Join Christopher Matthew Spencer for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing booking requests, part of Making Money with VRBO.
- I'm going to address the process of managing booking requests. You have a few different ways to approach this, so let me show you what works best for me. When a guest searches on VRBO and discovers your accommodation, they'll be able to see the actual availability based on your calendar, which you can see here in your owner Dashboard as well. You'll see here that red shows unavailable dates. Any prior VRBO bookings are automatically blocked as unavailable on your calendar, however, an unbooked inquiry means other potential guests can still make a booking request for the same days.
When a booking has been approved, the dates are taken off your calendar, and money is collected and held by VRBO until the guest's arrival. The first thing that will happen when you receive a new booking request is you'll get an email with the reservation details and here at the bottom, you can click Respond in your Dashboard. This will take you to the Overview of the reservation. The default action is that you can automatically send your guests an approval. Down at the bottom of the page, here I can click Send Payment Request. Otherwise, if the requester has reviews that aren't favorable or you just aren't comfortable, you can elect to decline the reservation.
I'll go to my messaging template dropdown and then I'll select Reply Unavailable and it will populate a message for me here. If you aren't sure and you want to learn more, you can engage in a conversation. Go back to your template dropdown and choose Send a custom reply. Here I can ask a few more questions, which is very helpful for someone who is new to VRBO and has no prior guest reviews. Many of my guests are first timers. Keep communication friendly, but don't get too personal. You can ask questions such as, are you traveling for work or vacation? What time do you plan on arriving? Have you visited this neighborhood before? Are you traveling with pets or children? And how many people will be staying? I'll just write something really simple to get a little bit more information, and then I'll go ahead and send that to Lauren.
You can go ahead and hit Reply to send the message out to Lauren. When you receive a prompt reply from your future guest, that's always a great sign. Responsiveness is important. And the same goes for you. It's important that you always respond to all reservation requests. Your response rate and speed will affect your response score. VRBO's search engine rewards hard work, and responsive hosts get higher placements. I'm going to go back to my owner dash by clicking right here. All recent booking requests will appear here on your Dashboard.
From here, you can interact with your guest, you can see the message history between you and the guest, and you can view financial details for the booking. Once you complete a booking with a guest, you'll have access to their phone number and email so you can reach out to them directly.
Christopher Matthew Spencer, a successful VRBO host, first acquaints viewers with VRBO and the requirements—both in terms of mindset and property—needed to venture into the VRBO world. Then you'll learn how to prep a property, stock it with amenities that will garner 5-star reviews, and craft an attention-getting listing that covers everything from the listing headline to property descriptions and guides. The course also explores how to manage guest interactions, deal with housekeeping and maintenance, and promote listings outside of VRBO. Start watching to learn how you can profit from this great sharing economy platform.
- Evaluating whether VRBO is right for you
- Writing about and photographing the property
- Establishing a price for your VRBO rental
- Planning for ongoing maintenance
- Preparing the kitchen, bedroom(s), and other spaces
- Stocking your rental with amenities
- Scouting the competition
- Managing guest interactions, including check-in and checkout
- Working with guest feedback
- Promoting your VRBO rental