Experience the difference of "Elite".

Channel Bridge vs iCal feed for VRBO

Rich S
Jan 2, 2019 6:29 PM
Joined Dec, 2018 301 posts

I set up the Chrome Channel Bridge to manually export bookings from VRBO and then import them to OR.

I can also setup a live iCal feed by visiting VRBO's export calendar for each property and copying the .ics link
( see https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/calendar-import )

Should I be doing both of these? I'm thinking that the iCal feed is good because it's handsoff, and once a VRBO guest books, soon afterward OR will become aware of it and start triggering appropriate emails. But I think the Channel Bridge brings in more details about the guest, so I'll want that too.

As I'm writing this, I'm not sure that the emails can be triggered by the feed from VRBO anyway unless the guest email is part of the feed. Hopefully someone can educate me on this ;-)

Chris Hynes
Jan 4, 2019 8:45 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1396 posts

Yep, that's exactly right. You want to do both -- the iCal because it'll get the calendar blocked automatically, and then the channel bridge because it brings in more detail and can send the "on created" triggers. The channel bridge will smartly merge with the booking that has already been pulled in by the iCal (or vice versa).

Rich S
Jan 4, 2019 10:13 AM
Joined Dec, 2018 301 posts

Thanks Chris - Will any automated emails be triggered by the iCal?

The following is my current understanding

iCal link exported from VRBO to OR:
- blocks calendar upon bookings?
- keeps vrbo calendar synced with OR?

channel bridge used on VRBO:
- creates booking
- pulls in additional VRBO guest/booking details
- gives option to trigger 'on created' activity like email templates

Setting VRBO email address to the special OR property email address:
- captures VRBO guest emails into OR
- allows OR to trigger various email templates and auto responders

Am I missing anything useful in the above?

Chris Hynes
Jan 4, 2019 7:04 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1396 posts

The iCal and channel bridge items are correct.

The setting VRBO email address to the OR property email is for inquiries and lets you respond to an inquiry from OwnerRez. You can't quote from OwnerRez because they strip all links and contact info out until after booking, but you can at least respond to the inquiry.

For bookings, channel bridge will get the email address, so you don't need the inquiry forwards unless you are doing the autoresponders.

No automated emails will be triggered by the VRBO iCal as that doesn't include the guest email. However, you can trigger "on created" emails from the Airbnb iCal as they do include the guest email in their iCal.