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API Integrations - Vrbo Setup & Connecting

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.

Note that the Vrbo API connection will only handle data for bookings made after you have fully connected the API.  Any bookings that existing prior to turning on the API will be ignored.

For that reason, if you have any such pre-existing bookings, you will need to use Channel Bridge to obtain more detailed information about the guests and booking, even after you have the API up and running.

Eventually, those pre-existing bookings will have come and gone, and you won't need to use Channel Bridge, except for importing Reviews (which the API doesn't currently bring across into OwnerRez).

Important - Before starting the Vrbo integration

You must make sure the Calendar Imports (iCals) from Vrbo are in your OwnerRez account before doing the API integration.

As a reminder, those can be added in Settings > Calendar Import/Export.

Also, before you proceed with the Vrbo activation, remember part of the integration is a manual process for the Vrbo folks. Because of that, there is a strong possibility your listing will disappear for a time. It may just be a couple hours, but we've also seen it go away for a couple days. If this happens, and it lasts more than two days (weekdays, not the weekend), please let us know so we can reach out to the team at Vrbo.

Configure the Vrbo API Integration rules

Go to Settings > API Integrations > Select "Connect a Channel" > Choose "Connect Vrbo" (this covers both Vrbo and HomeAway since they have now combined).  On the Vrbo Channel setup page, start with the Credit Card payments section.

  • First, decide if you would like to accept Instant Bookings or prefer guests Request to Book.
  • Then decide if you want your Security Deposit shown as part of the guest's charges, or prefer it not be displayed in their total. (We recommend choosing the option shown, which will not add the Security Deposit to the guest's total. Since this is a refundable item, and is not an actual cost of the booking, showing it in the total may make your listing appear more expensive than it actually is.)
  • Sometimes a guest's credit card will fail. If that happens, the OwnerRez system will automatically send them a notification and ask them to use a different card. It will also place the reservation in a "pending" status. In this section you can choose how many days you will allow the booking to remain pending before it cancels. (We suggest you leave the message set to the "System Default".)
  • Finally, if the booking is getting ready to cancel for non-payment would you like to let the system cancel it automatically or do you prefer to receive a notification so you can reach out to the guest?

The next section covers the Cancellation Policy and House Rules. With Vrbo, you have the choice of using one of their pre-defined Cancellation options, or writing your own. (If you have not yet written your own Cancellation Policy, you may want to do so before continuing. Go to Settings > Rules > Cancellation Policies.) Use the drop down for this field to select the policy you prefer.

House Rules are a very important part of your Vrbo integration. The contents of this section will transfer directly to your Vrbo listing and will be displayed to potential guests. You should use this section to advise guests of your most important rules, particularly those which might result in a charge to the guest. Should you ever have an issue with a guest where you need assistance from Vrbo, your disclosure in this section will be one of the things considered by Vrbo. And, as you'll notice, they don't give us much space to write rules, so you need to be concise.

After completing the House Rules, you may select which Legal Agreement to display to potential guests.  We recommend you stick with the default shown. OwnerRez will automatically generate a copy of your Renter Agreement.

For some listing channels, you may decide to increase your rates and surcharges above what you are charging for a direct booking. In the Rate Adjustment section, you can choose to leave rates the same, increase just the nightly rent, or increase both rent and surcharges. You also have the option to decrease rent and surcharges if you prefer.

If you'd like to limit the timeframe a potential guest can book through Vrbo, use the Arrival Restrictions section to limit the booking window. You should already have your default arrival restrictions configured in your Properties > Rules > Booking Window. If you are happy with your defaults, you do not need to do anything in this section. This is only if you wish to require something different for Vrbo only.

The Email option, which is checked by default, indicates whether or not the OwnerRez system will automatically send you a notification of a new booking. We recommend you keep this checked.

Finally, you can choose if Damage Protection is to be applied to Vrbo bookings, and whether you'd like the location of your property shown on the Vrbo map at it's exact location or an approximate area. As with the Arrival Restrictions, if you're happy with the selection you made during property setup, you may just use the property default.  (Note: the property default you set in Properties > Location is specific to each of your properties. If you select Approximate or Exact in the Channel Set Up, it will apply to all properties, no matter what their default is.)

Don't forget to SAVE!

Once you've done the initial setup, you can always make changes by going back to the Vrbo Channel page and selecting the "Change" button at the top.

Mapping your properties for Vrbo

Now it's time to "map" your properties. This is how OwnerRez and Vrbo communicate so Vrbo knows which OwnerRez property matches which Vrbo listing. On the main page for your Vrbo channel, select the button to "Change Property Mappings".

On the next page you will see a list of all properties in your OwnerRez account. For each property, fill in the Vrbo listing number. (If the number is originally from Vrbo, make sure to include "ha" after the listing number. It should look the same as the Vrbo listing number you have in your Settings > Identifier Mapping page.)  After entering the listing number, make sure to check the boxes to include everything in the Vrbo API Integration. 

Have a new listing which isn't already part of your Vrbo account? Just make sure to select the "Include" box at the far right.

SAVE your work!

 

Use the Quick Connect to finish the API integration

Unlike Airbnb, the Vrbo API Integration is not fully automated, Vrbo still has to go through a manual process on their end to activate the connection. For this reason, as mentioned above, you will probably see your listing(s) disappear for a couple hours or maybe even a couple days. Don't panic, but do keep an eye on it and if it doesn't appear to be working after 48 hours (not including weekends) please let us know so we can follow up.

Reminders: Make sure you've run the Listing Quality Analyzer and cleared any errors. Verify that all your Vrbo iCals are already included in your Settings > Calendar Import/Export. And remember, if you do not have a credit card payment processor active in OwnerRez you will not be allowed to connect the Vrbo API.

On the main Vrbo Channel page, select the "Instructions" tab.

On the next page scroll down to the Setup Instructions. You will see your account ID. Make sure to copy the ID before you begin the connection process because you will need it during setup.

Below that, find the blue highlighted section and click on the words to "Start Home Away Quick Connect Integration".

Some things to know as you step through the Vrbo screens:

  • You do not need to Log-In to your Vrbo account.
  • When it asks if you have an account with HomeAway or it's affiliated partners, answer yes or no depending on whether you've already got a Vrbo/HomeAway account.  You do not have to have an active listing to say "Yes" - you just need to already have a Vrbo account,
  • When it asks if you use a property management software, say YES.
  • Make sure you pay attention to the page with your property info and EDIT it to make corrections or add missing info. In Vrbo's eyes, you are now considered a Property Manager (PM) even if you only have one property.
  • When it asks how many properties you'd like to import, it will also show how many properties it thinks you have. This is based on what's in your Vrbo account. If you have one, enter 1, even though it shows you already have 1. If you have three - 2 existing in Vrbo already and 1 new property - enter 3.
  • In the box where it wants you to tell them which vacation rental software you use, type "owner" and you should see "OwnerRez" pop up as an option. Select "OwnerRez". This is the page where you'll need that Account ID number you copied above.
  • Then you will pick your currency and read the disclosure about their different payment options.
  • Vrbo will show you a purchase order (which should have all zeros). Below that will be the listing agreement. You have to agree to the listing agreement if you want to proceed. This is what the top of the purchase order should look like:

 

  • You will then be asked for your credit card. Everyone has to enter credit card info - even if you're on a subscription and have already paid them. They should not charge you anything (since the purchase order showed zeros).
  • You'll get to a page that looks like the following:


That means you're all done!

There may be instructions on the page telling you to do other things back in OwnerRez, but if you followed the directions above, you've already taken care of everything.

Now it's time to hurry-up-and wait. This is where the manual part of the setup begins on the Vrbo side. Be patient, but reach out if it's more than 48 hours since you completed the Quick Connect.