How to connect to VRBO with MASTERINSOFT
- This tutorial explains how to set prices for channels.
- Export property listings content (create properties at VRBO/Homeaway)
- Export prices and availability
- Import bookings
- MASTERINSOFT sends date changes made in MASTERINSOFT and status changes to “Cancelled” to Homeaway
Existing or new listings can be updated via XML. Data of existing listings will be overridden by the information the sent from MASTERINSOFT. The VRBO/Homeaway implementation will be in touch with you and you can check with them if you want to keep certain data.
If you use the XML connection all updates should be done in MASTERINSOFT (not in VRBO/Homeaway) because changes you make in VRBO/Homeaway will be overridden with the next update.
The connection can update:
Homeaway.com, VRBO.com, abritel.fr, aluguetemporada.com.br, CanadaStays, fewo-direkt.de, homdelidays.es, homdelidays.it, homeaway.at, homeaway.ca, homeaway.co.au, homeaway.co.mx, homeaway.co.uk, homeaway.dk, homeaway.es, homeaway.fi, homeaway.gr, homeaway.it,, homeaway.nl,, homeaway.no, homeaway.pl, homeaway.pt, homeaway.se, homelidays.com, ownersdirect.co.uk, stayz.co.au vacationrentals.com.
- In most regions VRBO/Homeaway allows agencies with five or more listings to use their XML connection. If you are not eligible your can use our Homeway Icalconnection to synchronise calendars.
4 Before you connect
- We can only send availability if you have set up prices which are activated for this channel. This tutorial gives general information how to set prices for channels.
VRBO/Homeaway ‘PULL’ the data from MASTERINSOFT, so if you make changes it may not be displayed in their extranet immediately. They will always request live availability before allowing a booking.
VRBO/Homeaway may not allow same day bookings.
Only bookings made after the connection is established will be imported and can be managed. Existing bookings can be imported via iCal or manually.
VRBO/Homeaway does not send confirmation messages. They require these to be sent from MASTERINSOFT. The confirmation message you have set up in SETTINGS->GUEST MANAGEMENT-CONFIRMATION MESSAGES will be sent to the guest.
5 Set up
- VRBO/Homeaway have to initiate the XML connection.
- Please contact VRBO/Homeaway via this link https://www.Homeaway.com/l/pmsc/connect?brand=MASTERINSOFTand ask them to open a project for you to use MASTERINSOFT channel manager.
- Send us a support ticket indicating you want to use the VRBO/Homeaway XML connection with following content:
- Company name
- Contact Person
- Number of properties
- Contact Email
- Contact Number
We will forward this information to Homeway to speed the process up.
- VRBO/Homeaway will ask for your advertiser. Send us a support ticket with the owner ID you want to connect and we will issue it and give it to you so you can forward it to your contact at VRBO.
VRBO/Homeaways XML activation applies per MASTERINSOFT account. All properties visible in an account can be connected. If you are managing properties for different owners or in different locations please check with VRBO/Homeaway how you need to structure your account to suit their requirements.
To allow accurate commission calculation we have to provide VRBO with a feed which contains all VRBO bookings.
VRBO/Homeaway will inform you which language is compulsory. It is the language of the VRBO/Homeaway site you are listed. If this language is different from the language you use as default language for your booking page you can set it in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER ->VRBO/Homeaway ->SPECIFIC CONTENT.
If you need to activate languages go to SETTINGS->BOOKING ENGINE->INTERNATIONALISATION.
- With a single-unit listing (Listing per = Room – the recommended setting for new connections) a listing is created for every room in MASTERINSOFT.
- The “Headline” for the listing comes from “Room Headline” in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER-> ROOM CONTENT. If this field is empty the “Headline” in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER-> PROPERTY CONTENT will be used.
- The “Property Name” comes from the “Name” in SETTINGS -> PROPERTIES > DESCRIPTION. If you want to give each listing its own property name even though they are in one property in MASTERINSOFT you can enter a unique “Name” for each in SETTINGS > CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO / HOMEAWAY XML > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
- With a multi-unit listings (Listing per = Property NOT RECOMMENDED, only use this option after consulting with your activation specialist) one property in MASTERINSOFT is a listing in VRBO/Homeaway. Rooms are units in this listing.
If you want to change between listing types you can do this in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway->SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT. Before you change the setting you will need to talk to VRBO/Homeaway because certain data will get lost.
Go to SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway-> VIEW CONTENT to check if you content meets VRBO/Homeaways requirements. Any settings which do not meet VRBO/Homeaways requirements are highlighted on red. Click on the links in the “Settings” column to go to the settings where you can fix the problems.
5.2.1 Minimum Requirements
To send property information to VRBO/Homeaway, the following information must be entered into MASTERINSOFT to meet the VRBO/Homeaway minimum content requirement for listings:
- Property name
- Property type
- Maximum number of guests
- Accurate address for each property
- Latitude and longitude for each property
- At least 6 pictures for each listing recommended resolution of 1920×1080.
- Headlines with at least 20 characters
- Each listing must have at least one bedroom and one bathroom
- For online bookings you will need prices and inventory
5.2.2 Room Configurations – Define Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Bedrooms and bathrooms can be set up for the property (SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION) or per room (SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP).
- Criteria which apply to all rooms in the property should be set up with the property. They will be automatically applied to all rooms in the property.
- Criteria which only applies to one room should be entered in the room.
Set up bedrooms and bathroom either in the property OR the room. If you set them up in both you will double them up.
Do not send additional bathroom amenities if you have a full bathrooom.
Example 1: All units (rooms) have one bedroom and one bathroom. In this case you can set up the bedroom and bathroom in SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION. The number will be applied to all room/units.
Example 2: You have one unit with one bedroom and another unit with two bedrooms. In this case set the bedrooms up in SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP.
Bedrooms and bathrooms are configured by feature codes which are entered in the “Features” field.
- Click on the “Edit ” button next to the “Features” field.
- In the pop up click on “Bedroom” or “Bathroom”.
- Set the type and use the selectors to define the features within each room.
- If you have multiple bedrooms or bathrooms make sure you define them all. If you have more than 2 rooms click “Close” and SAVE. The system will then automatically add more rooms when you click on the “Edit” button again.
- Close the pop up and then press SAVE.
You can also manually add bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities. For more information see “All feature codes” below.
VRBO/Homeaway does not support all features MASTERINSOFT offers. For a list of all feature codes VRBO/Homeaway supports see “All feature codes” below.
5.2.3 Amenities, Features and Location Type
Amenities and Location Type can be set up for the property (SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION) or per room (SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP).
Criteria which apply to all rooms in the property should be set up with the property. They will be automatically applied to all rooms in the property.
Criteria which only applies to one room should be entered in the room.
Make sure you do not create duplicates.
Example 1: All units (rooms) have Wifi. In this case you can set up the Wifi in SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION. The number will be applied to all room/units.
Example 2: You have one unit with Wifi one and another unit without Wifi. In this case set the Wifi up in SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP.
Features and amenities are configured by feature codes which are entered in the “Features” field.
- Click on the “Edit ” button next to the “Features” field.
- In the pop up click on “Amenities”.
- Tick the amenities you provide.
- Close the pop up and then press SAVE.
Adding “cleaning” features and a “location type” is very important for your performance. You add them manually. Bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities can also be inserted manually. For more information see “All feature codes” below.
For a list of all feature codes and location types VRBO/Homeaway supports see “All feature codes” below.
In SETTINGS- >CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway XML ->SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT you can set which type of price you want to send.
With Per Occupancy Pricing a price for each occupancy defined in MASTERINSOFT and prices for different length of stay can be sent.
If you use rates the price for each occupancy defined in MASTERINSOFT and prices for different length of stay can be sent.1 person, 2 person and room price will send. Room price will send for specified occupancy. Multiple rates with different occupancies can send. Prices for “Extra Person”, “Extra child” and discounts set in the “Discounts” tab of the rates can not be sent.
If you use daily prices the daily price will send including occupancy. Multiple occupancy prices can send. Extra person price will send.
“Max Stay” set in the CALENDAR or rates can be sent.
VRBO/Homeaway occupancy pricing only support minimum stays up to 30 days.
With Per Day Pricing the price sent is a room price, only ONE price can be sent per date. If you have multiple prices activated for VRBO/Homeaway with different minimum stays the system will send the price with the lowest minimum stay. VRBO/Homeaway applies the minimum stay ” first night only” meaning restrictions must only be satisfied for the arrival date of the booking but not on every day of the booking. If you use daily prices with “Extra Person” prices your daily price needs to be set for the max occupancy and the “Extra Person” price needs to be added with a negative value so the price for the full occupancy can send. With Per Day Pricing you can also set an extra person price.
- The number of guests for which the price applies.
- An extra person price.
- A long stay discount. Discounts are only applied to the room price not on extras. VRBO/Homeaway stay discounts are cumulative.
Price for booking and Guaranteed Pricing
The indicative price is only used for the booking if “Pricing Policy” is set to “Guaranteed” in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway XML ->SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
“Pricing Policy” is set to “Quoted” VRBO/Homeaway will request the price for the period and the number of guests selected from MASTERINSOFT.
Click on the “View Actual Data” Button to check which prices and availability will send. Prices that had already been set in HRS be overridden but cannot be removed. If no prices have are sent from MASTERINSOFT, no availability is sent, but the which originally was in HRS is displayed.
188.8.131.52 Price Multiplier
If you want to add a multiplier to your prices you can add it to the “Price Multiplier” field.
The multiplier applies to all prices and fees which are sent.
For example, *1.23 will multiply all prices by 1.23 sent for the hotel id (i.e. raised by 23%). Lower prices can be sent with a multiplier less than 1, i.e. *0.85 will send a price of 85% of the normal price (i.e. lowered by 15%).
To convert the price of imported bookings add a * after the multiplier, for example *1.23* will divide the price of the booking by 1.23.
You can also use currency conversion template variables. All currencies supported by the booking page currency selector can be used.
For example *[CONVERT:IDR-EUR] will convert Indonesian Rupees to Euros.
5.2.5 Taxes & Fees
Taxes and fees can be added in SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT under “Custom”.
- Taxes and fees can apply as a flat fee, a percentage, per day or per guest.
- You can choose taxes and fees to be “stay collected”. In this case they will not be added to the booking price.
Use the context help for detailed instructions.
A Cleaning fee is required by VRBO/Homeaway and if it is not set by one of these methods a value of zero will automatically be sent. You can enter the cleaning fee in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER–>PROPERTY CONTENT->ROOM CONTENT.
If you do not allow pets you choose “Pets not allowed” as feature in SETTING->PROPERTIES-> DESCRIPTION. Fees for pets can be set as custom values in SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
VRBO/Homeaway requires a rental agreement, you can set one per property SETTINGS -> CHANNEL MANAGER -> VRBO/Homeaway XML > Rental Agreement PDF URL, or for individual Units, SETTINGS -> CHANNEL MANAGER -> VRBO/Homeaway XML > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT > Rental Agreement PDF URL. If you do not have a website where you can upload a pdf to you can use a service which supports direct links like https://www.docdroid.net.
You can set the minimum age via a “Custom” value in SETTINGS > CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway XML > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
5.2.8 Cancellation Policy
VRBO/Homeaway requires a cancellation policy. We will send the policies set in SETTING->PROPERTIES-> DESCRIPTION.
You can can which policy applies in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT
If you want to send a custom cancellation policy you need to set the actual poly in “Custom” in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT. Use the context help for detailed instructions.
If you allow children set the number of children which are allowed or “Dont ask” in the setting for “Maximum Children” in SETTING->PROPERTIES-> ROOMS -> SETUP.
5.3 Payments and Payment Schedule
By default payment is due at the time of the booking. You can change this to “At Check-in ” in SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT.
If payments are due at different times you can set up payment schedules in SETTINGS – > PAYMENTS – > PAYMENT SCHEDULE and link it to your property in SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT.
If you have set up deposit collection in SETTINGS – > PAYMENTS- > PAYMENT COLLECTION we will send the deposit amount set there to be due at the time of the booking and the remainder if any at arrival.
Listings where guests do not have to pay the full amount with the booking perform better. Payment Schedules allow to set up to five payments.
In SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT you can set which payment types you accept. MASTERINSOFT supports following payment options:
If you choose “Invoice” you need to enter a description on how guests can pay in SETTINGS – > CHANNEL MANAGER – > VRBO/Homeaway.COM -> SPECIFIC CONTENT “Payment Options Description ”
- Credit Card
The cards you have activated in SETTINGS – > PAYMENTS – > PAYMENT GATEWAYS – > CREDIT CARD will be sent as accepted cards.
If you do not receive a credit card with the booking and require a payment prior to the guest arrival, you can use an Auto Action to request payments from guests.
You can collect their credit card details to charge manually, via your payment gateway, or automatically if you use the Stripe Integration for more information.
If you do not take the total amount as a deposit, you must set up a “Payment 2” for the remaining amount.
VRBO/Homeaway supports property pictures and room pictures.
- The pictures activated as “Property Pictures” in SETTINGS->BOOKING ENGINE->PICTURES will be sent for the property. Make sure you have enabled at least 6 property pictures per listing.
- The pictures activated as “Room Pictures” in SETTINGS->BOOKING ENGINE->PICTURES will be sent for the room. If there are no room pictures then offer pictures will be sent for the room.
- If your listings are per room property pictures are used for the first room listing only and room pictures are used for the other room listings.
If you use external pictures you need to make sure they are .jpg format.
If you need to change a picture, add or change it’s caption text to ensure it gets re-imported by VRBO/Homeaway.
- With a single-unit listing (Listing per Room) room pictures are sent first (in property section) and property pictures in room settings so not all listings look the same.
- With a multi-unit listings (Listing per Property) property pictures send first.
When the same pictures is in the property and the room we only send it once.
Make sure you add captions to your pictures. Please see the pictures help page for instructions.
5.3.2 Check if data is complete and correct
Go to SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway ->CONTENT or click on the “View content sent to VRBO/Homeaway” link.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements VRBO/Homeaway will reject all data sent.
To update the listing content click on the links on this page.
To check which information is sent to VRBO/Homeaway click on the “View actual data sent to VRBO/Homeaway” link. This will show you the raw data. A click on “View Actual Data” will show you which prices are sent.
Checklist – these factors are important for the performance of your listings
- Choose your headline carefully and make sure your key (first) picture and your headline work together.
- Recommended are 24 pictures”, make sure all have captions.
- Add Location Type feature so your listing will show in location based searches.
- Add cleaningfeatures.
- Listings where guests do not have to pay the full amount with the booking perform better.
- Make sure your pdf rental agreement and the contain the same text as your free text cancellation and that the content lines up with the cancellation policy you have selected.
Tick “Inventory”, “Bookings” and “Prices” in SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->VRBO/Homeaway.COM (NOT iCal).
If you set a booking to “Cancelled” we will send it as “Cancelled by guest” to VRBO/Homeaway. If the booking is cancelled by the owner you can set this as a “substatus” via the second selector next to the “Cancelled” status in the “Summary” tab of the booking.
If a different reason for the cancellation applies you can set this by adding one of the following info codes in to “Info” tab of the booking:
Never delete bookings from VRBO/Homeaway because VRBO/Homeaway expect to read the booking status even if they are cancelled.
Changes to availability and prices will be instantly sent to the channel. Other changes will be pulled by VRBO/Homeaway with their next poll.
9 6. All feature codes
You can also manually add bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities typing the feature codes exactly as listed below into the “Features” field.
Each room feature code can have additional features added to it separated by a space which will list the features within this room. Multiple rooms can be added.
Example: One bedroom with a double bed and a crib
BEDROOM BED_DOUBLE BED_CRIB
Example: The property has 3 bathrooms with various features
BATHROOM BIDET COMBO_TUB_SHOWER
Add feature codes one for each feature separated by spaces.
Example: A property has television, internet and beach view
TELEVISION INTERNET BEACH_VIEW
- Bathroom Types – If there are multiple bathrooms add one code for each followed by appropriate amenity codes.
1.1 Bathroom Amenities – These must be specified after the bathroom type code and are applied to the preceding bathroom type code. If there are multiple features in the room add a code for each BIDET COMBO_TUB_SHOWER JETTED_TUB OUTDOOR_SHOWER SHOWER TOILET TUB
- Bedroom Types – If there are multiple bedrooms add one code for each followed by appropriate amenity codes.
2.1 Bedroom Amenities – These must be specified after the bedroom type code and are applied to the preceding bedroom type code. If there are multiple beds in the bedroom add one code for each.
- Nearest features Nearest features must consist of three parts in order joined by underscores, a feature type, the distance unit, the number value. For example NEAREST_BEACH_KILOMETERS_3or NEAREST_BAR_METERS_200
- Location type features
- Other features
10 VRBO/Homeaway.com Offline Bookings / Data protection
VRBO requires you mark bookings which originated from a VRBO/Homeaway enquiry by setting the Referer value on the “Details” tab of the booking to Homeaway. VRBO/Homeaway requires you to enter the guests Email address in the booking.
VRBO/Homeaway will have access to these bookings for reporting purposes.
Make sure you comply with your local data protection laws.
11 Common Errors
Any errors reported by VRBO/Homeaway will be visible when checking the links
internal error constructing XML – to see the faulty XML
open https: //www.MASTERINSOFT.com/api/VRBO/Homeaway.com/HA-3.4/unitRates?roomid=XXXXX&show=novalidation
Please check you have selected the Channel (VRBO/Homeaway) in your RATES (Channel Tab) or Daily Prices (Enable)