservation Manager.
I've also been a VRBO Homeowner/Manager for over 6 years, and have never heard from any of my former Guests that they had received a solicitation from Homeaway/VRBO for Guest Comments immediately after their stay (other than from myself directly, as Property Owner). Fortunately for myself, I was very apprehensive about using any of Homeaway's/VRBO's applications, since I've felt nothing but hostility from Homeaway with regards to the Homeowners (mandatory Guest Comment participation, guest spamming of "alternate properties you might like" after a guest inquires about my property, etc., etc.)
Think about your comment, stating: "Actually, this has been the case for a couple of years based upon the dates provided by a prospective guest in their inquiry form on our websites."
That just doesn't make ANY sense! Your implication is that all INQUIRIES have been sent solicitations for Guest Comments from Homeaway/VRBO, immediately after the INQUIRER'S departure date, even if they never actually rented the property??
Further, how would Homeaway/VRBO know if a guest rented a property or not, UNLESS the Owner used Reservation Manager, confirming an actual rental?
Please provide further details on the why and how Homeaway/VRBO sends solicitations for Guest Comments, by ANY other means than by the Reservation Manager system.
Additionally, please provide evidence that Homeaway/VRBO provided prior notification to Homeowners that the Reservation Manager system would also be used to solicit Guest Comments, if in fact it is being used as I suspect.
Concerned Property Owner
The email you are referring to is the post stay email which is sent to the guest after their check-out date. These emails are based on calendar stay dates for that guest and are only sent to guests who have inquired through the HomeAway network. Guests always have the option to un-subscribe from HomeAway emails. The post stay email first launched in 2008.
ReservationManager was launched March of 2011 to simplify the rental process, offer low cost online payments (eChecks are now free!), and provide a secure payment method for guests. ReservationManager automatically adds guests to the calendar after the first payment as a convience to the owner and to ensure that properties are not double booked. The goal is to provide the best guest experience and mitigate any potential issues.
So to clarify, not all inquiring guests are sent post stay emails, only inquiring guests who have a calendar reservation.
I hope this helps.
Thanks for responding Pete. "So to clarify, not all inquiring guests are sent post stay emails, only inquiring guests who have a calendar reservation."
To make sure I understand then, if we do not input the guests name/info on the calendar, no inquiries will be sent a post-stay email? I have never included guest information on the calendar for just this type of none of your business usage from VRBO/HA, so I guess I was right to only block out dates?
I love the ease of reservation manager and have some feedback for features that we think should be improved: 1. PLEASE have the PDP (property damage protection) taken out when the guest pays in full. Having this taken out first presents a problem if the guest cancels and since the reservation is not "official" until payment in full is received, it does not make sense to pull this out on the first payment made. We have guest pay a deposit with the balance due by 30 days before check-in. and 2. The check in/out time featuere is a neat feature but it always defaults to a 4 pm check in time, which is not our policy. Please offer an option to disable this or better yet, allow me to choose my default time and not have to change it every time we have a booking. Other than those and some minor HTML issues, we love Reservation Manager!