Exciting Improvements Coming to “FlipKey for RBO” Channel Management


  • MyVR Employee

    We have some big improvements coming this summer to our “FlipKey for Owners” channel management offering. As a reminder, this integration is typically for users with fewer than 5 properties (but not always). The upcoming improvements will radically improve the performance of this channel and drive more bookings, reduce your cost, and make this channel easier to manage.

    Here’s What’s Coming

    Get more bookings!

    • Rank higher with the Online Booking setting
    • Rank higher with the Instant Booking setting (upon eligibility)
    • Rank higher with easier management of traveler reviews
    • Expanded distribution (including to VacationHomeRentals.com!)

    Pay less!

    • No more need to pay a subscription - pay only when you get a booking
    • list itemPay just for credit card processing as you do today (~3% to TripAdvisor instead of MyVR)

    Easier management with your own TripAdvisor login!

    • Manage traveler reviews right from TripAdvisor
    • Respond to online booking requests in your account or turn on instant bookings to automatically accept them
    • Reservations will automatically import to MyVR from TripAdvisor
    • Expanded international currency settings

    What You Need to Do

    For now, you don’t need to do anything. We will be working in the coming weeks to provide all existing users of the FlipKey for RBO integration with instructions for how to get up and running on the new integration. Whether you’re on the RBO Flexible Plan, the RBO Everything Bundle, or one of our older legacy plans, MyVR will be in touch regarding this opportunity and what you need to do.

    Once we migrate existing users of this channel, we’ll then open up this opportunity to new RBO plan users wanting to pursue this new and existing integration (likely sometime in July 2018).

    Interested in hearing more? Be sure to click the setting at the bottom of this post to watch this thread for further updates!


  • Newcomer

    @jess-milligan

    How does this impact us as annual MyVR subscription holders...thought the FlipKey subscription is included? What is the pay per booking fee?


  • MyVR Employee

    @manfred-wagner
    Great question!

    Going forward, the annual subscription fee for FlipKey will no longer be included in the Everything Bundle cost for MyVR. The pay per booking fees are the same 3% to FlipKey and 1.49% to MyVR that previously existed. So, the upfront cost is lower and the fees to MyVR and FlipKey are contingent on you getting bookings.

    Also, we are handling recently renewed subscriptions on a case-by-case basis since we need users to opt in to the new upgrade (recommended!) before we process next steps.


  • Explorer

    Just wanted to mention that according to Flipkey/TripAdvisor, the only way to be eligible for a "Site of Excellence" designation is NOT to have a subscription plan. So this is another unexpected benefit.

    Darrell


  • MyVR Employee

    We've received several new questions around the FlipKey for RBO channel management update, so we're providing answers on how to complete your account set up and what to expect with listing management.

    I've opted in, what's next?
    Once opted in, we need users to complete the following actions in their TripAdvisor account;

    • Reset your password
    • Accept Terms and Conditions
    • Update payout settings
    • Fill out tax information
    • Update booking policies

    Reset your password
    If you opted in, you should have received a password reset email from TripAdvisor. This will take you into your TripAdvisor account (this may be a new account for users who previously have not signed into TripAdvisor) where you'll be prompted to change your password.

    Accept Terms and Conditions
    Upon logging in you will be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions.

    Update payout settings
    Once you log into TripAdvisor you will likely be prompted to set up a property. Skip this step and go directly to Listings > and click on Requirements Not Met. Complete the steps for adding bank or PayPal info. Note: with payout settings, extra security may be required using voice call or text.

    Fill out tax information
    Depending on where your business is registered and where your rental is located, you may be subject to various taxes. Go to My Account > Taxes and Fees to complete the proper tax settings. More information on the tax settings can be found here.

    Update Booking Policies
    Update your booking policies under Listings > Booking Policies. This is critical as you'll still need to accept booking requests and make modifications to the booking within TripAdvisor.

    What else do I need to know about managing my listings?
    We released a new product update in conjunction with this migration with the following updates;

    • Reservations are now automatically imported from TripAdvisor to your MyVR account so that your calendar shows it is booked when you receive a reservation and you no longer need to rely on iCal or enter dates from TripAdvisor manually.
    • Direct booking requests also flow into MyVR and take the form of an Inquiry message in your MyVR Inbox where you can communicate with the guest.
    • All inquiries now come into MyVR from TripAdvisor in real time.
    • (Important) You’ll still need to accept all reservations and direct booking requests through the TripAdvisor Dashboard, although communications before and after accepting the booking now occur in MyVR.
    • (Important) If you need to modify an existing reservation, this must take place in the TripAdvisor Dashboard and you’ll now be able to see those changes reflected in MyVR.

    These combined enhancements make the experience of managing listings on TripAdvisor much more similar to that of our existing channel partners. TripAdvisor also has plans in the pipeline to enhance their new API, and we’ll be ready and waiting to incorporate other new functionality as soon as it is available.


  • Leader

    @jess-milligan - If we reply through MyVR now, are we able to attach a quote, or will that still be rejected by FlipKey?


  • MyVR Employee

    @jenny-oest said in Exciting Improvements Coming to “FlipKey for RBO” Channel Management:

    If we reply through MyVR now, are we able to attach a quote, or will that still be rejected by FlipKey?

    The quote will be blocked since TripAdvisor has to be the merchant of record, and accepting booking requests or send quotes is still required through their platform.

    This will be the same once accounts are eligible for instant booking too. Though a user won’t have to log in to accept booking (since they are automatically accepted), they will still have to log in to send quotes.

    In case it helps - this product update was released around the same time as we rolled out the upgrade which details more of how our products are working together. You likely already saw it in the above post, but wantd to share again.


  • Leader

    I've noticed that when I reply through the FlipKey dashboard, my message no longer comes back to the message thread in MyVR. Didn't it used to do that?


  • MyVR Employee

    @jenny-oest said in Exciting Improvements Coming to “FlipKey for RBO” Channel Management:

    I've noticed that when I reply through the FlipKey dashboard, my message no longer comes back to the message thread in MyVR. Didn't it used to do that?

    @Jenny-Oest no, it didn't used to do that. Currently working with TripAdvisor on a fix for this!


  • Explorer

    One of the main reasons I decided to use MyVR was to have control over the management of my two vacation cabins.

    Today I received an email from TripAdvisor to reset my password and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Upon reading the Terms and Conditions, it seems that I will not receive payment for reservations until 24 hours after the guests arrive. Payments will be collected and remitted directly through TripAdvisor.

    My previous payment terms for FlipKey was 50% upon booking and 50% 30 days prior to arrival. Am I correct that if I agree to list on TripAdvisor/Flipkey, I will not receive payment until 24 hours after the guest arrives?


  • MyVR Employee

    @donna-notaro said in Exciting Improvements Coming to “FlipKey for RBO” Channel Management:

    Today I received an email from TripAdvisor to reset my password and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Upon reading the Terms and Conditions, it seems that I will not receive payment for reservations until 24 hours after the guests arrive. Payments will be collected and remitted directly through TripAdvisor.
    My previous payment terms for FlipKey was 50% upon booking and 50% 30 days prior to arrival. Am I correct that if I agree to list on TripAdvisor/Flipkey, I will not receive payment until 24 hours after the guest arrives?

    Thanks for asking this question, @Donna-Notaro. It is correct that TripAdvisor/FlipKey will not release payments until 24 hours after the guest arrives. The reason for this change is because the previous MyVR & TripAdvisor/FlipKey connection only provided leads, and actual bookings were completed through MyVR. This allowed users to set their payout settings through MyVR.

    With this new upgrade now providing bookings and instant bookings, the transaction is completed through FlipKey and requires their payout terms. You can still set your booking policies to collect 50% at booking and 50% at 30-days out, but they will still be paid out at the 24 hours after checkout timeline.


  • Leader

    @donna-notaro - note also that if a guest cancels, your payment is received within 24 hours of cancellation. It will be whatever funds apply per your cancellation policy. Mine is no refunds, 25/50/25+deposit. So if they cancel within 60 days, I'll get 75%, assuming it's not cancelled due to non-payment.

    -- Jenny


  • MyVR Employee

    We've had a handful of inquiries asking about the new FlipKey connection in their account being FlipKey for PMs instead of FlipKey for Owners. This is the correct application that should be in accounts as the FlipKey for PMs connection encompasses all the key upgrade features.

    We recognize it may look a little confusing since not everyone is considered a PM. We're considering some changes for the application name and will communicate if/when we do.


  • Newcomer

    I’m in the process of “upgrading” my integrated account to the new FlipKey Channel. From what little I’ve seen on the site so far, I’m not sure of the clear benefits over the current/previous(?) setup (notwithstanding the list at the top of this page). One of the biggest attractions of MyVR is a single point to manage everything to do with each property rental, not to also have to manage external sites with their own terms for payments etc. Can any Owners or PMs who have switched and have been working with the new system provide any insight on the benefits, pros and cons of the upgraded version vs. the current (before I read 30 pages of T&C’s)?

    Unfortunately, I’ve found that the changes made by VRBO/HomeAway a few months back have greatly hurt the professionalism and ease of communication I was able to have with renters (and perhaps more importantly) potential renters using the great tools available with MyVR, and I’m afraid this is another step in that direction (I understand of course, that MyVR doesn’t have control over what these other companies within the industry decide to do or require).


  • Leader

    @jim-knape
    Hi Jim,

    I didn't use Trip Advisor before so I don't have the point of comparison, but I do use it now, and the integration isn't ideal as yet. I think HomeAway is well integrated with MyVR in that you can do everything within MyVR. Trip Advisor isn't there yet, but I know they are working on it. As you can see by the above list, it's a work in process. I am counting on the MyVR integration at this point to update my pricing and listing info, and managing the communication after the reservation is accepted. To be honest, that's a huge plus for me so I welcome that. With inquiries, I have to log into the TA dashboard to communicate, and it has some unwelcome side-effects within MyVR. When I send the guest a quote as they request, I end up with a tentative reservation in MyVR, which is NOT what I want. And even the reservations don't reflect the terms the way I'd like, but I work around all of it. I think we will eventually get there, but it's an elephant to eat one bite at a time.

    And yes, VRBO has blocked direct communication with guests until after booking, but that really hasn't slowed us down - it's just changed a bit how we have to articulate ourselves in writing with the guest prior to booking. I do work on getting my company name out there anyway, and many guests are getting smart and learning to call me or land on my website and tell me "I'm the same Karen that just emailed you though VRBO...". Find ways for them to easily Google you, and guests will find their way to you.

    My personal opinion, is that the service fee will go away and solely be charged to the owners as a commission in the long run. They will compete with booking.com in that way. They may also eliminate guest to owner direct communication altogether. So be ready for that. That's what I'm bracing to deal with. - BUT that is MY personal opinion and forecast. Sorry to be a Debbie-Downer.

    • Jenny

  • Explorer

    @jim-knape

    Hi Jim,

    We've been on Flipkey/TripAdvisor for about 10 years or so. When MYVR started their channel integration with this particular listing site we didn't embrace it fully for two reasons:

    1. The new MYVR/TripAdvisor listing was MYVR's and we couldn't do basic things such as respond to reviews. They had to do this for us.

    2. If we gave up our traditional FlipKey/TripAdvisor listing we would lose all those 5 - star reviews we've worked so hard to build up over the years. So we've kept that listing going as well.

    With the updated integration that does not use a subscription to list on their site, going forward we are now eligible to be designated as a "site of excellence" and have our listing boosted up in the ranks. More eyes on our property may translate into more heads in our beds.

    The no-communication thing is an unfortunate course taken by the listing sites (Homeaway/VRBO, AirBnB, TripAdvisor) and precludes my willingness to book events such as weddings through them because there are documents which must be shared and agreed to in order to make those happen without too many snags. Actually I'm still in the process of setting up my new integration with MYVR so we'll see how this works out.

    Darrell


  • Newcomer

    @JENNY OEST, @DARRELL LOONEY112 - thanks for your feedback - Jim


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