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VRBO Native Messaging in OwnerRez via API integration

Status: In Development 215 Votes
Shawn H
3 days ago
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 78 posts

Hello all - we have some exciting news to share on a Friday. Vrbo is handing us the keys to begin development on native Vrbo Messaging! It will take us some time but we have prioritized this to the top and have kicked off development! Please know we'll get it ready and released as soon as we can. Thanks for everyone's patience and understanding.

Mar 30, 2022 5:28 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1058 posts

This is one of those "nice to have", but not "need to have" things IMO. Been integrated for years, and see no need for this. If it is there - fine, not there - fine. If traveler contacts pre-booking, autoresponder responds into vrbo inbox. If they still have more questions, I just do "reply" from my email inbox (which also ends up in Vrbo portal  email). Post booking all comms are via OR. Vrbo does not need to be in-between. 

Megan D
Mar 30, 2022 5:31 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 2 posts

how do you get autoresponder to show up in VRBO inbox from inquiry?  good hack... 

Brandon B
Mar 30, 2022 5:34 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 13 posts

That's the whole point.  I don't have to use my email AT ALL if I can message direct from OR to VRBO.  A single place to interact with guests across the two most popular platforms.  Consistent communications.  Add to that that a lot of folks, particularly in the younger generations, prefer app communications over general email.


Need it?  No.  Nice to have?  Absolutely. 

Mar 30, 2022 5:36 PM
Joined Feb, 2022 1 post

I am totally with you on this. Emails have a chance of going to spam as well. Not to mention that if you have communications done off the OTA's platforms, then when it comes time for them to review an issue due to a guest complaint or bad review, there's nothing the OTAs can use to support your case.

Mar 30, 2022 5:44 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1058 posts

Very easy. 

1. Set up text-only template of type "Inquiry". In my example it is called AVAILGEN

something like this (of course content can be yours but remember - has to be text-only)


Thank you for considering {PDISPNAME} for your vacation.

The dates you are inquiring about {IARR} - {IDEP} are available. Please see information about renting our cabin:

~ {PDISPNAME} is a private vacation home, rented out by owners (not a management company or an agent).

~ NO smoking | NO pets (no exceptions!) | NO house parties | NO bachelor/bachelorette parties | NO student/school/chaperoned groups.

~ Must be at least 25 years of age to rent, and be present during the entire stay; No third party rentals. Minors under 18 can only stay with parent, legal guardian or responsible adult, and must never be left at the property unsupervised.

~ No occupancy above {PXOLIMIT} persons (of any age 1 day and up), with maximum {PXMAXADULTS} adults. Our quoted rate is per property/stay and it is the same whether one guest is staying or {PXOLIMIT}, but we do not permit over limit occupancy. 

~ Property is not reserved in your name until deposit (or full balance) is paid AND booking is accepted. Availability is real-time and may change after this email is sent.

~ Rental Agreement signed by primary Guest and Valid Photo ID are required if you decide to book. If the required is not returned to Owner within 48 hours from booking acceptance, we reserve the right to cancel your booking and issue a refund of any amounts paid.

~ If you are booking more than {QSPDAY} days in advance of your check in date, you will need to pay a deposit plus site fee (if applicable). Balance will be due {QSPDAY} days prior to check in. 

~ If you are booking {QSPDAY} days or less prior to your check in date, the full balance is due immediately. 

~ Cancellation policy: {QCANPOL} No refunds for unforeseen or unfortunate Events outside of Cancellation policy cutoff, under any circumstances, including but not limited to: weather, storms, fear of travel, work/life events, change of plans, change of travel party composition, evacuation or hospitalization.

~ We recommend obtaining Trip insurance for your trip if your stay is during winter months, or if you are concerned about possible Cancellation.

~ The exact address, driving directions and check in instructions will be provided after balance is paid and few days prior to check in.

~ Deposit will released/refunded within 2 weeks after check out provided there are not damages, Agreement violations, and no  excessive cleaning required. It may released be sooner depending on satisfactory post-departure inspection. 

~ Check in is {PCHECKIN} ET and check out is {PCHECKOUT} ET unless pre-arranged otherwise with the Owner IN ADVANCE. Late check outs may be subject to docking of the deposit.

~ Owners reserve the right to install and operate security/image capture devices on the property outside of the cabin for the express purpose of securing the property, driveway, entryway, parking, dwelling and its contents and ensuring adherence to occupancy limits and NO PET policy.

~ Complimentary WIFI is available (Connection speed and availability is not guaranteed).

~ Our cabin is on well and septic. Guest understands that they be charged above and beyond the damage Deposit amount if prohibited items are flushed & clog or damage plumbing or the septic system.

~ Our cabin has yard with fire pit. Yard is NOT fenced and surrounded by nature, small children must be always supervised by a capable adult. 

~ All roads leading to the cabin are paved. AWD/4WD and/or snow chains may be needed during winter IF there is snow/ice on the ground.


2. Set up auto responder with following

3. set up similar for unavailable responses. 



Mar 30, 2022 5:47 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1058 posts

email goes to vrbo renter's blind disguised email and ends up in vrbo portal, has nothing to do with spam . Maybe see what available features already do what you need them to do b4 asking for thge new ones. Seems like you are not utilizing full functionality or OR. If need be, you can always take screen shots and upload to vrbo portal. That happens like once in 5 years when you really need to do it. 

Pedro T
Mar 30, 2022 5:54 PM
Joined Nov, 2017 46 posts

email goes to vrbo renter's blind disguised email and ends up in vrbo portal, has nothing to do with spam . Maybe see what available features already do what you need them to do b4 asking for thge new ones. Seems like you are not utilizing full functionality or OR. If need be, you can always take screen shots and upload to vrbo portal. That happens like once in 5 years when you really need to do it. 


What you're saying is you're sending emails to VRBO's masked email address it delivers for guests that wind up in their VRBO messaging inbox?  Is that correct?


After the booking is created and you've captured the guest's real email address through your rental agreement how do you proceed?

Ken T
Mar 30, 2022 8:40 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1122 posts

I should mention that, if you are using direct security deposits and making your guests sign our Agreements as we recommend, then in a sense you are independent of the channels.

Yes, it is possible for the channel to side with a guest in a dispute, just as they can do a chargeback via their bank.  But if you have a signed agreement, you can sue them in small claims court and win in front of a real judge, who trumps everything else.

Dewayne P
Apr 2, 2022 10:35 PM
Joined Mar, 2022 16 posts

That's kind of a silly approach though. So you'd rather not have the feature available at all vs having a completely useable feature like Hospitable does? I came here from Hospitable expecting ownerrez to be better. I can't believe you guys don't support VRBO messaging. 

Brandon B
Apr 2, 2022 11:04 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 13 posts

I feel you.  Kind of silly to not want it solely because there's a kludgy workaround.  That said I feel OR has more utility than Hospitable.   Literally only thing missing for me (can't speak for others) is VRBO messaging. 

Dewayne P
Apr 2, 2022 11:15 PM
Joined Mar, 2022 16 posts

So how are you handling communication with VRBO? Just through emails? Also when I tried to connect with VRBO they said it's processing and it may take up to 90 (!!!) days to complete. Is that normal?

Ryan H
Apr 2, 2022 11:22 PM
Joined Mar, 2022 67 posts

My prior PMS didn't have reliable VRBO messaging capability.  Had to do it all through VRBO messaging or direct to their email (we had their clear emails).


On the 90 day migration plan too, but VRBO says it's more like 3-4 weeks of you have an existing PMS.

Liz L
Apr 2, 2022 11:38 PM
Joined Feb, 2021 1 post

While waiting for this to work, I just use the Vrbo inbox. I have the owner app on my phone, so super easy to use. I often use the Air inbox that way too, even though it’s supported.  
when on my phone, it’s a lot easier than going through OR to message guests.

Brandon B
Apr 2, 2022 11:42 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 13 posts

I don't like the VRBO app at all.  Updates lag, notifications aren't  great, attachments stink.  Airbnb is fine.  Ideally I'm on a computer more than not so that's what drives my desire for OR and VRBO native messages.  Plus the templates in VRBO are weak.  VRBO app gets the job done for now...

Julie M
Apr 3, 2022 10:00 AM
Joined Jan, 2021 10 posts

I am absolutely dying for this feature.  Half the time the emails guests use for VRBO are ones they don't check often, so I have to tell them to make sure they check it, and THEN half the time the OR emails go to spam anyway.  High percentage of guests asking me for information the day before/day of check-in when it's already been sent to them... but went to spam.  Extra hassle for me and poor experience for the guests.

Also I'm sure this is a VRBO side issue, but half the time a booking shows up as confirmed in OR with payment accepted, but just shows as an inquiry in VRBO.  So I can't even respond in the VRBO interface to look out for emails from X email address... it won't let me send an email address, I have to say something generic like "keep an eye out for emails from me".  Totally inconsistent as to which bookings show up as confirmed in VRBO and which ones don't.

Very much dislike that communication is off-platform so if there's a dispute there's no record of it on VRBO.

I've given serious consideration to switching to Hospitable purely for the native VRBO messaging, but so far OR has won out because of other features/integrations it has that Hospitable doesn't.  But that doesn't make this feature less important to me, or the current situation less frustrating, and I sincerely hope it's able to be integrated very soon!

Julie M
Apr 3, 2022 10:00 AM
Joined Jan, 2021 10 posts

Deleted due to accidental duplicate post - sorry!

Chelsea V
Apr 3, 2022 6:45 PM
Joined Oct, 2021 5 posts

I, too, am very interested in this feature.  The inability to use native messaging in VRBO is what keeps me continuing to consider going back to Hospitable (Smartbnb) just for their awesome messaging capabilities.  OR is really a game changer for me and, and native messaging with both Airbnb and VRBO would make me very happy!  Glad you are continuing to work on it.


Brian C
Apr 11, 2022 11:57 PM
Joined Apr, 2022 3 posts

Me too! Now I am just figuring out all of this information. I had no issues with Hospitable, I just wanted to get everything in one place and be able to offer direct bookings. Loos like that is not happening.

Brian C
Apr 11, 2022 11:59 PM
Joined Apr, 2022 3 posts

So you write out a new message for each response? Or do you somehow have templates that you use?

Chris L
May 4, 2022 12:46 PM
Joined May, 2017 183 posts

FYI, I’m sitting in the Vrbo keynote at the giant Expedia EXPLORE 22 conference in Vegas right now. Matt, head of the product team at Vrbo, has said multiple times that there is intense demand among all property managers using all sorts of different PMS platforms (so it’s not just an issue with OR!) for a messaging API, and they have heard us loud and clear and are actively working on it and it will be released later this year.

I know the OR team has said something similar but it’s nice to hear it from the other side that they recognize the importance and it’s coming soon. 👍

(If anyone else here is at this event, say hi!)