BREAKING NEWS ! HomeAway/VRBO now requiring “online booking” for subscription renewals!

Mar 29, 2017

The writing has been on the wall for a while and the rumors of Expedia making a major change to HomeAway/VRBO by the end of Q1 2017 has happened! Following a move earlier this month by Trip Advisor, Expedia OTA’s HomeAway and VRBO will now require subscribers to accept online booking when they renew their subscriptions. The following was posted on the HomeAway’s forum yesterday:

Online booking now required for subscription renewals
Created on Mar 28, 2017 11:37 AM
Dear HomeAway Partners,
For some time, online booking enrollment has been a requirement for new and pay-per-booking listings, and our Partners are already benefitting from the value and convenience it offers. As part of an effort to help boost your earning potential and create a more consistent site experience, online booking will now be required to renew all subscriptions.
As the vacation rental industry continues to become increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever for property owners and managers to keep up with new developments. During the past few years, one clear trend has been dominating the industry: Travelers prefer having the option to book online. My support team hears this every day, often from first-time vacation rental travelers that HomeAway continues to draw.
Throughout my six years at HomeAway, we have managed many product and industry changes together. Based on our shared growth and your feedback during that time, we’ve expanded to 24/7 support (including all holidays) and walked thousands of Partners through the details of both adding online booking and managing it day-to-day. We are talking to you about how to adjust your listing to be successful in best match, and helping you view your listing from the lens of the conversations we have with travelers. I’ve spoken with many of you personally; my team and I are here to support you during your online booking transition.      
While HomeAway works to meet our shared travelers’ preferences, we want to make sure you’ve got plenty of flexibility and control over how you manage your bookings. When you enroll in online booking, we’ll ask you to choose the option that works best for you: 24-Hour Review or Instant Booking.
Regardless of which online booking option you choose, you’ll still have the same control over your rates, your property availability, and the ability to contact your guests. You’ll also have the benefit of recent enhancements to your house rules concerning items like pets, events, smoking, etc.
If you currently have a subscription listing and don’t have online booking, you can add it by logging into your dashboard and view your listing.
If you choose to wait until your next renewal date, we’ll send an email containing more information about your options closer to that time
Thank you for using HomeAway to manage your vacation rental business. We’re looking forward to another year of working together.
At your service,
Valerie Pearcy
Vice President, Customer Experience, Americas
OWNERS – If you haven’t yet listed with VRLBI, NOW is the time! Take advantage of our current promotion and FREE listing transfer service (from another online site) before your subscription renews. Take back control of your listings today by calling our sales team at 609-494-9955. Our starting packages are about 1/3 of what HomeAway/VRBI will charge you! When you call mention "SAY NO" for a special promotional rate to get you started!
GUESTS – Don’t pay HomeAway/VRBO’s service fees by searching out the same listings on our site. VRLBI DOES NOT CHARGE ANY SERVICE OF BOOKING FEES! You deal, and book direct with the owners or their designated Real Estate Agent. Save hundreds of dollars on your next Vacation Rental by finding it on VRLBI!