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The OwnerRez Blog

A blog about our thoughts, services, upcoming features and the industry at large.

The OwnerRez Blog

Switch templates when sending email & send ad hoc email to the guest

We released an update earlier today that was mostly about Property Management stuff, but we slipped in a couple things for emailing that will make your life a lot easier.  We have a lot of changes coming for guest communication - responding to inquiries, dealing with guest responses, capturing a timeline/thread of everything - but we wanted to fix a problem that has been frustrating users for awhile.

You can now quickly switch to a different email template when sending an email.  No matter what kind of email you're sending, you can tell the email editor to load in a different template.

How do I see it?

Go to any place in the system where you would send a guest email.  Sending a quote, responding to an inquiry, sending the renter agreement to be signed, etc...

You'll now see a little "Switch to Template" selector at the top of the email form.  If you open the selector, you'll see all system and custom templates that are available for the current record you're on.  Upon selecting a different template, the email form will reload with that template loaded.

(click on this picture for a bigger view)

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There are a variety of times when you need to email the guest but a specific event or automation point can't take care of it automatically.  This ability to switch to, and prefill, a different template means you can take care of other ad hoc issues quickly right from the booking record.

No need to copy/paste information back and forth between OwnerRez and your email program for boilerplate issues anymore!

New "Send Email" buttons on the booking

As part of this, the other problem was that there was no simple "send email" form where you could just pull up the guest's booking and fire off something.  Sending email in the system is always tied to a specific event.

We took care of that problem too.  You'll now see buttons on the booking's overview page, yellow header bar and on the booking > email tab for "Email the Guest" which will open an email window where you can send ad hoc messages.

Our big conversation overhaul will also take care of these problems, but we wanted to slide in an update for this right now as we continue to work on the big picture items.

Damage Protection

Good morning, everyone!  You can now purchase damage protection for your bookings!  A few days ago, we put out a first release and we've been working closely with several early users who have been testing it for us.

Turning on Damage Protection

To get started, go to Settings > Damage Protection. It should be self explanatory from there how to turn it on.

Please read the introduction information when turning on Damage Protection.  It's important that you understand how it is applied.  For instance, the guest does not optionally choose to buy Damage Protection.  Damage Protection is something that is automatically applied to all of your bookings, once turned on.

Wondering how much it costs?  Take a look a the turn-on page for Damage Protection for costs.

Applying Damage Protection to already-created bookings

Turning damage protection globally will not affect existing bookings. You'll need to go into your existing (ie. already-created) bookings and turn it on for the ones you want to have it. To do that open any booking and you'll see a new Damage Protection tab. You can pick the coverage level and apply.

Filing Claims

On any booking, you'll see the claim form under the Damage Protection tab. It's a PDF you fill out and email or fax in. We are already working on making that form electronic so that you can fill out a claim online.

Enjoy!

Are you ready for some BIG updates?

Hi everyone!  Happy weekend!

I wanted to take a few minutes to mention several really big things coming to OwnerRez.  Here's a really quick taste just to get you salivating!

Property Management

Oh yes.  Just what you think it is.  Want to use your excellent OwnerRez-backed booking process to help your friends and colleagues manage their properties?  Soon you can.  From tracking expenses to assigning commission to creating owner statements, property management is coming and it's awesome.  First beta will be out in a few days, and we'll have more on that.

Accidental Damage Protection

We are in the final stages of finishing damage protection.  Damage protection is just what it sounds like - an insurance policy that covers accidental guest damage which is purchased and applied to every booking automatically.  You and the guest don't even need to do anything - it just happens in the background!

Hosted Sites

This project has been on the back burner for awhile, and we're going to be pushing out a first beta fairly soon.  Basically, this is a feature that lets you host a website right from your OwnerRez account.  Your property photos, amenities, rates, etc?  Your OwnerRez website will use them directly so that you only need to change that information in one place.

Call Center

This is a super cool feature we've also been working on in the background for awhile.  The first beta is already out in limited release with a few beta users.  It will be released for everyone soon.  Call Center is the ability for you to buy and use a phone number directly from OwnerRez to talk to guests.  The possibilities here are really endless.  At the moment, you can buy and provision a phone number, set some voicemail and forwarding settings and use the Dialer screen to make/receive calls through your computer.  Tying this to guest information and inquiry logging will evolve over time.

Inquiry Conversation Overhaul

The inquiry answering/quoting process in OwnerRez is awkward and has been for awhile.  Not only do you have to click around to much to send an answer, but there's no way track the back-and-forth conversation you have as the guest and you respond over time.  We are going through a very large overhaul of the entire inquiry process to greatly simplify the process and centralize messaging.

I'll just leave this picture right here for anyone who's curious...  (click on it for a bigger view)

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When?  WHEN can I have these things?

As with food, good software takes times to make.  These things won't be out overnight, but they are coming very very soon and some of them are already out in limited released to some users as I write this.  If you have early thoughts, please comment or send us an email!

Welcome, FirstData users! OwnerRez can now take credit card payments via Payeezy!

Like FirstData and the Payeezy gateway?  OwnerRez now fully integrates with the FirstData/Payeezy gateway for credit card processing.  All transaction types (payments, security deposits, refunds, voids) fully work.

Like the other credit card gateways we support, head over to Settings > Payment Methods to get started.  Select "Add Payeezy" and then fill in the details.

We've written up a quick support article on how to find your API credentials for Payeezy.  If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Holiday settings for Fridays, Mondays and "All Weekend"

Have you ever noticed that your holiday settings and rules don't kick in right because someone left the day before a holiday?  For instance, the guest books Memorial Day weekend but they depart on Sunday (not Monday) so OwnerRez doesn't think it's a holiday booking.  You and I know that it is, but the software lets it go by.

You can not configure your holiday settings to stretch across weekends depending on which day the holiday falls on.

Go to Settings > Holidays and click the top Change button.  You'll notice that a section for Friday and Monday has been added.

But notice the options available.  You can now select this little guy:

To be clear, this does not mean that the guest will be charged multiple times for the same holiday.  It's still just one holiday even if the booking hits on all four days.

Notice on your calendar, that the holiday now shows across the holiday.

We encourage users to set the "all weekend" option on all four day types: Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon.  Holiday weekends always have a lot more demand than normal weekends.  Anyone booking on those weekends should be subject to your holiday rules and fees, even if the guest leaves before the actual holiday.

What is OwnerRez?

We are an online booking service for vacation rental property that helps managers and owners save time, create quotes and bookings faster, look professional and keep detailed records without needing an accountant or staff.