Airbnb Makes It Harder To Email Guests, Adds Last Min. Discount, Expedia Dumping HomeAway & Officially Going "Vrbo" Everywhere
Good News! It's Friday!
Oh boy…. Airbnb will no longer be giving out proxy/double-blind email addresses soon. In other words, the "guest.airbnb.com" email address that used to come along with the booking is going to disappear and they’re going to expect you to do all messaging through Airbnb only.
Couple interesting notes here:
- You can opt back in to getting the proxy email if you use a hidden setting in the account area. Looks like this:
- Airbnb claims that PDFs and other documents will be supported in their messaging soon. We have seen no sign of that yet, so it’s unclear when that is coming.
There is also a mention that requesting guest contact info violates the "Off-Site Policy" but that is only prior to booking. We highly encourage all hosts to get POC information and a real renter agreement after the guest books!
Another interesting Airbnb thing we came across… Between now and mid-August, Airbnb will showcase a “Discounted Nearby Stays” banner on its home page, directing guests to a dedicated landing page featuring local getaways for domestic travelers.
People are looking for affordable options close to home, so Airbnb created a promotion specifically designed to focus on short lead time to help fill occupancy rates and help you capture that demand. Airbnb sent a company wide email Thursday, to Airbnb guests in Florida - so it is definitely valuable to opt in ASAP. Your listings will be visible to these guests when they search by offering a 10% discount. Note that the Airbnb site refers to "7 consecutive dates" but the discount can apply to any number of nights.
Here's how it works:
- To opt-in, click here
- You will first need to click "Apply Promotion" to see all the eligible listings. Once these appear, select the listings you want to apply the promo for.
- Once opted in, you'll get access to the following merchandising during this period:
- Promotion filter and custom search results page displaying only qualified listings
- Strikethrough styling (i.e.
$200) on your original price
Am I listed on HomeAway? Am I listed on VRBO? What about VacationRentals.com or Abritel? Am I listed on all of them? Are they the same? HomeAway/VRBO have decided to clarify this and starting next month, HomeAway website users will be redirected to Expedia's Vrbo vacation rental platform.
To be clear, that’s pronounced "verr-bo" which Expedia continues to reiterate. Make sure to spell it “Vrbo” and not VRBO too. 🤓
While users of the HomeAway app will be prompted to download the Vrbo app, any existing rental bookings will remain unchanged, and all HomeAway logins will transfer over to Vrbo. According to Expedia, the consolidation effort "means more resources can be dedicated to marketing, engineering and customer support for Vrbo," which the company has positioned as its flagship vacation rental product.