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New OwnerRez pricing for 2023

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New OwnerRez pricing for 2023

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As we reach the end of 2022, I wanted to reach out to everyone and explain a price increase that we recently put in place.

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.

Please note that if you joined OwnerRez before October 2022, the new pricing you see on the website will not affect you for 6 more months.  Until April 30, 2023, 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.

If you recall, our previous price increase occurred about two years ago, and I used this space to explain the increase and our motives behind it at the time.  Before we move forward, please take a second to read that blog post again.  Our team culture, relationship with our customers, and philosophy about being financially responsible (and independent) have remained exactly the same.  For sake of brevity, I'm not going to write all that out again, but please read it.  As our team and product have grown, those commitments have only strengthened over time.

The Main Pricing Changes

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

  1. The minimum price to use OwnerRez is being raised to $40 per month and includes 1 property.
  2. The 2nd property is no longer included for free.  The price for the 2nd property is $15.  That applies to everyone with 2 or more properties.
  3. The per-property pricing tiers have new amounts which are higher per property than they were before.  You can see those new tier amounts on our Costs & Fees article.
  4. WordPress Plugin has now been split off from Hosted Website and turned into its own premium feature with its own pricing.  This helps reduce confusion and allows us to target different pricing for different use cases.
  5. Portal Access is being split off from Property Management (PM) and will be free for all users.  If you have PM turned on, solely for the portal feature, you will be able to turn off PM completely.

Will My Price Go Up or Down?!

Most likely, your price will go up. There are a couple of very rare scenarios where the price might remain the same or decrease, but those are extremely rare and typically only affect single property users who turn off PM because Portal Access is now free.  For the vast majority, the price will increase noticeably.

You can find out the exact amount right 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.  The same thing is true 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

Like the last time, this is not a naked money grab, and this was not decided overnight.  We spent a lot of time researching price points and looking at our budgets for the upcoming years (2023 - 2025).  We planned a price increase a few months ago, then tabled it and started over again.  As a People First company, it kinda feels icky talking about raising prices, but we knew we needed to do something, so we went back to the drawing board.

Like the last time, our goal is to strike the right balance - ie. make sure the increase is big enough to strengthen our internal needs while also being fair to users.

There are a variety of software products I use that send me notices every 6 months with new pricing tiers and the increases feel constant.  It feels like the company's focus is mostly on its next price increase, not its next feature release.  And those are the better companies!  Some just raise prices while saying nothing, and I notice it on my monthly bill!  At OwnerRez, we don't want price increases to be a frequent thing.  We want them to be well-thought-out and come every few years as necessary.  But that also means each price increase needs to be future-oriented so that our team has what it needs to stay strong and focused on new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and top-notch customer support.

The 2-Property Hole and 3-9 Dropoff

From the beginning of time, we've always offered two properties for the price of one.  This seemed right back in the day, but it's created interesting problems with evaluating "what is a fair price" at OwnerRez.  Not only has the second property always been free, but there was a giant drop-down at 3-9 properties as well.

When we ran the numbers, we either had to increase the minimum (1-property starting level) up to a $55-60 price point or increase the 2-4 property folks higher.  We have a lot of 1-property homeowners that use OwnerRez, and it seemed unfair that they would bear an extra cost just to maintain the "2 properties included" tagline, particularly as our pricing increases in the future.  So instead, we left the 1-property minimum with a small increase and are asking 2-property owners to pay an additional $15 for the second property and increasing the third property from $7 up to $15.  The fourth property is $10 and then 5-9 drops back to $8 per property.

This creates a more gradual rise that matches how many properties each user has instead of there being a hole in the 2-9 property area.

Looking around, I believe this is why so many of our competitors have a larger minimum to get started.  The lowest minimum tends to be $60 - 75, with some at $100-150, at the low end.  Of course, I'm referring to competitors that are on the same level as OwnerRez and not everyone, so your research may vary.  But the higher levels of entry are set because software companies know that the cost of quality support and heavy features like Channel Management and PM/Accounting bring with them a large amount of investment.  Customers who are looking for a $10 or $20 minimum cost of entry aren't worth the investment on the backside.  This is conjecture on my part, but it checks out.  At OwnerRez, we decided not to jack up the low end because that would push many of our 1-property homeowners to look for other platforms. We need to make the ramp more gradual.

The Large PM Dropoff

Like the 2-property side, there was another major pricing drop-off on the high end.  Years ago, we didn't have many users with 100+ properties, so we basically stopped our pricing there and left it at $1 per property above that.  In the years since, our PM/Accounting, Website, and other features have matured significantly, and a lot more (and a lot bigger) PMs have joined OwnerRez.  This has expanded our focus (not changed, but expanded!) to the needs of those larger customers.  We recently announced our new Deposits feature that is designed to work with small homeowners but also PMs with thousands of properties who process hundreds of credit card payments per day.  We have a huge pipeline of changes coming for PMs, both in general accounting and owner management, so the investment on the large-PM side has also expanded.  Whatever we do at OwnerRez, we always strive to release quality features that are complete, so these changes will take time over many months and years.

As we looked across the industry, we wanted to remain cheaper for large PMs than our competitors' prices, even though we believe we are better than most of those competitors, and we know that we are quickly closing the gap in the few areas where others may have better (or different) features.  We want our pricing for large PMs to be fair, and many of our competitors are not fairly priced.  So instead of matching competitor pricing, we simply "brought up" the tail on our pricing.  Where before we were $1 per property after 100, we raised the 100-199 tier to $3 and then left 200+ at $2 per property.  This increases our revenue curve on the high side while still remaining competitive

Inflation

For a long time, we avoided talking about this but, like everyone else, inflation has caught up to OwnerRez.

In general, the cost of goods and services has soared over the last two years.  You probably already know this, having seen your grocery bill during that period, but if not, here is what has happened over the past several years:

That chart is showing general inflation numbers (ie. US Bureau of Labor), but some things like food inflation are far worse.  Rent and services have also soared.

This affects us internally because, beyond our infrastructure costs (eg. servers), the cost of taking care of our team and hiring new team members has increased accordingly.  In fact, had inflation not been as severe as it has been, it's likely we would have held off on this price increase until the end of next year, giving our users three full years between price increases.  That was our original goal, but unfortunately, the inflation numbers pushed the discussion forward.  Also, the size of inflation itself pushed the amount of increase higher.

Feature Changes & Coming Roadmap

As mentioned above, we not only changed prices, but we also re-aligned some features to work better with this pricing, and we'd like to share with you our vision of the future.

Portal Access is Now Included

In the past, a common complaint was that users had to turn on (and pay for) the PM module in order to get Portal Access.  So if they wanted a friend or housekeeper to see a calendar or guest information, they might have to pay for PM access even though they don't manage owners or commission and wouldn't use 90% of the PM area.  This is now a thing of the past.  In a few days, we are going to be releasing a major update that brings Portal Access outside of the PM area and into a new Team Access area with a new "Staff" section where you can grant access to internal employees.  Team Access, Portal Access and the new Staff sections will all be free and included for all users.  Whether you have 1 housekeeper or a staff of 20, you will get all the portal options for free.

This also includes all the white-label branding and personalization that goes along with portal access.  Your portal can be configured on your own domain name, use your own logo, and the emails and app never mention "OwnerRez" anywhere.  This will all be configurable in the new Team Access area, so look for that coming out shortly.

New Team (Staff) Access Included For All Users

As mentioned above, a new Team Access (for both portal and staff members) is being rolled out soon, and it will now be included at no additional cost.  Originally, back when we first tasked it, it was going to be a premium feature on its own and/or included in PM, but we are going to give everyone Team Access right out of the starting gate, and it will remain free into the future.

When it's initially released, Team Access will allow you to grant full access to other users who need to use your OwnerRez the exact same way you do, and you can also hide reports.  Soon after the release, we will be following this up with additional access levels for things like read-only users, sales agents, operations admin, and other more-granular types of permissions.  You'll be able to show/hide different menus as well.

Deposits & Automated Bank Accounting

If you haven't read about it yet, we encourage you to check our our new Deposits feature.  Deposits is an all-encompassing feature that stretches from one side of the app to the other.  Deposits will allow our accounting system to fully show to-the-penny settlements in your bank account as well as lead to upgrades for QuickBooks syncing, Airbnb transactions, and more.  We are excited to see it being used, and it is included at no additional cost for all users.

While working on Deposits, we also added automatic imports for all Stripe and Lynnbrook users.  This means that our system automatically communicates with Stripe and Lynnbrook every day and imports deposit data, matching up your payments, refunds, and fees with the net amount that actually settles into your bank account.  We are planning to do the same automatic imports for Braintree, Authorize.Net, Converge, and others over the next year.

Airbnb Transactions & Payouts (no more running Channel Bridge)

Thanks to the deposits work, we are now ready to automatically bring in Airbnb transactions, payouts, and resolutions directly into OwnerRez.  No ETA on when that will be released, but it's at the top of our accounting agenda.  This will allow you to get full financial data for Airbnb bookings without running Channel Bridge.  If you don't know why this is a big deal, you probably are pretty new to OwnerRez or don't use Airbnb.  For most of you, this will be a huge time-save and bring a lot of value to your existing OwnerRez account.

2023 Roadmap

So what does the future look like at OwnerRez?  More of the same, but also more of other stuff!

  • PM and Accounting work are continuing at full speed.  I documented the deposit and Airbnb stuff above, but we are also working on delivering a Year-End report for PMs/Owners before the end of 2022.  With that, we are also changing owner statements to include a P&L style view and updating expenses to be more powerful.  Commission, DP and Taxes will show as expenses for your owners so that the owner (and you) can correctly see all income and expense numbers together.  This is already under development and partially finished as I write this, with more coming right behind it.
  • QuickBooks is long overdue for an update, partially because we needed to wait on other necessary accounting upgrades, but the time has come for QuickBooks to get some long-awaited love.  In 2023, we are working to sync deposits and fee data over to QuickBooks, but also syncing expenses for our PMs.  Additionally, we are working on an entirely different sync method for PMs where revenue is held in liability and does not create QuickBooks invoices immediately.
  • Channels, channels, channels.  Work on channels never stops - every week we are updating some part of a channel integration.  In 2023, we have laid plans to integrate with both Hopper and Google Vacation Rentals, both of whom we have met with and signed agreements with.  Hopper should be finished first, as it is currently in the process of kicking off, and we anticipate that landing early in the Q1 of 2023.  Google will be after that, but we are looking forward to that as well.  Airbnb as mentioned above will be getting transactions and payouts very soon, and we are planning to sync content for Booking.com as well.  In the background, we have half a dozen smaller first-class channels working on integration as well.  These are channels like ECBYO, Whimstay and others.
  • Unified messaging wouldn't be complete without inbound email, and inbound email is being talked about for later in 2023.  But outside of email, there is great room for improvement across all of our messaging areas.  Right now, messaging is fragmented to different parts of the system and our central inbox does not include all messaging, nor does it have a reading pane.  Also, the guest thread is not central to the booking and management experience.  There are also channels (Vrbo, Booking.com) that have platform messaging that needs to be brought in, some of which require waiting on the channel.  We know about these things and plan to address them in the near future.
  • Website pages, templates, ability to edit for mobile, and a lot more.
  • Every year, we try to spend a quarter working on QOL (or "quality of life") items.  Do you hate that the ribbon calendar doesn't scroll so that you can see bookings at the end of the month?  That's what we mean by QOL.  Go to our Feature Request forum, and sort by highest voted, and you'll see some of what I'm talking about.  Now to be clear, we work on items like this all year long (did you notice that we released the Photo ID one a few months ago?), but the QOL quarter is when we really focus only on those items.  We are planning to focus heavily on QOL during Q1 of 2023.

Thank You!

As we continue working on numerous partnerships, integrations, messaging, website options, PM, accounting, and other powerful updates, we will continue to outshine our competitors while leaving you satisfied that you're not overpaying 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! (And sorry for the bad timing of announcing this on Halloween! 🎃)

56 Comments (add yours)

Oct 31, 2022 8:21 PM
Jessica F says:

I’d like to have a human contact with a price increase 

Oct 31, 2022 10:19 PM
Paul W says:

Hi Jessica, we have a full-time Engagement Team that does phone calls and video calls with customers every day. Please send in an email and we'll get you on the schedule in the next day or two.

Nov 1, 2022 12:38 AM
AliciaH says:

That will almost double the amount I am paying now.  That is a hefty increase for 3 properties.

Nov 1, 2022 8:11 AM
Felicia S says:

This is great! Thank you for staying on top of things!! 

I would like to see something in the works as far as notifications. Especially with VRBO. The only way I ever know if I have a booking is by checking my email. It would be nice to be able to set a notification sound in OZ that would notify me when an inquiry/booking was just made. 

Nov 1, 2022 10:39 AM
Alece says:

I so appreciate your thoughtful and detailed explanation, along with the roadmap of expected developments and updates. I value y'all and appreciate the ways you make my work and life easier! 

Nov 1, 2022 11:50 AM
Bear Haven Cabin says:

The addition of being able to allow my PM to see guest information will be a great! I never liked emailing a guests ID to them and now this will solve that problem. 

Looking forward to the upgrades!

 

Nov 1, 2022 11:52 AM
Matthew H says:

Thanks for the detailed writeup and explanation of everything.  Still fantastic software as a reasonable price.

Nov 1, 2022 11:57 AM
Brandon P says:

$13/month increase for me with 2 properties.  Not the end of the world because the platform is excellent. However- 3 things... 1) the VRBO API connect is causing problems with that platform and costing me bookings (same with dozens of other owners I know).  2) Referral are not generating any kickbacks.  3) we should be getting some kickback from the damage deposit collection; doing this might help to reduce the cost increase.  Overall the platform is great.  To be honest you could increase the cost a lot more and it would still 100% be worth it.  You guys do great work.  Keep it up!

Nov 1, 2022 11:59 AM
Renee Y says:

Yikes, my new pricing will be a 50% increase per month.… From $50 to $75 per month for 2 properties. Other platforms offer $100 off annual subscriptions and other promos to help balance their pricing. 

Nov 1, 2022 11:59 AM
Tim K says:

Ouch. While I get there are additional features along with the price increase....it hurts for people who don't want/need those features....especially when there are other features you want/need that have been "on the list" for years that still don't exist. This is frustrating.

 

Nov 1, 2022 12:06 PM
SBF VR says:

Doubled the price for my 2 properties, but still worth it considering how much time it saves me.

Only thing I'd ask you to look at is the price differential between full website hosting and the Wordpress plugins.  Somehow a full website is worth only $5 more than the plugins?  That seems like a mismatch between the relative value and the price difference.

Nov 1, 2022 12:13 PM
Jake I says:

Folks with 3 properties are getting a 90% increase, from $42 to $80/month -- that's well well beyond any inflation / cool new features justification.

In my case I use the 3rd listing for occasional rental of 2 condos together as one, so there isn't a full 3rd listing worth of revenue for me to support such a large increase. 

 

Perhaps those who have 3 separate properties feel differently.

 

Nov 1, 2022 12:24 PM
Jake I says:

Correction: from $42 to $93/mo,  a $51/mo increase 121%!

Nov 1, 2022 12:26 PM
Ryan H says:

Glad to see the portal feature.  That's been an issue with my business partners who were used to looking at pricing and occupancy on our previous system (while not having the ability to mess stuff up).  Looking forward to the granular access and read only features for them and the Staff/Cleaner function.  Would be great to have a report/portal access that says "Property A guests stay from B to C with D amount of occupants" but does not list names or any more confidential data, booking source, etc..

 

Looks like me monthly price is going up, but the additional features and integrations with Google VR look like they'll justify the increase.  At 5 properties now, adding a 6th soon.

 

Thanks for maintaining a stellar product and company.  I'm always recommending you in various STR groups online.

 

Ryan

Nov 1, 2022 12:32 PM
Chris Hynes says:

Folks with 3 properties are getting a 90% increase, from $42 to $80/month...

Correction: from $42 to $93/mo,  a $51/mo increase 121%!

by Jake I – Nov 1, 2022 4:24 PM (UTC)

The price for three properties went from $42/mo to $70/mo. You must have additional features selected in the pricing calculator if you're seeing $80 or $93/mo.

Nov 1, 2022 12:36 PM
Sasquatch says:

Well worth it for the features and support that your team includes. Thanks for being a great company and continuing to give us great software!

Nov 1, 2022 12:41 PM
Jake I says:

Chris, sorry, my mistake, you are correct.

Nov 1, 2022 12:54 PM
Chavdar S says:

I have 2 properties and I was paying for the PM module just to get the Portals features.

These things considered, my monthly bill would go up 10%, which is reasonable considering inflation.

Not sure if you've considered this, but I would happily pay for a full year instead of paying monthly as long as there is some discount involved.

Nov 1, 2022 1:00 PM
Mukta P says:

The new pricing increases should definitely provide a better support model. Unfortunately, the blog does not touch upon this. OwnerRez's support system that is purely email based without any form of phone support by an applications/support engineer is inefficient and often results in delays for issues to be resolved. Sometimes, it is just easy to explain the issue over a phone call as opposed to numerous email exchanges. There are also instances where issues just slip through the cracks without a resolution. If phone based support is not in the plans, then there should at least be some form of a helpdesk system manned by support personnel with a guaranteed service level agreement. Also, future roadmaps should consider providing a better, modern and more refined user interface!

Nov 1, 2022 2:15 PM
Sea Charmer Cott says:

Will this new pricing be online in OR somewhere so I don’t have to refer back to this blog?

Nov 1, 2022 2:21 PM
Nona H says:

I only have one property and I have been paying $55.00 per month. Is this correct?  

Nov 1, 2022 2:46 PM
Paul W says:

OwnerRez's support system that is purely email based without any form of phone support by an applications/support engineer is inefficient and often results in delays for issues to be resolved. Sometimes, it is just easy to explain the issue over a phone call as opposed to numerous email exchanges.

Hi Mukta! Thanks for your feedback.  We actually do have a fulltime Engagement Team that does in-person phone and video calls every day of the week.  Send in an email and we'll get you on the call-back schedule for sometime this week or early next.  Our Engagement Team is expanding and we look forward to doing a lot more phone/video support in the future.

Nov 1, 2022 2:49 PM
Paul W says:

Will this new pricing be online in OR somewhere so I don’t have to refer back to this blog?

Hi Sea Charmer!  You can see the new pricing immediately by using the main Pricing Calculator or reading our Costs & Fees support article.  Both are already updated with the new pricing and apply to new customers.

Nov 1, 2022 2:52 PM
Paul W says:

I only have one property and I have been paying $55.00 per month. Is this correct?  

Hi Nona, it looks like you have both the PM and Hosted Websites modules turned on in your account.  If you look at your account billing page, each invoice shows the details of what you are charged for.  Your base fee is $35.  The PM and Websites modules are adding $10/month (each) to your bill which is why it's $55.  It doesn't appear like you are using PM for anything, so you could turn that module off and save yourself some money each month.

Nov 1, 2022 2:54 PM
Paul W says:

....especially when there are other features you want/need that have been "on the list" for years that still don't exist. This is frustrating.

Tim, I'm curious - if you could boil it down to a couple of things, what are the main issues you want/need that aren't being worked on?

Nov 1, 2022 3:27 PM
Ryan D says:

The breadth of features you support, the stability of the service, and the caliber of OR support are all top notch. Even with this pricing update the value you are providing well exceeds its cost.

Thank you!

Nov 1, 2022 4:05 PM
Suzy T says:

Hi Paul, thanks so much for the update and for being so transparent in your explanation.  The projected changes and updates are exciting, especially for Property Managers.  I only have one property, but as you explained about costs and inflation etc, everything is going up.  (And no doubt, so are vacation property rental prices).

I would still be happy to see a couple of things:

1.  I have no real integration with VRBO except the ical.  I know it's difficult because we are in Panama and there is no Stripe or similar payment gateway here to integrate with, but it's frustrating that the Channel Manager doesn't work terribly well. 

2.  My website is in 2 languages right now and will be expanded to two more shortly.  When are you planning to get a translated version of something as simple as the Renter Agreement form available in more than just English? 

 

 

 

 

Nov 1, 2022 4:08 PM
Ken T says:

We are investigating additional payment processors that would support Panama and several other countries where we don't currently have a payment processor; hopefully that would be available in the coming year.

As you noted, OwnerRez is not currently fully multilingual - but it gets better all the time, and more functionality will continue to be added on an ongoing basis.  I don't have an ETA specifically for rental agreements, but it will occur.

Nov 1, 2022 4:10 PM
Suzy T says:

Thank you Ken.  Looking forward to 2023 and the changes ahead. 

Keep up the great work.

 

Warm wishes,

 

Suzy

Nov 1, 2022 4:45 PM
Jordan L says:

I don't have any issue with the increase to my pricing for one property.

But I do have a quirk like some others have posted which is I was going to do a few different configurations of the one property - whole property, half the property, a room only etc so I'd have multiple listings but they are all for the one property just in different configurations.

The pricing isn't really workable for me for those multiple configurations when it's still the one income stream. Not the end of the world, but maybe something to think about. If I actually had five properties the updated pricing would be fine as my income would also be 5x what it is now.

Thank you.

Nov 1, 2022 6:22 PM
Paul W says:

Suzy, I'm curious if you've looked into Pagadito for credit card processing?  If so, any thoughts about them?  If you haven't seen them, please take and let us know.  The do CC processing for Central America and some Carribean countries and would allow our users to processing in their native currencies for Vrbo and direct bookings (same as Stripe and all the others).  We are planning to integrate with them soon.  Would this get you where you need to be?

Nov 1, 2022 6:24 PM
Suzy T says:

I didn't hear of them, Paul, but could look into them.  We certainly need a solution.

I'll get back to you.

 

Suzy

Nov 1, 2022 6:57 PM
Suzy T says:

Hi Paul,

I took a look at their website and I have asked for someone to call me tomorrow to discuss. 

Thanks very much for suggesting.  Lets see where this goes.

 

Suzy

Nov 2, 2022 12:15 AM
Diana R says:

Kudos, I absolutely love seeing all the new updates. The price increases seem fair especially compared to competitors and the amount of features you all provide and always updating/changing/growing. I love that you have rolled out portal access into all accounts and don’t have to have PM. 

However, I am looking forward to all the pm features updates, especially YTD reports. 

Absolutely love seeing OwnerRez blossom! Thank you! ☺️ 

Nov 2, 2022 7:00 AM
Luis M says:

 I have been on this platform for a month and spent a TON of time setting this platform up. If I had any idea that my bill would almost double I would have NEVER signed up to begin with. The decision to switch to a different platform that is far more intuitive will not be nearly as difficult after finding out that Ill be spending $600 more next year...

Nov 2, 2022 7:10 AM
Luis M says:

Reading through these comments above, I would like to 2nd the opinion that yo should offer yearly pricing discounts. Rentals are my side gig, but software consulting is part of my main consulting business. Owner Rez seems to have very different growth objectives than most software companies, but traditionally, ANY TIME my clients call me and tell me that they need a bunch of cash for development, I recommend offering yearly pricing as the fastest way to get all your money upfront so it is available to be used for growth.  Ultimately, a webinar that pitched owner rez to the rental owner audience and had a special one-time offer for a discount on your first yearly subscription could very well lead to the sort of revenue growth needed to support your development goals. This is how I have grown software companies in the past that did not have access to VC funding or did not want to take on more debt. Ultimately, getting owner Rez more exposure could help since I was lucky to stumble on this platform since I had never heard of it spoken about on any podcast or social media. 

Nov 2, 2022 9:24 AM
Nona H says:

How do I remove PM?

Nov 2, 2022 10:15 AM
Tim K says:

Paul,

As others have mentioned, I just have one duplex that equates to 3 listings (A,B A&B) so I'm looking at a significant increase in cost. I started at $22.99, then last year it jumped to $42, now next spring it will be $88!

Perhaps most egregious is the pricing for the Wordpress plugin. I can't begin to understand how that pricing is reasonable....everyone might as well have the full hosted website feature for $5 more. $18 a month for a calendar widget and booking form? I'd love to hear the justification for that. 

Primarily my complaint about missing features is the multiple payments (n payments as you guys called them) and the ability to create payment schedules and set due dates. It has been on the roadmap for probably 4+ years now and it seems like a pretty common practice in the industry.

Another missing feature is the ability to "bundle" all the surcharges/fees into one "price". With all the media attention on cleaning fees and other fees being charged it would be nice if on quotes and bookings there was the option to just display everything as "rent" rather than breaking it down. I know you can manually do this on quotes but it would be a useful and time saving feature. At a minimum I don't want my quotes to default to this giant mess that I have to edit each time. I can't imagine people wanting to send out a quote that looks like this....

Item Description Rate Amount
Rent 2 nights (5/10, 5/11) during Spring 2023 at $750.00 per night 1,500.00 $1,500.00
Rent 2 nights (5/12, 5/13) during Spring 2023 at $850.00 per weekend night 1,700.00 $1,700.00
Surcharge Cleaning Fee 300.00 $300.00
Surcharge Refundable Damage Deposit 500.00 $500.00

How about the option to combine select charges into a simple "Rent" line...

Item Description Rate Amount
Rent 4 nights: 5/10/2023 - 5/14/2023 3,500.00 $3,500.00
Surcharge Refundable Damage Deposit 500.00 $500.00
   

I barely book with VRBO so that integration isn't worth my time and it seems from owner reports that the AirBnB API integrations are still not perfect. AirBnB via iCal is working fine so I'm not sure I want to deal with switching to API if it potentially brings me headaches. I'm not convinced that any of the newer features are of use/interest to me and it seems like a lot development work is spent on integrating partners that I have no use for. I read through the blog and it is new integration after new integration....mostly of services I've never heard of. Meanwhile I'm stuck here waiting for improvements to basic functionality.

Nov 2, 2022 11:02 AM
Ken T says:

@Nona - you can control your Premium Features here:

https://secure.ownerreservations.com/account/billing/premium

@Tim it is possible to set up multiple payments for an individual booking, has been for a long while:

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/multiple-payments

And, you can indeed combine the various Rent entries onto one line - that's controlled in your Pricing Preferences under "How Guests See Charges":

https://secure.ownerreservations.com/settings/pricing

 

Nov 2, 2022 1:56 PM
Tim K says:

Ken,

1. With regard to the rent, yes you can combine the rental lines but you can't combine any other fees INTO the rental line. You can only group surcharges together, discounts together and rents together (and taxes)....but you can't combine different categories. I think a lot of people have a number of "per stay" fees that they would like to wrap up into the rent total but that cannot be easily added to a nightly rate. Cleaning fees being the primary one. My cleaning fee is $150 whether 1 night or 14 nights so I need it to be added as a per stay surcharge but I don't want to display it.

2. Multiple payments only exist as a manual workaround.....and one that requires the guest to agree to terms that you are then going to change. I don't want to tell my guests, "yeah the agreement says you have to pay the entire balance in one lump some but after you agree I will change it to two payments." No, that's not reasonable. Owners should be able to have multiple payment options....whether they choose to split it into 4 payments, or a $500 deposit and then 2 payments of 50% each. That's what OR should offer and what many people have been asking for since about 2017. Also, OR offers no ability to set dates that payments are due, only dates based on the stay. Many seasonal rentals will have a payment due by say January 1st, then the balance 60 days prior, or even on a second set date. Right now that's not an option so I have to manually send out payment reminders in November.

Nov 2, 2022 5:12 PM
Mark P says:

Paul, you write:"We actually do have a fulltime Engagement Team that does in-person phone and video calls every day of the week.  Send in an email and we'll get you on the call-back schedule for sometime this week or early next.  Our Engagement Team is expanding and we look forward to doing a lot more phone/video support in the future."

I think that you are missing the point. What is frustrating is that I/users cannot just pick up the phone and talk to someone then and there. Sometimes I require an immediate response, and a call back days later, when I might be out, doesn't cut it. Therefore I always use email and the response time is pretty good; but knowing that someone will pick up the phone if I feel that the matter is urgent enough to warrent a call, would be refreshing. 

Nov 2, 2022 6:14 PM
Janelle H says:

I would like to have Quickbooks integration included in the normal subscription, as opposed to an additional fee. 

 

Nov 2, 2022 7:55 PM
Branimir T says:

I'm out of here. This is ridiculous!!! Smoobu, Hospitable... all better "bang for the buck" now. OwnerRez will slowly lose a lot of people and a lot of money. 

Nov 2, 2022 10:26 PM
Brent O says:

I have been paying for QuickBooks integration for 6 months and it has NEVER worked. Is anyone on this blog actually having success with this feature? I have asked several times for help and Owner Rez support has refused to help. I was actually told that “we are not accountants so we can’t help with QuickBooks”  I don’t need help with QuickBooks I need help with syncing QB with OR… What good is a software if it doesn’t help you with accounting? Also, how can you charge someone for a premium feature and not help them use it. FOR SIX MONTHS!? 

Nov 3, 2022 8:15 AM
Luis M says:

I see a lot of complaints here, which were probably expected, so thank you for giving us a forum to communicate our frustrations. It goes a long way to adding to the feeling that Owner Rez is a good partner in our businesses.

 

That said, It seems like some of the complaints about "not needing XYZ" or n"not happy to pay for XYZ widget/integration/plugin" could be addressed via a training course. I have used these to great success in other software companies. How it works is by making a course that helps all of us owners be more successful, and at the same time, addresses the #1 issues that the price increase brings being that many people are upset and may want to leave. Considering the time it takes to set up owner rez I bet the churn rate is not too high... but no one else in the industry has their own training course so it would help you to stand out and honestly make us a lot more dedicated when everyone understands why they do need that "XYZ" thing that right now they do not want to pay for.

 

Feel free to email me for more details if you would like to see some examples of how we have saved other software companies and helped them 10X their growth. 

 

 

Nov 3, 2022 11:03 AM
Paul W says:

Hi Mark,

Regarding the live phone calls:

What is frustrating is that I/users cannot just pick up the phone and talk to someone then and there. Sometimes I require an immediate response, and a call back days later, when I might be out, doesn't cut it.

The reason we don't do this is because it would not add anything in terms of quality.  You would get an immediate voice but not a quality answer. OwnerRez is a wide and deep software platform (8 verticals) with many different support areas and many thousands of customers.  If we staffed a live call center that answered immediately, all you would get is a friendly immediate voice asking for a time we could schedule a time to put you in touch with our Tier 2-4 or engagement specialists who can walk through a 15-30 minute call about the issue.

Backing up, our focus in support is providing correct thorough answers, as well as go over other issues/questions you might have while on the phone. Hiring more bodies would not immediately help that. It can take 6 months to a year of training and ramp-up before our customer success team is able to provide deep knowledge about individual accounts and give valuable help.  And we would still have to schedule calls out because of tickets requesting calls and time zone issues

Across the software industry, this is pretty common.  Even huge companies like Intuit don't really provide great live support.  You get a live voice, yes, but it can take 30 minutes on hold or a scheduled call-back if your question is anything beyond a very routine issue (eg. how do I pay my invoice).  Try asking an actual accounting question like why your balance sheet is off....

I'm not trying to be defensive here but show a peak behind the curtain.  More videos and support docs are part of the solution as well, and we are working towards that as well.

To be sure, we are continuing to staff up our Engagement team so that the time between your request and the live phone call is shorter. It used to be "in a few days or later this week" but has recently gotten down to a day or two typically. We are working towards making it same day or next day at latest.  At some point, we might be at the point where there is enough slack in the Engagement team to be able to answer live.

Nov 3, 2022 11:23 AM
Paul W says:

Hi Luis,

Thanks for your continued feedback and ideas.  Re: training course:

could be addressed via a training course

I agree, and we started our webinar series for this reason to great success.  We do a weekly demo webinar, have Live Q&A webinars and monthly partner webinars.

In terms of deep-dive or third-party training, we already have a number of affiliates that do third-party training, but we've been slow to endorse or recommend those as our philosophy is to be careful about where we direct users.  If we don't know what is being said (which could be wrong!) we don't want to endorse the trainer.

I noticed earlier your comment here and had to address it:

Owner Rez seems to have very different growth objectives....

Yes, that is correct - very different growth objectives indeed. 😊  We don't believe in growth at all costs, we're not seeking to sell out or merge.  We are happy with our model, have zero debt and zero outside investors, and we plan to keep it that way.  We're here because we want to be here, in this industry, building this software with our team.

Nov 3, 2022 11:25 AM
Paul W says:

Tim, I agree with you on the payment schedule issue.  It's been kicked around internally for a long time.  You are correct about that being one of the older pressing issues.  I think it hasn't seen more attention because it's rare in the VR industry.  The first/second payment schedule is broadly used.  Thank you for reminding us.

Nov 3, 2022 1:27 PM
Tim K says:

Paul,

I think maybe it is rare in the VR industry for professionally managed properties, but I think among individually owned VRs it is more common to offer more than 50/50 payments. I would expect larger PMs not to have much flexibility by nature, but for the "mom and pop" owners I think flexibility (not just on payments) is more common. As I said, I don't know what % of your customers are of the "privately owned and operated" VR type vs those that are operated by property managers at a larger scale, but I'm guessing the latter make up the majority of your customers and thus have the product geared more towards their needs.  

Nov 3, 2022 1:46 PM
Paul W says:

Yes, great point.  By "rare" I mean that the major OTAs (Air, Trip, Vrbo) all standardized on first and second/final payment structure years ago so the industry kind of followed that.  Back in the day, HomeAway and Vrbo had a "how much do you require up front" and "when is the final balance due".  But yes you are 100% correct that homeowners need better options than that, particularly for big properties like lodges or large beach homes where the cost may be 15 or 20k per stay.

PS. Air only recently allowed a second payment.  For a long time, it was just pay-in-full up front!

Nov 3, 2022 6:28 PM
Jubilee Suites says:

I’ll add this feature request in the appropriate section as well but I have seven properties all co-located under the same roof.  I’d like a shopping cart option where a guest can book 2 or more suites at the same time and only have one contract and one payment.  I’m aware of the ability to bundle units and use mutual blocking but with seven suites that would become very tedious to setup and very expensive. 

Nov 4, 2022 1:16 AM
Bernard C says:

Sad, really sad! I can see some other comments which I re-state. I chose OR for its great features but when I made my evaluations of the different system, I did not consider those that were almost twice the actual price. In that spehere of providers, I am certain that I will find a better-fitting provider among the top-rated ones. OR is great and assistance too but for what I need, if has some shortcomings too (it varies upon each one's needs of course) and to my eye is not worth the new pricing, especially that what I can see from the 2023 plans, the most improvements I was expecting / hoping for and already listed are not listed.

Yes it takes a lot of time to adopt a new management software but I didi it last year in favour of OR and it looks like I will have to do it again next year... Sad!

Nov 4, 2022 2:33 PM
Ravi K says:

That is unfortunate. I am not seeing a strong argument to raise the subscription fees beyond 80% when the inflation levels are at 10-20% increase. Unfortunately the rental prices have only gone up by 10% on average and expecting anything more to offset inflationary adjustments are not possible in the hotel industry. The supply vs demand trends are still the same while offering hoteling services.

Expecting software based services ( that is what i see ownerez category) to keep going higher when dollar becoming stronger is counter intuitive. I expect OR to find cheaper software hosting and development options. I will start exploring other options.

Thanks.

Nov 22, 2022 8:05 AM
Paul W says:

As of yesterday, Portal Access is now free for all and has been moved to a new Team Access area under the account menu.  We also dropped Zapier integration (invite only) and a large Property Descriptions overhaul that allows overrides per channel.

Nov 22, 2022 10:15 AM
Tim K says:

Portal access tab isn't visible on mobile. The only way to access it on mobile is to click the "invite staff" button and then under the warning displayed click the link to go to portal. Just FYI. 

Nov 22, 2022 5:49 PM
Shawn H says:

Portal access tab isn't visible on mobile. The only way to access it on mobile is to click the "invite staff" button and then under the warning displayed click the link to go to portal. Just FYI. 

by Tim K – Nov 22, 2022 3:15 PM (UTC)

Hi Tim - we see what's going on, thanks for letting us know. We'll get a fix out as soon as we can!

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