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.
HomeAway publishes some information about the integration here:
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 obtain quotes and 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.
- All of these features work to save time and assure that your property data is dynamically updated across your marketing channels and your website.
- The first step is to navigate to the Settings> Channel Management > Integrations area of Lodgix 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 credited, edited or removed. If you have a lot of properties this can save A LOT of time and it assures that your rates, images and marketing text is the same across all marketing channels.
- Once you've selected the properties to appear in the feed, the next step is to contact HomeAway (see next step) 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.
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 customer ID handy when contacting HomeAway. HomeAway will need your Lodgix customer id to identify your properties in the feed. Instructions for locating your customer ID within Lodgix are illustrated above.
Lodgix Property IDs
For Lodgix subscribers with existing listings on a HomeAway site(s), those listings will need to be mapped to properties setup within Lodgix which will require your Lodgix property IDs. You can view your Lodgix property IDs here:
Calendar Data Sync Times
The "Default" option for the feed will contain BOTH the listing data and calendar data.
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 pulled4
Owner Detail Fields
There are a few fields within Lodgix that need to be populated if you want your HomeAway listing to have that data shown once the integration is complete. If you have existing HomeAway listings that already contain this information, it will be overwritten with Lodgix data, so it's usually best to copy and paste that information before the integration is turned on and 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 Accommodations 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 within settings > templates > PDF:
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.
Quoting Rental Agreement Requirement
Quoting is meant to be quick. As a result HomeAway requests that a generic quote rental agreement be used during the quoting process, rather than the more lengthy dynamic rental agreement required in the previous step.
Click on the tab for HomeAway.
The red arrow shows where your static rental agreement can be entered.
The screenshot above shows a VRBO quote with a cancellation policy of
"100% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date."
That policy is derived from a setting within Lodgix under Settings > Full Integration:
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, as it means they can make the rest of their plans at the same time. It also makes it easier for you by helping you to accept bookings, and then simply review and reply once each booking is received.
Within Lodgix, there is really 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 Best Match 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 now. Additionally, Instant Book listings have higher conversions which would positively impact your sort order.
Best Match is a way of ordering search results On HomeAway properties. The main takeaway from best match is that HomeAway will rank your listings higher if your properties have online booking enabled on HomeAway or HomeAway properties. Additionally, HomeAway requires that Lodgix communicate to them any bookings that result from any inquiries that are generated from HomeAway or HomeAway properties.
For bookings that result from HomeAway which result from phone calls, etc.. It is in your best interest to update the Referrer field within the guest control panel for each invoice to reflect that it came from HomeAway. Simply entering "homeaway" into that field will alert HomeAway to the booking.
Referrer Field Location
Existing Reservations on Homeaway and VRBO
Once your account is integrated with Homeaway / VRBO, Lodgix will become the main source 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 will be deleted at the time of integration. Your calendars will be blocked on Homeaway / VRBO but the calendar section within your dashboard should no longer be used.
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 / VRBO Fees
When a guest books through Homeaway, they 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.