What’s New in Escapia

Stay in the know on the latest and greatest Escapia releases for vacation rental property managers. These are the most impactful, can’t-miss enhancements based on customer feedback! And with our focused investment in Escapia, there is a whole lot more to come.

June 2020

In response to COVID-19, Escapia now has the ability to automatically create cleaning holds before and after each reservation. This will help you follow self-imposed or regulatory guidelines by adding a buffer between guest stays. You can customize clean days at the business level (shown below) or unit level and they will be automatically removed if a booking is moved or cancelled. Note: This will not overwrite existing holds or reservations. 

Find out more about setting up automatic cleaning day holds in Escapia here

We’ve heard from travelers that cleanliness matters and now you can indicate enhanced cleaning practices using amenities in Escapia. Following Vrbo’s announcement, Escapia users will now be able to select from 7 new COVID-19 Health and Safety amenities that will map directly to Vrbo. 

While you can select each of the 7 new amenities now, only the following will go live on Vrbo instantaneously:

  • Health and Safety: Enhanced cleaning practices 
  • Health and Safety: Minimum time between stays 
  • Health and Safety: Clean with disinfectant
  • Health and Safety: No-contact check-in and check-out

The following amenities should also be selected as you set up your units to avoid duplicate work, and will automatically go live in a few weeks once Vrbo’s API integration is complete: 

  • Health and Safety: High touch surfaces cleaned with disinfectant 
  • Health and Safety: Towels and bedding washed in water that’s at least 60ºC/140ºF 
  • Health and Safety: Follow industry association cleaning practices 

Get the full details on adding Health and Safety amenities here

To help Escapia customers save time and avoid any loss of revenue, rent will now be automatically added to the folio when a cancelled reservation is recalled. This will make undoing a cancellation easier since rent will be automatically pulled back into the booking and no longer need to be recalculated manually.

Simplify your nightly service routine with the new owner statements filter. Escapia users can now exclude owner statements with no activity, saving you processing time. Plus, you’ll avoid sending out blank owner statements.

To start using this new filter, just check the box for "Exclude Owner Statements With No Activity” on the Owner Correspondence Settings page: 

For full instructions on how to configure automated owner statements, review this Knowledgebase article. 

Escapia customers have the ability to include fees in the rent amount when quoting to travelers, however on Vrbo those fees were shown in an itemized list (via product codes) and were not included in the rent amount.

Vrbo recently updated its API to include any Escapia fees designated as "Group this charge with rent” in the rental amount, both on the search results page and the property details page. This helpful update will reduce conversion friction and make booking simpler for travelers who will not be confronted with a long list of fees.

To enable this update to Vrbo listings, confirm the “Group this charge with rent” box is checked in your charge templates:

If this box is checked, no other action is needed and Vrbo listings will immediately reflect this update.

May 2020

One of the top requests from users who collect payments in Escapia, we have added a new “Amount Due Type” pull-down menu to populate the “Payment Amt” field. This means no more searching for payment amounts; options will be brought right into the payment screen, making collecting payment faster and easier. Full instructions available here.

Also, the next time you need to reverse a transaction in Escapia, you’ll notice it takes a lot fewer clicks. Yet another time-saving improvement implemented thanks to your feedback.

​​​​​​Escapia users can now create custom cancellation policies for Vrbo! The new option allows for up to three different refund percentages for different amounts of days before the check-in date, giving you the flexibility to create a tiered policy that aligns with your business needs. 

If not all of your units use the same cancellation policy, you can even override the default cancellation policy on individual units. See the “Create a Custom Cancellation Policy” section of our Escapia documentation for details.

As you set your policies, keep in mind that recent Vrbo data indicates 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.

*Results from a survey of 222 travelers and a user session conducted by Vrbo in April 2020.

April 2020

Introducing a new feature that gives you greater flexibility and control over your pricing. Escapia users can now configure charge templates by channel, enabling you to adjust fees based on where you are advertising your inventory, or based on the marketing source used on the reservation. To leverage this new functionality, you can either update an existing charge template or create a new one. Simply use the 'Channel Partner Scope' area of the charge template to select one or more channel partners that the charge template applies to — full instructions here.

​​​​To save you time and enable better correspondence with guests, we are excited to announce the release of automatic emails in Escapia! This new functionality will help you avoid manually generating correspondence to guests, instead allowing you to send automatic emails based on certain booking events like check-in, moving units, cancellations, and more. Emails can also be scheduled and sent automatically based on the number of days before or after the guest's arrival or departure date. For more details and to get started with automatic emails, review this Knowledgebase article.

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​​​​For detailed information on cancellations due to COVID-19, this brand-new report gathers the most important cancellation data into one view: guest information, reservation details, total payments made, refunds and more.* Get the details here.

*Note that some report data is only available for cancellations that took place after March 17, 2020.

March 2020

​​​To make it easier to track the impact of COVID-19 on your bookings, we have added the ability to view 2020 cancellations within the new Escapia system’s Performance Dashboard.* To view cancellations, simply log into the new system (instructions here), go to the Performance Dashboard, click the “Bookings” tab, and check the box on the far right titled “2020 YTD + Cancellations.” Please note that this option is only visible when the “2020 YTD” box on the far left is also selected. If you would like to narrow the results presented on the chart, you can filter by location, office, unit, and more. See this page for more information on filtering in the Performance Dashboard.

*Access to the new Escapia system, including the Performance Dashboard, is currently available to Escapia Agency Administrators only. Agency admins can access the new Escapia system by following the instructions in this article.

To answer immediate questions and provide ongoing resources for the vacation rental industry, we have created COVID-19 resource pages that will be updated regularly with new information.

Get guidance on:

  • Managing cancellations and rebookings 

  • Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on your business

  • Cleanliness and safety guidelines

  • And more…

As the situation evolves, we will update this page and roll out additional communications so you can stay informed.

See resources for Escapia and V12.NET customers, or resources for property managers who do not use Escapia.

February 2020

​​​​​You can now add photos and documents to service orders so you can reference them later, keep a visual record of the service order process, and share internally or with your owners. The additional detail will help all parties better understand the problem and communicate efficiently. Plus, photos and documents can be added to a service order via a desktop browser, mobile web, or the HomeAway mobile app — whichever you prefer. For full instructions see this help article.

January 2020

Escapia users can now save queries in custom search, enabling you to share frequently used searches amongst your team. Once a search query completes, you’ll see the option to “Save Search” via a button to the right of the “Search” button. To see saved searches simply click “Show Saved Searches."

When deleting an owner payment on the Accounting > Accounts Payable > View Payments screen, the corresponding bill will now also be deleted along with the owner payment — helping save you time and eliminating redundant tasks. The delete payment confirmation dialog now includes more detailed information about the payments being deleted.

Deleting Multiple Payments

When deleting multiple payments, owner payments will show the associated bill highlighted in red. 

Deleting a Single Payment

When deleting a single owner payment, the confirmation dialog will show the associated bill as a single item.

For users with access to the new Escapia system, the team rolled out a number of new enhancements to the Performance Dashboard. The improvements were made based on customer feedback, and include the following releases:

  • Data Export: Easily manipulate data or share information with owners by exporting the Performance Dashboard table data from a selected time period to a CSV file. The ability to export a PDF version will be added next.
  • Data Expansion: Get an even more complete view of historical data by selecting “Last Year” in the Performance Dashboard dropdown. This addition allows comparisons between the current and previous year.
  • New Filter: It’s now easier than ever to select units through the “Unit” property filter. Search for a unit by its number or keywords like “Ocean” to find units faster.


 

Questions about any of the Escapia enhancements above? Current customers can reach out to csm@escapia.com. If you’re not yet an Escapia customer, please contact us here.

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