HomeAway / VRBO Removing Owners Phone Numbers

Jan 9, 2017

Just in case you overlooked this mention in your HomeAway monthly statement, they have announced that they will be removing all owners phone numbers from the listings on their site and the numbers will only be on the inquiry or booking confirmation pages. So, the only way travelers will be able to initially contact you on HomeAway or VRBO is using their email inquiry system. They have been testing this for the past several months and have now made an official announcement about it.

The HomeAway / VRBO statement reads:

"Our goal is to get as many travelers as possible to book their vacation, with you, on the HomeAway websites. Bookings on the HomeAway website are core to the HomeAway business and enables us to help make sure we’ll continue to deliver you more bookings for years to come.

Since the most important thing you can do for your performance is use the HomeAway checkout for all of your bookings, we will be making changes to help make sure your getting credit for all your bookings. Soon you’ll notice your phone number is being moved from your listing page to the inquiry and booking confirmation pages. This means all your conversations will be grouped in your HomeAway inbox - and you can let us know it resulted in a successful booking, in just a few clicks.

You’ll still have access to the information about the traveler that you do today. Since bookings through the HomeAway checkout are so important, here is a quick “how-to” to make sure you know how to turn phone calls, inquiries and booking requests into bookings through the checkout, giving you credit for each and every booking:

  • When you receive an inquiry:  You can attach a quote to your answer directly from your HomeAway inbox. Just select ‘Reply Available’ and add a quote or payment request.
  • When you receive A Booking Request: Simply accept that booking and it will be automatically added to your reservations and block your calendar for the booked dates.
  • If you talk to A Traveler On The Phone: In your dashboard, from their initial inquiry, send them a payment request or tell them to go to HomeAway.com to finalize the booking."

No matter how they put it, we all know this is yet another move by HomeAway to restrict contact and ensure they get their service fees. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.