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Is anyone using BIN with VRBO/Homeaway successfully with Bookerville. If so how are you handling that?

11 Responses:

John Amato, July 6, 2015:

For anyone else reading this, and confused: BIN = "Book It Now".

Some tips on this:

1) You can now synchronize calendars with VRBO. There are two ways to do this:

a) Let Bookerville read in your VRBO iCal feed nightly. Bookerville will block dates on your calendar, and remove them if they are removed from your VRBO calendar. This happens nightly and you will get a summary email each night showing you what it did. To do this, you must find your VRBO iCal export URL for the property, and enter it into the iCal Feed URL in your Property Setup page:

b) Let VRBO (or Homeaway) synchronize your calendar from Bookerville's iCal export URL. Essentially, this would work in reverse: VRBO/Homeaway will read your Bookerville iCal export URL periodically and keep your VRBO calendar updated. Note that this currently appears to be in beta/pilot test mode at Homeaway, here's their help page on it: Synchronizing calendars with Homeaway and VRBO

You can get your Bookerville iCal export URL from the top-right purple box of your Property Setup page:

2) Hook up with BookingPal, our new channel manager: Bookerville has partnered with BookingPal, a channel manager boasting rich integrations with dozens of listing sites including AirBnB, FlipKey,, TripAdvisor, Roomorama, and many others. This will not only synchronize your availability calendars, but also provide much more data integration including property features/amenities, rates, taxes, photos, and more. They are also in talks with Homeaway so we believe that will be available soon too. More information: BookingPal Channel Management.
Pam Martin, December 15, 2015:

Hi John and Group.

We advertise predominately on VRBO, which will begin requiring Book It Now on all properties in 2016. How will this work with Bookerville as far as payments and integration? What is being said by industry insiders about this?
bgwelborn, December 15, 2015:

I am interested also. I run 7 vrbo listings and Bookerville keeps me all organized. I enabled the BIN feature on the listings and it's not been smooth sailing thus far.
Pam Martin, December 15, 2015:

Hi bg,

Yes, with the help of Bookerville, we have grown to nearly 40 condos. We love Bookerville, but are afraid of how this will affect our processes.
John Amato, December 17, 2015:

Hi Pam and bgwelborn: what issues are you experiencing now that you're using BIN?

I have not heard that HomeAway is going to force property managers into BIN, although they are likely to strongly encourage it, probably by lowering position "rank" in HomeAway's listing pages for those not participating in BIN. Learn more

By the way: BIN does not necessarily mean instant online booking. Managers will have 24 hours to accept or decline each booking, and the default (after 24 hours) is that it is canceled.

Some interesting reads: HomeAway pushing Book-It-Now

Please keep the conversation going: we learn the most from your feedback.
Pam Martin, December 17, 2015:


Please see the following link to changes coming in 2016. What concerns us it the mention of HomeAway Payments as the credit card processor. I notice that they mention other payments will be allowed, such as check, PayPal, but no other card payment gateways. Also, I'm not sure how they will tack on their commission without funneling all payments through their system.
bgwelborn, December 17, 2015:


While we don't know for certain what the future holds, I think it's fairly obvious that eventually they will require us to take all bookings through the website. There is no other way for them to collect a booking fee from the guest and they have made it well known that a booking fee is coming.

If I don't take any bookings through the Home away dashboard, then I have no "conversions" and the resulting push down the rank of listings.

I can still use Bookerville when I take a booking through the dashboard, I just add the booking and block the remaining payment reminders. I don't like having my payments processed through Home away. The fee is .5% higher and the dashboard is terrible for quotes, etc. There is no add on menu for guests to add services. I'm on their schedule for security deposit returns, etc. Those are the problems that I have with it.
John Amato, December 17, 2015:

Understood. And I don't see much that we can do about that. Other than strongly recommending that you branch out and try other marketing avenues.

HomeAway is not the only option. And you can explore other options simultaneously while leaving your HomeAway account in place.

The future really looks like Channel Managers. It's where the airline and hotel industries went decades ago. And it eventually led to lower prices (lower commissions).
Pam Martin, December 17, 2015:

What marketing avenues do you recommend? We are currently updating our website so that guest may book directly from our site.
John Amato, December 18, 2015:

That's a terrific start. Let me ask: do you do re-marketing (i.e. like email blasts) to past guests? That's one of the most effective ways to get repeat business, and it's so cheap it's almost free. You don't pay any commissions or listing fees for bookings that you solicit from your own past guests. And Bookerville makes it easy to produce a list (export) of all your past guests (or even inquiries) in your Dashboard >> Reports tab: Guest Export list. This, like all reports in Bookerville, is exportable as a CSV file, which makes it very easy to get into Excel, or uploaded into email marketing services like Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc. (And at your volumes, their service might even be free.)

Have you ever heard of Matt Landau? He specializes in educating property managers on how to market their properties themselves. Learn more: Matt Landau.

There are also other listing sites. Although HomeAway/VRBO is still the largest, AirBnB,, FlipKey/TripAdvisor are all viable options.

When using multiple channels (listing sites), the first frustration is sync'ing all the data, especially the availability calendars. Bookerville provides calendar sync (two-directional) using simple iCal feeds, but to truly get rich data integration with multiple listing sites, you'll want to use a Channel Manager. We are currently integrated with BookingPal, who has integrated with AirBnB,, and FlipKey/TripAdvisor. We are also gearing up for Rentals United, who boasts integration with HomeAway/VRBO. Each of these is constantly working to increase their distribution to more channels (listing sites) as they become available for API integration. Agoda is getting larger and trying to make headway into the U.S., as is Roomorama and others.

Let me know if you'd like to explore these...
pch, May 19, 2017:

It appears that the vrbo bin requirement is in full swing. I no longer have a working Bookerville auto responder. I will wait until tomorrow to see of my Bookerville calendar populates with the vrbo booking that just came in.

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