New Feature: Introducing Vacation Rental Calendar Export via iCal

How to organize your work so as to spend less time managing your vacation rental business while being able to use the tools you got used to? While AirGMS allows managing everything inside one system, it also goes beyond its own interface. Many hosts use calendars on their phones or Google calendar on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it be great to see the Airbnb reservations and cleanings there as well? AirGMS users now will have this opportunity thanks to the efforts of our development team.

We are delighted to introduce a new feature – Calendar Export via iCal! It will be your lifesaver as it will help you to use your vacation rental calendar effectively and to delegate more effectively.

A vast majority of hosts have probably heard of the term “iCal”. In this article, we are going to look at iCal. iCal (which refers to the iCalendar format) is a computer file format which allows Internet users to send meeting requests and tasks via .ics extension.

iCal is often used to sync calendar information so that you can view it on one interface. If you are familiar with AirGMS software, you may have benefited from using Calendar Import via iCal. With the help of this feature,  you can manage your bookings listed not only on Airbnb but also on other vacation rental websites like Booking.com, HomeAway and VRBO.

Finally, the time has come to introduce the Calendar Export feature via iCal that lets you export bookings and cleaning tasks from the AirGMS calendar to Google Calendar, macOS Calendar or other calendars!

When to Use the Vacation Rental Calendar Export Feature?

There are a few instances when the Calendar Export feature will be very useful. For example, this feature is ideal for hosts who have grown accustomed to their personal calendars and would prefer to be able to continue using their own calendar.

So, if you want to view all your bookings and/or cleaning tasks in your personal calendar or manage it with the help of a program that you are already familiar with, the Calendar Export feature is ideal.

Perhaps you simply want to customize the view of your vacation rental calendar with the bookings and tasks? The Calendar Export feature will also let you do just that.

The Calendar Export feature is also extremely helpful for team management. You can use it to grant your managers and cleaners access to specific cleaning tasks or reservation information.

What is Calendar Export via iCal?

AirGMS Calendar Export via iCal

iCal is a computer file format for storing calendar information. It is primarily designed to be an open standard to allow for easy interoperability with many different applications. iCal is used in major scheduling or calendar software and can also be used as a medium for storing reservation information. Airbnb, just like Booking.com, uses the iCal format to store reservation information.

If you receive reservations via Airbnb as well as other booking platforms or use an external reservation system, you can now export bookings from AirGMS to another calendar via iCal. You can also use iCal to export cleaning tasks and reservations to Google Calendar, iOS Calendar, macOS Calendar, Facebook Events, Windows 10 Calendar App, Outlook Calendar or other calendars that support export via iCal.

How Do I Find and Use the Calendar Export via iCal Feature?

vacation rental calendar Export via iCa

First, go to “Properties” and open “Property Editor”. Next, switch to the “Calendars” tab where you will see the Import and Export via iCal sections. You can export both bookings and tasks from a chosen property in your AirGMS account and view them in any external calendar (we will review this in more detail below). All you need to do is copy the URL of the booking or task and insert it in the settings of any external vacation rental calendar that supports the iCal format.

Once you’ve copied an iCal link to the reservations or cleanings of the specific property from your AirGMS account, go to your external calendar’s settings, add a new calendar and insert the iCal link. After you’ve exported the reservations or bookings to your external calendar, you may change the update frequency (usually from once per 5 minutes to 1-2 weeks).

When the bookings and cleanings have been exported to the external vacation rental calendar, they will have several distinctions that may help you to differentiate the reservations from the cleaning tasks. Bookings are shown as full-day events and the calendar name is exported using the format: [B] – “Name of the Guest” – “Platform where the booking was made”. Cleanings are exported as tasks with a specific starting and ending time. Also, the name of such a calendar is formatted as [C] – “Name of the Property”. So, [B] stands for “Bookings” and [C] stands for ‘“Cleanings”.

Here is a detailed overview on how to sync your Airbnb calendar with Google Calendar or sync your Airbnb calendar with your iPhone.  

How to export your Airbnb calendar to Google Calendar:

vacation rental calendar to Google Calendar
  1. Go to your Google Сalendar and navigate to “Settings” in the upper left-hand side of the screen.
  2. In the Settings menu select “Add calendar” and in the drop-down menu click on “From URL”.
  3. A window will pop up where you can paste the URL of your vacation rental calendar (iCal link).
  4. Your reservations or cleaning tasks of a selected property will now be exported to your Google Calendar.

How to export your calendar to macOS calendar:

Export calendar to macOS
  1. Open Calendar on your Apple device (MacBook or iMac).
  2. Click the Calendars button in the upper left-hand corner of the window to see your list of calendars.
  3. Choose File > New Calendar Subscription.
  4. Paste the iCal link, then click Subscribe.
  5. Your reservations or cleaning tasks of a selected property will now be exported to your macOS Calendar.

Can You Undo the Calendar Export?

vacation rental calendar export

You can easily undo the Airbnb calendar sync regardless of your level of access. If you have a controlling access to the external calendar, click on “Settings” in your calendar app or right click on your exported calendar and select “Remove calendar”.

You can undo the calendar export with the help of the “Reset Token” inside the AirGMS system. After you’ve copied the iCal URL and pasted it to the external calendar, you may cancel this action by resetting the token from your AirGMS account. This option is particularly useful if, for example, you need to delete the vacation rental calendar that one of your cleaners who has quit was using.

How will Your Vacation Rental Calendar Look After the Export?

Each property has a unique link with bookings and cleanings that are exported as separate calendars. For example, if you are exporting reservations to Google Calendar you may view the bookings for one property or all properties at once. You are able to export the following information about reservations and cleanings to the external calendar:

Export Bookings [B]:

  1. Name and address of the property (with the location on Google Maps)
  2. Date and time of the check-in and checkout
  3. Platform name where the booking was made (e.g. Airbnb)
  4. Number of guests

Export Cleanings [C]:

  1. Cleaning event name and location
  2. Cleaning date and time range
  3. Regular instructions for the cleaning tasks (average time of the cleaning, type and number of beds, any additional notes)
  4. The time at which the property will be vacant and when it will be possible for cleaning to commence
export Airbnb calendar

What are the Benefits of the Export via iCal Feature?

  • Processed and consistent data. Sync bookings from various vacation rental websites like Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, VRBO and view them in a single interface, thus eliminating the risk of double-bookings. AirGMS aggregates all the data, performs data processing and shows the ready-to-view and structured information.
  • Control over your vacation rental business from anywhere. Have a full overview of what’s going on with your vacation rental calendar and control your business via any external calendar that is convenient for you, your team members, cleaners, subordinates or clients.
  • Data Mobility. Each calendar has its own unique URL that enables you to divide the work among team members and let them view it via any app that supports the iCal format. For instance, one settlement manager uses the macOS and iOS Calendar on his desktop and mobile. He handles 10 reservations for three properties and gives a cleaner access to one of the properties with the cleaning tasks. This way the cleaner can view it via the Google Calendar.
  • Access to bookings & cleanings from other apps. Delegate tasks and give access to only the necessary information and let the cleaner manage it easily. For example, you can give the link to the cleaner so that he can manage his schedule via an app that is convenient for him. This way the cleaner will have access to all the necessary information about the cleaning task like property’s name and location, date and time of the cleaning, instructions and a link to the task details.
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