AirBnb/VRBO: How big of a concern is double booking?

Answered!
David11304
Level 2
Petaluma, CA

AirBnb/VRBO: How big of a concern is double booking?

Hi all-

 

I am a new host, and over the last 3 months or so I have made it to super host status, which I should get next time the evaluation comes up. 

 

Now I want to list on VRBO to spread the risk out a bit and bring some more revenue. But from what I can tell the calendar sync is pretty wonky.  It's a 2-way iCal and it doesn't seem to sync very often - leaving the possibility of double bookings.

 

I know I can sign up for a PMS to avoid this, but most of them seem to use iCal integration too and the only one that even says they can prevent double bookings is HostHub.  Really, I don't need a PMS with only 1 property so hope to avoid this. 

 

Can anyone give an opinion - am I over thinking this? not understanding how it works? 

 

Any advice appreciated! thank you 🙂

1 Best Answer
Basha0
Level 10
Penngrove, CA

I’m on both and I manually block the calendar when I get a booking from the other one. For me, safer that way

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7 Replies 7

Hi @David11304 

Welcome!

Double bookings are a possibility. The sync times are different for Airbnb vs Vrbo and definitely could cause a double booking; especially if the listing is very active. Once you create the listing and sync the calendars it is never set and forget. You have to monitor it and keeps eyes on both calendars. Many Hosts have learned to "refresh" their Airbnb calendar as soon as a booking occurs and/or manually place a block on the opposite calendar until the sync catches up. If you would like more info on that...send me a DM.

 

The curious thing is the sync sometimes just stops working randomly? Each platform blames the other and sometimes you have to delete the link and re-sync several times to get it to work again. Sometimes that doesn't do it and you spend a week or so trying to get it resolved. In 2+yrs I believe it happened 3x to an Owner I worked with as Co-Host. Fortunately we noticed it wasn't syncing 2x and had no issues as we just deleted the links and set them up again and it worked fine. The 3rd time we caught it right away, but did result in a double-booking. We we were able to get one guest to voluntarily cancel for a full refund within the 48hr cancellation window. This was a few months ago and it took a week or so to get Airbnb to fix it (it was their link causing the issue). 

 

Use caution with prep days and advance notice though. You have to manually block days before/after a booking on Vrbo, while Airbnb automatically does that for you and blocks the Vrbo calendar. Also for some strange reason Vrbo doesn't allow same day bookings, but Airbnb does.

 

I think most Hosts (without a channel manager) accept the risk and refresh the Airbnb calendar after every booking and manually block the opposite calendar until the sync catches up. I do think the risk is acceptable if you keep an eye on your bookings and pay attention to both calendars. Maybe some other Hosts can chime in here with their experiences with this.

 

 

It doesn't always sync, just stops working. I just use airbnb so I can be less involved, not worrying about it syncing. 

Basha0
Level 10
Penngrove, CA

I’m on both and I manually block the calendar when I get a booking from the other one. For me, safer that way

@Basha0 How do you manually sync?  Also, HI to a fellow Sonoma County resident 🙂

Hi @David11304 

 

Airbnb Calendar:

- Calendar

- Availability

- Scroll to Synced Calendars

- Hit Refresh

 

There is still a delay, but the manual "refresh" will normally sync faster

Joan2709_0-1708562832409.png

 

hi David, I go to the other calendar and bock the dates as soon as I get a booking. Are you a member of the Sonoma Napa Marin Airbnb group on Facebook?

Lorna170
Level 10
Swannanoa, NC

@David11304   I list on multiple platforms.  The minute that I get a new booking on one platform, I verify that the booking has transferred to the other(s).  If it is not there, I will manually force a sync of the calendars or manually block off the dates on the other platform(s).  

 

Note: I use a desktop computer so I can easily switch between platforms -- I do not use the phone App except to alert me that a booking has occurred or been requested.