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Vrbo Messaging Improvements with History Import, Booking Channel Tab iCal Details and SMS Brand PO Boxes!

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Get ready for some Friday feels... our latest product update is here!

OwnerRez appreciates your undivided attention 👀...even more so on a Friday. Dive into this exciting product update and stay up-to-date with our latest July 26th release with 15 updates!

Enhancements & Tweaks

Vrbo Messaging Improvements Including Import of Historical Threads

As announced in our June 6th product update, Vrbo Messaging Added to the Inbox (Public Beta), we noted that we anticipated importing Vrbo message threads of Vrbo guest conversations pre-dating that release in a future release. Well, that time is now! 📨

OwnerRez is importing older Vrbo Messages that are dependent on listing status checks. What does that mean for OwnerRez users? When OR checks your Vrbo listing status, we will trigger the Vrbo message thread import for that listing simultaneously. We expect to have all Vrbo Message Thread imports completed by the end of next week if all goes to plan, as OwnerRez diligently checks Vrbo listing statuses at least once a week.

Vrbo Messaging

OwnerRez has also improved the conversation area! The conversation buttons (shown below) displayed will default to the last form of communication used with the guest, whether channel (Airbnb or Vrbo) or SMS (if enabled). In the example below, the user last communicated with this particular guest within the Vrbo Messaging feature, so that is the default at this moment in time.

OwnerRez Guest Conversation

This user also has the SMS Messaging premium feature enabled, so the SMS button is available to be clicked on. When it is, the guest's phone numbers still appear to the right as they did before. When more than one, you can choose which number to use for sending.

We now hide the channel messaging buttons if not applicable to that guest's conversation history and default to the last form of communication used (this applies when you have SMS Messaging enabled).

If users are not API integrated with both Airbnb and Vrbo, only the users' API-integrated channel button will be visible to the user to select. Additionally, if the guest chose to book this property on Airbnb (or, conversely, Vrbo) the next time, the Airbnb button would be the default button for that booking conversation.

There is much to learn about OwnerRez messaging options but the Messaging Overview video and our Vrbo Messaging support article are great places to start.

Additional Booking.com Cancellation Policy Codes Added

We've added more Booking.com Cancellation Policy Codes to OwnerRex for even more control over your listing!

Booking.com sends us the charges and cancellation policy for bookings as users have them set on the BDC side, but OR was missing some available cancellation policy options. Those additional cancellation codes have been added to OwnerRez.

Booking.com Cancellation Policy Codes Added to OwnerRez

Learn more by reading our Booking.com Setup & Connecting support article.

iCal Details Now Displayed on the Booking Channel Tab

Custom iCal links offer simplicity and easy integration for your property booking calendar syncing. While API-connected properties enjoy greater flexibility, real-time updates, and advanced features for their properties, at OwnerRez the choice is always yours.

But it was still difficult to see which bookings were managed by a custom iCal link or an API connection with a listing channel.

OwnerRez users can now more easily see whether a booking is managed by iCal or API connection on the Booking Channel Tab. OwnerRez Booking Channel Tab Vrbo Managed Booking

And users can click on either the iCal or API connection link that takes them to their iCal setup or API integration.

iCal information also includes the last day the linked calendar was imported, and users can also choose to click the Attribute to Listing Channel by selecting that button.

OwnerRez Booking Channel Tab with iCal Information

Learn more about your choices by reading our Custom iCal Links and API Integrations Overview support articles.

Hosted Website Social Media Links Now Open in a New Tab

OwnerRez users know the importance of embracing a vacation rental social media presence for your property. 

Now all OwnerRez Hosted Websites social media links open in a new tab to enhance the user experience and retain website engagement by allowing easy return to your vacation rental website pages.

Hosted Website Social Media Links

Don't have your own direct booking Hosted Website yet? Learn more by reading our Hosted Websites Overview support article.

PO Box Addresses Now Accepted for SMS Brand Submissions

When users set up SMS Messaging they are asked to submit their SMS Brand. Federal requirements mandate an approved Brand registers its business website and address, which can now include a PO Box.

OwnerRez updated the SMS Brand application to comply with these updated federal regulations, now allowing vacation rental businesses to include PO Box addresses.

SMS Brand Applications Accept PO Box Addresses!

Want to get started with SMS Messaging? Check out our SMS Overview support article.

Bug Fixes

Add Booking form_key to API Result. OwnerRez has added the booking form_key to the API result endpoint.

Handle Undocumented Airbnb API 'Workspace' Room Type. The Airbnb API has an unsupported/undocumented "workspace" room type on their side. We are working with Airbnb to see if they plan to support this. In the meantime, we deleted rooms with the workspace type across all listings to prevent publishing errors.

Display PointCentral Service Plan Message Even if Login was Technically Successful. This edge case occurred when an OR user turned on two-factor authentication somewhere in their PointCentral account. The PointCentral API does not support that and was causing strange error responses even though the user could successfully log into their PointCentral account. OwnerRez released a hotfix to provide more friendly errors in this case instead of the generic "couldn't parse response" error. Still, the user ultimately fixed it by turning off 2FA in their PointCentral account. 

Fix the From and To Number Labels on Failed SMS System Alert Emails. Some Failed SMS system alert emails displayed the To and From phone numbers labels backward. This bug has been fixed, and both the To and From phone numbers will be correctly listed and displayed on Failed SMS system alert emails. 

Handle BDC Modify of New Booking as Add if it is Fresh. An error occurred when a Booking.com (BDC) booking dependent on a connection order was subsequently modified, causing booking errors. We have fixed this bug to handle any new BDC booking modifications as an add event to ensure that the booking is handled correctly in OR.

Handle Case Where PointCentral Returns Missing Lock List. This edge case occurred when an OR user turned on two-factor authentication somewhere in their PointCentral account. The PointCentral API does not support that and was causing strange error responses, including missing lock lists. OwnerRez released a hotfix to provide more friendly errors in this case instead of the generic "couldn't parse response" error. Ultimately, the user fixed it themselves by turning off 2FA in their PointCentral account.

Handle Missing Payment Type in Vrbo Channel Bridge. Some OwnerRez users experienced errors when attempting to complete the Vrbo Channel Bridge process due to an issue with some unexpected data located in the payment area. This bug was fixed, and the Vrbo Channel Bridge process will run correctly.

Mark Vrbo Commission Imports With Proper Category. Some users attempting to import their Vrbo Commission Pay-Per-Booking (PPB) files experienced errors in the expense and channel categories. This bug has been fixed, and the Vrbo PPB File Import process will now run correctly and as expected.

Patch Issue With RemoteLock's Regression Causing Failure With Igloo Locks. RemoteLock experienced a software regression on their end that started returning unformatted timeout errors instead of programming locks because the requested start/end time wasn't a round hour. Igloo locks only support hours, not minutes/seconds. RemoteLock could not fix it quickly, so OR released an update to round to the hour on our end for Igloo locks only.

Vrbo Commission Fee Import Doesn't Show Errors When There Are Any Successes. OwnerRez users experienced an error when attempting to import Vrbo Pay-Per-Booking (PPB) Commission Fees that instructed them to "Fix the errors below." However, no failed rows were displayed to fix when there were also some successful imports. This bug has been fixed and the Vrbo PPB Commission Fee Import process will now show any error details even when there are successes.