Those options are all the same*. The different labels are to help you organize your calendar syncs. You can choose whichever one you feel best describes what you are trying to accomplish. You will also have the option to input a custom name for the calendar connection when you select one of those options.
I tried the Google one, it does not maintain a continious sync - it just syncs once.
The link we provide goes to a .ics file. This file is periodically updated to be up to date with your calendar in MyVR. It is up to the destination (Microsoft Outlook) to periodically check this file for changes.
* Note: some Calendar Connection options are different. For example, some calendar connections to specific channels will have special default settings to ensure accurate syncing with that channel.
This is not something you can adjust. We simply pass the address that you entered in MyVR to HomeAway. Most likely the issue is on HomeAway's end. They may be incorrectly parsing the address we send them. I've created a support ticket for this issue to start the process of us investigating.
Looking at one property with this issue, it seems like it might be caused by the difference between the street being referred to as a "Circle" or a "Drive". A "Circle" – what you have entered – exists in Reeds Spring while a "Drive" exists in Branson. I'll be more specific in the support ticket, as I don't want to publish the full address of your property here.
I'll try to address each of your questions in order. I'm wondering if we should create separate community topics for each as they are all relevant.
Listing Search Ranking
The overall effect on HA/VRBO search ranking is hard to measure. The placement in search and the exact search ranking algorithms are not shared with us, the same way that Googles search ranking algorithms are not public. Last year HomeAway moved from a subscription level system where more expensive subscriptions could boost search ranking to a "best match" algorithm. The transition from old to new style listing subscriptions is not complete and there are still some old listings that are finishing out their subscription. As time passes, "Best Match" and listing quality are more and more important for ranking high in search. Here are some resources about "Best Match" and listing quality:
HomeAway has stated explicitly that listings are treated equally so there should be no specific penalty for being integrated vs. not. Managing your listing using MyVR can help you with a number of tasks related to "Best Match" including calendar accuracy, response time (using automated and transactional emails), conversion reporting, and acceptance of online bookings. I'll speak to conversion credit/reporting in more depth below.
HA/VRBO conversion credit is given for any reservations in MyVR that were booked through HA/VRBO or that the source is set to HA/VRBO. Any inquiry in MyVR that converts to a reservation can have its source set to HA/VRBO, but should really only be those reservations where the lead was initiated at HA/VRBO. For example, if a renter calls the phone number on a HA/VRBO listing and books, the reservation would be entered into MyVR. The source of the new reservation set to HA/VRBO. MyVR will report that conversion back to HA/VRBO earning "offline" booking conversion credit with HA/VRBO.
As @Jenny-Oest mentioned, MyVR improved conversion credit reporting last year which, at least anecdotally, seems to have improved rankings system wide. The more conversions from your HomeAway listings on- and off-line the more likely a listing is to appear higher in renter searches. Without MyVR management, in order to earn credit for offline bookings, you'll need to enter these "offline" bookings into HomeAway by creating a manual reservation. This is one of the big time savers when using MyVR especially when you're marketing your property across more than two channels.
HomeAway listings are non refundable. Instead, if you have an existing listing, they can apply credit for the time left on your subscription towards a new listing. For example, if you have 3 months left on a Platinum listing subscription with Global bundle (which may have cost you $1K+), you could apply those 3 months towards a new annual subscription. The new, non level, subscriptions cost $399 through MyVR. The credit forward is 3 months or roughly $99.75 prorated on the new subscription. A new annual subscription would cost roughly $299.25 after applying the 3 month credit from the old subscription. Did you notice that it didn't matter how much the original subscription cost? Time is the only thing that matters on the old subscription.
Guest Email Access
HA/VRBO will have access to emails of guests that book or inquire through HA/VRBO, however other inquiries that are not related to HA/VRBO will not be reported to HA/VRBO unless the source is set to HA/VRBO. Candidly, I'm not sure if the email address is used from offline bookings or not. This is a good reason to only set the source to HA/VRBO if a reservation was truly initiated there.
Trying it out
We have 2 offerings for HomeAway. HomeAway for Owners (fewer than 5 listings) and HomeAway for Property Managers (5+ listings). It is difficult to move from one offering to another and each is technically implemented very differently. If you're planning on having 5 or more properties listed on HomeAway soon, my recommendation is to wait until you can take advantage of the Property Manager offering. This thread originated as a "can I keep my reviews" question which really only applies to the Owner offering.
If you think you'll have fewer than 5 listings for a while on HomeAway then I'd recommend getting HomeAway for Owners setup. If you decided that you wanted to go back to calendar-only management it will take some work in both cases, however I suspect it would be easier under the Property Manager offering.
I hope this helps. This might also trigger some more questions that we're happy to address here.
We'll need to take a look at those specific reservations and try to determine if the cleaning fees were syncing when the reservation was submitted. As this is an individual case, I'll reach out individually with an update soon
@Sandy-Parlett For FlipKey/TripAdvisor, they currently only allow you to import calendars into your FlipKey calendar, they do not allow outside calendars like MyVR to pull a calendar in from FlipKey. So:
[Yes] FlipKey <-- MyVR
[No] MyVR <-- FlipKey
Said another way, changes in MyVR can update the FlipKey calendar, changes in FlipKey cannot update the MyVR calendar.
Thanks Jonathan, I see it now and have updated my votes and made my comments.
The "automatic cancellation" thing is when the guest cancels and a refund is due back to them. I have heard that this can be painstaking with booking.com and want to make sure MyVR manages that through their system.
I agree 100% with keeping calendars up to date, and furthermore need the ability to variably block certain dates on channels that mandate automatic bookings, like booking.com
I encourage anyone who wants to use booking.com to get the vote out for "Rate & availability controls by integrated channel"!!! (just kidding, not really)
Thanks again for reaching out! On API integrated Airbnb listings guests will see a small link that says "contact host" this is a way for a guest to ask any questions and inquire about your property without instantly booking. These "contact host" messages are sent directly to the email address and phone number that was used to sign up for the Airbnb account. Unfortunately, these messages are not yet available via the API, but we do have a workaround.
One way to have these messages flow through MyVR is to set the account email address at Airbnb to be the address formed by your account nickname @inquiry.myvr.com. All messages from Airbnb currently arrive in your inbox under other messages, and can be converted to inquiries from there.
The account nickname is something that you can only set once in MyVR. When you first install the Airbnb application you'll have an opportunity to set it. In your specific case, the nickname is already set and you can find it under account settings.
It sounds like you have installed the HomeAway for RBOs app but you still have a VRBO account. You cannot import the full reservation data but you can import the calendar events from your old VRBO account into MyVR by setting up a calendar import. By importing the calendar from your old VRBO account you can add events to your MyVR calendar which will help you prevent double bookings. The imported events should at least contain the guests name.
First, if you have not already install the "calendar only" app here. Then setup an import for VRBO. You may also want to setup an export from MyVR to your old VRBO account.
Here is some information on how to setup things in your old VRBO account: