Custom Labels for Requests and ReservationsMay 4, 2013
Inquiry responses on your smartphone or tabletFeb 3, 2013
Change tax rates for different numbers of nightsDec 27, 2012
HomeAway Connect iCAL export is not free after March 6th 2013Dec 20, 2012
Online booking calendar for your own website, fully customizableDec 1, 2012
Rich Text Editor added for easy email template and Newsletter editingApr 7, 2012
HolidayLettings.co.uk calendar synchronizationSep 21, 2011
Tax report now with option for pro-rated reservation amountsJun 15, 2011
A new option has been added to the Tax report that allows you to pro-rate the income and taxes for reservations that are not fully within the reporting period.
See more details here: http://myvrzone.com/info/reports
FlipKey.com calendar synchronization now activeApr 24, 2011
If you advertise your vacation rental with FlipKey.com then you can now keep your calendar updated there automatically too. This is still a free service.
MyVRZone will update FlipKey.com (and your other calendars) when your availability changes and at least once a day so your "Last Updated" date is always very current.
Upload Files for guests, use reservation-specific informationApr 22, 2011
Often you'll want to provide a file to guests showing them how to get to your home, operate various things and what to do on check-out. These files can be large and it's best to provide a link to them online rather than include them in an email as some email systems have file size limits.
Multi-request email parser for LastMinuteVillas requestsApr 10, 2011
If you advertise your vacation rental with LastMinuteVillas then you'll know that each email may contain more than one request.
When using the MyVRZone quote system to respond to requests it will now split the email into multiple requests automatically, ready for responsing to each as it they come in separately.
New MyVRZone WebsiteMar 12, 2011
The new website has been launched.
Find more information about the online vacation rental management tools that save you time.
Choosing a door keypad for your Vacation RentalOct 14, 2010
When you are not local to your Vacation Rental and wish to deal with access yourself you'll need to mail the keys to your guest and have them get them back to you. There is always risk in using the mail to get them there on time and in them being lost by the guest. A great alternative is some kind of keypad, so that no keys need to me physically moved - you just provide a number. One always has a physical key in a lock-box as a backup should the battery die, so there's not really any risk there.
Which is the best International Telephone Service for your VR?May 8, 2010
The desire and expectation for "free" international calling with a VR rental varies by region but is getting more and more common in competitive markets.
For those that offer this today, and those that are thinking about it, what is the best option? It seems like the search for low cost International calling is never ending.
See how the difference services such as Tel3, OneSuite, Skype, Ooma, Magic Jack and Vonage compare here...
Availability/Reservations on your mobile phone or personal calendar?Mar 31, 2010
I use the MyVRZone.com online vacation rental management software for everything VR related as we're never too far away from internet access.
There are times, though, when it would be more convenient to see my reservations/availability on a "normal" calendar - you know, like Microsoft Outlook or Google's Gcal.
I use Google for mail and calendars on my desktop and my iPhone - it would be quicker for me to view that calendar than to browse to my online calendar (which does not show reservation details) or log in to the online system for more information. Note that this is just for my owner's view so I'm not thinking that you would use these as your public availability calendars - though you could!
If you'd like this too, then take a look at how you can do this here...
Handling Foreign Language Vacation Rental InquiriesMar 1, 2010
Wouldn't it be great if we all spoke the same language or if we were able to speak other languages easily?
Some owners can offer a great and distinctive service through fluency in many languages but most find that understanding and responding to an inquiry in a foreign language is just not practical without some help.
See how you can translate inquiries and make translation of your response for the inquirer very quick and simple here...
Remote A/C and Heating (HVAC) thermostat internet control for saving energyJan 1, 2010
The combination of MyVRZone and MiCasaVerde’s wireless home automation system provides an ideal solution for Vacation Rental Owners that want to take control of their electricity bills and save energy. No other solution provides:
- Wireless installation
- Full automation - just keep your regular reservation arrival/departure dates & times up-to-date
- Remote control and monitoring with history graphs
- Flexible control periods and energy saving adjustments
- Limited Guest adjustment range
- Tamper-proof design with internet and power outage tolerance
- Expansion opportunities via z-wave, WiFi and Ethernet connections
eRentalLock Integration now supportedNov 7, 2009
If you currently use one of these locks or are looking for keypad access that changes for each guest without having to do anything to the lock then take a look at the lock comparisons here.
- Never forget to update your code when an reservation changes
- Unique codes for each guest
- Code allows access between check-in and check-out date/times - no early/late access without an updated code
- No need to visit the lock once installed
- All codes are generated on the internet so it can be done anywhere
- MyVRZone integrates the code generation so any new/changed reservations always cause a new code to be fetched
Compare time-set keypad locks for your Vacation RentalJul 18, 2009
There are 3 popular lock providers that target the Vacation Rental industry with a focus on being able to provide different lock codes for each guest without the need for internet access to the lock. These "time-controlled" locks operate without the need to change anything on the lock after installation. See here for a summary of the 3 lock types.
The different time-controlled lock products work in similar ways:
- The locks themselves know the current date and time
- The Owner uses a provided mechanism/program to generate a lock code that encodes the permitted entry period (the arrival and departure dates/times)
- Each lock has a unique serial number that ensures the codes are different even if the date/times are the same
- When a code is entered at the lock the lock decodes it and will only open if the current date/time is within the dates/times specified when then code was generated
How do you take an online credit card payment?Jul 14, 2009
So, you figure that it would be good to accept credit cards from your guests for payments and are thinking of applying for a merchant account. Excellent - life will be simpler for you and the guests!
Have you thought about how you would actually take the credit card information for a payment? It's not always obvious what options you have and how that may affect what you need to do. Note that there is no requirement that you have a physical machine (Terminal) to process credit cards - you can process payments online instead with a Virtual Terminal.
There are a few payment scenarios that may apply to you - take a look at the requirements and consequences of each here...
Do the email responses you send to Inquirers get read?Jun 19, 2009
If you are like most vacation rental owners then you'll send many email quotes and responses to questions each week. Many of the quotes that you send out never get a response - often the property itself was not suitable or the price was not right.
What if the inquirer never even got to read your email?
How would you even know?
Spam filters are pretty aggressive these days and the most aggressive ones are usually on the popular, free email accounts (hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc). Many inquirers use these free accounts - so how do you know if your email gets through?
Try this solution that will also allow you to send follow-up emails automatically here...
Where do you want to see your VR availability information?Mar 19, 2009
Today there are usually 3 to 5 places that most owners want to have availability information:
- HomeAwayConnect.com (old Rentors.org) as it's popular, supports multiple HomeAway sites and affects ranking
- Their own website - preferably embedded
- Their management system - where the reservations are recorded
- On their pc or desktops calendar for quick reference (Google or MS Outlook, for example)
- On their mobile device (PDA, Smartphone) such as the Apple iPhone or Google Droid
How to do keep them all up-to-date without manually changing each one?
Which Credit Card Merchant should you choose for your Vacation Rental business?Mar 17, 2009
I searched for the best merchant account providers for VR owners so that I can integrate them into the MyVRZone management tools.
I believe that I have found the best solution and you can see how I got there by comparing providers here - this shows how Costco, PayPal Virtual Terminal, HomeAway and ProPay solutions all compare.
Manageing your VR while away from homeAug 30, 2008
Most of us travel at some point - squeezing in that vacation or for our regular employment!
What do you do to ensure that you have everything you need to continue responding to inquiries, taking bookings and marketing your VR?
See what I used to do and why I do it differently now here...
Spending too much time managing your VR?Aug 26, 2008
It's very easy to be drawn into the details of managing your own vacation rental and spend every minute you can figuring out how to make things better.
The trouble is that most of the time is usually spent doing things that don't add a great deal of value in terms of marketing yourself to more guests (to cover your ever increasing costs), or they are very repetitive things.
Think about how much time is spent responding to inquiries, processing reservations and payments, paying bills, dealing with the local property manager or cleaner versus updating your website with better wording and photos and adding specials to other advertising sites to fill those upcoming weeks.
We all manage and develop systems to help us cope. We do get it wrong sometimes (double bookings) and are often rushed so don't spend as much time on those inquiry responses as we'd like.
The biggest dicotomy, in my opinion, is that when responding to an inquiry you need to respond as quickly as possible and as clearly/professionally as possible. For most people it's a compromise - quick responses are usually more terse and prone to error. Even if you have a few pretty ready-made email templates the amounts need to be calculated correctly and any specific questions answered. You also need to be especially careful to avoid a double-booking.
Find out how to reduce the time and allow you to focus more on the things that help you increase bookings here...