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Getting Started Questions/Concepts

Replies: 4 - Pages: 1 - Last Reply: Dec 31, 2018 1:18 PM by: Rich S
Rich S
Registered: 12/28/18
Getting Started Questions/Concepts

Hi Folks,

New user (day 1) trying to get some concepts down. I've stumbled upon OR after posting in a VRBO forum that I was planning to build a homegrown system with some of the OR features. For background, I own 2 ski resort condos in Colorado US and currently have them only listed on VRBO.

Some Questions:

1. If using OR with some premium features, what mgmt steps will remain in VRBO vs moving to OR?
- cc payment handling?
- initial booking?
- return of secdep?
- answering inquiry questions?

2. How thoroughly is VRBO connected to OR?
- only via OR intercepting/scraping emails (both sent/rcvd)?
- via API, so useful info such as guest email/phone is kept synched?

3. For previous guests (who were originally found by VRBO or AirBNB) ...
- Does OR provide a way to manage the guest as a 'lead prospect'?
- Should I want lead prospects to book followup visits ...
a) using OR only to avoid VRBO/AirBNB fees?
b) using VRBO/AirBNB so I get more reviews?

4. Should I assume that I'll get the vast majority of guests through the advertising of VRBO/etc?

There are many features I'm looking for that I believe OR will really help with, just wanting to get my head around how OR will play nicely with VRBO or other rental sites. Happy upcoming New Years y'all !!

Chris Hynes
Registered: 10/19/12
Re: Getting Started Questions/Concepts

Yep, that's how we started with OR back in the day, actually -- a couple of us got vacation rentals back in 2009 and being developers figured we'd put together some software. Back then there wasn't much at all.

Some answers:

1, 2) All of those steps would remain in VRBO. What happens in OR is:
- centralized calendar (via 2 way iCal sync)
- pull in guest contact info, party size, charges, payments etc. via channel bridge: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/channel-bridge. Those will all still be processed by VRBO but we can pull the info into OR for you. We are about to release a direct 2 way integration with them that will pull everything into OR automatically, but they've got a 5 property minimum for that integration
- e-signing renter agreement
- post booking communication like pre-arrival welcome letters, review requests, upsells for gap nights

3, 4) Anyone who has ever inquired, quoted, or booked in OR is a Guest. You can merge guests together, manage repeat guests, follow up with them.

I would recommend a website (we have a hosted site template: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/hosted-websites or you can build your own using our widgets: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/widgets). If you're just starting out you won't have much traffic through your site, but as you develop a list of previous guests, send them email newsletters, market in your area, you'll start to get more traction.

My suggestion is to send everybody you can back to your site to book. Don't try to steal leads from VRBO or AirBNB, obviously, and have them book through the site they came from. But if they're a repeater or have come in through a local listing site, book 'em direct.

If you are totally brand new on listings you'll want push a few through the site to get reviews so your listing isn't totally bank, yes, but after you've got a few under your belt that's enough so you can rank and book there so drive the rest to you direct.belt they'll

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Getting Started Questions/Concepts

Rich S said:

Hi Folks,

New user (day 1) trying to get some concepts down. I've stumbled upon OR after posting in a VRBO forum that I was planning to build a homegrown system with some of the OR features. For background, I own 2 ski resort condos in Colorado US and currently have them only listed on VRBO.

Some Questions:

1. If using OR with some premium features, what mgmt steps will remain in VRBO vs moving to OR?
- cc payment handling?
- initial booking?
- return of secdep?
- answering inquiry questions?

2. How thoroughly is VRBO connected to OR?
- only via OR intercepting/scraping emails (both sent/rcvd)?
- via API, so useful info such as guest email/phone is kept synched?

3. For previous guests (who were originally found by VRBO or AirBNB) ...
- Does OR provide a way to manage the guest as a 'lead prospect'?
- Should I want lead prospects to book followup visits ...
a) using OR only to avoid VRBO/AirBNB fees?
b) using VRBO/AirBNB so I get more reviews?

4. Should I assume that I'll get the vast majority of guests through the advertising of VRBO/etc?

There are many features I'm looking for that I believe OR will really help with, just wanting to get my head around how OR will play nicely with VRBO or other rental sites. Happy upcoming New Years y'all !!

1.
- answering inquiry questions? - you can set up auto responder in OR that will respond to a VRBO inquiry. Mine is set up as a bullet point list of FAQs that usually cover about 90% of questions guest may have. I just review their inquiry after the fact and reply manually via VRBO if the question they have was not covered in a canned reply. The auto response also maintains sub-minute "response time" on VRBO whether you are sleeping or flying in the airplane.


3. Yes. If you update your VRBO reservations imported into OR with actual guest's email (copy from vrbo, paste in OR), later on you can download email list and export easily into programs like Mailchimp.

3a. yes of course. They are YOUR guest. I can give you my sample of post departure email that solicits their review and also emphasizes that they can save on booking fees if they book direct with you.

3b. Is your goal to get reviews or grow YOUR "brand"? Mine is to grow my brand and have them returning to rent directly from me, not VRBO (where VRBO will show them dozens of my competition). Do you know that OR has submit review feature and you can embed reviews in your website, in addition to importing them form VRBO, airbnb and TA? See mine smoky-mountains-cabin.com/reviews

Rich S
Registered: 12/28/18
Re: Getting Started Questions/Concepts

Thanks Blue Mountain Cabins .... much appreciated! And great website www.smoky-mountains-cabin.com that I found in another post, you've obviously thought and implemented a lot here!!

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