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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.

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11 Comments (add yours)

Jun 30, 20
5:19 pm
Kismet Propertie says:

I'm curious about how this affects API connection with Airbnb. We seem to get the clients real email address now during the data transfer with API. Rick@kismetprop30a.com

Jun 30, 20
6:19 pm
Ken T says:

I'm glad it looks that way, but that's an illusion. Airbnb has never sent real email addresses, just the fake proxy one.

We recommend configuring an automatic email template and trigger asking guests to sign your rental agreement. As part of this process, they're asked for their real email address, which is then recorded. I think that's what you're seeing.

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/airbnb-request-for-contact-info-real-email-address-and-signed-renter-agreement

Jun 30, 20
6:57 pm
Rich S says:

Ken T said:

I'm glad it looks that way, but that's an illusion. Airbnb has never sent real email addresses, just the fake proxy one.

We recommend configuring an automatic email template and trigger asking guests to sign your rental agreement. As part of this process, they're asked for their real email address, which is then recorded. I think that's what you're seeing.

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/airbnb-request-for-contact-info-real-email-address-and-signed-renter-agreement

Are you sure about this? I regularly see (but not always) the guests real email address on airbnb reservations made via API. I don't update it myself, so it's coming from somewhere.

Jun 30, 20
9:12 pm
Donna B says:

I don't see how this would work for us. We send out our Welcome Note with Activity Guides as an automatic trigger with airbnb bookings, followed by a RA. Now, we aren't even going to be able to proxy email our airbnb guests?
Good grief. Doesn't the Professional Hosting Tool require a different OR subscription? And if there's a secret way around this new edict, what is the purpose?

Jun 30, 20
9:44 pm
BlueMtnCabins says:

Winding down Airbnb. Every time they do some stupid #$%* I think I cannot hate them more, yet each time they prove me wrong and outdo themselves. I sincerely wish they went back to renting illegal sublets, basement rooms and attics and butted out of traditional vacation rentals that they obviously have 0 clue about.

Jul 1, 20
12:23 am
RentGrandLake says:

When I click on link to opt-in to the promotion for 7 day discount, I just go to a page that has a couple standing beside an open air dining table. I don't see anywhere to opt-in? Am I missing something?

Jul 1, 20
8:35 am
Ella says:

After I accept the booking I ask guests via Airbnb to provide their email address so I can send them rental agreement. 99% of the time they do and if they don't I use the Airbnb provided email address. After that I still get their email address as mentioned when they sign the rental agreement.

Jul 2, 20
11:56 am
Beachside Rentals Inc. T says:

Thank you for keeping us updated and informed on this subject.

Our company has stopped all OTA listings for the time being until (or if they ever) reach a place where they stabilize their terms and conditions of use.

The cancellation and payment policies keep changing and we are not comfortable with them collecting the funds and being at their mercy for payouts . . . we are still waiting for payouts from Airbnb from guests who have come and gone . . .

Jul 3, 20
12:36 pm
Chris L says:

What’s the current status of integrating OR with Airbnb’s messaging system? Is this change accelerating those plans?

Jul 3, 20
12:44 pm
Paul W says:

https://www.ownerreservations.com/blog/product-updates-airbnb-messages-inbox-seeing-owners-merging-cancelled-bookings-channel-amenities-for-cleaning

😮🎉

Watch our blog for Product Update posts every Wed. Lot being pumped out of the factory right now.

EDIT: Maybe you knew about that and you're referring to deeper integration - like automating triggers for that. Very high on our To Do list. we have some great stuff dropping in the next couple weeks but unified inbox, SMS and website changes are very much front and center.

Jul 3, 20
2:18 pm
MB says:

Be cautious with the promotion. I used it and found that it is applied by Airbnb to 7 consecutive days for advertising, but Airbnb will apply it to 1-7 day bookings.

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