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VRBO Native Messaging in OwnerRez via API integration

Status: Released 227 Votes
Shawn H
Jun 7, 2023 11:22 AM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 224 posts

Hello all - great news to share today! Vrbo Messaging is now live as a Public Beta! You can see messages in OwnerRez before the guest books and reply and also after a booking comes in.

Bonus: included also is the creation of inquiries in OwnerRez (without the need to use Email parsing). So you can reply to inquiry messages but also view Inquiry details if they submitted an inquiry for your property. If you use Vrbo email inquiry parsing, it will match with that and only create 1 inquiry in OwnerRez.

We took an extra few weeks because we wanted to be able to add in the bonus. Thanks for your patience! Enjoy!

Read more in the new Vrbo Messaging support article: https://www.ownerrez.com/support/articles/vrbo-messaging

Joel P
Jun 8, 2023 11:01 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2009 126 posts

It's a bit complicated under the covers, but this will generally work for all new bookings from June 7. In some cases it will also send to pre-existing bookings, but I would not count on this yet. Until we import historical messages from Vrbo it will be hit or miss.

We recommend keeping your email triggers in place for Vrbo bookings alongside any new Vrbo channel triggers you'd like to add for the present. We will announce in our change log and blog when historical messages have been pulled in, at which point you can more safely rely on Vrbo messages only.

lindap
Jan 15, 2021 3:29 PM
Joined Jan, 2021 3 posts

Is there a plan to support native messaging on VRBO? Timeframe?

Ken T
Jan 15, 2021 3:59 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

Yes, we're working on that with them. Hopefully in a few months.

Doug D
May 3, 2021 9:24 AM
Joined Jan, 2020 16 posts

Any update on a time frame for VRBO messaging? I'm still forced to use a different platform just to get VRBO messaging, but I'd like to put it all here.

Ken T
May 3, 2021 11:10 AM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

Nope, it's still in progress. Hopefully later this year.

Paul W
May 27, 2021 2:42 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 829 posts

I have turned this into a Feature Request topic so that you can use the buttons to vote for it. Please add your vote. A lot of users have asked about and Vrbo has temporarily paused their work on it, so we're trying to generate interest so that they can see (and we can share with them) the topic being discussed. If you know or have VR friends in the industry that are interested, have them come here and up-vote this topic as well.

Great Smoky Vaca
Jun 17, 2021 9:12 PM
Joined Sep, 2020 6 posts

Thank you

Brandon B
Sep 4, 2021 7:37 AM
Joined Jun, 2021 17 posts

Hello! Any updates here?

It's so important for them to integrate this capability with OwnerRez. When scaling vacation rentals, as I am, it becomes more and more apparent of the need. This is particularly so when most of the bookings and guest interaction I receive occurs from other hosting platforms so I can (and do) use OwnerRez far more than the native VRBO app. In other words, I'll spend less and less time with the native VRBO app and it's messaging capabilities because I won't need them as much as the others.

When I do need it, it's a huge pain to have to switch up and move from my current functioning systems in place.

Ken T
Sep 4, 2021 2:29 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

Unfortunately, as popular as this request is, it is dependent on work being done by Vrbo to support our integration with this function - and this keeps getting delayed. :-( We talk with them about it at least every month, and we're top of the list for beta testing once it's available, but at present we still do not have a reliable ETA.

BlueMtnCabins
Sep 13, 2021 6:49 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1120 posts

Personally I do not see the big deal. Once the renter is booked, you have their email/phone in OR. OR sends templated emails/SMS to the renter contact. Don't see a need for cumbersome vrbo to be involved past the boking stage.

Scott C
Sep 15, 2021 8:14 AM
Joined Aug, 2021 1 post

Please allow vrbo messaging on ownerrez

lindap
Sep 22, 2021 9:11 AM
Joined Jan, 2021 3 posts

Ken,

It appears that other channel managers (Hospitable, etc) are able to send native messages in VRBO. How are they doing it if the api isn't even open to beta testers?

Ken T
Sep 22, 2021 1:10 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

It is our understanding that they are doing some sort of screen-scraping, a little like our Channel Bridge. Due to the time-sensitive nature of communications, though, we've decided we didn't want to use that approach, and are waiting for their official supported API.

Brandon B
Nov 15, 2021 2:27 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 17 posts

Any update here with VRBO supporting the API?

Ken T
Nov 15, 2021 2:56 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

Alas, no - Vrbo keeps pushing that back. :-(

Paul W
Dec 17, 2021 11:16 AM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 829 posts

Quick update on this... As an Elite partner, we've been pressuring Vrbo for this for many months (probably more than a year). And they've listened! Last week, we had a kick-off meeting with their dev team to put together requirements for a new Messaging API. Vrbo has officially re-started the process and have stated that they are committed to putting out Messaging and Reviews by API. We don't have an ETA, but this is exciting news!

Brandon B
Mar 3, 2022 12:27 AM
Joined Jun, 2021 17 posts

That's fantastic news!  Appreciate the update, keep them cmning!

Ken T
Mar 3, 2022 8:35 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

Still no ETA, but we had another meeting with their dev team this week, as they refine their designs.  So, yeah, it's slow, but they're definitely on the move.

Fun Coast Rental
Mar 3, 2022 8:38 PM
Joined Dec, 2020 15 posts

Any chance Vrbo is also working on adding channel fee transmittal functionality via the API like other platforms do? Currently it’s the only channel where we have to manually add the channel fee as an expense.

Ken T
Mar 3, 2022 10:11 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

No, they don't appear to have any interest in this.  We've done some research into ways to get it, perhaps using Channel Bridge, but haven't come up with a solution fit for general use as of yet.

Chris L
Mar 3, 2022 10:44 PM
Joined May, 2017 206 posts

No, they don't appear to have any interest in this.  We've done some research into ways to get it, perhaps using Channel Bridge, but haven't come up with a solution fit for general use as of yet.

by Ken T – Mar 4, 2022 3:11 AM (UTC)

At the very least, you could add it as an automated recurring expense for all bookings on that channel (configured via the settings). The VRBO pay per book commission always comes out to exactly the sum of my base rate and my cleaning fee times 5%. So it’s pretty easy to just automatically do the math and calculate what it should be.

The VRBO pay per book commission always comes out to exactly the sum of my base rate and my cleaning fee times 5%. So it’s pretty easy to just automatically do the math and calculate what it should be.

For that matter, even for payment methods that don’t support merchant fee reporting (that is, everything that is not stripe), an automatic configurable (I would use 3%) expense would be an amazing timesaver.

Both of these things should be able to be configured on a per-property basis, since some of my clients I don’t charge a credit card transaction fee expense, and some of my properties are on a VRBO subscription.