I can’t have surprise bookings from people who want to check in in a few hours! But it seems I might have one! I just listed on homeaway after being only airbnb for years. And I have an inquiry that I accidentally approved!
And they can just confirm whenever they want? oh man, this is NOT going to work.
Stressing! And I NEED TO GO TO BED!
OK, i figured out how to rescind the booking approval, but it there no other way to block these?
Here I was, all ready to stick it to the airbnb “man” but this is not workable at all.
@Natalie - Are you using Instant Book on Homeaway? Their version of Instant Book is very new and might not be as user-friendly as AirBnB’s version.
If you do not use Instant Book on Homeaway, you have 24 hours to approve or deny the Reservation Request. That should keep same-day requests from even coming in, as they are not guaranteed an answer for 24 hours.
The old-fashioned method is to just block the next night on your calendar if you are not ready to accept a booking.
Be careful with pre-approving people. You can easily be double booked if you forget that you pre-approved one person on one site, and then you accept a booking for same days through another site.
I don’t know if VRBO’s default reply is an automatic pre-approval. But with FK, the default is to send a quote with your reply. And this enables someone to instant book. It’s the equivalent of Airbnb’s pre-approval. I have to uncheck the quote box before replying.
And don’t expect calendar synching to prevent double bookings unless you know that your syncing is done in real time on all calendars.
There are many solutions out there for syncing calendars, but most of them sync only once every 24 hours. At Hostaway we sync at minimum every 30 minutes, and when a reservation comes in we immediately block all other sites.
I looked at your site and it has a no double booking guarantee. And says if you get a double booking then you will waive the monthly fee. It sounds like there is still a risk.
You are correct - if we offered to pay for any double-bookings it would be really easy to make fake bookings at the same minute, then request a compensation, then cancel both bookings.
The only way you can avoid double-bookings is by using only one platform that only allows one person to book at a time, such as Airbnb. Even if you use Homeaway or Booking.com exclusively you can get double-booked unless you’re careful.
Calendar synchronizations (such as iCal) work, but have the following challenges:
- Not all channels update the feed instantly. For example, Airbnb delays it up to 6 hours
- You are not in control over how other channels import the calendars. Some import them every 24 hours, and you will never know if they’re imported or not unless you check it after each booking
- Many channels have only 1-way calendar syncing or no calendar syncing at all (flipkey, booking.com)
The other options are doing the work manually, disabling instant bookings or using a channel manager.
Some sales channels such as Airbnb and Homeaway provide less traffic if you do not enable instant bookings, while others (expedia, booking.com) only accepts instant bookings.
We hope you find a solution that works for you!
I’m still not following. How can someone make a fake double booking if all calendars are blocked instantly?
Also it’s worth noting for tripadvisor (formerly FlipKey) their DEFAULT response form is a pre approval!! Be really careful, just a response will create a booking.
I am an user, it’s take 1-2 minutes for synch.
Calendars can’t be blocked instantly. Even if you block dates the same second the reservation takes place, the channels process it a few minutes. And that’s assuming you receive the reservation immediately, which is never the case as the channels process them 1-2 minutes before confirming. If you synchronize the calendars instantly and make two bookings with 3-4 minutes of each other, you will get a double-booking.
I’m very upset with homeaway. I listed on Stayz recently and they automatically listed my property on homeaway then. My pricing model is base rate for 2 persons, and then extra charge from the third guest. My house accommodates up to 6 persons, I set a fairly low rate for 2 persons to attract smaller groups.
I got an enquiry for 14 day stay (generated from homeaway) this morning and I spent quite some time to answer all the questions. Later we discovered we were quoted differently, I was quoted the booking worth $2900 AUD (then I pay stayz $200 in commission), my potential customers, however, was only quoted $2250. I went to homeaway website, and I discovered they quote the same price no matter how many guests are staying (no matter 2 or 6), also they didn’t include cleaning fee. This upset me a lot because I spent my Saturday morning responding to enquiries whereas I could have enjoyed a breakfast and done some housework.
Anyway, from the customer point of view, I would be pissed if the price has such a huge discrepancy, I may see this as false advertising. My price on Stayz is correct, so I never thought it is so different on Homeaway. I edit and manage my listing from Stayz Owners Admin page, I didn’t even know my property is listed on Homeaway until this morning, sigh…
@Freya - I can’t say how a Stayz listing works with Homeaway, but I list on VRBO/Homeaway, and I can charge for extra people. In fact, the extra person charge structure is far more flexible than on ABB. I do the same as you - charge per person for groups larger than two people.
You need to take this up with Stayz, they should not offer you the option to charge for extra people on Stayz then not have that work correctly on Homeaway. And you can charge a cleaning fee in Homeaway. Again - complain to Stayz.
In the meantime, you should put it in your Stayz listing that you charge for extra people and a cleaning fee.
Thank you PitonView. I have lodged a ticket to Stayz and hopefully they solve this problem for me as soon as possible. I feel awful and so sorry for potential customers who were underquoted. Your reply is very appreciated.
I keep researching and hostaway still seems like the easiest to use , once you add in ability to automate email to cleaners I would totally use this.