InstaManager has the answers!

InstaManager FAQ – Straight Answers to Important Questions

Welcome to the InstaManager Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page where you will find clear answers to the most common questions from Vacation Rental Managers looking to switch.

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Pricing & Billing

How can you sell the InstaManager Solution for just $1 setup and from $99/month when other vacation rental software companies charge tens of thousands of dollars for their systems?

InstaManager is a true cloud based solution where all integrated software and data is located in our secure, high performance data center. Thus, the cost of launching each InstaManager solution is much lower as there is no complex software and hardware to buy and install, and that major savings is passed along to you. Through the proven “cloud computing” innovation we can support greater and increasing numbers of InstaManagers across the globe and charge each client less while delivering a better Vacation Rental Marketing and Software solution. [Think Apple, Salesforce.com and Amazon.com as other major companies leading the cloud computing revolution.]


How does the monthly billing work?

Your monthly billing statement consists of two components: 1) a base fee of $99/month that starts when you sign up, and 2) a performance-based transaction fee. [The transaction fee is calculated on your averaged Monthly Gross Bookings; this includes all the money collected from renters that checked out in the current month, but of course does not include non-billable owner bookings or returned deposits].   Please note that InstaManager is committed to fair and transparent business practices and is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau. To that end, all monthly billing terms are precisely spelled out in the agreement both parties sign.


How do I pay my monthly fees?

The vast majority of customers provide a valid credit card to cover monthly charges. At the end of each month you will receive a detailed email statement that clearly outlines your charges and balance. Your account will then be charged automatically four days later unless you have any questions or concerns.

While the program does not support monthly invoicing and check payments, you can select the pre-pay plan to cover at least 6 months of estimated monthly charges (and pay using a check, bank wire or PayPal) if credit card payment is not convenient.


Which bookings are included when InstaManager calculates the monthly transaction fee?

First, only bookings managed through the InstaManager system that generate revenue for you are included; note that owner or block-out bookings are not included or charged. Second, only bookings that check out in that particular month are included. (In other words, fees are due after the guest has paid you). Also, canceled or bookings that have been changed to a later date are not included.


When does my monthly billing start?

Monthly services are billable from the date they were ordered. Your first month’s bill is typically prorated based on number of days in the month you received the service.

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Onboarding – Getting Started

How fast can I start using my InstaManager solution?

You will receive access to your new solution and system documentation immidiatly after you sign your contract. You will also immediately be able to participate in our regular weekly online training sessions. Configuring and finalizing your solution – including launching your new InstaManager Website, is fast due to a 1-2-3 Onboarding and Support team.


How can I transfer my old data to my new InstaManager Solution?

Easy, with our free data migration service! We have sophisticated tools for importing data and skilled technicians who can help you extract the data from most common property management systems — as well as home-grown system, provided that is delivered in a standard delimited format or as an Excel spreadsheet. Our goal is to maximize automated data transfer in order to minimize the need for manual input by our clients.


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Support

What does the “unlimited support” really cover?

You can submit as many email and phone requests as you like; we help answer any questions you have about your system and we will investigate and find resolutions for any system problem you may encounter. Every support request is logged and tracked for proper follow up. We also have alerts in place for “urgent” issues and can be reached 24/7.

Email instamanager.support@RealPage.com 24/7 and you will immediately get an email back as we log and track your request.  Or you may call our support line at 305-760-4576/1-800-941-0868 opt. 2, staffed weekdays between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST.


What is not handled by the Support Department?

Custom website design, content changes, custom configuration and consulting, custom programming, and specialized marketing activities. Those are handled by our Professional Services Department, and additional fees may apply.


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Training and Documentation

Is there training included?

Yes, and not only is it included in the program, it is very comprehensive. You and your staff can take all of our various “live” focused training sessions as many times as you like. To schedule, please click here to review the online training calendar and sign up today for a convenient time for you and your staff.


What kind of system documentation do you offer?

Virtually all screens in your InstaApp have online help that explain the functionality of that page. We also have a comprehensive system manual that you can print, and a handful of videos and getting started guides.


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Web Design

Where can I see the pre-defined designed themes you offer?

You can see a list of our professionally designed vacation rental themes here. Some can even be color matched, so they exactly correspond to any corporate branding you may have.


What customization can I get on a pre-defined design theme?

You can embed your logo, change content and replace images for the top section of the slide show. You can also customize the search features of the site. And, on certain themes you can also change the color scheme.


What if I want a custom design?

No problem. InstaManager’s skilled web designers can deliver several levels of custom website design depending on your requirements and goals.


What if I love my existing web design?

No problem. We have several options available for you. Just ask!


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SEO

Are your websites SEO friendly?

Yes, of course. Why would anyone purchase a website that wasn’t? Learn more about what Search Engine Friendly website technology for Vacation Rentals really means here.


Can I hire an outside firm to manage any advanced SEO services I need?

Yes, and give them access to your SEO Editor and other aspects important to effective SEO.


Do I have control over things like Meta Tags and URL formats?

Yes, our SEO editor provides smart defaults but allow you to control the details.


Will I lose my search ranking if I switch to InstaManager?

While the specific rules for how your site ranks relative to others can change at any time, we hardly ever experience this with our clients since the InstaManager Platform is built from the ground up to be very search engine friendly. One thing that we recommend for all our clients to do is employ the built-in tools to “remap” all the old pages indexed by the search engines to your new site.


Can I use things like Google Analytics, AdWords tracking codes and Google Webmaster tools?

Yes. Whether you like to do-it-yourself or hire an expert, there is a whole section on setting up these configurations in your Control Panel.


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Domains

Can I use my existing domain with my new InstaManager site?

Yes, of course, and we can help you do the DNS changes.


Can I have more than one domain for my site?

Yes, the built-in domain manager allows you to add an unlimited number of domains.


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Social Media

Do you support Social Media integration?

Yes, we have standardized widgets that allow you to include links to Facebook, Twitter, etc., from your website and emails. We can also share resorurces to help you feed the content from your InstaManager solution (e.g. new special offers) to various Social Media sites.


Can I have a Facebook app or Mobile website?

Yes to both.  We have an API Sandbox where your creativity has not limits.  And Mobile is important now and will be even more so in the future — learn more about InstaManager Mobile.


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International

Does the InstaManager solution work for non-US based companies?

Yes. We already have InstaManager Solutions on six continents and 85+ countries. Unlike most of our competitors, we have a comprehensive solution that handles web content, currencies, date formats and location-specific business practices (such as per-person pricing).


Can you provide me with a translated website?

Yes — we call this InstaManager Global — and the translated website will be search engine optimized for foreign language queries, have both data and prompts translated, and allow you to add and remove additional language specific pages yourself. Learn more here.


Do you support multiple currencies?

Yes, you can enter your rates in any currency. Those rates will then automatically be quoted in any other commonly used currency, based on today’s exchange rate.


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Booking Engine and Reservations

I have this specialized rate, fee, rule structure. Can your software support it?

Yes, in most cases our extremely flexible business rule engine can support custom fees, rates, rules regarding deposits, specials, etc. Again, our InstaManagers do business all over the world, and we know that market conditions and practices are different in each locale and with each manager.


Will I have a lot of problems teaching my reservation staff a new booking system?

No. InstaManager is intuitive by design. Most clients find the switch to be a 1-2-3 process. And our training and support staff is friendly, knowledgeable and experienced in providing a straightforward transition.


I can’t allow online bookings for some of my properties. How do I handle that?

Simple – simply mark them as “inquiry only” properties and the travel-shopper will be redirected to a request form instead of the online booking screen.


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Lead Management

Why do you keep talking so much about lead management?

Because this is an area where we find most Vacation Rental Managers fail to maximize their sales potential because their current systems prevent them from seeing if leads are followed up, how long it takes, and what the outcome is. Because this information is vital to improving your business, InstaManager solves this problem and provides you with precise command and control of this critical sales function.  And, Lead Management is so important that it has been a major focus of our VR Labs.  Check out InstaManager Smart Response and especially our exclusive Lead Insight tools and automation.


I feel I am losing a lot of booking opportunities because my leads come from all over and it is very hard to track. Can you help?

Yes. Again, this is a very common concern and our tools are designed to fix this problem. For example, you can import and consolidate all leads being sent to you (from all your various third party marketing partners via email) straight into your Control Panel and then track exactly which marketing sources/channels are actually delivering bookings and revenue for you. Knowledge is power!


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Email Marketing

Why do you offer built-in email marketing tools?

Because, if you use a non-integrated, third-party email marketing tool, you have the constant hassle of transferring new contacts, managing multiple databases, and you lose important marketing information like booking history, guest preferences, and other targeting data points. InstaManager’s integrated booking and marketing solution lends itself to a cohesive “target marketing” approach that is proven to be far superior and generates more bookings, especially from past guests.  And, InstaManager Smart Response helps you convert more leads with less work!  And with InstaManager Lead Insight you can see where each individual prospect is and then automates the right action step that will convert them or, at the very least, nurture them towards the ultimate sale.  Want more automation about where your leads are in the buying process?  Check out Lead Insight — exclusive to InstaManager.


Is there a limit to the number of email you can send through the email tools every month?

Yes, you cannot send more than 2,500 emails each month without additional fees.


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Accounting And Owner Statements

Do you support Trust based Accounting?

Yes we do. Rental income is allocated back to owners as per your agreements and you as a property manager can then easily create an owner statement that outlines your charges to each individual owner.


Can I create owner statements with commissions and fees for other types of services?

Yes, the system allows for an easy close-out process each month where all owner statements can be created and reviewed very quickly. Then those statements can either be emailed, generated as a report or be viewed by your owners in the Owner’s Extranet.


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Payment Processing

Do you support integrated payment processing?

Yes, both your website’s booking engine and your InstaApp use the same integrated payment processing tools, which are extremely flexible and can be configured in many different ways to support your unique business requirements.


Which Payment processors do you support?

We support Vacation Rent Payment (which is our preferred partner for US-based clients), Authorize.net, PayPal Pro, SagePay, Braspag — with more coming online as the Global InstaManager Community continues to expand.


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Travel Insurance

Can I sell Travel Insurance through my InstaManager solution?

Yes, through Partnerships, we have a completely integrated solution that requires very little effort on your part and can earn you additional revenue.


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Cloud Based Computing

What type of computer system do I need to use to become an InstaManager?

No complicated server or network installations. No new hardware to buy. Just a regular computer and an internet connection. That’s all you need for more effective operations and big savings.


What about the security of my data?

That’s a great and extremely important question. InstaManager’s systems are PCI compliant and use SSL (secure socket layer) to secure your critical data. Read more here.


Can I easily transfer data in and out of my InstaManager solution?

Yes, your solution comes with sophisticated data import and export tools. Why?  Because it is after all your data! Learn more about our focus on Data Liberation.


Can I connect my InstaManager solution to the rest of the Internet?

Yes. We have what is called an XML API (Application Programming Interface). This optional service lets you to share your data with whomever you like and allows you to receive bookings through third party partners.  Read more here.  And we have also taken our “open” approach even further with Search and Booking BAPI Widgets built by our Developers for your Developers.


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Referrals

Do you have a referral program for your clients?

Yes we do! In your Control Panel there is detailed information about this program.


What if I am not a current InstaManager client?

If you refer a lodging manager and they purchase a new lodging solution within six months of your referral, we will send you a $100 Amazon Gift Card. All you need to do is email us at instamanager.support@RealPage.com with their name, email, phone number and website url (if they have one). Send as many referrals as you like! If you are a lodging professional that interacts with potential InstaManager clients on a daily basis, let us know, and we can offer even sweeter rewards.


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FlipKey And TripAdvisor

Why do you promote FlipKey and TripAdvisor on this site?

TripAdvisor and its subsidiary FlipKey are strategic partners with InstaManager. Together we have teamed up to create the best and most cost effective Vacation Rental Software and Marketing Solution in the industry.


How does FlipKey FLEX work?

As the name indicates, FlipKey FLEX is the most accommodating marketing system in the Vacation Rental industry. Your InstaManager Solution feeds your inventory to FlipKey and you get bookings and leads as people find it on FlipKey and TripAdvisor (25 Million monthly visitors). You can flexibly choose between three different models: pay only for bookings, pay for lead inquiries, or pay a flat fee per property you list. InstaManager will help you figure out which model is most cost-effective for you. Read more here


Where do I go for more answers to my FlipKey questions?

Read more about FlipKey here.


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