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Security Deposit Hold Handling and Multi-Property Hosted Website Tile Layout Improvements!

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Did you know that back in February of 1992, Wayne's World opened in U.S. theaters? 😮

No way?!! Way!! Yes, the beloved duo, Wayne and Garth, hit the big screen 31 years ago. Despite their immaturity, Wayne and Garth had moments of joy and the spontaneity of youth, providing movie-goers everywhere a refreshing break from the stress and responsibility of adult professional life. In much the same way, OwnerRez provides fast and flexible vacation rental software to help streamline your vacation rental business allowing you to take time to relax and recharge!

Today we're bringing you some totally excellent 👍OwnerRez product updates, including Security Deposit Hold Improvements, Multi-Property Hosted Website Search Results Tile Layout Improvements, and lots (14!) of bug fixes. So get ready to party on, excellent 👍readers! It's time to jump (or schwing!) into the February 22nd release with 20 updates

Enhancements & Tweaks

Security Deposit Hold Handling Improvements

You've got your booking, payment(s), and guests are on their way... but what if they're rockstars and trash your place?

No matter how hard you try, predicting and keeping out bad guests is impossible. If you are un-lucky enough to have really bad guests that burn your place down, your property and business interruption insurance (you do have those, right?) should cover you. But that's rare.

Much more common are minor damages that no regular insurance will cover - a lost TV remote, a carpet caked with tracked-in mud or a broken window. OwnerRez offers a variety of methods to protect yourself from having to eat these costs (one is Damage Protection). Security Deposits are another option. Security Deposit holds, in the below cases, provide a way to guarantee that you'll be able to charge the guest's credit card for any damages, even if they canceled the card during their stay.

Better Handling of Already Reserved Security Deposits When Booking is Changed or Moved via API

Life happens, and sometimes guests must change or move their travel dates. OwnerRez makes scheduling and rescheduling security deposit holds for direct-bookings easy for users when the booking is changed.

When it's an API booking, and there's a scheduled security deposit hold already reserved, but the guests change or move their booking via that API, OwnerRez users were not getting a warning to fix the security deposit.

Those days are over! If a guest changes their reservation on the API-integrated listing site (e.g., Airbnb), OwnerRez has implemented the following protocol:

  • We will now check to see if a security deposit hold is already reserved via the API integration if a reservation is changed/moved.
  • Suppose the security deposit is reserved and the arrival is moved more than 7 days after the security deposit's last reserved date. In that case, the existing security deposit will be released, and a new security deposit will be scheduled for the number of days before arrival based on the current property rules.

Security Deposit Reminders

Improved Security Deposit Failure Handling

Sometimes initial security deposits fail. This can create an unfortunate chain of events for owners and PMs.

Sometimes guests will decide to take it upon themselves to create a new security deposit, separately and unrelated to the scheduled one. Talk about confusing! And the confusion can continue if the new card actually succeeds. 

And sometimes OwnerRez users get in the mix by visiting the payment processor's website or dashboard directly (mostly Stripe) to release a security deposit, causing even more complications.

We identified some changes to help clear up these troubling issues before they arise.

  • We will clear the original successfully voided transaction as soon as it's voided, so we don't keep trying to void it on subsequent days.
  • We will not attempt to charge the security deposit in error if it is a "charge has already been captured" error.
  • Address changes on the security deposit release form, meaning we don't need to try to void the security deposit if it's already voided but allow users to charge if necessary.
  • When a specific "stripe unrecorded security deposit error" is recorded, OwnerRez will be notified internally so that we can identify and correct the issue.

Occasionally guests don't understand the process of Security Deposit Holds and expect to get a refund transaction into their account. However, since security deposit holds are just an authorization hold on their funds, there is no charge to be refunded. It was simply an authorization on the account, and when the security deposit hold is released, there won't be any refund transaction. The best way to handle these situations is to educate guests about security deposit holds by including information about security deposit holds in your guest messaging.

Lastly and most importantly, OwnerRez recommends that security deposits are best handled in the OwnerRez app, when possible, to process security deposits consistently. Security Deposits can be set in the individual Properties > Rules > Change > Security Deposits or handled on each booking's transactions tab.

Security Deposits

Learn more by reading our Security Deposits Overview support article.

Changed "use from property" to "use property default" in Quote/Booking Change Screens

Words matter, and sometimes the little things drive us nuts! 😜 This is an example of that.

We have changed the Quote/Booking Change Screens check-in and check-out drop-down lists phrase displayed from "use from property" to now show "use property default" (appears at the top of the drop-down lists).

We believe the new phrase "use property default" is more accurate than the older phrasing.

Multi-Property Hosted Website Search Results Tile Layout Improvements

As more and more guests search for direct booking options for their vacation travel accommodations, having a direct booking website becomes more important. And it's even more essential that your website be mobile responsive and have a sleek professional design.

With that in mind, we tweaked the tile layout search results display for multi-property hosted websites. We recognized that the tile layout when displaying just two properties looked funny.

So we have improved the tile layout results to use auto-repeating columns or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) grid auto-fit for all you more computer-savvy users. 

See the examples below for both the 3-property and 2-property tile layout results.

Considering creating your own direct booking website? Learn more by reading our OwnerRez Hosted Website support article.

Rates Calendar Delete Button Removal Explanation Link

Earlier this month (February 10th to be exact!), we debuted our improved Rates Calendar. Part of that enhancement included removing the Delete button, which we knew would be jolting. 

Why did we remove the Delete button anyway? Because referring to it as "delete" was inaccurate because deleting is not what was happening when you used "Delete." Instead, you were removing any override set on that date, whether rates or rules, and reverting to the default rates/rules from the season or property. Now that the additional set rule options were added, it's clearer to set to "use the default..." under each individual rates/rules setting.

We have added a helper link in the Rates Calendar tab, explaining just that if users go looking for it. It appears after highlighting one or more dates on the Rates Calendar. And is in the "Set" drop-down on mobile view.

Delete Button Link

Want to learn more? Read our Rates Calendar support article.

Bug Fixes

Allow Setting the Expense/Commission Settings for AirCover Resolutions in Channel Bridge. Channel Bridge was creating an "other surcharge" charge for AirCover resolutions, which made it impossible to configure the commission/expense because it's not a charge. We have fixed this issue so that when users run Channel Bridge for Airbnb, the query will look for a surcharge with "AirCover" in the description. If found, Channel Bridge will set any AirCover resolutions as the surcharge for the resolution (vs. other surcharge) and apply the Property Manager's settings.

Channel Blocks Should Not Trigger Before Arrival Triggers. This was an edge case where a channel booking produced a trigger email sent to a property owner as an owner block. This rare occurrence happened because the channel picked up the initial webhook calendar block at 8:01:00 and converted it to a booking at 8:01:40, but not before the owner block email was triggered. This bug has been corrected.

Don't Push Taxable Base for Airbnb Luxe Listings. It has come to our attention that Airbnb Luxe property listings cannot set a taxable base rate (i.e., you can't set partial taxability based on category) in OwnerRez. We will no longer push taxable base rates for Airbnb Luxe listings.

Display Sent Title on SMS Communication History and Tag Manual Sends of SMS Trigger as Manual. We noticed the Sent title (or label) missing from each SMS entry in SMS Communication History. We have corrected this and also fixed it to correctly show when an SMS (text) trigger was manually sent on the Messages tab of a booking.

Fixed Florida Rentals Link to Portal. The step 4 link on the Florida Rentals API Integration Setup Instructions was incorrect. The link was corrected and now sends users to the correct URL to add their OwnerRez Account ID to their Florida Rentals integration. 

Fixed Issue Where Description Could Be Inadvertently Deactivated While Editing. There was an edge case where a default property description could become deactivated during editing. The bug has been fixed.

Fixed Issue Where Surcharge Booking Field Criteria With Yes/No Answers (Has Holiday) Didn't Validate Correctly. A bug was identified affecting users' attempts to create a surcharge that included a booking field criteria "Contains a Holiday." The surcharge would fail to save and display the validation error, "Value must be either "0" or "1" for Contains a Holiday." This bug has been corrected.

Fixed Spelling Error of Occurances to Occurrences. The "occurances" spelling error was corrected as "occurrences" in-app on the Travel Insurance page.

Handle Case Where Lynnbrook Payment is Neither Voidable Nor Refundable. A user experienced an edge case where OwnerRez showed that the guest was refunded their refundable damage deposit (a type of security deposit equivalent to a payment) from Lynnbrook group. In this case, the payment at this step was neither voidable nor refundable, so it attempted both operations and failed. This bug has been corrected.

Prevent Publishing If There's a Pending Address/Name Sync. We identified a bug that could occur if an OwnerRez user updates a property type or address and promptly attempts to publish the property on Airbnb before these changes are entirely synced in OwnerRez. We have fixed this bug and it will now display the following, "Sync is currently in progress. Wait for it to complete and then come back to publish." if users attempt to publish their property before syncing is complete.

Remove '5-star' From Review is Submitted System Alert. When users created a delayed guest review under five stars, the system alert email subject and body still displayed "A scheduled or automatic 5-star review for "X Booking" was sent. This inaccuracy was fixed by just removing "5-star" from being mentioned since such reviews can be less than five stars.

Setup Wizard Properties Page Typo. There was a typo on the Setup Wizard Properties Page where the word "have" appeared twice in a row when adding the first property to an account. This typo has been corrected.

Smoothen Email Two-Factor Authentication. Are we tired of talking about the OwnerRez Two-Factor Authentication? Absolutely, but we are committed to getting this vital security feature right for our users. In this update, we extended the authentication codes to work for 10 minutes, made the Verify button the default (vs. send another code), and now track the expiration duration on the client side, so the authentication code isn't considered expired too early if the client's system clock is not accurately set.

Tax Report Explicit Alphabetic Ordering for Columns. Tax Report header columns were displayed in reverse alphabetical order. This bug is now corrected and the Tax Report header columns show correctly alphabetically, A-Z.