Vacation Rental Management for busy people!

Getting the inquirer's real Email address

In an attempt to prevent fraud by compromised email accounts, a number of listing sites have adopted a "security" mechanism that hides the real traveler email address from the owner in email inquiry notifications.

How it works

A substitute "Generated" email address is created by the listing site that can be used to communicate with the inquirer - but it goes indirectly to them via the listing site instead of directly. This allows the listing site to track activity and somehow determine if it is suspicious.

The "Real" traveler email address can often be found if the owner logs in to their listing account - this is the added layer of security as any fraudster would need to know your login info for that site in addition to your email account. Some advertisers may even hide that information until later for all accounts or for certain account types.

In addition, some listing sites track responses to inquiries in order to build up a metric that can be displayed to travelers about the owner's responsiveness. This requires that you either respond using the Generated email address or login in to view or respond to the inquiry online.

AdvertiserHidden EmailReal EmailMyVRZone
Flipkey
(Subscription Accounts)
Yes

Available online

Respond to Real email, optional additional message to Generated email

Flipkey
(Commission Accounts)
No email for replying

Available online after first payment

Copy/Paste parts of the response/quote in to your FK account to reply there.

HomeAway.com
VRBO.com
VacationRentals.com
HomeAway.co.uk
Yes

Available online

Respond to Real email, optional additional message to Generated email

Response Options

You still have a few options for replying to the traveler.

Reply to the Generated email address

You can deal with the traveler indirectly by replying to the Generated email address.

You will not be able to screen them based upon their Real email address and it seems that some sites change the Generated email address for each inquiry even if it's from the same traveler (for those sites, you'll not be able to know for sure that another inquiry from the same traveler is really from the same traveler just from the Generated email address).

Note that the text is often restricted to plain text - no pretty formatting may be allowed. If you do send formatted responses then they may be converted into unformatted text (and it can look very bad). Some sites will record that plan text in the online view but will pass on the nicely formatted email to the inquirer.

Replying this way will be recorded as a "response" by the advertiser for sure.

Login and get the Real email address online

Log in to your listing site, find the inquiry and copy the real email address for use in your own response mechanism (if it's shown by that advertiser and for your account type).

The act of logging in to view the inquiry may or may not be sufficient to be recorded as a "response" by the advertiser - please check with the advertiser as to what they require.

Login and respond online

Log in to your listing site and use their own response mechansism.

Note that the text is often plain text - no pretty formatting may be allowed.

This will be recorded as a "response" by the advertiser for sure.

Respond from MyVRZone

If your advertiser account displays the Real email address when you log in:

Stay within your MyVRZone account, see the Real email address in the request and choose to have responses sent to the listing site using a different email template. It's all automated, just respond to inquiries in the usual way.

If your advertiser account does NOT show you the Real email address when you log in:

Stay within your MyVRZone account, send the response to the Generated email address (as that's the only contact information you have). In addition, if you want to send a short/simple email with some explanation then you can choose to have an additional response sent to the same Generated email using a different email template. It's all automated, just respond to inquiries in the usual way and the additional email will be sent if configured.

In both cases:

Continue to send nicely formatted responses directly to the traveler.

Configuring an email template for sending to the listing site will ensure that this will be recorded as a response at the advertiser.

What MyVRZone does

For Platinum Subscribers

Get the Real email address

When you have entered your login credentials for these sites then each email inquiry that comes in will be checked and any Real email address will be retrieved automatically from your listing account. It's just as if you did it manually - logging in and copy/pasting the email into the request.

If you look at the top of the text in the "Original" tab you will see any email address that was originally found (the "Generated" Security email) and the one that was found online (the Real email) and put into the request. This is provided for your information.

You do NOT have to synchronize calendars with the site if you do not want to. Enter your login credentials but uncheck the Auto-Sync check-box afterwards.

Update your response metrics

In addition, if you want to have some kind of notification sent to the Generated email address so that it gets recorded at the listing site then you can choose/create a template to be sent there. Note that this will be sent on to the traveler by the listing site so it needs to make sense to them.

If you do choose a template to be sent back to the listing site then it will be sent immediately AFTER you send your normal response via the MVRZ system.

You just do the usual thing in responding to inquiries and the system will take care of sending another message to the listing site - you'll see a notification after sending that will show if it sent another email.

Auto-responders

You can have the system send an auto-response to the Generated and Real email addresses as soon as the inquiry comes in (as well as when you do the full response). See more about auto-responders here.

Setup / Configuration

This applies to Platinum Plan subscribers only and is very simple.

Login credentials

Add your login credentials for each advertiser into the "Setup>Main >> Advertisers+Syncthonization>Synchronisation" tab. If you keep the listing site calendar up-to-date then this may already be filled in. You do not need to check the Auto-Sync check-box.

Response template

There are two templates to set up. One for the case where the real email address is known/found, and the other when it is not known/found.

If you want to send a response back to the advertising site then you can create your own or choose one of the Predefined templates (see them here) called:

For the "Advertiser Template (with email)" configuration:

  • Advertiser Response (real email, with link to response)
    This includes a link to the full response email that was just sent to the Real email address - useful if your email does not get delivered for some reason and you don't mind the listing site potentially seeing what you sent out.
  • Advertiser Response (real email, no link to response)
    This is like the one above but has no link to the online view of the full response.

For the "Advertiser Template (no email)" configuration:

  • Advertiser Response (no real email, with link to response)
    This includes a link to the full response email that was just sent to the Generated email address - useful for a quick link to the full response in this shorter response.
  • Advertiser Response (no real email, no link to response)
    This is like the one above but has no link to the online view of the full response.
  • Once you have the template, choose it for the "Secure System Template" in the "Quotation Settings" section of the Setup>Main >> Account>Info tab.

 

That's it, once configured you'll not need to do anything in addition to responding to the inquiry in the normal way.