Homeaway Subscription Question

  • Explorer

    Hello. I have a general question about homeaway. We notice there are 2 ways for guests to book. They can hit the “request to book” button and go through the process of booking a room directly through homeaway in which case homeaway charges a service fee of normally around $80.

    If the guest; however, clicks “send a message” they can go through the process to directly get in touch with us and book directly through us in which case there is no homeaway service fee.

    We are looking into upgrading but we do NOT want guest booking unless they go directly through us. I guess my question is there any way to remove the option for homeaway to charge the guest instead of them just directing them to us?

  • Explorer

    After some research I found the answer. Thanks

  • Explorer

    It appears that the guests now have an option to ‘Book it Now’ or ‘Contact Owner.’ If the guest clicks the BIN option then they can carry on and pay for everything directly through homeaway or vrbo. However, they are charged a service fee to do so.

    If the guest decide to ‘contact owner’ then they can email a message to the owner, wait for a response, and book directly through the owner without paying a service fee through homeaway or vrbo.

    The issue is when a guest clicks ‘contact owner’, homeaway or vrbo sends out messages and pop ups that say it is unsafe and the guest should go through their payment processor (so vrbo/homeaway can make more money off a service charge) rather than booking directly through the owner.

    I’m not fully understanding homeaway’s “algorithm” for search results but ive read keeping the BIN option increases your standing in the search bar.

    Anyone have more input or corrections? I personally hate the BIN. I want my guest to book directly through me.

  • Explorer

    I’m in agreement. Not a fan of the Homeaway BIN or their new fees because for a larger property like ours, it’s a major pain when someone books, then cancels because they find out we’re larger than what they thought or their group fell apart. Who refunds Homeaway’s booking fees then? Their system for refunds looks like it’s set up for them to have us do it. Not cool at all!

    That whole fee thing smacks of corporatization of the Homeaway site. While on our end it looks like the old personable interface, that’s just a facade for Expedia’s money-generating systems, hence the fees etc…


  • MyVR Employee

    @Chad-Service, there is no way to avoid the service fee without affecting your ranking. Enabling “Book it Now” (Online Booking) for HomeAway improves your search ranking, exactly how much is not information HomeAway shares publicly though. If you are using MyVR’s HomeAway PM integration then you may be able to disable online booking for a listing in your HomeAway dashboard, but only if you are paying for a listing with a subscription (i.e. you are not paying per booking). If you meet those requirements then you can experiment with one of your listings to see how disabling online booking affects your booking rate.

    @Darrell-Looney112 , to answer you question regarding who refunds HomeAway’s booking fees (a.k.a. traveler service fee): HomeAway collects the fee upon booking (i.e. HomeAway charges the travelers credit card) and also refunds it in the event of a cancellation. When you are using one of MyVR’s HomeAway apps, cancellation of a booking in MyVR is automatically reported back to HomeAway, then HomeAway issues a refund to the traveler.

    For other readers of this topic, here is some more information on “Book It Now” from HomeAway:

  • Explorer

    Thanks for the reply Jesse. We are going to be experimenting with some on our units on BIN and others on annual subscription to see what the difference is in rentals accumulated.

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