9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 2, 2019 10:42 PM by green_mango RSS

    Review Request Manually

    nvanders Contributor

      Good morning all

       

      Was hoping that someone might be able to confirm what I believe is yet another feature that went away in Homewawy? We recently had a guest stay at our new listing we are trying to get reviews on to become premier partner like our others.

       

      However, this guest only inquired through VRBO and then paid us directly using Paypal. I did go ahead and change her reservation on VRBO to reserved and it currently shows as Post Stay status. I was hoping/thinking I would be able to go in and either request a review by clicking said link or by manually doing and putting in their email to send it over like we used to be able to do. It appears however that this feature is now gone....or it moved and I can not find it anywhere. Am I missing something or can I no longer request reviews from folks that don't pay through Homeaway/VRBO?

       

      Thanks in advance I appreciate all the insight you guys have shared with me recently on payments and Homeway's customer service, and I look forward to future discussions as Im studying door locks too! Happy renting everyone!

        • Re: Review Request Manually
          bonesxxx Active Contributor

          You can use the Vrbo calendar to manually add any reservation but, if you don't use the platform for the actual transaction, then it doesn't exist in Vrbo's world... it could be a FlipKey reservation or an ABB reservation that you manually entered.  The fact that the guest sent you an inquiry doesn't make it a Vrbo reservation.  Unfortunately you cannot request a review from them (actually you can but only to have it go onto your Facebook or Google Business account).

           

          From the sounds of things, you took a Vrbo inquiry and lead the guest off platform for the booking/payment?

           

          I'd be careful about that... it's a violation of the platform T&C and can result in being delisted. 

            • Re: Review Request Manually
              nvanders Contributor

              Hmm ok well wont be doing that again I guess! They had asked for an alternate method of payment and I guess I did not know (doesn't make it ok) that we couldn't allow other forms of payment as we used to be able to accept Paypal, checks etc and then manually add reviews a few years back.

               

              Based on what it sounds like you are saying that has all changed and I need to read the fine print. I do appreciate your insight here and will ensure we aren't doing that again that for sure; just wondered where some of the old features went I guess as you used to be able to do this sort of thing without issue but I do understand it probably was producing a lot of "fake" reviews for some as well.

                • Re: Review Request Manually
                  bonesxxx Active Contributor

                  Yes VRBO changed from VRBO to Vrbo and, in the interim, has redefined itself... It went from a quaint web platform where vacation rental owners could market their properties to family travellers to a full online travel agent with a focus on the traveller (not the owners) and the traveller service fees it collects... much has changed -- including ownership when VRBO was acquired by Expedia.

                   

                  Much has changed. Now they compete with ABB almost feature to feature with very little differentiation -- in fact they even allow single room rentals now (whether officially or not, they are listed).

                   

                  Onward and upward comrade...

              • Re: Review Request Manually
                feibus Senior Contributor

                Reviews off-platform should go to Facebook or your own web site.  I always recommend to people all the ways they can leave a review and one dogged guest left me reviews in 3 places just because...

                  • Re: Review Request Manually
                    nvanders Contributor

                    probably a whole other thread but do you have recommendations for direct booking platforms/sites or channel managers that allow such things; and how you might "market" said site to the masses on a smaller budget if one were to move away from these sites?

                  • Re: Review Request Manually
                    scowol Active Contributor

                    P.S.  Since you mentioned that your goal is to become a Premier Partner, you are definitely moving in the opposite direction to becoming a Premier Partner by booking a reservation offline (i.e., not via HomeAway/Vrbo online payments).  In fact, it can be a violation of the terms and conditions. 

                      • Re: Review Request Manually
                        nvanders Contributor

                        Thank you for your input I guess. I have a very good idea of what it takes to become a premier partner but as previously noted made an error by not reading the new T&C close enough as what I requested was at one time a highly acceptable practice...in fact I believe that it was within the last year. Either way, simple mistake and constructive feedback is always appreciated as I definitely am guilty of mistakes once in awhile. Take care

                      • Re: Review Request Manually
                        green_mango Active Contributor

                        Sounds like question has been answered, but in a nutshell the only time VRBO counts reservations towards metrics, reviews, Premier Partner status etc. is when VRBO has received their Service Fee.  I'm still on Alternative Payments and can accept payments outside of VRBO, but only after guest has paid the Service Fee to VRBO.  When owners switch to the in-house payment processor the reservation needs to be completed there to count.  Unless you're a PM with integrated software... 

                         

                        Since you are wiling & able to accept bookings directly, I'd work on building that up with your own website etc., while at the same time listing on VRBO simply to diversify.  VRBO has brought about 1/4 of my bookings this year.