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2019

API Integrations - Airbnb Overview

Our Channel Management feature is extremely powerful and can greatly simplify your channel advertising. Learn how it works by reading our Channel Management Overview article.  The most powerful part of our Channel Management is the API Integrations we have with certain channel partners.

OwnerRez has partnered with Airbnb to provide an integrated API connection between the two systems. This allows OwnerRez users to easily distribute your existing property content, rates, rules and availability directly to Airbnb and receive back booking and guest information inside OwnerRez automatically.

Who can use the Airbnb API integration

There is no minimum number of properties required to use the Airbnb API integration.  It's wide open to all users!  Even small mom-and-pop owners with 1 property are welcome to connect. If you're wondering how this compares to other API channels, check out our comparison matrix of the technical differences between API channels.

We highly encourage all OwnerRez users, no matter the size, to use this API integration to manage their Airbnb listings instead of iCal sync (calendar import/export) and other manual syncing processes.  Our API integration supports all of the same functionality that can be found on the Airbnb platform including messaging, special offers and reviews, so there is no advantage in continuing to use the platform side.

What you can do with the Airbnb API integration

There are some functional limitations to the API side of Airbnb but they are basically the same as the platform side of Airbnb.  Moving to the API side will not change those limitations.  For instance, you may know that when moving to the API side of HomeAway, you are allowed to use your own credit card processing because HomeAway will pass the guest's card credit to OwnerRez when the booking occurs.  Airbnb does not operate this way.  Airbnb continues to be the merchant of record for all payments past, present and future.

Here is a list of all API functions, whether Airbnb API supports it and details about that support.

API Function Airbnb Description Caveats & Notes
Property Content Yes The descriptions, amenities, photos, location and layout (rooms) of the property are pushed automatically to Airbnb any time they change in OwnerRez  
Rates Yes Rent, fees, discounts and tax amounts are pushed automatically to Airbnb any time they change in OwnerRez  
Rules Yes Minimum night stays, restrictions (pets, max guests), cancellation policy, house rules, etc. are pushed automatically to Airbnb any time they change in OwnerRez Airbnb requires instant booking for API connected listings. You can set restrictions on verified ID etc.
Availability Yes The active calendar of what is already booked versus open and available is automatically pushed to Airbnb any time it changes in OwnerRez  
Reviews Yes Reviews that the guest writes on Airbnb are pushed to OwnerRez  
Bookings Yes Bookings that occur on Airbnb are automatically pushed to OwnerRez (without the guest's credit card)  
Credit Cards No Airbnb will not pass the guest's credit card to OwnerRez for processing, so it will not be stored on file with their booking in OwnerRez  
Guest Info Yes When the booking comes into OwnerRez, it includes the guest's contact information such as the real phone number and email address Email address is a proxy (pass-through) email address.  The guest's real email address is still not transmitted, even using the API.
Quotes Yes The ability to send a different or custom rate (ie. "special offer") to the guest before they book on Airbnb  
Inquiries Yes Requests or general contact that the guest makes through Airbnb will be pushed to OwnerRez for response  

If you're wondering how these Airbnb functions compare to the other API channels, check out our comparison matrix of the functional differences between API channels.

Connecting the Airbnb API integration

Airbnb is one of the rare channels that allows self-service connections.  In other words, you can connect OwnerRez to the Airbnb API directly without having to ask permission or be approved by the channel.

We've written a detailed step-by-step connection document for the Airbnb API.  Please follow this closely as it outlines each step of the process with pictures and explanations for what you're seeing.

If you haven't already read it, please also take a look at our Preparing to go API document which discuss the steps you should take to get your OwnerRez data ready to be distributed to channels via API and the tools you can use in OwnerRez to look for holes and errors.

Pros and Cons of Airbnb API

API integrations are extremely powerful and take can a lot of work off your hands, but they can also be limiting and come with compromises.

Using the Airbnb API will mean that your property changes - content, rates, rules - will all stay in sync from OwnerRez without you having to lift a finger.  If you've used our Channel Bridge tool in the past to push rate updates, you won't have to do that anymore.  If you've wondered "how long will it be until Airbnb calendar updates" when you get a booking, you won't have to wonder about that anymore either - no need to use iCal.

Other API integrations allow you to get the guest's credit card passed over to OwnerRez so that you are the merchant of record, but Airbnb API does not do that.  All payments will continue to take place on the Airbnb platform.

You will not be able to see the guest's real email address, like other API channels provide, because Airbnb only passes a proxy (pass-through) email address for bookings.  However, you can always request the guest's email address after the booking comes in by using our automated email templates and triggers.

Even though Airbnb passes the booking, guest and financial information to OwnerRez, they do not pass along payment or payout information, nor do they pass any information about resolutions or resolution payouts.  This means that you'll still need to use our Channel Bridge tool to download the full financial details for your bookings.

However, remember that the above limitations are the same for Airbnb whether you switch to the API or continue using the platform.  Nothing is lost or gained when moving to API - these limitations remain the same.  On the plus side, you'll be gaining the enormous benefit of managing property content, rates, rules and directly from OwnerRez without having to keep multiple channels in sync.  There is no restriction on who can join the Airbnb API, so go ahead and get started today!