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2019

API Integrations - HomeAway Common Issues & Questions

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.

Adding a new listing to HomeAway from OwnerRez

  1. Create the property in OwnerRez and make sure it is fully filled out with listing content (photos, amenities, rules, etc) and that it has rates.  Read the Preparing to go API support doc where it talks about the tools to use for completeness.
  2. Modify your HomeAway API integration in OwnerRez to include the new property in the HomeAway property mappings.  Go to Settings > Channels > HomeAway API > change property mappings.  Click the "Included" checkbox, and Save your change.
  3. It may take a few hours, but the new property will show up on the HomeAway side after their system does a fresh pull.
  4. Log in to HomeAway and find your new property on the "Incomplete Listings" tab.  Do a subscription there, pay the listing fee, and finish.  Your new property should now be visible on HA/VRBO, and syncing with OwnerRez via the API like your other properties.

Offering discounts that are valid only on certain months - it's not working right!

For HomeAway, discount criteria must be a range, because they can only match things that are inclusive not exclusive.  So instead of setting a list of months not allowed, set the range of months that are allowed.

If you specify a less than and a greater than, the range will wrap around the beginning of the year allowing you to target what you want.

My properties aren't syncing, and my HA integration specialist says there's an error with OwnerRez

Whenever there is an error in sync between HomeAway and OwnerRez, there will be errors recorded in their log (that is, the HomeAway server log).  Their support staff is able to access this log and export the errors, usually in an Excel file.  Sometimes they do this without asking when they email you or us about the problem, or when you see a problem and call them to complain.

Either way, get them to produce this logfile, and send it to us at help@ownerreservations.com.  We can usually analyze it, figure out where the problem is, and tell you what to do.

I updated my property photos/descriptions in OwnerRez, but my changes aren't showing up on HomeAway/VRBO

Yes - unfortunately, the HomeAway API doesn't update property listings instantly.  It can take as long as 48 hours before all changes are fully visible across their servers.

There is nothing OwnerRez or our staff can do to speed this up.  However, the HomeAway Integration Specialists can force an immediate full update of one of your properties from their end, if you ask them to.

What is this "Price Consistency" thing and does the API support it?

You may have seen a worrying post on HA/VRBO's website, saying that "Price Consistency" is now a requirement for a good ranking.

First: this only applies to API connections. If you are not using our HA/VRBO API, it's entirely irrelevant.

Second: OwnerRez's API connection fully supports their requirements.

Historically, HomeAway's API didn't have a way to define rules-based fees and rates, so what would happen is that you'd set some approximate rates.  Then, when the guest went to actually book, HomeAway would call the OwnerRez API, get a specific quote, and then display that to the guest -- so it might be different than the initial price the guest was displayed.

Now, with Price Consistency, we send all of the rules for all rates, surcharges, discounts, taxes, etc. to HomeAway. They will evaluate those and display the correct price to the guest, and then they send us the list of charges for the booking. That way everything is exactly what the guest saw on HomeAway instead of having an intermediate quote through OwnerRez which might be different.

In fact, that's actually the only mode we support for HomeAway API now.  So you don't need to worry, you're compliant, and your property ranking will not be harmed.

My guests would like to use Discover cards to book via HA/VRBO, and my credit card processor accepts Discover, is that OK?

No, sorry!  It doesn't matter that your credit card processor accepts Discover, and that you are using the HA/VRBO API so the credit card information is passed back to OwnerRez.  HA/VRBO charges your guests' credit card separately for their handling fee, and since they don't do Discover, they don't let you accept it either even if you can.

How do I do weekly/monthly rates and have them available in HA/VRBO?

Generally, HA/VRBO doesn't support weekly/monthly type rates. Instead they support length-of-stay discounts.

If you do not have weekly/monthly rates, just use LOS discounts and leave it at that, they'll work in HA/VRBO and in your direct bookings.

If you already have weekly and/or monthly rates and are configuring the HA/VRBO API, you have two recommended approaches:

  1. Make the length-of-stay discounts only apply to HA/VRBO, by setting the Listing Site criteria on the discount to "only HomeAway". That way direct bookings will remain using the weekly/monthly rates you have set in your Seasonal Rates, and HA/VRBO will use the LOS discount.
  2. Use length-of-stay discounts everywhere, and remove all weekly or monthly rates from your Seasonal Rates.

WARNING: make sure you don't have both weekly/monthly rates and LOS discounts applying to direct bookings!  If you do, both discounts will be applied - they will stack, and your direct-booking guests will get a super double discount.   They'll be happy but you, not so much.

What if I disable a property?

There are several different elements involved in disabling a property:

  • If you "Disable" a property in OwnerRez from the Properties area, the property listing in HA/VRBO will not be disabled.  The API will continue to try to update information from OwnerRez, but won't get any.  This will lead to wrong information being displayed to guests on HA/VRBO's website; you'll also still be charged for your listing there.  Don't do this!
  • If you "Disable" a property in OwnerRez from the Properties area, and also disable/inactivate/delist the property from HA/VRBO's website, the property will effectively disappear.  This is the correct solution for when you sell a property or otherwise aren't renting it anymore.
  • If you un-check the "Active" checkbox in the API Connections "Change Settings" screen, then both your OwnerRez property and your HA/VRBO listing are unaffected - they just aren't syncing automatically anymore using the API.  This is what you do if you've decided that you don't want to use the HA/VRBO API for that property anymore, or if you are removing the listing from HA/VRBO but keeping it active in OwnerRez.
  • If you are wanting to temporarily disable a property - don't do that this way.  Instead, create a Block for the appropriate time period in the OwnerRez calendar.  This will prevent bookings during the relevant time, but keep the listings active and up-to-date otherwise.
  • You can also HIDE a property on your VRBO dashboard.  This will cause it not to be visible on VRBO's website.  It will have no effect in OwnerRez, and all API syncing will still take place.  This is the best method if you are not wanting to accept bookings from VRBO for a while, but want everything else to continue to operate normally.

I want to make some Cleaning surcharges taxable, and others not.

You can't.  HomeAway supports taxability for surcharges, but only on a category level, not down to an individual surcharge.  So if any cleaning fees are taxable, then all will be.

The guest's credit card was declined so no payment was made, why is the booking still showing on my calendar?

When a guest's credit card is declined, we return an error message to them to give them a chance to fix the problem.  The booking is held in a "pending" state for 24 hours.  It does block your calendar during that time in the hopes that the guest will pay.

If the guest fixes the problem or provides another credit card, all is well and the booking proceeds normally.

If the 24 hours expires and the guest has not paid, the booking is automatically cancelled.  OwnerRez informs HomeAway of what happened via the API, and the booking is cancelled there as well.  HomeAway considers a case of nonpayment to be a "traveler cancellation" event, which does not count against you as a host.