How will OwnerReservations.com handle the upcoming changes to the HomeAway inquiry system where they will no longer send owners the e-mail address of guests in an inquiry e-mail?
Owners will be asked to log on to HomeAway in order to obtain this information. Won't this, effectively, disable OwnerReservataions.com?
Do you have more information on that policy? I had heard rumblings about that but nothing concrete. Our assumption was that that would be configurable (ie. owners could choose to get inquiries that way or keep them as they are now).
If HomeAway forces all users into that model, there are integration methods we could construct to retrieve those inquiries, similar to how we update calendars on third-party websites.
at the homeaway summit in austin a couple months ago they showed off a buggy email interface that they were considering rolling out (very similar to Airbnb). They claimed they needed to implement a closed email communication system because it was necessary to eliminate email phishing scams that have been targeting homeaway listings. the idea is to hide the listing owner's email until booking occurs or until the owner/manager decides to release their email id to the prospective guest.
Ah yes, the Airbnb-style stuff. HomeAway has been trying to duplicate what Airbnb does for the past two years. I figured that was what you were referring to. We're not terribly concerned about it, given HomeAway's track-record and their marketbase. FlipKey has recently been walking down the same road. Both HA and FK don't seem to realize that many of their customers don't want to be locked into a closed-loop platform with high fees that doesn't let you use any other email/phone/quote/payment structure.
If it does happen, then we could only scoop up some of the inquiry and you'd have to answer the other part through the HA interface.
Receiving and parsing inquiries is only one of many features we provide. Less than half of our users use our inquiry features. Most answer email outside of our system and using us to create quotes and manage the booking/payment/security deposit that comes after that.
Thanks for the link, Peter.
Peter, thanks for starting this topic.
The replies on that HomeAway community thread, and elsewhere, are almost unanimously opposed to the changes, in one way or another.
As Michelle touched out, HomeAway has spent years chasing Airbnb, never realizing that their customers aren't the same as Airbnb customers. Their customers are VR professionals that rent out properties as a business. Those customers want professional tools, lots of options and personalization to their own tastes. They don't want their fortunes linked to any one listing site. They don't want listing sites to force them to use one particular calendar, take one particular type of payment or restrict them from talking to their customers how they choose. They want tools that highlight their own business and not the business of the listing site.
HomeAway really needs to be accentuating their differences with Airbnb and highlighting the advantages of their own model instead of spending millions chasing the same type of development.
I, for one, am not interested in going into their site and continue to check for inquiries. I want my inquiry sent to me, via EMAIL!
If you're a HomeAway owner, I'd encourage your addition to the HA forum thread.
Does anyone here have a link or reference to similar discussions on other boards?
This is horrifying! I am **not** going to go along with this if I can't see the travelers email. I like using my own format when answering, including pictures and links of my choosing. I'll walk away from VRBO if I have to.
I think for now the proposal is limited to HomeAway. They'll probably use the owners on HomeAway as beta testers before rolling it out to VRBO and all the multitude of other HomeAway website acquisitions.
I know the HomeAway security people are reading the HomeAway forum topic. It would be great to have a few more people who feel strongly one way or the other to log on there and voice their opinions!
Hi Sam and Michelle,
How will you be handling the way HomeAway seems to be heading, with their inquiries? I have been talking in forums and it appears that they are going to have their customers signing to their HomeAway page to get the information and respond. This could be implemented as early as next month.
Will HomeAway inquiries be out of the equations for OwnerRez?
At the moment, there are no plans in place for how we will handle those type of inquiries should HomeAway decide to go closed-loop. Without seeing a real sample of how their alert emails will be structured, or what options owners will have in answering them, we are limited in how much early thought we can put into it. There are dozens of other important features to work on so we're not going to waste time speculating about something that is out of our control.
I just noticed that HomeAway released a survey asking people what they thought of the new interface/workflow of the email changes that are coming.
To see the changes and comment, go here:
Hi Michelle / All,
For more context on the HomeAway proposal for forcing owners to log in to access inquiries using the proposed "Conversation System", please see:
There is also a link there to the survey mentioned above.
Additionally, I have set up a poll for owners/guests to provide some additional feedback: