In the vacation rental industry, there are some mistakes that can be more detrimental to your business than others. One of those mistakes is using manual syncing or iCal to sync your booking calendar across channels.
Double bookings are the kryptnite to any vacation rental business's growth. As a short-term property manager, are you confident that you aren’t leaving yourself vulnerable to double bookings?
To spark your rental business's growth, you should list your properties across the five major channels, including HomeAway and Vrbo, in order to increase your revenue and occupancy rates quickly.
While a diversified channel management strategy will boost your revenue significantly, it becomes much more difficult to manage your booking calendar by hand or with iCal, as your risk of double bookings increases exponentially.
So how do you centralize your reservation calendar while avoiding errors at the same time?
Technically, you can manage your reservation calendar three ways: manually, via iCal calendar syncing or through a centralized booking calendar populated through property management software (PMS). However, you’ll discover that manual syncing and iCal are both unreliable and end up creating more work than they’re worth.
Why is manual syncing bad?
In choosing to manually sync your booking calendar, you’re opening your vacation rental business up to a number of potential risks, not to mention, creating unnecessary work for yourself.
Manual syncing means that when you have a booking from one channel, you have to go into your other channels’ accounts and mark the dates off by hand. As you might expect, this is an annoying and time consuming process that will likely result in errors. This can hurt your ranking, your business and your reputation.
The other two options to choose from for calendar management are iCalendar sync and automated syncing with property management software. Let’s take a closer look at these two.
How to sync your booking calendar with HomeAway and Vrbo
iCal is short for iCalendar, a default calendar application used to sync and store scheduling information. Some managers opt to sync iCal with their HomeAway or Vrbo account, but this is problematic as iCal was not intended for the complexities of the short-term rental industry.
For this reason, we discourage any property manager or owner from using this method of calendar syncing.
The limited functionality of iCal puts you at risk of double bookings, limits your ability to collect data, and excludes booking details.
While it might be an app that you use in your day-to-day personal life, it's a tool you should avoid when money is on the table.
Centralize your reservation calendar with direct connections
The best option to centralize your HomeAway and Vrbo calendars is to use property management software with direct connections that can manage the job for you.
Direct connections unite your HomeAway and Vrbo listings with your property management software without manual calendar syncing or an error-prone channel manager in the middle. Direct connections allow property managers to run their business at maximum efficiency by automatically blocking off your property’s availability in every channel after a booking is confirmed.
MyVR offers direct connections to HomeAway, Vrbo and the four other major channels and their 70+ affiliates, so you’ll never have to worry about double bookings again. Our centralized reservation calendar consolidates each channel’s calendar to make it easy for you to see upcoming reservations and prevent double bookings.