Escapia & V12.NET Customer Resources for COVID-19

Updated June 4, 2020

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. We understand this crisis brings uncertainty to travel and your property management business. Please use this page as a resource for software tips, updates, and other industry-related topics on COVID-19.

Software FAQs and helpful tips

  • According to an April 2020 Vrbo survey, 77% of travelers are more likely to book a rental with flexible cancellation policies. To appeal to travelers and secure more bookings, consider transitioning to more flexible cancellation policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The cancellation policies for all of your properties can be configured in Escapia (see steps 4 and 5 in the “Network Policies” section) and V12.NET, and changing your cancellation policy will not impact reservations that have already been made. 

  • To update cancellation policies specific to the Vrbo network of sites, review instructions for Escapia and V12.NET (see step 5). As of May 13, 2020, Escapia users can create custom cancellation policies for Vrbo, with up to three different refund percentages for different amounts of days before the check-in date. If not all of your properties use the same cancellation policy, you can override the default cancellation policy on individual units. See the “Create a Custom Cancellation Policy” section of our Escapia documentation for details. 

  • In Escapia, it is possible to place a hold for each property directly from the reservation grid. Since marketing sources aren’t available for reservation holds, entering a customized first and last name (e.g. First name: “COVID”, Last Name: “19”) on the reservation hold can be easily used for tracking purposes. The Front Desk> Reports> Holds Report can be run to see all property holds.

    Additionally, you can add a condition to your rate rules that states any new booking must begin at least a certain number of days after the end date of an existing booking. To do so:

    • Open your existing rate rule(s), in the Other section, and place a checkmark next to “Occupancy is…”

    • Here’s an example of how to update the settings if you want a 3-day block:

    Note that this will only work for arrival dates, there’s no setting that will stop you from creating a reservation with an end date fewer than a designated number of days before the next arrival. Because of this, we still recommend adding a hold to block out both sides of a new booking as soon as possible.

  • In V12.NET, the best way to block a unit is to create a reservation for each property. For tracking purposes, you can use an existing marketing source code or create a new one that works for your situation. Reports that can be selected by source code will show the reservations created with this marketing source code.
  • On March 17, Vrbo announced it will waive all cancellation penalties related to this event while we work through this crisis.  That means COVID-19 cancellations will not affect your ranking metrics or Premier Partner status. Vrbo also provided new expectations for how our partners work with travelers in the COVID-19 Emergency Policy released March 18.  Learn more about Vrbo’s policies here.

  • As stated in Vrbo’s FAQs, to determine whether you’ve offered a refund, credit, or rebooking options: “We’ll be taking several signals into account, including information captured from the traveler regarding the outcome of their booking. If we’re not able to gather sufficient information about the booking, then your listing’s ranking and reviews will not be impacted either way.”

In Escapia, agency administrators can log into the new system and use the Performance Dashboard to stay up to date with real-time pacing for bookings compared to previous time periods. On March 26, 2020, Escapia also added a NEW option to show the number of cancellations on the Bookings tab of the Performance Dashboard:

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The following reports may also be helpful:

  • NEW Booking Cancellation Revenue Report (Reservations > Reports > Bookings > Booking Cancellation Revenue Report). This brand-new Escapia report gathers all important cancellation data into one report, including associated revenue, guest information, and reservation information for cancellations made after 2:15 PM PST on March 17, 2020. For cancellations made prior to 2:15 PM PST March 17, 2020, the report will include all data except: Booking Charge Total, Booking Rent Total, Booking Tax Total, and Booking Total. Get full details here.

  • Booking Cancellation Report (Reservations > Reports > Bookings > Booking Cancellation Report). Use this report to filter for a variety of factors, including cancellation reasons. This report can be run for a variety of date ranges (the date the booking was canceled or if the range is for the arrival date, last night, or departure date).

  • Cancellation Report (Front Desk > Reports > Cancellation Report). Use this report to quickly show reservations canceled, how many nights the reservation was for, the cancellation reasons/notes as well as other pieces of information. The date range will show instances in which bookings were canceled inside of the reservation.

  • Occupancy Comparison Report (Units > Reports > Occupancy Period Comparison). This report allows you to see on a per-unit basis how many nights each unit was occupied over two different specified date ranges. It provides a breakdown of how many of those nights were due to a hold, an owner stay, or actual rented (occupied) nights. This report does not show any rent amounts.  

  • YOY By Unit Report (Reservations > Reports > Units > YOY By Unit Report). Like Occupancy Comparison, this report allows you to define two different periods to compare against each other. It also allows you to select if the date range is arrival, departure, occupancy, or date booked. While this report shows rent, it does not show a breakdown of hold, owner, or occupied nights. It only shows the number of nights and number of reservations on a per-unit basis over the defined time period.

  • If you want to view canceled reservations on the reservation grid, here are instructions for highlighting cancellations. 

In V12.NET, the following reports are helpful:

  • Folios Cancelled Report (Reservations > Reports > Folios Cancelled). This report provides a wealth of information for canceled reservations, including if travel insurance was purchased and the amount of any refunds. Exporting this report will show more information such as commission revenues lost, rebooked nights, rent, and commission.

  • Unit Cancellation Report (Reservations > Reports > Unit Cancellation Report) This report lists reservations canceled for each property for a date range, and is commonly used to provide future cancellation reports to each Property Owner. Use the parameters to limit the information shown, such as guest names and rent charges.

  • Reservation Comparison Report (Reservation Setup > Reports > Reservations Comparison Report). Use this report to view reservations as-of a specified date categorized and sorted for business analysis, then compared to a second view of a previous date range and as-of dates.

  • Rental Statistics Comparison Report (Reservation Setup > Reports > Rental Statics Comparison Report). This report calculates rental statistics for folios that have occupancy nights within the date range, then compares this period to the same period one year earlier. Both the dollar amount and percent change from the previous period are displayed. Set the parameters to choose what folio types and contract types should be included in the calculations.

  • Income From Commissions: (Month End > Reports > Income From Commissions). Shows commissions and fees by either Folio Departures, Folio Arrivals or by Occupancy (split month). Note that this report cannot forecast commissions and fees for Receipt Based processing since the amounts and date for rent processing are not predetermined. This can be run in the past or the future for unprocessed projections.
  • Folio Audit Export: (Month End > Reports > Folio Audit > Folio Audit Export). Lists one folio per line in a format for easy export to Excel. Use to find and export folios for the month to audit/review/correct before processing. If the Occupancy method is selected (split-month or receipt based) then the detail columns show revenue for only the period selected. If Arrival or Departure is selected then everything for the folio is shown. This can be run in the past or the future for processed or unprocessed projections.
  • According to VacationRentPayment, the best practices for avoiding cardholder payment disputes and chargebacks are to provide flexibility for future travel plans or to allow guests to receive a refund for a booking. If the traveler does not want to rebook for a later date and they purchased travel insurance, they should contact the insurance provider for coverage questions. Travelers can also contact their credit card provider to understand if there are any coverage options associated with using the card even if they did not purchase travel insurance. 

  • For more information on managing chargebacks during COVID-19, you can review this VRMA article developed by VacationRentPayment and Vrbo’s new article Understand and mitigate the risk of successful chargebacks.

  • Per VRMA's article: “If you are issuing a refund for a reservation made with a credit card, always process the refund on the credit card provided by the traveler. Do not issue a check as the traveler may initiate a chargeback even after receiving the refund payment.”

  • Both V12.NET and Escapia have bulk email capabilities so you can message upcoming guests using a single correspondence template. Escapia users can create new templates or use an existing one and can send correspondence via Front Desk > Generate Booking Correspondence or by using the NEW automatic email feature (Admin > Setup > Correspondence > Automation). Consider using Escapia’s new automatic email feature to trigger an email when a booking is canceled that includes any updates to your cancellation policy, plus a coupon code encouraging guests to re-book at a later date.

  • To send a message to your owners, use the Owner Portal in Escapia and V12.NET. Also, in V12.NET, you can export guest mailing lists (Reservation Setup> Reports> Guest List) and use the Owner Contacts Report (Owners & units> Reports> Owner Contacts) to send emails via a 3rd party service.

  • There are a number of government relief programs available to vacation rental property managers — and we’ve heard from both Escapia and V12.NET customers who have successfully received government assistance. For more information and to see if your business qualifies, visit Vrbo’s COVID-19 economic relief programs page. The Vrbo team is updating this page regularly as new information is released. We encourage you to submit your applications as soon as possible, as some assistance is on a first-come first-served basis and/or has approaching deadlines.

  • For reports that demonstrate COVID-19’s impact to your business, see the FAQ “How can I gain visibility into the impact of COVID-19 cancellations on my business?”. You can also access tax information in Escapia under Accounting > Reports > Tax. For tax information in V12.NET, reports include:

    • IRS 1099 Summary Export: (Month End > Reports > 1099 Summary Export). This report can be run for both vendors and owners for past and current months as a record of income.

    • Sales Tax Summary: Month End > Reports > Sales Tax Reports > Sales Tax Summary. This report provides an overview of Sales Tax summarized by Tax District, Taxing Entity and Cost Code.

  • Here is a reminder on how to cancel reservations in Escapia and in V12.NET, including what happens if the reservation is from the Vrbo network of sites.

    • NEW! Please note that if the reservation is from Vrbo, and you and the traveler have agreed to cancel the reservation, you do not have to contact Vrbo customer service to have the cancellation waived from your ranking metrics or Premier Partner status. You can learn more about Vrbo’s policies here.

    • NEW! In addition, the traveler does not have to contact Vrbo to have the service fee refunded. Vrbo is refunding the service fee for canceled reservations made before March 13, 2020, with a night that falls between March 13 and April 30, 2020, including trips that are outside the set cancellation policy.

    • If you are using Glad Contract for automatically sending rental agreements, here is a reminder on canceling the contract.

  • You can reference the following articles for refunding guest reservations in Escapia and V12.NET.

  • We know you’ve been swamped with phone calls, and that you want to make sure your month-end processing isn't impacted. It’s a good idea to review the month-end checklist for Escapia and the daily and monthly procedures for V12.NET as soon as possible to ensure problems are found and resolved sooner rather than later.

  • This is easily achieved in Escapia, and it depends on whether or not revenue has been processed to the owner.

    • Follow these three steps if the revenue is partially or fully processed on the reservation.

      • Remove revenue processing (you will still have a deduction from your business payout, but will keep the original reservation intact). Note: Any processing on the reservation will lock out the ability to edit the reservation dates. Make sure your accounting period is open for whatever month you are trying to un-process.

      • Now you will be able to edit dates of the reservation. If the guest has already chosen new dates, put those in. If the guest is still thinking about dates, make sure to put their reservation dates out for three years so that the reservation stays intact and is NOT canceled.  NOTE: if you change the date to one very far in the future, you will most likely get a “pricing failed” error so it is a good idea to add the rent amount equal to what the guest booked. Also, it may be a good idea to create an excel sheet of these reservations for later follow-up.

      • Next, you can re-process revenue based on payment processing date (payment, first night, last night, etc.)

    • If the revenue hasn’t been processed, then you can modify the dates on the reservation to the desired dates.

  • In V12.NET, you can cancel the folio and keep the deposit. You also have the option to keep anything processed on the folio. It’s easy to recall the folio when the guest rebooks and you can place them in a different property.

[NEW] Resources from Escapia and V12.NET Business Partners

Additional Resources

Have more questions?

To provide more helpful information, we’d like to hear your questions. Please submit them in this form, and we will do our best to address them on this page. If you have an account-specific or time-sensitive question (for example, booking or cancellations occuring within the next 2 days), please reach out to Escapia or V12.NET Support.