HomeAway will be making some changes in the coming months that affect the way you can communicate with your guests that inquire on your properties. You may have already received an update from HomeAway about the changes but for your convenience here is the recent update about the messaging changes that will take affect starting August 7th, 2017.
Update from HomeAway:
Messaging through the HomeAway platform: All pre-booking inquiries and responses will be facilitated through HomeAway’s secure messaging platform. We will implement this change in a phased approach starting August 7 through the end of August. You can message back and forth with travelers as you do today, but phone numbers, links, and emails are redacted from messages. Contact details will be available after a booking request is made or a booking is confirmed. Depending on your inquiry handling process and software, you may need to make some adjustments to continue to be responsive to requests. Here are a few things to consider implementing before August 7:
- Create text only responses
- Remove all contact information, embedded images, and attachments from responses
- Ensure your inquiry process is ready to support traveler email addresses replaced with a mediated address
Response score: You are now eligible for a response score for all inquiry and response emails that go through HomeAway’s messaging system. This score influences your rank in Best Match and lets travelers know how fast they can expect a response from you.
What this means for MyVR users:
MyVR will handle all of the technical details and you will be able to communicate with your guests who inquire from your MyVR inbox or by responding directly to inquiry notifications in your email inbox as you have before. However, there will be some restrictions around your content and some things you are used to are unfortunately going away:
- No email address will be provided, only a mediated HomeAway provided email address (something like: email@example.com).
- No phone numbers will be provided or allowed.
- No special formatting will be allowed in messages (e.g. html, embedded photos, etc.). You can continue to customize the text of your message templates.
- No links to your website or any other site will be allowed.
- No attachments will be allowed.
Once an inquiry converts to a booking the actual email address and phone number of the guest will be provided. Any messages sent after booking will not have the same content restrictions.
If you have an auto responder setup it will count as your first response to an inquiry and will affect your overall response score to help you rank higher in "Best Match". If you are not using the auto responder we highly recommend setting it up. After your auto response to an inquiry all responses to a guest will count towards your response score. It is important to always respond promptly to a guest to maintain a good response score.
For PMs using MyVR's full integration with HomeAway, you can contact PM-Support@homeaway.com with direct questions.