When you start using your Hostaway account you might not have your VRBO API connection setup right away and might need to setup instead a VRBO iCal connection while you wait for the VRBO team to initiate your implementation project and activate at that point your VRBO API connection.
What should you do when you are contacted by VRBO to activate the API connection:
1. Make sure you have your payment provided connected (either Stripe, Braintree or Authorize.net) -
Once connected by API Vrbo will not take payments for you
2. Make sure you have the Auto charges feature set up in order to process payments automatically, so you will not have to process them manually. Once set up, it will apply only to the new upcoming reservations.
3. Make sure all your listings in Hostaway have complete information on them:
- Basic information tab.
- Correct and full address details of the listing.
- Make sure the bed setting is correct
- Financial settings - Property rent tax % (it can be applied to fees as well)
- Prices & fees - refundable damage deposit
- Under additional info the Check-out, check-in start, check-in end time and square meters.
- The channel-specific: title, headline, description and upload a Vrbo rentals agreement PDF
- Please make sure in Channel specific the Property Name must be between 20 - 30 characters and Property Description must be 400 characters or more.
- Handle Payment By Invoice Or At Location > Select if you process the payments by credit card or send an invoice manually to guests with payment instructions. When you select Handle Payment By Invoice Or At Location "Yes", you will need to manually send invoices to the guest to pay by bank or cash on arrival. When you select "No", Vrbo will send CC details by Hostaway to your Stripe account to charge the guest by.
- Add the contact person's information.
- Add all the amenities that exist in the Amenities tab
- Add in the Minimum Age Rule by going to Channel Manager > Channels > Configure Vrbo > Settings Add in the minimum age of renter and click on Save.
- In Price and Fees > VRBO host channel fee,> Add the percentage Vrbo charges per reservation. This can then be used in Financial Reporting with the field HostChannelFee. Please note that it will only calculate for newly received reservations.
Important: Make sure to set up taxes for Vrbo before the integration is completed. Also, make sure not to have any duplicate photos in the listing.
4. Manually add existing Vrbo Reservations to Hostaway
If you already had listings and reservations (past and future), we will not import them and as soon as you remove the iCal connection those VRBO reservations will no longer block the calendar
If you used another Channel Manager before, you will need to import them (manually or CSV) with the channel Vrbo. If you do not do that, Vrbo will not be able to open the properties. (you can get confirmation on this with your VRBO implementation manager and he/she will tell you if you need to add any reservations in Hostaway to map them to VRBO)
5. Remove the VRBO iCal from Hostaway for your listings (you can go to Channel Manager > Listing Mapping and in front of the listing click in the ON sign for the VRBO iCal and click deactivate.
6. To confirm the sync is working, you can (after confirming the VRBO iCal is Off) block a date in the Hostaway calendar, wait a few minutes and then confirm that the date was blocked on the VRBO calendar
7. Confirm all listing settings in VRBO are correct as well as calendar pricing