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One of the key ways to successfully get FlipKey bookings is to have an up-to-date calendar, which is why we give you the option to have your calendar updated daily and synced with your other systems.

Calendar sync automatically updates your FlipKey and TripAdvisor calendars with bookings from your HomeAway, Google, Airbnb, and Yahoo calendars, or any other calendar that uses iCal technology

Cal shot

How to sync your calendars

Sign in to your account, go to Properties > Update calendar and select Sync with other calendars. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Note that syncing a calendar won’t send out updates from your FlipKey or TripAdvisor calendar. You’ll only receive information from your external calendars.

How calendar syncing gets you more bookings

1. Receive better quality inquiries

Travelers get frustrated when they find your listing and get excited to stay with you (“Look they have our dates free!”), only to be told that you are booked up, because you did not update your calendar. Improve your reputation by keeping an updated calendar so both parties are happy.

2. Accept more booking requests

Tired of leaving money on the table because you’re already booked? Fully updated and synced calendars mean no more misunderstandings getting in the way of you and guests who send you booking requests.

3. Give travelers the confidence to book with you

Keeping an updated calendar shows your customers that you care about your rental. When your calendars are synced, the Calendar last updated date on your listing will refresh every day.

Questions? Learn more in our Help Center.

Just as they would expect an immediate response from a coworker they’ve emailed or a friend they just texted,  potential travelers expect the same type of quick response from you when they are booking a vacation rental. That’s why we hold our owners and managers accountable for a speedy reply. Your response rate showcases to potential renters how consistent (or not) you are in responding to your guests.

Where can I find it?

Your response rate appears in the “About the owner” or “About the manager” section of your listing. It appears after you’ve received your fourth inquiry.

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It’s based on whether or not you’ve responded within 24 hours to your last 20 inquiries or booking requests. If you’ve not yet received 20, the percentage is based on those you have received. You can also see your response rate at the top of your owner dashboard.

On each individual message, you’ll see your response time, which is the average time it has taken you to respond to your last 20 interests.

Why is it important?

A traveler is  much more likely to book with you when you respond quickly. We’ve given you a 24-hour window to send your reply, but our site data shows  that responding within six hours doubles your chances of a booking. A few more items:

  • Responding quickly shows guests that you’re proactive and don’t like to keep them waiting—something they’ll remember when it comes time to write a review.
  • Your response rate plays a key role in your listing’s position in search results, meaning more travelers can find your property easily.
  • Time is precious for travelers looking to book last minute, and they will skip right over your listing if your response rate is poor. If travelers repeatedly have to wait a long time to hear from you, we’ll have no choice but to deactivate  your account  to avoid any further frustration.

How to improve your response rate

Get a 100% response rate by responding to every inquiry and booking request within 24 hours. Challenge yourself to respond as quickly as possible.

We know you’re busy and  it can be tough to follow these guidelines, so here are some helpful tips:

  • Download our free mobile app to manage bookings from your iPhone or Android device.  Sign in regularly and make sure your listing is kept up to date so you don’t need to worry about checking any details before confirming a booking.
  • Review your saved responses (Go to Bookings > Update booking settings) and make sure you’re happy with them so you’re less likely to make any edits before responding.

From the data we’ve compiled in the infographic below, it is clear that the vacation rental business will be booming this year in Phoenix/Glendale, Arizona for the big game. In previous years, both New Orleans and New York City saw massive gains for both professional vacation rental owners and those who just got into the business for the Super Bowl.

For those traveling to the game, staying in a vacation rental offers you the space and privacy of home, as well as some really cool amenities. With prices for hotel rooms skyrocketing, staying in a rental with a group of friends or coworkers will save you plenty of money, and many of the homes are located extremely close to University of Phoenix Stadium.


So you have a new inquiry on your home; congratulations! If you’re ready to take the reservation, your next step is to confirm the booking by collecting a payment. This means you’ll send a quote by email, asking your traveler to pay by credit card or PayPal on FlipKey.

Here’s how to do it all, using our secure payment system:

1. Take a look at the inquiry in your Inbox. You’ll see your guest’s travel dates and a summary of the money you’ll be collecting. Just below that, you can read the message from your guest.


2. Click Edit or view quote details to review your pricing breakdown in full. Here, you can make adjustments like adding a discount, or billing your guest for just the booking deposit up front.

Booking tip: if you decide to collect a booking deposit ahead of the final payment, remember that the deposit is non-refundable if the traveler cancels.

3. Include a reply. Your message template appears already in the message box, automatically personalized with your guest’s name. You can uncheck the box next to Use your message template if you’d like to write a different message to this guest.

Booking tip: You can edit what your saved message templates say by going to Booking settings > Messages to guests.

4. Finish up by clicking Send quote. We’ll notify your guest immediately that they can reserve their trip by making a payment. You’ll also receive email updates from us on their progress.

Booking tip: You don’t need to reply to an inquiry to request a payment. Go to Bookings > Create a quote to send your own quote from scratch.

Once your guest has paid, you’ll have a confirmed reservation on the books. We release your money 24 hours after the check-in date, and you can expect to receive it in 3 to 5 business days, depending on your bank.

FlipKey, a leading vacation rental website, has revealed the top 10 vacation rental destinations trending for 2015 based on FlipKey traveler demand to date. Florida dominates this year’s list winning the top three spots including Miami Beach, the Orlando/Kissimee area and Key West. Rio topped last year’s list as the host of 2014 World Cup and remained in the top at number seven for 2015, likely because of the attention from the World Cup as well as the anticipation of the 2016 summer games.

“We weren’t surprised to see that Florida took the top three spots as it’s historically been one of the most popular destinations for our travelers,” said Eric Horndahl, Vice President of Marketing at FlipKey. “It’s very likely that Scottsdale made the list due to the Super Bowl in February and Paris is not a surprise either. Our inventory continues to grow in popular European vacation destinations and Paris is one of those high-demand spots.”

Overall, this year’s list demonstrates that warm-weather beach destinations are where travelers are going for next year’s vacation with Florida, Mexico, California and Hawaii all winning spots on the list.

Below includes the full list of FlipKey’s leading destinations for vacation rentals in 2015*:

1.    Miami Beach, FL
2.    Orlando/Kissimee, FL
3.    Key West, FL
4.    Ocean City, MD
5.    Playa del Carmen, Mexico
6.    Palm Springs, CA
7.    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
8.    Honolulu, HI
9.    Paris, France
10.    Scottsdale, AZ

Last year’s 2014 leading destinations for vacation rentals included*:

1.     Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2.     Miami Beach, FL
3.     Orlando/Kissimmee, FL
4.     Naples, FL
5.     Key West, FL
6.     Kihei, HI
7.     Panama City Beach, FL
8.     Honolulu, HI
9.     Playa del Carmen, Mexico
10.     Seminyak, Bali

Whether travelers are looking to head half-way across the globe or stay nearby, vacation rentals can offer savings of up to 40% and provide space, privacy and amenities of a home.

For more information, please visit http://www.flipkey.com.

About FlipKey
FlipKey is a leading vacation rental marketplace that makes it easy, safe, and fun to find and book the perfect place to stay. Our verified guest reviews help you search more than 300,000 listings in 179 countries around the world. Get a great value and stay in a rental with the space, privacy, and all the amenities of a home.

With more than 5 million monthly unique visits, FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company and helps power the vacation rental experience on TripAdvisor.com—the world’s largest travel website.

*Based on 2015 booking requests to date on FlipKey.com.

*Based on 2014 booking requests to date on FlipKey.com.


***UPDATE: Thank you to all entrants! The winner of the contest has been chosen. Congratulations to The Girl and Globe! You can view the winning blog post here.

FlipKey “Take Me There” Contest

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

FlipKey, Inc. (“FlipKey”) is changing the game when it comes to pre-trip research. Instead of a bland description of an area or a few static pictures, we are taking destination testing to the next level with our virtual tours. We started in our hometown of Boston, and have expanded our series to include three all-star vacation destinations: Lake Tahoe, Miami Beach, and Phoenix. These virtual tours take you on the ground of a destination, and using parallax technology allow you to scroll through to each major attraction, and even allow you to see a 360 degree view at each stop!

One select blogger will win a $1000 VISA gift card by entering FlipKey’s “Take Me There” Contest (the “Contest”). To enter the Contest, participants (each, an “Entrant”) must write a post on their blog about one of our virtual tour locations (Lake Tahoe, Miami Beach, Phoenix) and what they would do during their time in that destination. Use our virtual tours for inspiration by telling us what you’d love to do, and feel free to take us off the beaten path.

Submit your blog post by tweeting @FlipKey with the link to your post and the hashtag #takemethereflipkey.

The Contest starts December 8, 2014 and the entry period will close on December 31, 2014 (the “Entry Period”).

After the Entry Period closes, a panel of judges from FlipKey will evaluate the entries based upon the following criteria before selecting and announcing the winner in December:

  • Originality
  • Description of top attractions at the destination
  • Well thought out itinerary

Good luck to all!

The Simple Version of the Rules:

  • No purchase necessary to win
  • Must be 18 or older to enter
  • Must write a blog post (no minimum or maximum length) and submit post via Twitter instructions above by December 31, 2014
  • Must state in your post which locale you want to visit
  • FlipKey team will judge entries and choose a winner based on criteria above
  • Winner will be announced in January and will receive a $1000 gift card
The Fine Print:
The following information relates to the Contest:
  1. This Contest will run from 9:00am ET December 8, 2014 to 11:59pm ET December 31, 2014. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for the Contest.
  2. The Contest is open to US residents only aged 18 or over. The Contest is open to writers of travel content for a publicly available blog. By entering, the Entrant agrees to these Rules of the Contest and the decisions of FlipKey, which are final and binding in all respects.
  3. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase an Entrant’s change of winning.
  4. ‘Sponsor’: The Contest is sponsored by FlipKey, Inc., 226 Causeway St. Floor 2 Boston, MA 02114.
  5. Contest Overview: Entrants will write a blog on their site mentioning the Contest and specifying one of the three destinations, (Lake Tahoe, Miami Beach, Phoenix) that they would like to travel to. The content of their blog would focus on what they would do if they visited this particular destination. Submit your blog post by tweeting @FlipKey with the link to your post and the hashtag #takemethereflipkey by the end of the Entry Period to become eligible to win.
  6. Determining the Winner: After the Entry Period closes, a panel of judges at Sponsor will evaluate the entries on the following criteria: originality, description of top attractions at the destination, well though out itinerary. The decision of the FlipKey judges is final.
  7. Winner Notification and Requirements: The potential winner will be notified by Twitter or email (sent to the Twitter account or blog site provided by the Entrant when entering and/or telephone, in Sponsor’s discretion, on or about January 15, 2014. As a condition of being awarded the prize, the potential winner may (in FlipKey’s’s sole discretion) be required to execute and deliver to FlipKey a signed affidavit of eligibility, acceptance of these Official Rules, release of liability, and any other legal, regulatory, or tax-related documents required by FlipKey in its sole discretion. If the potential winner fails to return the signed documents in a timely manner (as determined by FlipKey in its sole discretion), he/she will forfeit the prize and Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner.
  8. Prize: FlipKey will send the winning blogger a $1000 VISA gift card.
  9. To enter the Contest, you must tweet the URL to your blog post on Twitter and mention @FlipKey in the tweet.
  10. Only one entry per Entrant will be accepted.  Any additoinal attempts at Internet or email entry is void.  Entries must be received and recorded by FlipKey by 11:59 p.m. December 31, 2014 (EST).
  11. Potential Winner is subject to verification, including verification of age. If potential Winner is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Official Rules, if prize notification or prize is unclaimed or returned as undeliverable, or if prize is rejected, the potential Winner will be disqualified and the prize will be forfeited and may be awarded to an alternate winner. Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email address, mailing address and/or telephone number of Entrants. Winners are solely responsible for any taxes on or other expenses related to the prize, regardless of whether the prize, in whole or in part, is used, and will be required to provide IRS Form W9 or equivalent and will be issued IRS Form 1099for the $1,000 value of the prize. No transfer of prize is offered, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. No cash or other substitution of prize is permitted, except that if the prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize with another prize of equal or greater value. No more than five (5) alternates will be contacted. Unclaimed prize will not be awarded.
  12. Employees of FlipKey and their families are excluded from winning the Contest.
  13. Copyrighted, obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered and will be deleted upon submission. FlipKey retains sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.
  14. FlipKey reserves the right to amend or withdraw the Contest in the event of any unforeseen circumstances outside their reasonable control.
  15. FlipKey accepts no responsibility for difficulties experienced in submitting an entry to this Contest.
  16. The winner’s name will be available after the winner is determined by writing to FlipKey Inc. 226 Causeway St. Floor 2 Boston, MA 02114 Attn: Take Me There Contest Winner
  17. FlipKey assumes no responsibility for lost, late, incomplete, stolen, misdirected, or illegible entries; or for any computer, telephone, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, availability or garbled or jumbled transmissions, service provider/Internet/web site/use net accessibility or availability, traffic congestion, or technical failures, or unauthorized human intervention, or the incorrect or inaccurate capture of entry or other information, or the failure to capture any such information.
  18. FlipKey reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who (i) tampers with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or website; (ii) acts in violation of the Rules of the Contest; (iii) acts in violation of the terms of FlipKey’s website, or (iv) acts in any way that discredits or otherwise disrupts the Contest or FlipKey, including all of its participating entities.
  19. By entering the Contest, Entrant agrees to the following: a) blog entry was written by and is exclusively owned by the Entrant; and b) FlipKey shall have world-wide royalty-free publishing rights of blog entry at no cost and with no financial reimbursement whatsoever. By submitting and entry, each Entrant agrees to receive email communications from FlipKey. Entrant may opt-out of the receipt of promotional communications at any time by following the instructions indicated on the flipkey.com website.
  20. Use of Entrant’s Name, Likeness, etc.  Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Contest constitutes permission to use Entrant’s name, likeness, persona, hometown, and/or Prize information in all media now known or later devised throughout the universe in perpetuity for all purposes FlipKey deems appropriate – including, without limitation, for promotional and publicity purposes – without further permission or compensation.  As a condition of being awarded any Prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may (in FlipKey’s sole discretion) be required to execute a written consent, confirming FlipKey’s right to use such winner’s name, blog URL, likeness, persona, hometown, and/or Prize information without further permission or compensation.
  21. General Conditions: Winner’s name and entry may be posted on the www.FlipKey.com web site and shared on social media.  In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Rules; or (b) award the prizes according to the procedures set forth above. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the operation of the Contest, violates these Rules, or acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any person who seeks to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest. Failure by Sponsor to enforce any term of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to Sponsor by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by Sponsor. In the event of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, the authorized account holder of the Twitter account used to enter will be deemed to be the Entrant. The Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.
  22. By participating each Entrant releases and agrees to hold harmless FlipKey, its parents, affiliates, subsidiary companies, advertising and promotion agencies and their respective directors, officers, employees, representatives and agents from any and all liability for any injury, loss or damage of any kind to person, including death, and property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the prize, or participation in any Contest related activity. Unclaimed prizes may not be awarded.
  24. Choice of Law: Except where prohibited, Entrants agree that any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest but in no event attorneys’ fees; and under no circumstances will Entrant be permitted to obtain awards for and Entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Rules of the Contest, or the rights and obligations of Entrant and FlipKey in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without regard for conflicts of law doctrine, and all proceedings shall take place in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.
  25. Disputes: You agree that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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We’re starting to move owners and property managers on to the new dashboard, so the next time you sign in to manage your rental, you could see our new design. It might seem a bit different from what you’re used to, so we put together this guide to show you where to find some of your favorite features.

Your rental business at a glance

After you sign in, you’ll land on the homepage of your dashboard, which shows you at-a-glance information about your rental business. The central area shows your progress toward a complete listing, while the statistics near the bottom keep track of your revenue, listing visits, reviews, and more. Your response rate now appears along the top of the screen.

Overall view of new dashboard



Top navigation takes you where you need to go

You can get to every page of your account from the menu at the top of the screen. Properties has all of your listing-related items like description, location, and photos. Here, you can also find links to manage your reviews or add a new listing.Properties menu

Bookings is where you can track reservations and update your booking settings—including cancellation policy, extra fees, and your saved messages that you can send to guests during the payment process. Finally, all of your administrative items like your contact settings, profile information, and deposit method are in your Account menu.

Inbox: more reservation info at your fingertips

The envelope icon takes you to your inbox, where you can see the status of each inquiry and booking request. Use the Show filters button to refine the messages that you see. Just as before, you can click into a conversation to accept/decline booking requests, or to request payment in response to an inquiry.

Where to find helpHelp topics

Keep an eye out for the blue Help topics bar that appears in the upper right corner of your account pages.

Here you’ll find links to on-screen tutorials that will walk you through the steps of your most common account tasks. It’s like your own personal rental management assistant! Even if there aren’t tutorial links, you’ll see links to FAQs that are relevant to the task at hand.

If you still need help, watch our video tutorial, or check out our updated Help Center. Happy Bookings!

Spiral Rings of Notebook

One of the most useful items you can provide your guests is a basic guide, or welcome book, that gives a snapshot of your area. In this book, you can compile all important information into one place, helping to reduce questions from guests while reinforcing their impression of you as an organized owner. Leave your welcome book in a place where your guests are sure to find it when they arrive, like an entryway table or kitchen counter.

Make the information easy to find, by using a binder with tabs separating each section. Along with your tips, consider placing a welcome letter at the beginning of your book. This can be a short note of thanks that will help make your guests feel at home when they first arrive.

To get you started, here’s a list of items we recommend you include:

  • Essential Information
    • Emergency numbers/contact information
    • Area maps
    • Wi-Fi network and password
    • Beach/park passes
    • Garbage collection
    • Check out times and departure instructions
  • “How to use” guides
    • Appliances
    • Entertainment systems
    • Water and septic systems
  • Provided household supplies
    • Toilet paper, paper towels, linens, etc
    • Food items
  • Area amenities
    • Restaurants – include menus for takeout and delivery options
    • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets/stands
    • Local attractions – hiking trails, best beaches, amusement parks, etc
    • Local dog park or off-leash area
  • Transportation options
    • Bus routes
    • Taxi and shuttle services
    • Car and bike rentals
    • Airports, train stations, etc

Happy bookings!

Blank Real Estate Sign & Laptop

To help new home owners accurately market their rentals, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your property listings:

Create a Catchy Headline

The title of your property is what initially draws vacationers to click on your property listing instead of the competitors. Steer away from generic titles such as “beautiful cabin” or “Resort unit C”. Try to focus on creating a title that focuses on a unique aspect of the property, like a newly renovated kitchen or the spectacular views from the balcony. Examples of eye catching titles are “watch the sunrise from the newly renovated balcony” or “walk your dog on the beach” which emphasize activities that are special to your property.

Showcase unique aspects of your home

Similar to your title, you want to focus on highlighting niche aspects of the listing. If the property specializes in pet friendly accommodation, or if you have a lake with kayaks, let the public know.

Select the Right Location for the Listing

If your property is a few miles away from a major city, you may want to place your listing in the larger area. These tourist heavy areas draw in significant traffic, and if your rental is close enough, you may want to consider changing it to gain visibility. However, if your property is not close to a major hub, it is best to not deceive travelers by misleading their location as this can cause reservation conflict. Make sure your travelers understand where your property is located.

Take Flattering photos

The better the quality of the photos that are displayed on the profile, the more appealing the property is to travelers. Make sure pictures of the property are clear, and have good lighting. Try to get a high resolution camera and take flattering pictures of the interior of your property, as well as the exterior. Emphasize bright colors and unique features of the property. These pictures are super important and will make or break traveler’s interest in the property, as they directly show the quality of the listing.

Take Pride in Your Listing

Make advertising your property a priority. Travelers can tell if an owner has not taken much time to create their listing which is a turn off, so make sure pricing is correct, the calendars are updated, and inquiries are responded to in a timely manner. You don’t lose out on bookings this way since it is easily preventable. The faster inquiries are responded to, the more likely a traveler will book your property.

Good Customer Relations

The way an owner or manager interacts with potential vacationers is huge. A traveler’s experience depends not just on the quality of the property, but on his or her experience with the home owner as well. Be professional and outgoing when communicating with the traveler. Make sure the traveler is accommodated for and feels welcomed when he or she arrives. Travelers will not want to stay at a property with an unprofessional owner, no matter how nice the actual property is. If you build a relationship with a traveler, they may want to book with you again, and get their friends to book with you as well!

List your property on multiple platforms

The internet has made spreading news about your newly acquired vacation home faster than ever. This being said, there are plenty of vacation rental advertising platforms out there that can advertise your property to the world. Having your property listed on not just one, but many, of these websites can improve the visibility of your listing. The TripAdvisor family alone consists of FlipKey, HolidayLettings, Niumba, and TripAdvisor itself.


In the vacation rental industry, repeat customers can be a strong proponent for your listing. Happy and repeat customers typically provide stellar reviews, book in advance, and can provide traveler insight and tips on how to improve your property that owners may not consider. So how can you attract repeat customers? We’ve compiled some tips to help keep your calendar booked.

Before the stay

Once a guest books, it’s important to follow up as soon as possible to address any questions they may have about the property location and surrounding area. Set their mind at ease by providing up to date contact information, should any issues or other questions arise prior to their stay. While your guest may already have planned activities for their vacation, providing insider tips
and suggestions of things to do shows your guests that you care about making their experience enjoyable and fun.

During the stay

Create a brochure for your house that includes FAQ’s, house rules, restaurant/activities suggestions, and your contact information. Guests will appreciate having this information at their disposal should they need any assistance.

After the stay

Upon check out, send a thank you note to your guests. Thank you’s add a personal touch that highlight your attention to detail. Remain accessible to answer any post-trip questions your guests may have. For example, if a refundable deposit was included in the reservation, let guests know the timeframe during which they can expect their deposit back. Follow up with guests a
few months later to remind them of their wonderful vacation. Providing a special discount for repeat customers gives guests an additional incentive to rebook.

Ultimately, remaining accessible, attentive, and personal helps attract quality and repeat customers. Happy bookings!