Why do these vacation rental management software tools exist?
We're vacation rental owners with full time work, kids and very little time to spare - sound familiar?
The functionality that these vacation rental management software tools provide started back in 2001 when we acquired the first of 2 vacation rental homes. Responding to inquiries quickly was key to occupancy/revenue and keeping calendars up to date was a royal pain.
After developing and using our PC-based solution for a few years it became clear that there was a need for this type of solution more generally - to enhance the travelers experience in this industry and to allow the owners to focus on marketing their properties and not managing them. It also needed to be low cost!
When traveling we needed to bring our laptop and the files required wherever we went and had to make sure we had a failsafe backup system in case the laptop/pc failed in some way. The way to resolve most of our mobility issues was to move to an online version of the tools. After initial concern that we and other owners would be worried about losing control of the data we realized that the data would actually be safer (as well as accessible globally) in a centrally managed, temperature controlled, power-failsafe and backed up online world!
I felt that I was ideally placed to use my programming expertise and vacation rental experience to create something that will appeal to others that strive to better their customer satisfaction yet want their life back! Built from scratch, my goal was to automate everything that was tedious and present traveler communications more professionally while still providing the flexibility that so many other systems lack for customization to the way that you do business.
These online vacation rental management software tools have been built up and released in parts over many years:
- Embeddable, customizable calendars were created first - no more editing my website to keep it up-to-date.
- Simple tools were made available for tracking reservations and hence the calendar
- Synchronizing calendars with major advertising sites - at last, only one calendar to update.
- The VR Referral Network™ was created and launched - sharing our hard-earned direct inquiries with others in our community
- During all of the above time, the online vacation rental management software tools were being extended and improved to what you see now - spend your time marketing and communicating with your guests rather than the boring, time-consuming and yet important things that MyVRZone.com can do for you.
We use these online vacation rental management tools every day to manage both of our vacation rentals in Orlando (www.EmeraldIslandOrlando.com and www.WindsorPalmsOrlando.com), spending around an hour a day on them on average. We like to travel and it's reassuring to know that we just need access to the internet to continue our business professionally from wherever we are (at home, work or on vacation). It's also easy to hand over the system to someone else to respond to inquiries if you want - once it's set up for your way of doing business it's easy to run.
There are many additions and enhancements to the system that could be implemented going forward and you'll see them added for your benefit over time. We are always interested to hear suggestions for improvements and additions that you think would enhance the usability of the tools so be sure to let us know here.
If you have more than one property then you may want to merge your availability from two or more of them into a single calendar for use at your advertising sites - to show a net availability. This is now possible with the new merging feature, where you can choose to show days that have: At ... read more »
Flipkey had been providing an iCal feed of availability for importing into other calendars, but that appears to have stopped now. The old links still work but the URL is no longer displayed in your account. VRSync has just added a direct availability calendar import from Flipkey to accommodate t ... read more »
Updating multiple availability calendars, especially with online booking at advertising sites, just got a lot easier. VRSync is a new multi-way availability synchronization service that looks at the current availability at one or more sources, carefully merges them together to form a Net Availab ... read more »