In this article, we're going to show you the easy and correct way to set up your Availability Calendar iCAL URL links to avoid headaches and problems. We'll help you understand the importance of using a "Master Calendar" to set up your syncing framework in 3 simple steps.
Savvy vacation rental owners, property managers, and hosts know that syncing a short-term vacation property's availability calendar is a great way to decrease workload and avoid double bookings. But many don't know how to correctly set up the iCal URL links in order for calendars to integrate seamlessly.
It's important to choose one "Master" calendar for all of your iCal URL Links to sync directly into. This "Master Calendar" has to have the ability to receive multiple iCal URL links from all of your advertising listing sites. In some cases, this would be your channel manager or booking software if you use either of these tools. Although it's not necessary to use special software. You can use one specific listing site as your "Master Calendar" option.
Not sure what a channel manager or booking software is? We explain them briefly below. If you don't need either of these options skip down to the step by step syncing instructions.
Owners and property managers who oversee many properties and booking requests find it easier to manage their business by using booking engine software to ease multiple manual jobs that are necessary for the vacation short-term rental business cycle. Many opt for a booking software that serves as their central hub to easily manage all of their reservations, sync with financial software like Quickbooks, manage cleaner schedules, etc... Using booking engine software can greatly enhance and automate many functions like answering inquiries, sending quotes, rental contracts and booking guests.
A Channel Manager is primarily used by property managers to connect their Booking Engine Software or Property Management System (PMS) directly with online short-term distribution channels. Think of it as the central hub where all information and details of properties on a property manager's website or any of their connected channels (FlaRBO, Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc...) will automatically update the property's availability, photos, listing description details, rates, etc... on the other sites.
There are a few things to keep in mind when syncing multiple calendars to a property listing. Always use a Master Calendar for your syncs. This avoids any reservations that may not get picked up through the other listing sites. There are some criteria that a Master Calendar needs to have before you start setting up the framework and connections correctly.
A Master Availability Calendar can be chosen from one of the following options that have multiple URL links abilities:
|Correct Way to Sync Calendars||Incorrect Way to Sync Calendars|
In this example, we will be using the Florida Rental By Owners Availability Calendar as the "Master Calendar" but the steps below will work for another Master Calendar option in much the same way. Start by opening up the property dashboard on all listing sites that you wish to IMPORT into your Master Calendar.
Go to the Florida Rental By Owners - FLARBO Owner Dashboard. On the left menu bar Click "Manage Rentals"> then click on "Update listing" on the property you are working on if you have more than one. The FLARBO calendar will sync every 15 minutes
On the Master Calendar Availability Calendar, in this case, Florida Rental By Owner's property calendar
In most cases, you will want to choose Block Dates so that any events that are captured within the iCAL URL link are saved immediately and the property calendar is blocked. On certain listing sites you can also choose a color to easily identify a link.
Florida Rental By Owners (FLARBO) is a fair and reasonable vacation rental advertising marketplace specifically focused on helping Florida property owners. A vacation rental listing site "Built By Owners - For Owners" to connect directly with Florida travelers. Allowing vacation rental homeowners and property managers the luxury to: