I just integrated with VRBO via API. Last night I received a notice from VRBO of an inquiry. But I've not received a notice from OR of the inquiry nor is it showing up in my Inquiries tab. I'm sure it's operator error. I have checked my VRBO account and edited my "Contacts" to use the unique OR email. Hoping that's the place to fix things. But now how do I go back and get the inquiry into OR so I can respond?
I used the HomeAway app on my phone and it still allowed me to respond on the regular VRBO message system.
Yes, we recommend to use the VRBO (and Airbnb) messaging system, not OwnerRez, to reply to inquiries. Use OwnerRez once the guest makes a booking.
Hi, Ken: You still recommend using the VRBO and ABB systems even when API integrated?
Yes. Generally, using the API does not alter the underlying facts: we don't get real email addresses from potential guests making inquiries. We only get proxy emails, which filter out any links or identifying information. So, while it is possible to set up templates and autoresponders in OwnerRez that will work with these constraints, it's awkward and clumsy.
This may change in the future. We plan to integrate with the Airbnb messaging system, and we're talking with VRBO about theirs.
FWIW, I've talked with HomeAway Integrated Partner Support about this. I said that the HomeAway app correctly shows guest messages at the top of my inbox, but when I log into the website, I have 2 pages of "Booking Requests" (that are actually confirmed reservations, and they're all in the past) to sort through to find the guest inquiry message.
They told me that the inbox on the website was not designed for use by integrated partners and that I definitely should never be using the HomeAway app as it is not designed to work at all with integrated partners. They explicitly told me to use the messaging function "within my software." When I told them that OR doesn't support messaging (yet), they were stymied. It suddenly became clear to me that the whole experience is designed to happen without ever actually needing to log into the HomeAway website. Hopefully that can happen eventually and the experience can be cleaned up.
Incidentally, those "Booking Requests" that litter my HomeAway inbox appear to be the result of an odd glitch--even though I had selected "Instant Book" in OR, my listings were not showing up as Instant Book listings and instead had a "Request To Book" button. Of course, when a guest submitted a "Request To Book," OR confirmed the booking instantly, but I wanted to appear as an Instant Book listing to try to attract more guests. I emailed Integrated Partner Support and they manually set my listings to Instant Book, but that was kind of an odd one to me.