ᐅ Update: Disruption in our Vrbo BETA Connection | Smoobu

Update – Disruption in our Vrbo BETA connection (price, min. Nights & additional info)

In our ongoing effort to provide you with seamless vacation rental management, we want to keep you informed about an update regarding our Vrbo BETA connection which synchronized prices, min. Nights & additional info. This BETA Feature is currently out of service until further notice. In this blog post, we’ll explain the context, the implications for you, and our plans for the future.

Be aware: the 2-way-booking synchronization via iCal is fully functioning.
Smoobu imports arrival date, departure date, and the guest’s first name.

What is not working?: Price and minimum nights synchronization, and retrieval of additional booking details (such as email address).

Context: Our BETA Connection

Alongside our existing iCal (iCalendar) connection to Vrbo, our Tech team, launched in January 2021 a BETA solution to enhance the interaction between Smoobu and Vrbo. 

While it was always labeled as a BETA connection, meaning a not-fully-released feature, we understand that many of our hosts found it to be useful. This is precisely why we tried hard to reestablish it and we are now providing an update on its current status.

This BETA workaround allowed us to not only push prices and minimum stays to Vrbo, but also enabled us to retrieve additional booking information that standard iCal links do not provide. This additional data included details like email addresses, the number of guests, and more.

Nevertheless, this workaround connection did not constitute an official API integration. As Vrbo underwent transformations in its interface, technology, and security protocols over time, these changes posed impassable challenges for our BETA connection. Despite our dedicated efforts to resolve and implement fixes, we have unfortunately arrived at a point where establishing a connection has become unfeasible due to Vrbo’s uncircumventable changes.

How does this change affect your operations?

As of now and until further notice, the connection between Vrbo and Smoobu will solely rely on a 2-way-iCal connection. This means that only the information contained in Smoobu’s iCal will be pulled by Vrbo into their platform. Vice versa, only Vrbo’s booking information contained within their iCal will be pulled by Smoobu into our interface. In other words, bookings will be blocked on both platforms and calendar synchronization will be covered under the usual 2-way-iCal synchronization function. 

As for prices and minimum stays, you should enter them in Vrbo’s interface. For the time being, this information will not be transferred from Smoobu’s calendar page onto Vrbo.

Lastly, additional information on Vrbo’s booking details such as email address, will not be fetched by Smoobu. Therefore, if you wish to message your guests via Smoobu, please proceed to copy and paste your guests’ email address and add it to Smoobu’s booking details page. Otherwise, you may communicate with them from Vrbo’s interface. 

You may also wish to add to Smoobu the financial information of your Vrbo’s booking once you have received it. 

For either scenario, see here how to edit your booking details on Smoobu.

Our Ongoing Efforts: Exploring an Official API Connection

We are actively working alongside Vrbo to explore the possibility of establishing an official API connection. Historically, this has been challenging due to Vrbo’s requirements to become a partner, which did not align with our product offerings. Vrbo traditionally required content synchronization, including photos, listing text, and more, which Smoobu does not offer at this time.

Nevertheless, we are pleased to announce that we are already engaged in conversations with Vrbo and are hopeful that this partnership will evolve positively. Even if we cannot commit to an ETA for an official Vrbo API connection, we are committed to finding a solution that not only meets Vrbo’s requirements but also enhances your experience as a Smoobu user.

If you have over 10 properties, you might be eligible for a pilot test. Kindly fill out this form and we will contact you with more information.

Closing Remarks and Contact

At Smoobu, our primary goal is to provide you with the best possible experience, and we appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this process.

We’ll continue to keep this post updated with the latest developments. Should you have any concerns, questions, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by opening a ticket.

We’re here to assist you.