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Guest Reviews Distribution With First-Class Channels, Damage Protection Selection for New Properties, and New System Messages!

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Today is National Junk Food Day, but before you start indulging...

Junk Food

Take some time to read this latest product update detailing our July 19th release with 18 updates, including some great new features like Eligible Guest Reviews Distribution and New Property Damage Protection Policy selectors. Then, proceed to savor those tasty treats guilt-free! 🍩🍕😋

New Features

Reviews API Now Available for All First-Class Channels (requires additional partner development)

OwnerRez users invest tremendous effort in obtaining reviews. The more reviews (hopefully positive) that you have on your listings on each channel, the better!

Eligible direct-booking reviews will now automatically sync to other participating first-class listing channels (currently: HomeToGo, Houfy, and FloridaRentals) without having to do a thing! Previously, this was all opt-in on each available channel's settings for this to happen. Other first-class channels will be looking to support this in the future (it requires additional development on their part to do so). Please note: this is available for Vrbo also, but you must opt-in on the Vrbo API settings page to do so. Also, please note, this is not available for Airbnb API connections.

OwnerRez Reviews

On the OwnerRez CRM Reviews grid, users can now clearly see which reviews are eligible for Channel distribution in the Distribution column. Eligible reviews are those that were received from direct-booking guests.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Review Distribution Column

On each review detail you can see more specifics around this.

Of course, we have to add the disclaimer that all reviews remain subject to each specific listing channel policies and level of development that they have done on their side/site.

Learn more by reading our Reviews Overview support article.

Damage Protection Policy Level Selection Added for New Properties

Congratulations, you've just got a new property to add to OwnerRez! Most of you probably know about the native Damage Protection options that OwnerRez offers; if not, you may want to read up here first.

Before this release, if OwnerRez users had Damage Protection turned on and subsequently added a new property, the system automatically added the Standard $1500 Damage Protection Policy automatically in the background.

Now, if OwnerRez users have Damage Protection turned on and subsequently add a new property, they will be able to select the Damage Protection Policy level at the time each new property is added. This has been added to all screens where you can add a property/properties.

The system will attempt to default to the policy level you always use or the one that is used the most across all properties in your account. The system will default to the Standard $1500 level if it varies widely. From there, you can select a different one if so desired. This was added to 6 areas. The sixth area is the Property Re-Enable screen. If you disable a property but re-enable it later, it will ask you to select a Damage Protection level for it too. Here are the 6 spots for your reference:

Add a (single) property screen:

Add a Property to OwnerRez Damage Protection Options

Add multiple properties in bulk screen:

Import Airbnb Listing screen (if you select "Create a new property option," Damage Protection dropdown becomes available):

Import Vrbo Listing screen (if you select "Create a new property option," Damage Protection dropdown becomes available):

Import property data from Excel screen:

Re-Enable Property screen:

Learn more by reading the Damage Protection Overview support article.

Scheduled Payment and Security Deposit Failure System Messages Added

Vacation Rental owners and PMs can certainly empathize with guest credit card failures. It can be embarrassing for a guest to find out that their scheduled payment or security deposit has failed and is sometimes completely out of the guest's control due to technical issues, fraudulent activity alerts, exceeded credit limits, or bank errors.

And the statement Your scheduled payment just FAILED in large font at the top of Scheduled Payment and Security Deposit Failure System Alert email system alerts sent to guests could generate feelings of embarrassment and shame for guests. Owners and PMs know that resolving scheduled payments or security deposit failures requires discretion, support, and understanding to ensure guest satisfaction and a positive experience. 

For this reason, OwnerRez has added Scheduled Payment and Security Deposit Failure System Messages so users can edit them if so chosen. These were previously "hard-coded" system messages (i.e., no user could edit them). In the process, we softened the default messages by replacing the all-caps FAILED in both.

Here is the default system message for a failed scheduled payment, which still includes the reason, if known, in red.

OwnerRez Guest Scheduled Payment Failure System Alert Email

OwnerRez users will continue to receive more obvious System Alerts notifying them of a scheduled payment failure with the Failed Reason detailed.

OwnerRez User Scheduled Payment Failure System Alert Email

Security Deposit Failure System Messages have been equally softened to inform guests that their scheduled security deposit has failed while maintaining more obvious system alert emails for OwnerRez users.

Users can also view all of the Payment and Security Deposit Failure System Alert Emails in-app within the Communication History section of OwnerRez.

We rearranged the System Messages list a bit when adding these new ones. Users can view these new System Messages in-app by navigating to Settings > System Messages > Scheduled Transactions Messages.

OwnerRez System Messages

Users can also edit these System Messages by clicking on the Action dropdown menu and selecting Change Message allowing users to make any customizations to that System Message.

Change System MessageLearn more by reading our System Messages support article.

Enhancements & Tweaks

Booking Window Max Availability on Property Rules Required

Setting max days in advance (now known as Max Availability) booking window rules for your properties helps protect from unintended consequences. There was previously a "No Limit" radio button option. This caused issues for some users receiving unwanted bookings at inaccurate/low pricing, and some channels don't support such an unlimited option anyway. 

To help with this, we have added property rule defaults for Max Availability at 365 days and Lead Time of 1 day from now (to protect against unintended same-day bookings) to all new properties, if not otherwise indicated.

If a property didn't have a max set, it was set to 365 or their furthest out specific date rate (spot rate or seasonal specific date) -- whichever was greater.

Of course, users can always configure these default settings to their preference at any time by navigating to the specific Property > Rules > Booking Window.

Note: Channel restrictions still apply.

Property Rules Booking Window

The Booking Window rules are summarized nicely on the Rules view page of the property.

Learn more by reading the Booking Window section of the Availability Rules support article.

Bug Fixes

Allow Applicable Custom Field Types to be Used in Email Templates, Not Just Booking Custom Field Types. Users that attempted to input a non-booking type custom field code into the To input field did not result in an error as expected and needed. This bug has been fixed to allow users to add any type of custom field as long as it applies to the template type used.

Clarify "You do not have permission" Team Access Error. OwnerRez Team Access users that attempted to accomplish "primary account only" processes, such as changing account billing information, received unhelpful error messages. This bug has been fixed to now warn OR Team Access users when they attempt to accomplish "primary account only" processes and they will receive the more helpful "This must be done when logged into the primary OwnerRez account, not a team user." warning message.

Enable Test Quote API for bnbfinder. bnbfinder is in active development on some live quoting features. OwnerRez has enabled test quotes to allow bnbfinder to continue that work since their original channel configuration did not allow for test quotes.

Fix bnbfinder Listing Links. The property listing links displayed in users' bnbfinder API connection settings were incorrect. This bug has been fixed and the property listing links displayed in users' bnbfinder API connection settings have been corrected.

Fix Deposit Links in Transactions Grid. Deposit links displayed on the Booking Transaction grid were not hyperlinked correctly. This has been fixed and any Deposit links on the Booking Transaction grid will now open correctly.

Fix Email Bodies Not Visible in Conversation View. Last week's release led to an unintended outcome on the guest conversation view, causing the body of any emails in the conversation view to not be visible. Our users were quick to point this out to us. Easily resolved once we were made aware that it was happening.

Fix Ugly Layout on Team Invite Acceptance "Link to existing account". When OR users received a Team Access Email Invitation, the Link this Account button was displayed over and on top of important "Linking your Account" information. This has been fixed so the Link this Account button will display correctly, allowing the user to properly view the "Linking your Account" information.

Hackaround Airbnb "longer must be greater" Error. Airbnb was returning errors on properties that had a weekly discount but no monthly discount because the monthly discount was set to 0. This error has been fixed to now pass monthly discounts in the same manner as OwnerRez treats weekly Airbnb discounts if there's a weekly discount and no monthly discount.

Owner Email Address Doesn't Show Up in API if Loaded From Cache. We noticed that occasionally owner email addresses did not appear if loaded from the cache from integrations utilizing the OR API. This bug has been fixed and all owner email addresses (if entered) will load and display properly from the cache from integrations utilizing the OR API.

Purge Rejected SMS Brands After Account is Closed. After an OwnerRez user account closure, OwnerRez will purge any rejected SMS Brands from the closed user account.

Re-enable Cancellation Fee on Cancellation Policy Re-enable if Needed. This was an edge case where if a user disabled both a cancellation policy and the associated cancellation fee surcharge, the cancellation fee surcharge was not re-enabled upon re-enabling that cancellation policy. This bug has been fixed and any cancellation fee surcharges associated with cancellation policies will be re-enabled if the cancellation policy is re-enabled.

Re-merge Airbnb Bookings Missing Threads Caused by Airbnb Outage. Due to an Airbnb outage, users were missing booking conversation threads and unable to send channel messaging using OwnerRez. We fixed this by remerging the missing Airbnb conversation threads.

Support Segmented Codes on Kaba. An OR user had a Kaba door lock integration and couldn't generate door codes that included segmented numeric characters in the door code. OwnerRez was only supporting segmented numeric codes but we have fixed this to now handle door codes with unexpected sequences and translate them to valid segmented codes that guests can enter.

Update HomeToGo Instructions Onboarding Link. The HomeToGo API connection onboarding instructions URL in-app was outdated. We have updated it with the correct URL.