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New OwnerRez pricing for 2021

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New OwnerRez pricing for 2021

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Hi everyone, Paul here from OwnerRez! As we reach the end of 2020, I wanted to reach out to everyone and explain some changes we're making to our pricing.  Yes, that pricing - the monthly fee you pay to use our awesome software.

Some of you have already seen the updated pricing calculator or new Costs & Fees article.  Others may be reading this because of an email blast I sent out earlier.

Please note that if you joined OwnerRez before November 2020, the new pricing you see on the website will not affect you for 5 more months.  Until March 31 of 2021, pricing will stay the same as before for all pre-existing accounts.  If you did just join OwnerRez right now (hey, welcome aboard!) the new pricing model will affect you immediately.

Here at OwnerRez, we believe deeply in providing a quality product that focuses on customer success.  As part of that, we have created a "People First" culture, and we believe in having honest transparent conversations with our team (ie. those that work here) and our customers.  In fact, as we fill out our new website with Feature and Why pages, we are highlighting our story, team and philosophy as a company, and we hope you take note of those pages as we flesh them out over the coming month.

The Main Pricing Changes

There are a variety of things we've tweaked, but here's the main differences:

  1. The minimum price to use OwnerRez is being raised to $35 per month.  This will continue to include 2 properties like before.
  2. Our full Channel Management premium feature is now free for all users and no longer carries its own monthly fee. This includes all API channel integrations, our Channel Bridge tool and all other channel-related features.
  3. The per-property pricing tiers have new amounts which are slightly higher per property than they were before.  You can see those new tier amounts on our Costs & Fees article.
  4. For the PM, Hosted Sites and QB premium features, the first property starts cheaper but the second property is no longer included in the base fee.

Will My Price Go Up or Down?!

The price for nearly every user will increase.  There are a couple of rare scenarios where the price might remain the same or decrease, but those are extremely rare and typically only affect single property homeowners with many premium features turned on.

Simply put - you should expect that your base service fee will increase, typically in the range of 15 - 30%, depending on your number of properties and the features you use.

You can find out the exact amount right now now by going to our pricing calculator and putting in your number of properties and selecting your premium features.  Keep in mind that any discounts on your account would not be picked up by the pricing calculator, so your invoice might be less after discounts kick in.  Same thing with Add-On's like Damage Protection or SMS usage - those items would not show on the pricing calculator.  But you can compare your main service charges to a previous invoice from your billing history.

Why We Did This

I know that there will be OwnerRez users who are frustrated by these price increases, and there's only so much I can say to assuage that anger, but I hope that you take a second to read and understand how we came to this decision and why it's necessary from our standpoint.

This is not a naked money grab, and this was not decided overnight.  After carefully watching our costs and growth for about a year, we planned on announcing this back in April (to go into effect at the beginning of summer) but COVID forced us to wait.

There is never a good time to raise prices, but they do need to be raised.  Here is a peek behind the curtain on our thought process...

We are committed to being financially responsible and staying in control of OwnerRez

Chris and I strongly believe that OwnerRez is better off in our hands than outside investors.  As they grow and succeed, it's common for small businesses to approach (or be approached by) outside investors who want to invest.  Whatever the investment is called - seed funding, capital call, angel investment - the outside investor gives the company money in exchange for ownership.  The company gets the money they need to hire more employees, increase marketing, and become a more-mature company.  The investor gets a seat at the table and a share of the profits and..... has a say in what the company does.

For years, we've watched as companies have grown and died around this model, or - worse yet - lost focus on their product and customers.  This is not what we want for OwnerRez.  As a People First company, we want our customers and team to be the sole focus of our attention, not the demands of outside investors and banks.

OwnerRez has been profitable and debt free for several years.  As we grow - adding team members and corporate overhead - it's hard to maintain that without compromising quality in our product, pushing our team members beyond a healthy work/life balance or by trading ownership and control for outside investment.  We aren't willing to do any of those things, so we realized that we need to increase our prices so that we can continue building a sustainable company, happy team and awesome product.

(Side note: If we did get outside investment, the same type of price increase would happen immediately - and much larger - because that's the first thing investors demand: higher profit margins.  Outside investors focus entirely on ROI and profit margins, not the people who use (or are behind) the product.)

Channel Management is now the default way of life

Given the state of the vacation rental industry, it doesn't make sense for a Channel Management feature to be an add-on with a separate price.  We spent years beating down doors so that all users - both small homeowners and large PMs - can equally use our Channel Manager settings.  We lobbied hard on behalf of small homeowners so that Vrbo would allow them to use their own credit card processing and were instrumental in piloting that program for Vrbo, which became a massive success.

All users, regardless of size, can now automatically distribute their listing content, rates, rules, availability on Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.com, and the vast majority of OwnerRez users already do (or have told us they are planning to soon).  Those users that don't use API integrations typically use our Channel Bridge tool to crawl and download data for their platform bookings.  Channel Bridge is part of Channel Management so the cost to those users is the same.

You may not use every API integration or every channel, but Channel Management as a concept has become the default way of life for vacation rental homeowners and PMs.  You rely on listing platforms to send you bookings, and you need your vacation rental software to manage that as a serious first-class part of the system in one way or another.  And we've done exactly that - invested massive amounts of time into making Channel Management a fast, flexible experience that works really really well.  As I write this, we are finishing up testing on new channel integrations that are coming soon, and we remain committed to partnering with others in 2021.

As we considered how much we needed to increase pricing, we realized at the same time that Channel Management should be included by default for everyone.

There is a minimum cost to providing quality, and that's more than 20/month

OwnerRez is more than just an app with features and settings.  It's also about quality support.  Our support - both what you read online and the responses you get from us directly - is a large part of what makes OwnerRez OwnerRez.  We actively spend a good chunk of our engineering time on updating, changing and evolving our support - video libraries, accurate search functionality, careful messaging about updates.  We've built systems under the covers that track our call logs, tickets and notes with you, and the problems you're facing, so that we can establish a rapport with users that lives across team members.  Being People First means not giving in to "script robot" support systems or paying minimum-wage CSRs to copy/paste answers that you already found yourself.

Quality support has a cost and, as mentioned above, is not something we are willing to sacrifice as we grow.  In fact, we're doubling down by adding more support and sales engineers so that our phone support can get better.

Our commitment to quality is also shown in how we monitor and update our system.  Every week, we release dozens of updates (some of which are publicly documented) but many aren't documented because they involve infrastructure, networking or background work that would not make sense as a public update for users to read.  As an engineer-led company, quality and attention to detail is in our DNA and the reason we want to maintain control of the OwnerRez path long into the future.

Quality and attention to detail has a cost.  We know that most of you already pay more than the 20/month minimum, but we have many users that still hover around that price point.  Even without Channel Management, that 20/month price point gives you tons of stuff - the world's best calendar import/export engine, widgets, triggers, messaging, CRM, reporting and much much more.  But at 20/month....  quality is not sustainable.  We are not willing to sacrifice quality, so the minimum has to go up.

We want to be competitively priced but not the bargain-basement option

One of the interesting things we noticed when analyzing our pricing was how we are, even after the price increases, still significantly cheaper than most of our competitors - many of whom have weaker products.  Flashy designs notwithstanding, most of our competitors have clearly inferior products - the options are limited, the settings are buggy, updates take months to come out and support is nowhere to be found.  We know this because we've tested their products ourselves and because we have a constant stream of new users telling us this, having left them behind.  Why then, are those competitors charging 2-3 times as much as we are?

To be clear, we did not increase our prices to match competitors.  That's not how we roll.  But we feel strongly that OwnerRez is more than the "value product" in the industry and should not be selected because it's a bargain.  These price increases allow us to comfortably take care of all the issues above while still being 25-30% less expensive than our competitors.

As we continue working on numerous partnerships, integrations, unified inbox, hosted website pages, PM overhauls, QuickBooks overhauls and other powerful updates, we will continue to outshine our competitors while leaving you satisfied that you're not over-paying and that your software is in the hands of a happy team that is focused on your success.

That's the position we want OwnerRez to be in.

As always, feel free to reach out and comment (here below the blog post) or send us an email with your thoughts.  We will do our best to explain our viewpoint if something is unclear.  Thanks for being an OwnerRez customer!

46 Comments (add yours)

Nov 3, 2020 5:38 PM
Charla G says:

Worth every penny. Thanks guys.

Nov 3, 2020 5:42 PM
Paul A says:

Your service is still well worth the fee, I am glad to pay it and keep your business structure the way it is.

Nov 3, 2020 5:46 PM
Beachside Rentals Inc. T says:

We appreciate all you do, and especially the thoughtful communication regarding the need to increase the rate to stay healthy and relevant.

We agree!

Nov 3, 2020 5:47 PM
Ella says:

I will write up more complete email for you guys when I get a chance and have more time. However, not only some of the changes that you've made recently such as forcing us to change to a different pricing model for our properties has proven to be very frustrating, and not user-friendly, not just for me but many other users that I have spoke with, you're now doubling the price. I'm very disappointed in these changes. I've been with you for many years, back when you were in your early beginnings and I'm sad to see the direction that this is heading and no one was grandfathered in to anything, including how things were working, not to mention the prices.
Ella

Nov 3, 2020 5:50 PM
Scott J says:

Your product and service are far and above all the others.

I especially support your decision to remain independent and to not get taken over by some investors, angels, vulture capitalists, IPOs, etc.

Thank you!

Nov 3, 2020 5:51 PM
Scott K says:

Yes! It’s worth every dime even with an increase. Will continue to use it. Love every part of it!

Nov 3, 2020 5:52 PM
Paul W says:

Ella, thanks for your many years of being a great customer (I see your history and recognize you by name). I'm truly sorry that you're disappointed. I hope you had a chance to read the Why We Did This section above. I look forward to your email - please send when you can. ❤️️

Nov 3, 2020 6:01 PM
Bruce I says:

Worth it! Your responsiveness alone is worth it, but the platform is really fantastic.

Nov 3, 2020 6:14 PM
Evelyn E says:

I have always thought that your price was beyond belief at the very low price point you were at currently. I haven’t fully taking a look at how your increase as well affect me directly but I can tell you that I am more than satisfied and recommend you every time I get a chance to people who are struggling to manage their vacation rental and to deal with companies like VRBO. The change to put all of my properties with you last October was the best decision of my life. I was with you for a couple of years before with just one property. The learning curve is steep but your concierge service Saved my life. I am grateful for the service you provide and I am happy to pay you for it. Good luck to you and I look forward to many years of a profitable relationship.

Nov 3, 2020 6:20 PM
Alice S says:

Hi Paul & Chris-
I am truly terrible with software. You took the time to onboard me a long time ago, and Ken is holding my hand through ICal, Channel Bridge, and (gulp) API integration. Your product is worth every nickel.
Alice

Nov 3, 2020 6:59 PM
Beth H says:

Thanks for all you do. I could not do this without you all, with over 40 properties, it would be awful without ownerrez, so I understand the price increase.
Beth

Nov 3, 2020 7:00 PM
Betsy M says:

I’m thrilled to hear you aren’t taking on investors. I love all your updates and am willing to pay more for the time it saves my entire team. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Here’s to many more years!

Nov 3, 2020 8:23 PM
Randy Juneau says:

Great company, people, software and customer service 2nd to none. I've been here since nearly the beginning and watched this grow and expand capabilities. I had a wish list of features when I came on board. This product has become so much more than I ever wished for. I tried other PMS that claimed to be superior than OR and 4 months later I was back on OR. You folks are awesome and I tell anyone that will listen that you're the best at an amazing price to boot.

Nov 3, 2020 9:13 PM
Karen C says:

Your tech support alone is worth the increase. Best PMS out there. I respect and admire your culture. Kudos to you.

Nov 4, 2020 7:40 AM
Tarki says:

Thank you for justifying your price increase with a detailed explanation. Hope you do great product enhancements with the extra money you'll charge.

One thing though, I find it unfair and misleading when the only way of having multiple users in your system is to have premium Property Management module with a fee.

We don't have any property managers but only our staff and the only way of opening OwnerRez to them is to pay for the Property Management module.

In addition, the access levels for users are extremely limited.

Good luck with everything.

Nov 4, 2020 9:56 AM
Sasquatch says:

Bravo. Great explanation. I fully understand and support the need for the price increase. Just the level of support that I've received in the past warrants such a change. I've never used any product, at any price, with such a high level of support. And that's saying something, as I've worked in IT for 25 years.

Nov 4, 2020 12:11 PM
Ruslan K says:

The service is great, I wish you had more educational videos for beginners to learn how to use your platform

Nov 4, 2020 12:24 PM
Ken T says:

We're working on adding videos pretty aggressively. You can see the whole list of them here:

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/videos

What videos would you like to see?

Nov 4, 2020 12:28 PM
Paul W says:

Tarki said:

One thing though, I find it unfair and misleading when the only way of having multiple users in your system is to have premium Property Management module with a fee.

That's actually being discussed internally and has before in the past. The idea is to split out portal access to a different feature (from PM) and call it Multi-User that allows portal access and some other things. I don't have any ETAs or promises on that, but it's highly requested on a regular basis and we understand how it stinks for non-PM users to need to pay for PM just to get multi-user access.

Nov 4, 2020 12:30 PM
Paul W says:

I fixed the link in Ken's reply. You can also find it under the menus above at both:

Resources > Video
Help > Video

Or on the Support Center Home under Show All Videos.

Nov 4, 2020 12:36 PM
Ella says:

Thank you. Don't get me wrong, I love you guys, always speak of you highly, chatted with some of you personally and appreciate quick responses & support. I am indeed frustrated with some of the recent changes but understand that some are necessary for the API to work when connecting to big websites (which is not necessarily what I am looking for, as I've been debating it for a while in addition to just not having the time to implement some of it... which now I will be paying for regardless whether I do or not). I will take time to read in more details your post & reasons.
Warm regards,
Ella

Nov 4, 2020 5:43 PM
Talk2Fabian says:

Thanks and anyone wanting to scuba dive visit www.utila.rentals and mention "Owner Rez" for your discount.

Nov 4, 2020 8:53 PM
Stephanie F says:

I understand and thank you for the detailed price increase explanation above. Please stay independent and true to all of us who enjoy and depend on your software. Your customer service has been great...I always get a timely response and it is very much appreciated.

Nov 5, 2020 8:51 AM
Rupa S says:

Your company has been incredible and the level of support is unparalleled. I understand the need for an increase and appreciate the communication.

Nov 5, 2020 9:09 AM
Rick K says:

OwnerRez was the best decision we made to manage our properties and integrating API giving us control over billing and collection was awesome could not have done it without you, thanks! We understand occasional price increases especially to stay independent and improving your product. My only frustration is reliance on emails for customer support but you have done a good job with it. If you ever do have phone service support please let me know because some issues are hard to cure by email. Rick

Nov 5, 2020 9:18 AM
Kimo & Laurie says:

We totally understand and are with you on these changes and updates. Your product has already paid for itself many times over, and we have no intention of going anywhere else. Mahalo for your candor and integrity!

Nov 5, 2020 9:43 AM
Reaches2Beaches says:

I love these guys and this company!
Sure, no one likes paying out more dollars, but the support and product they offer is terrific and they are a fantastic value.
They are always quick to answer any questions I have and are extremely patient which I appreciate so much! Looking forward to working with all of you for many years to come.
Steve Burrows @ Reaches2Beaches

Nov 5, 2020 10:38 AM
D. Chad Q says:

We aren't going anywhere. From an invite to the VRBO API pilot program to the correct answers and quick answers I get every time in support, there's no way I would go to another platform after trying several before I found Owner Rez. Feeling like you can quickly get a hold of someone who actually knows what they're talking about has massive value. Please stay independent and do not sell out like VRBO did.

Nov 5, 2020 11:19 AM
Julie A says:

Absolutely worth every penny!

Nov 5, 2020 12:52 PM
Lauren V says:

I didn't even get the email nor notification of the blog. I found out on FB. As a single property owner, this is very disappointing. The single property owners don't have the deep pockets that multi properties **might have**. I have migrated my entire booking process to direct so I don't use, nor want, API. The API doesn't really even work well for single properties admittedly by your own company. When I did test it, it messed up my entire booking records that took weeks to unsnarl by hand.
Who will support the small biz guys out here since you were the only coverage? I get it and you need to grow but it's just sad that the little guys get fleeced once again (the people who need it the most). Now I have to go back and start researching how to do this on my own since the doubling of cost is not feasible. Your cost is the single highest for my business. It's more than my hosting and website. I wish you nothing but the best of luck but cannot go quietly without letting you know about my personal situation. Does it matter in the big scheme? No, not to your company, but it's a huge deal to my little business.

Nov 5, 2020 2:23 PM
Brent's Beach says:

Makes total sense and worth every penny. Thanks for being such an awesome partner!

Nov 5, 2020 3:06 PM
Josh T says:

You deliver an awesome product, at a great price, backed by wonderful support. Thank you for all you do to help us small businesses succeed.

Nov 5, 2020 3:25 PM
Tim says:

Not a problem for me guys!

Nov 5, 2020 4:23 PM
Rick A says:

Staying independent is a big deal, and I appreciate this effort. When looking to a software provider it was important to me that you would not sell to VRBO, AirBNB, or a larger competitor!

Nov 9, 2020 1:06 PM
Mark M says:

Paul,

Your customer service is above and beyond. Walking me through the initial start-up I'm sure was painful but it is so nice to have OwnerRez dial us in with our integration with the reservation websites. These sites have some of the worst customer service out there. Love that you guys are staying true and hope that others will take a step back and realize the value they are getting.

Mark

Nov 12, 2020 8:45 AM
Deb P says:

This software is gold and worth the extra fee. Thank you for the thorough explanation.

Nov 12, 2020 10:58 AM
Fred S says:

Just my .02 - I have been in the Vacation Rental biz for over 30 years and you guys had the best and most comprehensive booking engine out there. I fully understand your need to update technologies, compete in the ever changing marketplace and offer new options to your clients...just sorry your doing so at the expense of why some of us chose ownerrez in the first place. All of these 3rd party vacation rental conglomerates...VRBO, AirBnb, etc. have nothing but a financial incentive for how they do business. Instead of charging properties / property management companies a fee to list on their sites (their original business model) they went into selling travel charging both properties and end users commission fees. All of their technological advances are designed to force consumers to make payment through them and restrict direct communication between travelers and the vacation options available...a real dis-service. That said you can't fight City Hall. Just wish you could have left your original booking engine as an option - it had the best pricing options one could hope for. The original format took into consideration some of the unique aspects of Vacation Rentals...not just how to grow, grow, grow revenue. Look forward to continued success working with guys either way!

Nov 12, 2020 11:09 AM
Ken T says:

fred s said:

All of these 3rd party vacation rental conglomerates...VRBO, AirBnb, etc. have nothing but a financial incentive for how they do business. Instead of charging properties / property management companies a fee to list on their sites (their original business model) they went into selling travel charging both properties and end users commission fees. All of their technological advances are designed to force consumers to make payment through them and restrict direct communication between travelers and the vacation options available...a real dis-service.

I just wanted to step in and address this. You're not wrong - which is precisely why OwnerRez' services are so valuable. We have a multiplicity of ways for you to obtain direct contact information for your channel guests, which can be used completely independently of those platforms.

And with VRBO specifically, our API partnership with them allows you to directly collect payments from their guests, so you are in full control of the credit card charging, and get your money according to the terms of the credit card payment processor you have chosen, that VRBO has no control over.

Is it perfect? Well, no, nothing in life is. :-) But it's pretty decent, and getting better all the time as we work to meet the obvious needs you've described.

Nov 12, 2020 12:19 PM
Mishele says:

Thank you for making sure we all understand your price increase. I love OR and couldn't run my business without it--and I have only one VR! Keep up the great product and excellent customer service that I have come to rely on.

Nov 12, 2020 3:58 PM
Daniel P says:

I could not believe the $20/mo price when I was first referred to OwnerRez. From where I stand, you don't even need to justify the price increase. It's a bargain at triple the price!

Nov 12, 2020 7:35 PM
NatalGraniteRetr says:

Thank you for the heads-up, and thank you for a wonderful system! I still think it is a bargain at this price! ;-)

Dec 9, 2020 10:42 PM
Jeremy and Caitlyn J says:

Your platform and service are second to none and this price increase is a no-brainer. Thanks for all that you do!

Jan 3, 2021 8:59 AM
Jubilee Suites says:

I agree with comments about the quality of the product and understand the reason for raising fees. To the customers requesting that they be grandfathered into the old features and pricing model, they don’t understand the cost of maintaining two separate code bases and billing systems. Doing so would be counter productive and increase development costs which would also have to be passed on to the customer.

Apr 10, 2021 8:52 AM
Karen G says:

This unannounced (for us) price increase is extremely disappointing. Our pricing has just doubled and we just re-built our web site using your system about 7 months ago. We are a small player with just a handful of cabins on one property that only rent for about 3 months of the year, We do not use or need your channel management module and only need the booking and calendar functions. Your pricing before doubling was a stretch for our budget and is now by far our largest expense. We would have never invested the money in building a web site based on your software if we knew this price doubling was coming before we even experienced our first rental season using your software. Now we feel like we like you have us over a barrel because to change to another system will cost us another 30% or more of our annual profits if we want to make a switch.
We feel taken advantage of and very frustrated!

Apr 11, 2021 4:59 AM
Tarki says:

I'm wondering if there is any progress in this area?

Regards,

Apr 11, 2021 5:00 AM
Tarki says:

Sorry I didn'T quote in the earlier message, here it is:

Paul W said:

Tarki said:

One thing though, I find it unfair and misleading when the only way of having multiple users in your system is to have premium Property Management module with a fee.

That's actually being discussed internally and has before in the past. The idea is to split out portal access to a different feature (from PM) and call it Multi-User that allows portal access and some other things. I don't have any ETAs or promises on that, but it's highly requested on a regular basis and we understand how it stinks for non-PM users to need to pay for PM just to get multi-user access.

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