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      • 240. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
        Contributor

        They won't ever change it back!  We can only hope that they will hold off implementing it on VRBO.  I list on both so I send my HA guests to my VRBO listing to enter a review.  It has helped some but still a lot of trouble for the guests.

         

        We will probably get in trouble from one of the ambassadors for getting off topic!  Put your hand out and get ready to be slapped!  I don't think it is off topic to discuss the way HA does business.  They decide what is best for them and implement it.  What they think is best for them is to capture as much data from our guests and the owners as possible.  They might lose a few owners but that is insignificant to them.  Only time will tell how it works out for them.

        • 241. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
          hankd Contributor

          <<A. Yes. Our current plan is that you will be able to see the email address after you have logged in and responded to the traveler’s inquiry. >>

           

          I find this totally unacceptable.

           

          If HA/VRBO tries to get between us and our customer with out giving us the option of responding directly to the customer, I will vehemently object!

           

          I hope you are mis-informed.

           

          Hank Drayton

          www.VRBO.com/393

          • 242. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
            swlinphx Premier Contributor

            They won't ever change it back!  We can only hope that they will hold off implementing it on VRBO.  I list on both so I send my HA guests to my VRBO listing to enter a review.

            Every change made to VRBO in the past year or so has been to make it more and more indistinguishable from HomeAway.  Whether it was from getting rid of the number of photos ranking and introducing a paid tier ranking system, to ReservationManager integration, to log-in information being synced, you can be sure that soon the only difference between the two will be the name, color scheme and individual property listings with each (although some will still list with both), as well as the fact that you will still have to pay separately to advertise on each.  Next big change: VRBO will soon change their "Rates" section to be both month and year-specific like HomeAway, instead of the current text field approach.

            • 243. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
              mike-dfv Community All-Star

              I hate signing up for things because I know my information will be kept and I'll get unwanted mail and more. There is no way, as a person renting a property, that I would ever sign up to post a review.

               

              Mike

              • 244. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                Contributor

                What about Listing Sort Order that is used to determine where your listing will be displayed in relation to other listings.  VRBO used to be based on number of pictures you purchased and your tenure with VRBO.  When I started I purchased the 16 photo option so I could display the maximum number of pictures.  Since I was new to VRBO I ended up about in the middle of hundreds of listings.  Guests had to page many times before they would come to my listing.  When they changed to the new tier pricing I ended up about at the same place since most are paying top tier price.  So, I changed to the lowest tier (still get all pictures as top tier), saved some money and still get inquiries at the bottom of the list.  Maybe they would rethink their tier pricing if everyone purchased the lowest tier!

                HomeAway Listing Sort Order is something else!  They added “Reservation Manager” to the sort sequence.  Here is where you get penalized for not using something that HA thinks is best for you!  Don’t forget that giant “Payment” badge you get you if you use “their” payment method.  Scroll over the badge and it will tell you it is the “most secure” way to make payments.  I guess everyone else must not have a secure way to pay!!  They are getting ready to add this giant badge to VRBO listings soon.

                Anyway, if you have a VRBO listing, here is the difference between HA and VRBO.  My guess is that the sequence used in HA will be coming to your VRBO listing soon!  Notice how they state the sort sequence in the HomeAway Sort Order description – “in no particular order”.  What is that?  I got these descriptions from their help screens for owners.

                 

                VRBO Sort Order

                While subscription level determines the level at which your listing will be ranked on your area’s search results page, tenure is the criteria used to determine how you rank when compared to other owners who have purchased the same level as you.

                 

                HomeAway Sort Order

                The factors that determine sort order include (in no particular order):

                -    Regular calendar updates (based on last calendar update)

                -    Accepting online payments through ReservationManager

                -    Total number of reviews and average star ratings

                -    Number of photos posted

                -    Keeping your rates current

                -    Choosing the closest zoom level on your map

                • 245. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                  swlinphx Premier Contributor

                  VRBO Sort Order

                  While subscription level determines the level at which your listing will be ranked on your area’s search results page, tenure is the criteria used to determine how you rank when compared to other owners who have purchased the same level as you.

                  Are you sure the only ranking within the same tier is tenure/seniority?  That is basically the listing number then.  How do you know they don't also rank on calendar updates, reviews, etc?

                  • 246. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                    Contributor

                    That is what they say in their Owner Help for VRBO.  If you look at the listings for VRBO you will see they are sequenced by listing number. You can follow the listing numbers and when they go down, that starts a new lower tier.  This is the "current" listing sequencing.  How long do you think it will take before it becomes more like HA?

                    • 247. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                      swlinphx Premier Contributor

                      I'd give it 6 months (a year tops) until the two are virtually indistinguishable in how they operate.  It will be kind of like having a HomeAway/VRBO #1 and HomeAway/VRBO #2, where you have to pay twice to get your listing to appear in both.

                      • 248. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
                        tsvr Contributor

                        Most of us (as owners) don't like/want to sign up for things on the internet but (if this new procedure is true) HA expects our renters to (for some reason) feel differently...when I'm not sure they are even going to understand HA's reasoning behind it.

                        • 249. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
                          swlinphx Premier Contributor

                          Most of us (as owners) don't like/want to sign up for things on the internet but (if this new procedure is true) HA expects our renters to (for some reason) feel differently...when I'm not sure they are even going to understand HA's reasoning behind it.

                          Are you talking about travelers/site browsers creating accounts with HomeAway?  I'm assuming the reasoning is much like is done with other travel sites.  Accessing your browsing and reservation history, saved or favorite properties, past reviews, etc.

                          • 250. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                            Contributor

                            Interesting sidebar.. The HA Community Newsletter email sent today includes the following Popular Discussions.  I took a look at the # of views to see how "popular" they really are and have listed the # of views below.  Interesting that any  discussions related to HA business practices were not included (for example, this current discussion on the dashboard sign to respond to inquiries has 7600 views as of now!):

                             

                            Popular Discussions

                             

                             

                            Asking guests not to return  1604 views
                            Septic tank limitations  719 views
                            Insurance for a service animal  478 views
                            Rental software for a Mac? 375 views
                            • 251. Re: Your Solutions Now Needed! log-in to dashboard to respond to inquiries. See my 6/23 post page 9!
                              swlinphx Premier Contributor

                              Good detective work!  That goes to show that the topics that are referenced in the e-mail updates are not computer-generated or based on the actual top threads and view count.

                               

                              Definitely a little sneaky on their part, although I can't say I'm not surprised they wouldn't want to advertise and bring attention to the HomeAway-critical or disgruntled threads.

                              • 253. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
                                beachgal Contributor

                                This will completely change the way I do business.  I prescreen inquiries via social media sites, etc.  I respond immediately to all inquiries and thus stay booked well in advance.  I do not enter all guest info and keep my own system of emails with templates for inquiries and billing.  I believe potential guests will find logging onto the system unacceptable and we will all lose business.  If this becomes reality as proposed, I may need to reconsider whether the fees and heavy hand of "big brother" vrbo is worth staying with.

                                • 254. Re: Your Input Needed! you must log-in to your dashboard to respond to inquiries
                                  New Member

                                  I do not like the idea of having to log onto the site to respond to a request,  Like many of you I keep the string of emails between us and the guests and I pre-screen emails.  This is going to slow down response time and I also believe that guests will start looking at other sites that are easier to use.  We have started getting more requests from other (non HA and VRBO) sites that we advertise on.  Maybe guests are already starting to look elsewhere.

                                  Will we get a phone number with the initial inquiry?

                                   

                                  Over the years both HA and VRBO have become more difficult to use.  They charge more and service the homeowners less. 

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