Syncing Calendar

Susan1735
Level 2
Manteca, CA

Syncing Calendar

Hi there

 

Ive got a question for the community. After reading what I could find about syncing I don't think the feature is working the way its described or my feature isn't doing the job. If you copy and paste the calendar link from Airbnb to another application (and cross sync)...its supposed to SYNC. What it actually seems to do is Export data from one calendar and Import data to the other calendar. A one time transaction....not a real time syncing process performed while you are away.

 

So, if I got it right....everytime someone books are you all Importing and Exporting from your other application calendars? I just want to be sure I got it straight before I go much further.  Or, is there an easier way?

 

Thanks much

 

Susan

 

 

7 Replies 7
Matt682
Level 9
Hednesford, United Kingdom

@Susan209 I list on two sites and have set up the calendars to sync with each other.

 

I’m not sure on everyone’s technical IT knowledge, so I apologise if this sounds a bit basic, but I want it to be understandable by as many as possible...

 

The data in the calendars sits on a server owned by the relevant platform; a booking with Airbnb sits on an ABB server. A couple of times a day (I remember reading it was twice a day somewhere) the server runs a “replication process” (that import/export process you reference). This pulls bookings from the reciprocal calendars and blocks space accordingly; it happens when you first set it up, and then periodically afterwards. The other platforms you use have a similar process, with the frequency of this process being determined by each company; some platforms update more frequently than others, that gap may explain why you think it’s one off, you have to wait until the next automated cycle.

 

The reason this happens, rather than having it “live-update” as we would all wish for, is usually down to a pesky cost-basis. Think of how many hosts are on each platform, and then work out how many individual calendars exist for each of those hosts... to have all of these calendars replicate all of the time would require a huge amount of computing power even to ‘keep checking, just in case’; it would run the risk of either slowing the platform down, or result in an increased cost for the extra computing power, in either case costing the platform too much money.

 

The other point to note, is actually, no platform is incentivised to provide this service. It costs them money to design, run, maintain, and update, but it actually generates no additional revenue for them. If you double-book on any platform, it becomes a very much “you problem” rather than a “platform problem”, and whilst there are some penalties on ABB, others like B.com are outright brutal, costing hosts upwards of hundreds of pounds (I no longer use B.com for this reason). Simple economic theory would suggest that no for-profit organisation will prioritise developmental work that not only doesn’t generate revenue, but specifically makes it easier to use their competition.

 

Anyway, you will have realised that this cycle means it’s still possible to get a double-booking, since a booking made on one platform could in theory not be copied to the other platform for 11h and 59m. So what can you do?

 

I have managed this by turning instant booking off on the least-used platforms, and keeping it turned on on the one that generates the most bookings. My split was 98:1:1, so an easy decision, but harder if you’re closer to 50:50 since having instant booking switched on increases sales. Calendars update frequently enough, and the delay doesn’t matter.

 

Your other solution to manage this would be to use a third party calendar management system, of which there are a few. All of these are chargeable, but keep calendars exactly up to date. You’re paying them to use their computing power to run the calendar update/management function for you.

 

I hope that all helps.

Jenny687
Level 1
Cape Town, South Africa

Hi there partners,

 

I have been a host on Airbnb and Travelground for about 1 year and haven't had any problems.

 

So, about 3 weeks ago I listed my accommodation on bookings.com - this is the status quo -

When I go into booking.com to sync my calendars they ask me to copy and paste my iCal link from other channels. I have searched Airbnb for my iCal link - but cannot find it.

I have already had a double booking, because with Booking.com a guest books and pays immediately and  because my calendars are not synced it becomes a nightmare.

 

If anyone knows anything about the "iCal" link on Airbnb, please let me know - in the meanwhile I'm trying to liaise with booking.com to assist me in syncing my calendars from their side.

 

Thanks and warm wishes,

Jenny Brebner

 

Susan1735
Level 2
Manteca, CA

Hey, thanks guys for your input to my calendaring questions. Great ideas for now... and to grow into.

 

CIan7 and Robin4. You are voicing that nagging thought I had in the back of my mind yesterday as I set up the feature on my calendar. IS THIS GOING TO WORK!?  I didn't want to sink myself right at the start. I think starting the manual way sounds nice and safe, for now.....

 

Maybe after I get it mastered I'll give Homeaway a shot. I can see the invaluable need for IMPORT and EXPORT to combine calendars, though. Combined calendars seems like a valueable feature if you use more than one calendar.

 

Again, great input. Thanks much!

 

Susan

 

Robin4
Level 10
Mount Barker, Australia

Yeah, I am a bit like @Cian7 here. 

When I started using another platform last December I tried to sync calendars between the two and within 3 weeks, I had a double booking! At that point I decided the sync system was not trustworthy enough to be relied upon and I now manually do my date management. As soon as a reservation comes in on one platform I manually block those dates on the other. I can achieve this either from my desktop or my phone so it doesn't matter where I am, I can attend to it in seconds.

A few years here and personal experience with syncing tell me it is not reliable, some seem to find it works ok but many find it doesn't.

Thank goodness my double booking was between platforms so it didn't affect me here with Airbnb but for hosts trying to sync within Airbnb the unreliability of the system could have really nasty consequences, particularly for Superhosts!

 

Personally I will stick with the old fashioned way!

 

Cheers.......Rob

Cian7
Level 2
County Dublin, Ireland

Slightly over my head thsi one, my two centsd is I’m more traditional and manually do this work.

For something like an important one like, arranging access for a guest I don’t want to be counting on say my google calendar correctly syncing over to Airbnb. Between storage problems, failing to sync and what not.. I like to do it manually work on this.

Ann72
Level 10
NY, NY

@Susan1735 I sync my Airbnb calendars with Homeaway and my Apple Mail calendars.  It works and I don't ever export/import anything.

 

However, it does not work with Google Calendar unless you make it public.  Then it might sync, but everyone in the world can see it.

 

I take the same approach as @Tim-and-Holly0 .  Redundancy is useful here.

Tim-and-Holly0
Level 10
Tucson, AZ

@Susan1735:
I've never had much luck using Airbnb's sync so I use Airbnb as my main calendar. I have entered all of my other calendar's link addresses into my Airbnb admin and entered the Airbnb link into the other sites, that way it is redundant and that has worked well for the other sites. Sometimes it makes the other calendar's bloated because it marks a day unavailable from a couple different sites, but that is better than double booking. Because we use Airbnb instant book I always go into Airbnb and manually immediately block days when we receive a booking from another site.

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