14 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2017 7:28 AM by jfriedkin RSS

    My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?

    mikebran25 New Member

      Are we approaching the final straw?

       

      My ANNUAL subscription is about 6 months old.  At the time of sign-up, of course, I could:

       

      list my personal web site for the property

      display my email and phone

      handle my guest transactions such as to please the GUEST.

       

      1 and 2 are gone.  (BTW:  How can they justify such a MAJOR change to my account in the middle of my subscription?_

       

      3 I believe I can still do, but I know it goes away at Renewal.  (HA!  As if I would do that!)

       

      BUT ...  I just received an inquiry from a potential guest a couple days ago.  I respond with a note that has my email, so that I and the potential guest can communicate easier than going through the VRBO system.

       

      THEY STRIP OUT MY EMAIL?  Actually, that is not a question, they DID strip out my email. 

       

      If anyone of authority is watching... PUT IT BACK!  I am NOT required to use Home Away Payments.  What is with you people anyway?

       

      OMG:  Are they going through my stored documents?

        • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
          sapphiresteve Senior Contributor

          It will not be long before HA payments are mandatory.  This is a taste of the future.

          • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
            hill5185 CommunityAmbassador

            Email addresses have been obfuscated for quite awhile. Maybe 2 years ? Email addresses won't show in dashboard correspondence. From the mobile owner's mobile app owner's have the ability to call a directly and send  Email from a private account.

            Re: The new email reply system is AWFUL!

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            • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
              planthealth Active Contributor

              I have multiple condos listed on VRBO. In an email to a prospect I said you can check out my other condo and gave the web address to its VRBO listing. VRBO scrubbed it. Brilliant.

              • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                feibus CommunityAmbassador

                HA has been very clear about this: they are no longer interested in being a listing platform and instead want to be a booking platform.  Anything that gets in the way of completing a transaction on the booking platform will be prohibited... and that includes owners who don't complete enough transactions on the platform.

                  • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                    ahem, see couple of issues here.

                    1st, how can one "complete a transaction" on the platform if VRBO is not generating  inquiries, likely because it is not showing the listing?

                    2nd, I do not remember ever seeing any quantitative definition of what would be "enough transactions on the platform". Is it a number? a frequency? what? What constitutes "enough" ?

                    3. How can I complete "enough" (whatever "enough" is) if - see #1

                     

                    Like in my metrics Beta... says my listing views "could use improvement". I agree!.. so show the darn listing! I do not control that!

                    Just sayin...

                    • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                      sapphiresteve Senior Contributor

                      Feibus,

                       

                      I don't understand that reasoning at all.  If I list, and pay either an annual fee, or a PPB fee, and then have only one rental for a small amount of money, HA is still ahead of the game.

                        • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                          feibus CommunityAmbassador

                          But not enough.  Their financial models are based on increasing the number of completed transactions and anything that gets in the way of that will be eliminated.

                            • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                              sapphiresteve Senior Contributor

                              Feibus,

                               

                              But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

                               

                              If our hypothetical VR owner is turning down a lot of inquiries that is one thing.  He may, however, have a very "specialized" VR that would only interest a few possible renters, or may use the VR himself most of the time and have very limited availability for rental.

                                • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                  feibus CommunityAmbassador

                                  You might think that, but you will be dissatisfied if you think that they are thinking the same way.

                                  • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                    u0999 Premier Contributor

                                    sapphiresteve, since this whole "change" started, I have been stating in many threads in several ways that form what I am observing, HA's ultimate goals are not at all to retain listings of "unique", "non standard", "one off" properties. Moreover, in general, I do believe they actually DO NOT WANT individual owner's listing on the platform at all. Notice they no longer advertise "VRBO" brand either? a coincidence? I do not think so.

                                    1. they want "hotelized" experience - uniform booking, payment, cancellation policies. No back and forth between traveler and owner, no varying cancellation policies, no varying payments methods, no owners rejecting bookings because they "think it is not a good fit". No calls to CS because owner needs to ask something. just click and book. Automated.

                                    2. How is the # 1 accomplished the easiest way? Not by having the 800K listings by individual (pesky) owners, but rather having listings aggregated by few (preferably larger) PM s. PMs won't  fuss over occupancy, age, pet, parking and other stuff. PMs would not insist that they 'must talk to the traveler before they approve booking". PMs fit right into the "click and book" HA's desired model. PM my have a 100 or 1000 listings, but will generate only one call to CS (as opposed  to each owner calling CS about their one little cottage listing).

                                     

                                    And many of these new "rules", " tools", "improvements", "restrictions", "punishments", "stripping emails", "search position drops" are aimed at Joe The Owner finally throwing his hands in the air, saying "I have had enough!"   and dialing up his nearest Jim the PM and saying "take my listing. I cannot deal with jumping through the hoops no more".

                                    so Jim the PM turns around and lists Joe's Cottage along with other of his hundreds of listings on the same HA. Only now HA does not have to deal with Joe going back and forth with traveler, or (as HA thinks) Joe trying to take the booking "off the platform", or pesky Joe rejecting a party of 8 because his cottage only sleeps 4, or Joe rejecting a guest with 4 full grown Saint Bernard dogs just because his cottage isn't pet friendly, or Joe wanting to be paid by check or alternate payment - all those things slowing down and complicating the process. What if Joe's Cottage not getting enough bookings? Well, Jim the PM says "well Joe, you know, there is a lot more competition now. to get bookings you need to consider dropping your rates". Jim doesn't care much, he still gets 20-40% of Joe's rates. HA still gets their ever varying "service fee". Joe has the "privilege" of trying to keep up with  paying mortgage, taxes, utilities,  covering damages that Jim the PM refuses to address,  and discover the wear and tear inflicted by unvetted renters that Jim rents to every time he uses the cottage himself.

                                    And that is, my forum friends, is the way VR renting should be - from HA's standpoint.

                                      • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                        sfowner Contributor
                                        Well, Jim the PM says "well Joe, you know, there is a lot more competition now. to get bookings you need to consider dropping your rates".

                                         

                                        Anyone ever heard of UBER ??? HA seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid and is now on the path of squeezing the very people who make it a valuable company just to increase their profit (and scr*w the owners).

                                        • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                          bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                          Well said…I might add that HA wants newbies and they want the old-timers gone.  They want owners that have no clue as to what has changed for the worst.  I have been amazed at the number of vacation rental owners that have no clue.  But they are all new to the vacation rental business.  Most would not have a clue how to handle a booking outside the HA platform, nor do they care.  Most don’t know have a clue how to get permitted, how to get insured, and how to handle damage deposits.  They have no clue how to pay taxes.  And this is just the type of owner HA wants.  For the most part this is the type of host that AirBnB wants and now HA wants the same. Frankly they don’t care if someone is in for only a few bookings a year or someone is in it full time.  They just want owners/hosts that do not question anything and are clueless.


                                          Edited...

                                          • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                            sapphiresteve Senior Contributor

                                            u0999

                                             

                                            I regret to say that I believe that you are correct--but only up to the last point.  Ir HA drives individual owners away, they might not flock to managers. As more and more owners abandon HA, the market for competing sites will be increasing, and there is hope that a "VRBO 2.0" will arise.

                                             

                                            Everyone can help by listing on all of the sites that do not charge renters any fees, and charge owners little or nothing.

                                  • Re: My email removed from a reply to an inguiry?
                                    jfriedkin Active Contributor

                                    If you view the traveler information, you can email your guest directly and avoid any hyperlink being redacted.  If you use the anonymous email provided by HA all hyperlinks are removed.

                                     

                                    No big problem just email them directly