OwnerRez has partnered with Vrbo to provide an integrated API connection between the two systems. This allows OwnerRez users to more easily handle their listings and bookings with Vrbo and their sister brands, including Vrbo and CanadaStays.
- The Vrbo API uses the payment processor you have set up in OwnerRez, instead of letting Vrbo handle the payment processing which is how it works when you are not using API. In this case, the guest's credit card shows charges from you, and a separate charge from Vrbo for their booking fee. This means you are in full control of all charges and refunds for Vrbo bookings once they have been made, and can make changes to them at any time without asking Vrbo's permission.
- To get started with the Vrbo API, check out our Vrbo Setup & Connecting article.
- Note that, for bookings recorded in OwnerRez via the Vrbo API, OwnerRez is the source of truth. Vrbo sometimes can erroneously show bookings as still pending - this is incorrect and can be ignored.
- Vrbo now permits usage of the API connection for all owners without regard to the number of properties you have. However, all your properties in your Vrbo account must use the API connection - you can't have some properties in the same account using the API and others not.
- A Vrbo API connection must use the credit card payment processor you have set up in OwnerRez for each property - each property can have a different credit card payment processor, but each property must be configured with one. Vrbo will no longer handle your payment processing. You become fully responsible for collecting and remitting all taxes payable. OwnerRez can be configured to calculate and collect the taxes due for each booking, but you must make your own arrangements with the appropriate tax jurisdictions and authorities for remitting the taxes to them in accordance with applicable laws.
- Once the Vrbo API has been activated for a property, all future bookings will be handled using the API. However, any pre-existing bookings which were placed prior to activation of the API will not be handled by the API. You must continue to sync them using Channel Bridge and Calendar Sync until the last one has come and gone. Thereafter, you should keep the iCal in place, but the API will be all you need for booking info. (You will still need to use Channel Bridge to bring Vrbo Reviews into OR.)
- When using the API connection, it is not possible to send guests a quote using the Vrbo messaging system. Guests can make an inquiry, and you can communicate with them via email or using Vrbo's control panel. However, messages sent through Vrbo have all identifying characteristics such as URLs stripped out, so there is no way guests can receive or accept a special quote. You can, however, agree with the guest via email on a particular price - just tell them to make a booking at whatever price is displayed to them, and then you can update the charges on the booking afterwards.
- The Vrbo mobile app offers the ability to reply to inquiries and provide a customized quote, even if you are using their API. Don't use this! It looks like it works... and it seems like it works, because the guest actually receives the quote and can accept it. But then - nothing. You don't get informed of the booking via the API, it just ghosts - the worst possible outcome for a guest. Don't fall for this apparently useful, but actually worse than useless, feature of the mobile app!
What actually happens to these bookings is, they're handled via the old pre-API system. So if you still have your iCal calendar feeds connected, perhaps because of pre-existing bookings placed prior to activation of the API, this booking will appear in OwnerRez, and can be populated with data by Channel Bridge. As with any other pre-API booking, Vrbo will handle all payments.
- At present, OwnerRez is unable to integrate with the Vrbo internal messaging system, though we are working on this with Vrbo and hope to offer that capability in the future. For now, this means that Vrbo inquiries must be handled using Vrbo messaging tools, and not the OwnerRez inquiry system. While OwnerRez is able to parse Vrbo inquiry emails, Vrbo only provides their own proxy email address, not the guest's real email address - and any email replies have all identifying characteristics such as URLs stripped out, so there is no way guests can receive or accept a special quote. You can, however, agree with the guest via email or the Vrbo internal messaging system on a particular price - just tell them to make a booking at whatever price is displayed to them, and then you can update the charges on the booking afterwards once it has been made in Vrbo and automatically transferred into your OwnerRez account via the API connection.
- Some Premier Partners, unlike normal accountholders, receive real guest contact info on inquiries. When they are connected to an API, that function is turned off. That seems like a bug, and it is - but not the bug you think. As of February 2019, no premier partners were supposed to have access to contact info pre-bookings. The API has nothing to do with it. But it seems that some still do, Vrbo just hasn't noticed. When you connect the API, Vrbo staff check all your settings, and remove the access that shouldn't be there. :-(