VRBO / Homeaway Group
This page is about the menu (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/HomeAway > MAPPING and explains how to set up an API XML connection with VRBO/HomeAway and their companies
Please before the start, see and listen to this video.
Via the XML connection MASTERINSOFT can
- Export property listings content (create listings at VRBO/Homeaway)
- Update existing listings on VRBO
- Export prices and availability
- Import bookings
- Send date changes and status changes to “Cancelled”
To allow accurate commission calculation we have to provide VRBO with a feed which contains all VRBO bookings.
If you use the XML connection all updates should be done in MASTERINSOFT (not in VRBO/Homeaway) because changes you make in VRBO/Homeaway will be overridden with the next update.
The connection can update following VRBO brands:
Homeaway.com, VRBO.com, abritel.fr, aluguetemporada.com.br, CanadaStays, fewo-direkt.de, homdelidays.es, homdelidays.it, homeaway.at, homeaway.ca, homeaway.co.au, homeaway.co.mx, homeaway.co.uk, homeaway.dk, homeaway.es, homeaway.fi, homeaway.gr, homeaway.it,, homeaway.nl,, homeaway.no, homeaway.pl, homeaway.pt, homeaway.se, homelidays.com, ownersdirect.co.uk, stayz.co.au vacationrentals.com.
- VRBO/Homeaway do not allow same day bookings.
- Most agencies/property managers can use VRBOs XML connection. In some regions VRBO applies minimum requirements. If you are not eligible your can use our VRBO iCalconnection to synchronise calendars.
- You can not move properties which are connected between two MASTERINSOFT accounts which are connected to VRBO if they have bookings because this will upset VRBOS commission calculation and you might get charged twice.
You can not change your username when connected to VRBO because this will break the connection.
3 Before you connect
We can only send availability if you have set up prices which are activated for this channel. This tutorial gives general information how to set prices for channels.
Only bookings made after the connection is established will be imported and can be managed. Existing bookings can be imported via iCal or manually.
VRBO/Homeaway does not send confirmation messages. They require these to be sent from MASTERINSOFT. The confirmation message you have set up in (SETTINGS) GUEST MANAGEMENT > CONFIRMATION MESSAGES will be sent to the guest.
3.3 Properties, rooms and room types
Our connection supports room types with a quantity of more than one.
3.4 You need
VRBO/Homeaway requires you to have a credit card and a tax number / tax identifyer
VRBO/Homeaways XML activation applies per MASTERINSOFT account. All properties owned by the connected MASTERINSOFT account or sub account can send to the connected VRBO account. If you want to connect properties owned by different account/sub accounts you can override this. Click on the ‘User’ icon on the top right and then on ‘Account Management (in the old control panel SUB ACCOUNT in the top right) Manage Account > Manage Property and go to “Channel Management”. The setting “VRBO / Homeaway Connect via Account” allows you to set that the property connects to VRBO via a different account than the one owning it.
VRBO provides a self-onboarding tool which is started from MASTERINSOFT. If self-onboarding is not available in your region you will not be able to complete the setup and VRBO will automatically create a support case and get in touch with you.
Step 1: Activate your rooms
Go to (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/HOMEAWAY > MAPPING and tick “Enable” for all rooms you want to connect. Click on HELP in the top right of this page for detailed instructions.
If you see a red button “Fix Content Errors” your content does not meet VRBOs requirements. Click on the button. Any settings which do not meet VRBOs requirements are highlighted on red. Click on the links to go to the settings where you can fix the problems.
Step 2: Have your credit card and your tax number/tax identifier on hand
During the onboarding process VRBO will ask you to enter your credit card and your tax number.
Step 3: Self-onboard to VRBO
When at least one room is activated to sending you can start the self-onboarding process.
- If you have subaccounts double check you are logged into the account/subaccount you want to connect.
- Click on “Connect with VRBO. This will start VRBOs self-onboarding process.
- Follow the steps.
This will automatically generate your “VRBO Software User ID” which you can always see in in MASTERINSOFT under (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/HOMEAWAY > ACCOUNT / MAPPING.
VRBO defines the currency you can use for your VRBO account. Make sure this currency is set in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/HOMEAWAY > ACCOUNT and is used in all properties in this MASTERINSOFT account. If you use a different currency in MASTERINSOFT you can set a multiplier in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/HOMEAWAY > MAPPING. Click on HELP in the top right of this page for detailed instructions.
After you have connected with VRBO you will have a “View Listings” button. When you click you will see the properties/rooms which are in MASTERINSOFT feed for VRBO.
In VRBO if you do not yet have a VRBO account:
In VRBO if you do have a VRBO account:
Step 5 – Check the listing status
- Go to (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > MAPPING
- Click on the View Status at VRBO” button
- Check the content especially the “activeStatus”
5 VRBO/Homeaway.com Offline Bookings / Data protection
VRBO requires you mark bookings which originated from a VRBO/Homeaway enquiry by setting the Referer value on the “Details” tab of the booking to VRBO. VRBO/Homeaway requires you to enter the guests Email address in the booking.
VRBO/Homeaway will have access to these bookings for reporting purposes.
Make sure you comply with your local data protection laws.
Changes to availability and prices will be instantly sent to the channel. Other changes will be pulled by VRBO/Homeaway with their next poll.
If you set a booking to “Cancelled” we will send it as “Cancelled by guest” to VRBO/Homeaway. If the booking is cancelled by the owner you can set this as a “substatus” via the second selector next to the “Cancelled” status in the “Summary” tab of the booking.
If a different reason for the cancellation applies you can set this by adding one of the following info codes in to “Info” tab of the booking:
Never delete bookings from VRBO/Homeaway because VRBO/Homeaway expect to read the booking status even if they are cancelled.
8 Special offers for guests
If you want to offer a guest a special price ask the guest to book at full price. After the booking has imported you can change the price and manually sent the guest a confirmation with the revised price.
MASTERINSOFT will automatically send the amened price to VRBO so VRBO can adjust your commission.
9 VRBO commission
To allow accurate commission calculation we have to provide VRBO with a feed which contains all VRBO bookings.
If you have added on-site services to the booking, you can add the status stayfee to them. The status needs to start with stayfee but you can add to is for example stayfee_tour. VRBO will then not take this item into account when calculating the commission.
10 Listing Content
These factors are important for the performance of your listings:
- Choose your headline carefully and make sure your key (first) picture and your headline work together.
- Recommended are 24 pictures, make sure all have captions.
- Add Location Type feature so your listing will show in location based searches.
- Add cleaning features.
- Listings where guests do not have to pay the full amount with the booking perform better.
VRBO/Homeaway will inform you which language is compulsory. It is the language of the VRBO/Homeaway site you are listed. If this language is different from the language you use as default language for your booking page you can set it in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway > SPECIFIC CONTENT.
If you need to activate languages go to (SETTINGS) BOOKING ENGINE > INTERNATIONALISATION.
A listing is created for every room in MASTERINSOFT.
- The “Headline” for the listing comes from “Room Headline” in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > PROPERTY CONTENT > ROOM CONTENT. If this field is empty the “Headline” in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > PROPERTY CONTENT will be used.
- The “Property Name” comes from the “Name” in (SETTINGS) PROPERTIES > DESCRIPTION. If you want to give each listing its own property name even though they are in one property in MASTERINSOFT you can enter a unique “Name” for each in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO / HOMEAWAY > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
10.3.1 Minimum Requirements
To send property information to VRBO/Homeaway, the following information must be entered into MASTERINSOFT to meet the VRBO/Homeaway minimum content requirement for listings:
- Property name
- Property type
- Maximum number of guests
- Accurate address for each property
- Latitude and longitude for each property
- At least 6 pictures for each listing recommended resolution of 1920×1080.
- Headlines with at least 20 characters
- Each listing must have at least one bedroom and one bathroom
- For online bookings you will need prices and inventory
10.3.2 Room Configurations – Define Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Bedrooms and bathrooms can be set up in (SETTINGS) PROPERTIES > ROOMS->SET UP.
- Click on the “edit bedrooms” or “edit bathrooms” butten
- Set the type and use the selectors to define the facilities within each.
- If you have multiple bedrooms or bathrooms make sure you define them all.
- Close the pop up and then press SAVE.
You can also manually add bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities. For more information see “All feature codes” below. VRBO/Homeaway does not support all features MASTERINSOFT offers. For a list of all feature codes VRBO/Homeaway supports see “All feature codes” below.
10.3.3 Amenities, Features and Location Type
Amenities and Location Type can be set up for the property (SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION) or per room (SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP).
Criteria which apply to all rooms in the property should be set up with the property. They will be automatically applied to all rooms in the property.
Criteria which only applies to one room should be entered in the room.
Make sure you do not create duplicates.
Example 1: All units (rooms) have Internet. In this case you can set up the Internet in SETTING->PROPERTIES->DESCRIPTION. The number will be applied to all room/units.
Example 2: You have one unit with Internet one and another unit without Internet. In this case set the Internet up in SETTING->PROPERTIES->ROOMS->SET UP.
Features and amenities are configured by feature codes which are entered in the “Features” field.
- Click on the “Edit ” button next to the “Features” field.
- In the pop up click on “Amenities”.
- Tick the amenities you provide.
- Close the pop up and then press SAVE.
Adding “cleaning” features and a “location type” is very important for your performance. You add them manually. Bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities can also be inserted manually. For more information see “All feature codes” below.
For a list of all feature codes and location types VRBO/Homeaway supports see “All feature codes” below.
In (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT you can set which type of price you want to send.
With Per Occupancy Pricing a price for each occupancy defined in MASTERINSOFT and prices for different length of stay can be sent.
If you use rates the price for each occupancy defined in MASTERINSOFT and prices for different length of stay can be sent.1 person, 2 person and room price will send. Room price will send for specified occupancy. Multiple rates with different occupancies can send. Prices for “Extra Person”, “Extra child” and discounts set in the “Discounts” tab of the rates can not be sent.
If you use daily prices the daily price will send including occupancy. Multiple occupancy prices can send. Extra person price will send.
“Max Stay” set in the CALENDAR or rates can be sent.
MASTERINSOFT sends the price for max. 16 guests. If your property accommodates more than 16 guests use “Per Day” pricing with an extra person price.
VRBO/Homeaway occupancy pricing only support minimum stays up to 30 days.
With Per Day Pricing the price sent is a room price, only ONE price can be sent per date. If you have multiple prices activated for VRBO/Homeaway with different minimum stays the system will send the price with the lowest minimum stay. VRBO/Homeaway applies the minimum stay ” first night only” meaning restrictions must only be satisfied for the arrival date of the booking but not on every day of the booking. If you use daily prices with “Extra Person” prices your daily price needs to be set for the max occupancy and the “Extra Person” price needs to be added with a negative value so the price for the full occupancy can send. With Per Day Pricing you can also set an extra person price.
- The number of guests for which the price applies.
- An extra person price.
- A long stay discount. Discounts are only applied to the room price not on extras. VRBO/Homeaway stay discounts are cumulative.
Click on the “View Actual Data” button in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER- >VRBO/HOMEAWAY > MAPPING to check which prices and availability will send.
VRBO defines the currency used in VRBO. You can use a multiplier if your currency in VRBO is different from your currency in MASTERINSOFT.
You can either use a fixed factor for currency conversion or currency conversion template variables. All currencies supported by the booking page currency selector can be used.
Example 1 fixed factor: *1.23* will multiply all prices by 1.23 sent (i.e. raised by 23%).
Lower prices can be sent with a multiplier less than 1, i.e. *0.85* will send a price of 85% of the normal price (i.e. lowered by 15%).
Example 2 currency conversion template variables: *[CONVERT:THB-USD]* will convert THB to USD to send to VRBO and store bookings converted into THB.
The * at the end will add an info item VRBO_MULT to the booking with the conversion rate applied to the imported booking. This info item is used to convert the financial figures back to the values originally sent by VRBO when VRBO check the status of the booking.
For example 2 the info code VRBO_MULT will convert the THB in the booking to USD when VRBO read the booking status.
VRBO reads the bookings from MASTERINSOFT and calculates their commission from what they read. Do not manually convert the prices imported from VRBO to convert currencies because VRBO will then charge you wrong commission.
10.3.4.2 Price Multiplier
If you want to add a markup to your prices you can add it to the “Price Multiplier” field in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > MAPPING.
The multiplier applies to all prices and fees which are sent.
For example, *1.23 will multiply all prices by 1.23 sent for the property (i.e. raised by 23%). Lower prices can be sent with a multiplier less than 1, i.e. *0.85 will send a price of 85% of the normal price (i.e. lowered by 15%).
10.3.4.3 Taxes & Fees
Taxes and fees can be added in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT under “Custom”.
- Taxes and fees can apply as a flat fee, a percentage, per day or per guest.
- You can choose taxes and fees to be “stay collected”. In this case they will not be added to the booking price.
Use the context help for detailed instructions.
A Cleaning fee is required by VRBO/Homeaway and if it is not set by one of these methods a value of zero will automatically be sent. You can enter the cleaning fee in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > PROPERTY CONTENT >ROOM CONTENT.
10.3.5 Policies and Rules
You can set the minimum age via a “Custom” value in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
10.3.5.1 Cancellation Policy
VRBO/Homeaway requires a cancellation policy. We will send the policies set in SETTING->PROPERTIES-> DESCRIPTION.
You can can set which policy applies in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT
If you want to send a custom cancellation policy you need to set the policy details in the “Custom” setting at the menu (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT. Use the context help for the setting to see detailed instructions.
If you do not allow pets you choose “Pets not allowed” as feature in S (SETTINGS) PROPERTIES > DESCRIPTION. Fees for pets can be set as custom values in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER -> VRBO/HOMEAWAY > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
If you allow children set the number of children which are allowed or “Dont ask” in the setting for “Maximum Children” in SETTING->PROPERTIES-> ROOMS -> SETUP.
10.3.5.4 Custom House Rules and Event Rules
If you want to send a custom house rules you can enter them in the “Custom” setting at the menu (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > SPECIFIC ROOM CONTENT.
10.3.6 Payments and Payment Schedule
By default payment is due at the time of the booking. You can change this to “At Check-in ” in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT.
If payments are due at different times you can set up payment schedules in (SETTINGS) > CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > PAYMENT SCHEDULE and link it to your property in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway.COM > SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT.
If you have set up deposit collection in (SETTINGS) PAYMENTS- > PAYMENT COLLECTION we will send the deposit amount set there to be due at the time of the booking and the remainder if any at arrival.
Listings where guests do not have to pay the full amount with the booking perform better. Payment Schedules allow to set up to five payments.
In (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER -> VRBO/Homeaway.COM > SPECIFIC PROPERTY CONTENT you can set which payment types you accept. MASTERINSOFT supports following payment options:
If you choose “Invoice” you need to enter a description on how guests can pay in (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER -> VRBO/HOMEAWAY.COM > SPECIFIC CONTENT “Payment Options Description ”
- Credit Card
The cards you have activated in (SETTINGS) PAYMENTS -> PAYMENT GATEWAYS -> CREDIT CARD will be sent as accepted cards.
10.3.6.1 Collect payments from Guests
- Request the Credit card details as it was not collected at the time of the booking.
- If you want to manually process the guest credit cards in your own payment gateway, send an email to the guest to submit their Credit Card details, see Submit Credit Card Detailsfor more information.
- You can automatically process the payment via the payment gateways you have activated, send an email to the guest with a Payment Request so the guest can make a payment. See Send Payment Requestfor more information.
- If you want to direct the guest using Template Variables then see Send Payment Request with Template variablesfor more information.
- If you want to direct the guest using URLs then see Send Payment Request URLfor more information.
- If you want to direct the guest to Paypal then see Send PayPal Payment Requestfor more information.
- Guest credit card was sent with the booking.
- You want to manually process the guest credit card in your own payment gateway, the guest credit card details will be stored in MASTERINSOFT and you will receive a Security Code in the Booking Notification, you can use this to access the guest CVC to charge their card. See Process Guest Credit Cardsfor more information.
- Guest credit card has been sent to Stripe.
- Collect the payment manually via the Stripe Button in the Charges & Payments tab of the booking, see Manually collect payment via Stripefor more information.
- Automate the collection of the payment using pending payments. See Create Pending Paymentfor more information.
If you do not take the total amount as a deposit, you must set up a “Payment 2” for the remaining amount.
VRBO requires at least six pictures per listing.
Room pictures are sent. These are the pictures activated as “Room Pictures” in (SETTINGS) BOOKING ENGINE > PICTURES Only if there are no room pictures activate property pictures are sent. These are the pictures activated as “Property Pictures” in (SETTINGS) BOOKING ENGINE > PICTURES.
If you use external pictures you need to make sure they are .jpg format.
If you need to change a picture, add or change it’s caption text to ensure it gets re-imported by VRBO/Homeaway.
Make sure you add captions to your pictures. Please see the pictures help page for instructions.
11 Different invoice template
If you need a different invoice template for the bookings from this channel you can use the invoicee function.
12 All feature codes
You can also manually add bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities typing the feature codes exactly as listed below into the “Features” field.
Each room feature code can have additional features added to it separated by a space which will list the features within this room. Multiple rooms can be added.
Example: One bedroom with a double bed and a crib
BEDROOM BED_DOUBLE BED_CRIB
Example: The property has 3 bathrooms with various features
BATHROOM BIDET COMBO_TUB_SHOWER
Add feature codes one for each feature separated by spaces.
Example: A property has television, internet and beach view
TELEVISION INTERNET BEACH_VIEW
12.1 Bathroom Types
If there are multiple bathrooms add one code for each followed by appropriate amenity codes.
BATHROOM BATHROOM_HALF BATHROOM_SHOWER
12.2 Bathroom Amenities
These must be specified after the bathroom type code and are applied to the preceding bathroom type code. If there are multiple features in the room add a code for each
12.3 Bedroom Types
If there are multiple bedrooms add one code for each followed by appropriate amenity codes.
12.4 Bedroom Amenities
These must be specified after the bedroom type code and are applied to the preceding bedroom type code. If there are multiple beds in the bedroom add one code for each.
12.5 Nearest features
Nearest features must consist of three parts in order joined by underscores, a feature type, the distance unit, the number value.
Example NEAREST_BEACH_KILOMETERS_3 or NEAREST_BAR_METERS_200
12.6 Location type features
12.7 Other features
13 Common Errors
The VRBO connection for this property is managed by account ….
It cannot be mapped to this account.
Only properties owned by the connected MASTERINSOFT account or sub account can send to the connected VRBO account. If you want to connect properties owned by different account/sub accounts you can override this. Click on the ‘User’ icon on the top right and then on ‘Account Management (in the old control panel SUB ACCOUNT in the top right) Manage Account > Manage Property and go to “Channel Management”. The setting “VRBO / Homeaway Connect via Account” allows you to set that the property connects to VRBO via a different account than the one owning it.
Fix content errors and enable rooms before generating the VRBO Software User ID
Fix content errors and enable rooms
Go back to step 2 in the chapter “Mapping”
VRBO Software User ID not generated
Go back to step 4 in the chapter “Mapping”
internal error constructing XML
Go to (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > VRBO/Homeaway-> VIEW CONTENT to check if you content meets VRBO/Homeaways requirements. Any settings which do not meet VRBO/Homeaways requirements are highlighted on red. Click on the links in the “Settings” column to go to the settings where you can fix the problems.