Thursday morning, we released an update that was based entirely on user feedback. Here are the highlights...
Inquiries can now be manually marked as answered or unanswered
Sometimes, you get an inquiry from the same person twice because they're considering different booking scenarios. You've already responded to them offline but don't want the second inquiry showing as "Unanswered" on the grid and you don't want to delete it. Now you can set the answered status manually.
Diners Club and JCB are now accepted card types
International travelers, particularly from Asia, tend to use JCB and Diners Club more often than American and European travelers. Some owners have merchant accounts that already accept Diners Club and JCB but, previously, the system didn't include that option. Now it does. If you have a credit card payment method, you can configure it in the system to accept Diners Club and JCB. Remember, your merchant account provider has to actually support Diners Club and JCB in order to turn those settings on in OwnerRez. If you're not sure, call your provider.
You can now specify a fixed amount for the first payment
The guest's first payment has always been based on a percentage (1-100%) of the total charges. Now, you can require a fixed amount instead. If the fixed amount is greater than the total charges, the guest is required to pay the entire booking up front.
We added 'Nights', 'Adults', 'Children' and 'Pets' columns to the grids
It's nice to be able to see how many people are coming and how long the guest is staying without having to click through to the booking, quote or inquiry record. Previously, you could see how long the guest was staying by looking at the date columns, but we've added a 'Nights' column to make it easier. To be clear, these columns were added to all three grids - bookings, quotes and inquiries. You can sort these columns, like all the others, by clicking on the header.
Quotes no longer require both first and last name
Not all inquiries are sent in with a first and last name. Some listing sites don't separate the name into two fields, and inquiries end up coming in with only the first name. This used to create a conflict with quotes because quotes required both first and last names. Not any longer. Now you can create quotes, either manually or from an inquiry, with only a first or last name. One of them is required, but not both.
The quote acceptance process now asks for the point of contact
Previously, if a quote was prepared for a person not in charge of the group - a spouse, for instance - the booking would end up with the same name. There was no place for the guest to change the name and email address to the person responsible for the group. A new page has been added to the quote acceptance process, one step prior to the renter agreement, asking the guest to confirm the name of the person in charge. In the future, we'll be expanding this page to ask for phone numbers and the guest list (should you want your guests to provide that information).
In more than a dozen places, mostly on email templates, we changed the wording to clarify language that may not apply to certain guests or bookings. For instance, not all guests pay with credit cards so clauses that are specific to credit card payments are now prefaced with "If payment is made by credit card...".
You can now specify the release days for security deposits at the quote level
If you know in advance that you're not going to release the security deposit on a specific booking for a period of time that is out of the ordinary, you can now customize that at the quote level. Previously, the release days setting only existed at the property level. As most users already know, the 'release days' only refers to the days the system waits before sending you an email reminder. The system never automatically releases the security deposit with your direct confirmation.