HomeAway / VRBO Integration
Lodgix has integrated directly to the HomeAway network of properties (including 17 international sites). An integration means that all single unit properties created on Lodgix can have listings created, calendars sync'd, inquiries pulled and Book It Now enabled, on any HomeAway site.
There are many benefits when integrating directly to HomeAway.
- No dual entry. Property setup data entered into Lodgix is used to create listings on HomeAway / VRBO and all domestic and international listing portals owned by HomeAway.
- Easy calendar sync. Calendar data can be sync'd two ways, from Lodgix to HomeAway and by using the Book it Now feature on HomeAway, reservations can be made on HomeAway and transferred into Lodgix.
- Automated updating. Every time you update your property on Lodgix with new rates, images, marketing data, etc. that data is sync'd with your HomeAway / VRBO listing automatically once per day (2am EST)
- Book it Now integration. A guest can book online in HomeAway / VRBO using Lodgix rate data. Bookings made on HomeAway / VRBO will transfer seamlessly into Lodgix.
- No additional costs. Whether you have existing listings or are starting from scratch, there are no additional costs from Lodgix or HomeAway for utilizing the integration.
Important Notes about Integration
HomeAway does not support the following...
- Weekly Rates
- Monthly Rates
- Same Day Bookings
- Optional Fees
All automatic discounts configured in Lodgix are sent to HomeAway. This includes Last Minute Discounts, Length of Stay Discounts, and automatic Promotion Discounts.
Length of Stay discounts must be used to offer any sort of discounts to HomeAway guests staying seven nights or more. Please make sure when setting up length of stay discounts that they are not applied to weekly rates. That will allow current weekly rates setup in Lodgix to work for those channels that continue to support weekly rates.
Please see the following article for instructions: Length of Stay Discounts
- The first step is to navigate to the Settings > Integrations screen and click on the HomeAway Network tab.
- Next choose which listings you want to send to HomeAway. Whether the listings will be new or simply replacing existing listings, ALL PROPERTIES THAT YOU WANT TO SYNC WITH HOMEAWAY MUST BE CHECKED!
At 2am EST each night HomeAway pulls the feed containing your listing data. From that feed, listings are either created, edited or removed.
Once you've selected the properties to appear in the feed, the next step is to contact HomeAway and work with an account manager to pay for your listings. They will assign an onboarding coordinator to map your existing listings to the properties in the Lodgix feed, or in the case of completely new listings, will preview the listings to assure the data is displaying as you expected and point out any shortcomings that can be corrected within Lodgix.
You have the option to use Instant Booking or Online Booking with 24 Hour Review (Book it Now). Travelers prefer a property that’s instantly bookable. HomeAway has a specific filter which many guests use for properties that use Instant Book. Without instant booking enabled your properties will not appear in those results.
Within Lodgix, there is no difference between the two options as all the processes typically required to confirm an invoice (reservation deposit payment, signed rental agreement, etc..) would still have to be completed. You can still cancel Instant Bookings, but it could very negatively impact your sort order as that factors into Homeaway's sort order algorithm.
Likewise however, if the vast majority of your instant bookings remain as valid bookings, then you will probably notice both a bump in Best Match and a bump as a result of offering Instant Booking as it's a filterable item. Additionally, Instant Book listings have higher conversions which would positively impact your sort order.
- Display your cancellation policy during the HomeAway quoting process? If yes, it will pull the cancellation policy text from the Cancellation Policy field on this page: https://www.lodgix.com/system/isettings/bookings/
- Set how far in advance your property will be bookable on HomeAway. Options range from 6 months to 3 years.
- Booking Lead Time is a setting from 0 to 10 days. This setting helps prevent bookings too close the arrival date.
- Generic Rental Agreement. HomeAway displays a text link for "Rental Agreement" during the booking process, whatever is entered here will display when that link is clicked. Hint: Keep it short and sweet, as the actual rental agreement can be used after the fact to spell out the specific terms.
Custom House Rules
You can enter custom house rules for your HomeAway listings. House Rules are explained here: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-are-House-Rules
Select your HomeAway cancellation policy for each property. These options are explained here: https://help.homeaway.com/articles/What-are-the-cancellation-policy-options
The first person to contact at HomeAway is your account manager. If you are in need of an account manager call 877-238-3813 and let them know you want to integrate to HomeAway using the Lodgix XML feed. If you have existing HomeAway or VRBO listings, have those numbers handy.
Please have your Lodgix User ID handy when contacting HomeAway. HomeAway will need your Lodgix User ID to identify your properties in the feed. Your Lodgix User ID can be found from the Settings > Important Settings screen.
Lodgix Property IDs
For Lodgix subscribers with existing listings on HomeAway site(s), those listings will need to be mapped to properties setup within Lodgix which will require your Lodgix property IDs. Your Lodgix property IDs can be found from Settings > Integrations > HomeAway Network.
Calendar Data Sync Times
HomeAway pulls the Lodgix feed according to the schedule below:
3am CST primary feed pulled (includes reservation data)
8am CST Reservation feed pulled
Noon CST Reservation feed pulled
4 pm CST Reservation Feed pulled
8pm CST Reservation Feed pulled
11pm CST Reservation Feed pulled
Owner Detail Fields
There are a few fields within Lodgix that need to be populated for a HomeAway listing to have that data shown once the integration is complete. Existing HomeAway listings that already contain this information will be overwritten with Lodgix data, so it's best to copy and paste that information before the integration goes live.
HomeAway has some "feel good" fields where the owner of the property can provide some details on when they bought the property, why they brought the property and some information about themselves. These fields are found within the Address tab of property setup for each property.
Nearby Places and Activities
HomeAway provides some fields to enter distances to various locations and activities. Those fields are found within the Address tab of property setup for each property.
Book It Now Rental Agreement Requirement
A dynamic rental agreement must be setup with Lodgix if you are using the HomeAway Book it Now functionality You can define and setup your rental agreement from Settings > Documents
This rental agreement will be displayed to the guest at HomeAway when using Book It Now. However most property managers will continue to require that the rental agreement be digitally signed after HomeAway transfer the guest reservation, payment and contact data into Lodgix.
Off Platform Bookings
In 2018, HomeAway began charging 10% for off platform bookings. This has no impact on your HomeAway integration with Lodgix. Please read through a recent article published by HomeAway on what constitutes an off platform booking:
Existing Reservations on Homeaway and VRBO
Once your account is integrated with Homeaway / VRBO, Lodgix will become the system of record. Before you are integrated, be sure to recreate all existing reservations in your Lodgix account, or sync calendar blocks via iCal. All existing information on HomeAway will be overwritten at the time of integration.
If you have any pending payments in HomeAway, you will be able to complete them in your dashboard but any new bookings will be managed in Lodgix.
HomeAway Service Fees
When a guest books through Homeaway, the guest will still be charged the service fee. This is collected by Homeaway from the guest in a separate charge at the time of booking. You are only responsible for collecting the rental charges, and the service fee will not be included on the invoice.
For pay per booking listings, Homeaway will bill you once per month for their percentage of any bookings resulting from these listings.
HomeAway Guaranteed Pricing
Guaranteed pricing is something you will want your HomeAway account manager to explain. They think it's great, so we'll let them sell you on it.
Here is the data they provided to us:
With previous integrations, after a traveler selected a property on HomeAway and requested to book from the property detail page, HomeAway would conduct real-time callback to Lodgix for pricing, availability, house rules, rental agreements, and more. Now, after a traveler requests to book from the product detail page, we will conduct one simple, fast callback to Lodgix for availability only.
HomeAway will use data from Lodgix to quote travelers instead of using data from a unique call to Lodgix to produce a quote. This means that the price the traveler sees on the search page (that is generated from data in Listings 4.1) is the price partners will honor when a guest books through HomeAway. This means it will be more important than ever for property managers to ensure they are setting up accurate nightly rates because those rates determine what property managers will be paid.
City registrations are sometimes required in areas where the municipality is mandating that all VR managers / owners register their property and display the license id on all listing sites. The City Registration field on the Property Details screen in Lodgix will sync with VRBO.
Adding New Listings to HomeAway AFTER Integration
Once new properties are entered into Lodgix AND they are selected to appear in the HomeAway feed on this page:
The listings will feed over to HomeAway over night and be in your dashboard the next morning.
Click on the See Properties list:
..then click on the Unassigned Tab. From there you will find all properties that require activation. Click "Switch to Subscription" for each property that you wish to activate. This will take you through the payment flow.
If the listing meets Minimum Content standards then it should go live within a few hours at most. If the listing is missing any info then it would show as INCOMPLETE and you will need to fill in the missing info in Lodgix to go live.