Solved Difference between "For Owners" and "For Property Managers" Apps
Chad Service last edited by
I only ask because as I’ve been adding channels I’ve used the “For Property Managers” app instead of the owners one. But i noticed on our homeaway channel (which was setup before I got here) that it is the homeaway “for owners” app. It seems basically the same. I’m just curious if I should uninstall that and set it up again through the “for management owners” app for any reason.
CJ Avilla last edited by
The primary difference between the Owner and Property Manager Offerings is the number of properties listed. For owners with fewer than 5 properties they’ll need to use the for Owner offering. For those with 5 or more properties the HomeAway for Property Managers app is the correct choice.
I’ll reach out to you directly about your situation to make sure you’re using the correct app.
Hi @Chad-Service -
Before I start…
- RBO = Rent by Owner
- PM = Property Manager
- HA = HomeAway
- TA = TripAdvisor
I’m glad that this came up, because it is a POWERFUL offering but it is something that is inherently a little complicated. It’s something we need to educate customers on a lot, despite our efforts to document this well in our apps. I actually think that our vision for creating this Forum was to handle this exact kind of question in a public setting, so that others can read and benefit from the answers (and so that we don’t just have the same conversations one-on-one over and over).
HA and TA generally think of you as a PM when you get around ~5 properties
CJ’s right in that the primary distinction is property numbers - but there’s actually quite a bit more to it that I think is worth getting into here. Regarding property numbers, both HA and TA draw currently a distinction between RBO and PM at around 5 properties. Once you reach the PM threshold , you become eligible for a PM account, you get assigned an account manager, and you become eligible for software connectivity.
Why it matters if you’re a RBO vs PM at HA and TA
Currently with HA and TA, you must be a PM to have your listings integrated with software (with one important exception below). I’m speculating, but I think they’d love everyone to use channel management, but the setup and maintenance of it is a lot of work, and that’s why I think they currently reserve it for larger clients, and they’re making this cut-off at their RBO vs PM threshold of ~5 properties. There is, of course, one notable exception to this: MyVR.com.
In addition to our PM channel management with these companies, MyVR has a unique channel management setup for RBO’s that isn’t currently available anywhere else. As a result, you typically must be 5+ properties at other software products to leverage channel management with HA and TA, which leaves RBO’s out in the cold.*
Why MyVR has RBO vs PM apps
Because HA and TA have RBO vs PM accounts, and because the channel management offering we’ve built with them works differently for RBO’s vs PM’s, we need to fork them and treat them differently in our product. These integrations aren’t the same and they aren’t equal. In general, the PM integration is preferable, if you’re eligible. I think you go with the RBO integration because you’re not eligible for the PM integration, or because you’ve been on the RBO integration for a while and it’s too much work to move (it’s not insignificant to move from one to the other), or you don’t like the changes that occur when you move from RBO to PM.
What are the key differences between the RBO and PM integrations
First, it’s important to note that you should read the extensive documentation we have for these integrations. I’m going to skip Airbnb and Booking.com, because these currently operate essentially the same for RBO’s vs PM’s. For HA and TA, you can read the details about how each integration works on the app detail pages for each app:
- HA RBO: https://myvr.com/vacation-rental-applications/homeaway-rbo/
- HA PM: https://myvr.com/vacation-rental-applications/homeaway-pm/
- TA RBO: https://myvr.com/vacation-rental-applications/flipkey-rbo/
- TA PM: https://myvr.com/vacation-rental-applications/flipkey-pm/
For HA and TA, when you’re on the RBO integration, it means that your listings are in a MyVR PM account. You no longer log into HA or TA, and you manage it completely from MyVR. You can either buy new listings through us (technically we buy them for our account and just charge you), or you can transfer listings you already have over to us for the integration (we take over billing responsibility with HA/TA and charge you for the listings). When you transfer listings over from HA, they currently credit us with a partial refund for what you have left on your listing and we apply that refund to your MyVR bill. For TA, I think most people move over to us from pay-per-booking, so I’m candidly not even sure if the refund concept exists if you come over from another subscription. If someone’s in this situation, ping our support and we’ll figure it out (or just move over when your old listing is going to expire).
When you’re on the PM integrations with HA and TA, the listings are in YOUR PM account at the listing site and you maintain the billing relationship on the listings, whether it be subscription or PPB. It also means you still have a login at HA and TA, and we just populate the listing, as well as receive data back from the channel (currently inquiries and bookings from HA, and inquiries from TA). So you do have an account, but sometimes logging in there creates more confusion because you’re not really taking any actions in there (you manage from MyVR) and things don’t always function the same in your account at the listing site after you’re integrated.
Other nuances exist - read the app details!
There are some other differences, which are documented in the apps I linked to above. One important one is that when you transfer listings at HA into or out of an account, they currently can’t move a review (as we see Airbnb and TA do). That can be a show stopper for some folks with HA (“I don’t want to lose 25 reviews!”), but others either don’t have a ton of reviews, or the reviews are older and less valuable, or they feel the automation benefits of using software outweigh the cost of losing some reviews. I think that HA will address this at some point, but I can’t speak for them or their road map. If you do transfer a listing, technically your old listing sits in your old HA account with the reviews on it, and you get a new listing through MyVR’s account (so, if they ever move reviews in the future, this might help - and you can go back to that listing with its reviews later, if you choose).
Back to Chad’s situation
So, one thing I’d highlight in your situation @Chad-Service, if you wanted to move from our RBO integration to a PM integration for HA, you’d have to get a PM account at HA and then move your listings from one account (MyVR’s) to another (your new PM account at HA). Reviews would not move. This would be one reason to consider staying on an RBO integration.
With the new plans we rolled out recently, we now have a much cleaner split between RBO and PM plans within MyVR. We have bifurcated the apps, as mentioned above, and we indicate that the RBO plans should use the RBO apps for these channels, and the PM plans should use the PM apps. Technically, I think we could allow you to use the RBO apps on the PM plans, if needed (e.g. if you had the RBO apps installed previously), but I don’t think we could allow PM apps on the RBO plan.
That was a lot of info. I hope that helps and doesn’t add more confusion!
*(unless we’re just talking iCal, or unless the software company is doing some sort of unsupported and unsustainable technical hack without the knowledge and permission of the listing site. Our channel management is done in partnership with these channels, in a way that they support, and they have resources dedicated to work with us and solving the inevitable issues with doing something as technically challenging as this.)