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Midsummer Updates Part 1 - Orientation Option on Statements, More PM Field Codes, Holiday Rates for Vrbo, Large Rate Numbers

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Midsummer Updates Part 1 - Orientation Option on Statements, More PM Field Codes, Holiday Rates for Vrbo, Large Rate Numbers

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So hey, turns out while I was gone, our enthusiastic engineers kept putting out updates at their normal frenetic pace! 💪 I was out of the office for most of July, and the updates kept silently pouring out.

If you watch the Change Log section of our support area, you'll see the updates each week.  Oh look, a new one just landed this morning. If you're curious, those change log articles are the list of updates that I cover in my weekly product update blog post. I'm going to cover all the July and August updates in detail, but to make sure your eyes don't gloss over, I'm going to break up the blog posts into a "Midsummer Updates" series with 6 parts.

Today we'll start with the 25 updates that went out back on July 5th.  This update includes a couple of new features for PMs, a handful of tweaks to the UI and then, as always, a good dozen bug fixes!

New Features

We added two new features for PMs, both of which are related to how you use owner statements.

If you're used to generating owner statements in OwnerRez, you may have noticed that you had no ability to control the orientation (ie. portrait or landscape mode) of owner and PM statements when they displayed in a PDF or print window.  The browser would either do that for you automatically or OwnerRez would hard-code it to portrait (vertical) if you didn't use "Full Amounts" view.  After we released custom statement views, users began defining many different columns (hey, did you know you can use surcharge and tax based columns in your statements?!) which increased the size and changed the layout of the statement.  But OwnerRez would continue jamming the statement into a portrait view, cutting off columns on the right.

To address this, we added an option on statement views so that you can define the exact orientation you want to see every time you print or download a PDF of the statement.  Go to any statement view (or create a new) and you'll now see that option right at the top:

While we were in there, we noticed that PM didn't have a way to customize their emails and statement footers with other pieces of information.  For instance, you might want to show the statement grand total at the top or show the statement notes somewhere.  You can now do that.

Fields codes have been added for:

  • {OSNOTE} - The statement notes
  • {OSBAMT} - The total amount remitted for all bookings on the statement
  • {OSEAMT} - The total amount remitted for all expenses on the statement
  • {OSAMT} - The total amount remitted for all bookings minus the total amount remitted for all expenses on the statement

For more information about fields codes in general and how to use them, read our Field Codes support article or watch the walk-through video about Field Codes.

Enhancements & Tweaks

More information is better than less information, right?  In the July 5th update, we tweaked the UI to include some additional helpful bits of information.

First, we added exact dates to the cancellation policy that shows on bookings and quotes so that you see exactly when the guest has to cancel by in order to receive a refund.  The guest already sees the exact dates on their side, but we added it to the user's side as well.

Second, we added the purchased date and time on the booking "Insurance" tab next to the policy that was purchased.  Have you ever been curious when the guest bought the policy - at the time of booking or down the road?  Well, now you know!

Third, we added the expiration date to the Quotes overview grid.  By their nature, quotes expire.  It's important that the expiration date is shown so that you can easily see how long the quote will be open.

Finally, we added the most-recent sync time that reviews were checked by Vrbo or HomeToGo in the API channel dashboard for those channels.  This is in the same  "Synced" hover card that shows for the other sync actions like when rates, rules or content were checked.  To be clear, this date/time does not mean that a review was added at that time, only that Vrbo or HomeToGo checked OwnerRez at that time to see if there were any new reviews.

If you have holiday surcharges in OwnerRez, we are now pushing those holiday surcharges to Vrbo so that your rates on Vrbo also include the surcharge adjustments.  Vrbo is the only channel that supports this, so we went ahead and put this place for Vrbo only.  Vrbo only supports 50 holidays, so we are auto-truncating the holidays we sent to the first 50.  If you have more than 50 or you have "Contains Holiday" set to "No" you'll notice that we warn you about this in our Listing Quality Analyzer tool.

Last enhancement to cover in this update...  Are you one of those lucky users with massive seasonal rates - like $60,000 per night?  No?  Probably not. 🤑 But in some currencies, it's not uncommon to have 6 digit nightly rates.  For instance, the Chilean Peso is 758 pesos to 1 dollar (as of the time I write this) so a normal nightly rate could easily be 150-200k CLP per night.  We now support large 6-digit rate amounts in the seasonal rate editor.

Bug Fixes

Selecting tomorrow as departure date in the Book Now widget.  There was an issue where if the today is open but a booking starts tomorrow, the Book Now widget would keep that date from being selected as the departure dates. This has been fixed.

Raise the flag?  Some buttons in the system mistakenly were showing flag icons... Guess the software got a little patriotic! We are showing the right icons now.

Airbnb quotes and rate adjustments.  It's possible to add a "rate adjustment" for channels so that that particular channel has a higher marked-up rate than others.  However, we noticed that when the rate adjustment was set for Airbnb, custom quotes (or "special offers") were not using that higher rate when the quote was created in OwnerRez.  We now check the Airbnb channel rate adjustment before generating the quote line items.

Reporting taxes on non-taxed bookings.  We noticed a bug where reports would crash if you grouped by month and showed taxes on non-taxed bookings.  We now handle this gracefully instead of crashing.

Parsing some SMTP headers from inquiry emails.  We noticed a problem where the Property ID and some other fields were not being properly recognized when inquiry emails came in from certain listing sites.  In particular, this was happening with SMTP headers and Boutique Homes inquiries.  Found and fixed!

Calculating seasons for triggers.  Previously, if there were multiple applicable seasons on a booking, and a trigger was set to check seasons, it would only use the season that was effective for rates.  That led to confusion. We fixed this to use all applicable seasons.

Improve Airbnb listing import reliability.  If you've ever encountered the "no listing found" error when importing an Airbnb listing to OwnerRez, you know the frustration. We made this more reliable.

Multi-cultural Vrbo imports!  Did you try to import a listing from Vrbo that has a URL like https://www.vrbo.com/en-gb/p12345? If you're curious, that URL format is common for UK listings. Well now you can, along with any other region-specific vrbo.com listing. Just another step on our path to world domination! 😎

Move channel bridge history to one grid.  Import history doesn't make sense under "Push Rates" so we've moved it to it's own page. Click "View History" on the channel bridge page to see all past imports.

PM batch update crashing because of "no description".  We noticed an issue where where the PM > Batch Update screen was crashing if you have a surcharge where the linked expense settings has no description entered.  In normal (non-batch) workflows, the surcharge description is always used but the batch update was just crashing. This is fixed now.

Re-enabling a property made smarter. If you have only one payment method, re-enabling a property now assigns that payment method to the property, just like adding a new property. One less step you have to take to get that first booking. Winning!

Use the page lead for the hero caption always if set. In some cases, we were smartly trying to hide the page caption if it was the same as your property name... but maybe you didn't want that! If you set a caption we'll use the caption now. Promise!

Batch update commission to 0.  If you change a surcharge to "no commission" the PM > Batch Update Commission tool was not setting 0% commission on matching surcharges. This was common with cleaning fees where commission was removed after the fact.  All fixed.

How do you click on a sheet of paper??  Printed documents can't really make use of buttons, right?  We noticed where an "Action" button was showing on owner statements when printed, so we removed it.

Calendar rate min. nights must be less than max. nights.  Some users and integrations have occasionally (either mistakenly or on purpose) set minimum nights on spot rates higher than the maximum nights on the same property. This causes problems down stream for channels like Vrbo, so we no longer allow it.

Faster seasonal rate editor.  For some folks with hundreds of properties and/or seasons, the seasonal rate editor can be extra slow. So we restricted this interface to edit only 20 seasons and 50 properties at a time.