Monday, June 27, 2011

Homeaway Renewal and Reservation Manager

$25 OFF 12-month fees at HomeAway.com when you enter code G307.

I had let my vacation rental listing with Homeaway expire last year (mainly because I was fully booked). My property is in Nice, France and, although bookings have also been good this year, I have had a lot more short stay requests than in the past. When you take changeover costs into account, these are not as profitable as the longer stay requests.

Hence, I availed of a special offer to renew with Homeaway. This was partially because of having previous good experience with getting bookings on Homeway from US renters, who tend to stay for two weeks or more. It was also because I like to keep track of how the largest vacation rental company is developing.

One thing that is new (or updated) on Homeaway is the Reservation Manager functionality and I am quite impressed. Reservation Manager allows you manage all the enquiries that you receive and has many useful functions such as standards editable templates for replying to enquiries, online contracts etc. Also, although most of the larger vacation rental sites give you statistics on the number of enquiries, Homeaway's ability to track and search enquiries is quite sophisticated.

Once those enquiries become reservations, Homeaway's Reservation Manager then allows you to track details of each reservation, including adding your own notes.

Homeaway also offers integrated payment facilities, allowing you to accept online payment via credit card or echeck. At a cost of 2.5% for credit cards or 1% for echecks, this seems reasonable (particularly if you compare with Paypal, which I occasionally use.) Unfortunately, Reservation Manager currently only supports owners residing in the US, so I cannot use it at the moment.

However, for those who do sign up, Reservation Manager allows you to track and initiate payments, (including repayment of breakage deposits, a pet peeve of mine) with the ability to handle fees such as cleaning, changoever etc.

During my last listing period, I received 4 bookings and 34 enquiries from Homeaway. I'm looking forward to seeing how this compares .....

List on HomeAway and get 5x more exposure than other sites. Pay 1 low price to be listed on 5 websites.

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