VRBO Integration

How to integrate to any of the VRBO platform properties.

Brent Kleinheksel avatar
Written by Brent Kleinheksel
Updated over a week ago

Lodgix has integrated directly to the VRBO network of properties (including 17 international sites). An integration means that all single unit properties created on Lodgix can have listings created, calendars sync'd, inquiries pulled and Instant Book enabled. Reservations taken on VRBO flow directly into Lodgix.

ALL VRBO reservations will incur an additional 1/2% fee from Lodgix.com, just as is also collected for Airbnb bookings. The fee is calculated on the nightly rate only. This fee will be billed once per month, usually between the 2nd and 5th of the month, to the credit card on file at Lodgix, for all completed VRBO reservations in the previous month.

Most will pass this additional 1/2% fee on the guest using a rate multiplier and increase the rates sent to VRBO from Lodgix by 5 to 7% to account for any VRBO fees, as well as the Lodgix 1/2%.

Benefits

There are many benefits when integrating directly to HomeAway.

  1. No dual entry. Property setup data entered into Lodgix is used to create listings on VRBO and all domestic and international listing portals owned by VRBO.

  2. Automated updating. Every time you update your property on Lodgix with new rates, images, marketing data, etc. that data is sync'd with your VRBO listing automatically once per day (2am EST)

  3. Cash flow control.  Once integrated, the guest credit card data from VRBO is tokenized and a VRBO reservation becomes like any other reservation taken from your website or over the phone.  VRBO will only collect the guest credit card data.  They will no longer process the guest credit card.

HomeAway does not support the following...

  1. Optional Fees

  2. Currencies other than 'AUD', 'CAD', 'EUR', 'GBP', 'NZD', 'USD'

  3. Special Offers are not supported via the integration. The only option would be to issue a refund/price adjustment to the guest post-booking.

  4. Weekly rates

Length of Stay discounts must be used to offer any sort of discounts to VRBO guests staying seven nights or more. Please make sure when setting up length of stay discounts that they are not applied to weekly rates. That will allow current weekly rates setup in Lodgix to work for those channels that continue to support weekly rates.

Please see the following article for instructions: Length of Stay Discounts

All automatic discounts configured in Lodgix are sent to VRBO. This includes Last Minute Discounts, Length of Stay Discounts, and automatic Promotion Discounts.

Before starting the integration with VRBO, be sure to recreate all existing reservations in your Lodgix account.

If you have future platform bookings, VRBO's implementation team sets a flag to allow you to complete those bookings via the VRBO dashboard. Those bookings will have VRBO as the merchant of record. If there are any issues with this process VRBO's implementation team will advise you to collect the payment through Lodgix and mark the booking as paid in VRBO.

Integration Instructions - START HERE

Prerequisites:

1) The VRBO integration requires a working payment gateway such as Stripe.com or Authorize.net. Please make sure a payment gateway has been setup in Lodgix before proceeding with the VRBO integration.

2) Navigate to the Settings > Integrations screen and click on the VRBO tab.

3) Enable the feed and select which properties to send to VRBO. AT LEAST ONE PROPERTY MUST BE ENABLED TO INTEGRATE TO VRBO.

4) The final step is to contact VRBO via the form link on the VRBO integration page in Lodgix.

This will send to VRBO your subscriber id and company name and initiate the onboarding process.

Settings

Click on the Settings button on the VRBO integrations screen...

Configure the following settings. These are global and apply to all listings in your account...

  1. Commission: Enter a commission percentage to pass through to owners for bookings through Airbnb (optional). More information here.

  2. Instant Booking or Online Booking with 24 Hour Review. Guests prefer a property that’s instantly bookable. VRBO has a specific filter which many guests use for properties that use Instant Book. Without instant booking enabled your properties will not appear in those results. Within Lodgix, there is no difference between the two options as all the processes typically required to confirm an invoice (reservation deposit payment, signed rental agreement, etc..) would still have to be completed. You can still cancel Instant Bookings, but it could negatively impact your sort order on VRBO.

  3. Rate / Rules Export Period. Set how far in advance your property will be bookable on VRBO. Options range from 6 months to 3 years.

  4. Booking Lead Time is a setting from 0 to 10 days. This setting helps prevent bookings too close the arrival date.

  5. Custom House Rules are explained here: https://help.vrbo.com/articles/What-are-House-Rules

Property Settings

Configure the following settings for each property.

  1. Cancellation Policy: Choose from preconfigured VRBO Polices or set a custom policy (more information below)

  2. Rate Multiplier: Allows you to increase rates only for a specific channel. For example, a rate multiplier of 1.10 would increase all rates by 10% for VRBO only.

  3. Marketing Title: Use either the property name or the marketing title.

  4. PC Status: Price Consistency at VRBO. All new integrations will be price consistent by default.

  5. Status: Any listing configuration errors will be noted here.

  6. Enabled: Select which properties to enable in the feed.

Cancellation Policies

In addition to the default cancellation options VRBO provides, they also support custom cancellation policies. To setup your custom cancellation policy, click the "Cancel Policies" tab...

A "Custom" cancellation policy has been set up for you as a guide.

In this example, a cancellation fee of $150.00 will be required for every cancellation. If no cancellation fee is collected that amount can be set to zero.

The refund schedule must be setup from 100% refund at 30 nights before arrival (example only could be 60 nights) to 50% at 30 nights before arrival, etc..

SAVE the custom cancellation policy.

Then make sure to select it from the dropdown next to each property:

VRBO Guest Cancellations

While you can cancel a VRBO reservation on the guests behalf from within Lodgix, and set that as a Guest Initiated cancellation, we do not recommend doing so. VRBO now charges a cancellation fee for host initiated cancellations. Details on that policy can be found here. Instead, a guest can cancel a booking from within the My Trips area of VRBO. VRBO communicates the cancellation to Lodgix, the reservation is canceled and VRBO is notified that the cancellation is complete. That is the recommended course of action. There is no host penalty when a guest cancels at VRBO.

There has however been some confusion over the host cancellation penalties implemented by VRBO in the fall of 2023. In February of 2024, Evan Anderson, Technical Relationship Manager at VRBO, stated that...

"there’s no penalty for using the BUS to send a CANCELLED_BY_TRAVELER value. The PM does not need to direct the traveler to go through the TIC API to avoid a penalty."

In English, this means that according to VRBO, a host can cancel a reservation on Lodgix and as long as the "Cancelled by Guest" option is selected, it will be passed to VRBO and will not trigger a host cancellation penalty. The guest will not need to cancel via their traveler dashboard.

Rental Agreement Requirement

A dynamic rental agreement must be setup with Lodgix. You can define and setup your rental agreement from Settings > Templates> Documents

This rental agreement will be displayed to the guest at VRBO as a PDF when booking online.

Lodgix Property IDs

For Lodgix subscribers with existing listings on VRBO site(s), those listings will need to be mapped to properties setup within Lodgix which will require your Lodgix property IDs. Your Lodgix property IDs can be found from Settings > Integrations > VRBO Network.

Owner Detail Fields

There are a few fields within Lodgix that need to be populated for a VRBO listing to have that data shown once the integration is complete. Existing VRBO listings that already contain this information will be overwritten with Lodgix data, so it's best to copy and paste that information before the integration goes live.

VRBO Service Fees

When a guest books through VRBO, the guest will still be charged the service fee. This is collected by VRBO from the guest in a separate charge at the time of booking.

VRBO Price Consistency 

Please reference the following discovery hub article at VRBO for more information:

When a booking is made on VRBO using, that booking is placed into Lodgix.   However if pricing from VRBO differs from what is setup on Lodgix, a "HA Pricing Adjustment" fee will be present on the Lodgix invoice.

That adjustment, if present, will usually be just pennies, resulting from different ways in which the two systems round, etc..   However if that number becomes significant, it means there is a difference in taxing or percent of rent fees.

For example, if you have a fee that is not taxable, like a cleaning fee, and you choose to collect the cleaning fee "at the time the reservation is made", then VRBO will collect tax on that fee, as their systems can't collect tax on some items and not on others, it's all or nothing. The result will be that VRBO will collect more tax that what is owed and the Lodgix invoice will be short, requiring the addition of the VRBO adjustment fee.

The solution would be to tell VRBO that the cleaning fee will be collected at the "payment of the remaining balance", which is collected by you, and not VRBO and can flow through Lodgix correctly.

City Registration / Compliance

City registrations are sometimes required in areas where the municipality is mandating that all VR managers / owners register their property and display the license id on all listing sites. The City Registration field on the Property Details screen in Lodgix will sync with VRBO.

The registration / compliance status for each property can be viewed from the VRBO integrations screen...

The possible statuses are as follows...

  1. Pending VRBO. Please check back in 24 hours: Displayed when Lodgix has not yet fetched status information from VRBO. We make requests to VRBO once a day, which means that this status should be changed to something else after 1 day.

  2. Compliant: Displayed when Lodgix receives a “compliant” status from VRBO. Also, the same status is displayed when a property doesn’t require registration at all.

  3. Compliant (action needed): Displayed when Lodgix receives a “compliant action needed” status from VRBO.

  4. Not compliant: Displayed when Lodgix receives a “not compliant” or “not compliant action needed” status from VRBO.

  5. Not allowed: Displayed when Lodgix receives a “not allowed” status from VRBO.

  6. Cannot be determined: Displayed if Lodgix receives a “none” status from VRBO.

Some statuses are clickable and you can open a modal where the registration number requirements can be filled, and after clicking on save, these requirements will be sent to VRBO.

Adding New Listings to VRBO AFTER Integration

Once new properties are entered into Lodgix AND they are selected to appear in the VRBO feed on this page:

The listings will feed over to VRBO and be available in your dashboard. It can take anywhere from 24-72 hours for your listings to be pulled by VRBO. During this time, the status column in Lodgix will display the following message, “Pending VRBO. Please check back in 24 hours.”

Once the property has been pulled by VRBO, click on the See Properties List button in VRBO:

...then click on the Unassigned Tab. From there you will find all properties that require activation. Click "Switch to Subscription" for each property that you wish to activate. This will take you through the payment flow.

If the listing meets Minimum Content standards then it should go live within a few hours at most. If the listing is missing any info then it would show as INCOMPLETE and you will need to fill in the missing info in Lodgix to go live.

FAQs

Q. When a VRBO booking is processed on Lodgix and a payment is applied to the Lodgix invoice, does the BUS (business update service) update the guest's VRBO account (My Trips) that a payment has been made by the guest for the booking?

A. Yes, it should. The traveler has a “My Trips" account on VRBO with reservation details that should be updated by the BUS. 

Q. Will my property videos appear on my VRBO listing?

A. Videos are not currently supported by VRBO when using the integration. To add a video to your VRBO listing will require that you login to VRBO and add the video url manually via the VRBO dashboard:

Q. My VRBO listing is showing as having no availability, why?

A. When viewing only the VRBO property URL, such as: https://www.vrbo.com/xxxxxxxx

The property will be shown with all dates appearing as available in the calendar. To display the property with the correct availability, you have to add ?dateless=true to the end of the URL, like this: https://www.vrbo.com/xxxxxxxx?dateless=true

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