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Vrbo Messaging is now included in the OwnerRez Inbox!

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Good words are worth much, and cost little.

George Herbert

Herbert's quote highlights the value of using positive and meaningful language, suggesting that using words effectively can have a significant impact even while requiring minimal effort or expense, serving as a reminder of the potential influence and value that well-chosen words can bring to communication with guests.

So let's not mess around and get to the meat of this product update that outlines our June 7th release with 13 updates, but more importantly, we know that users want to read all about the new (and long-awaited) Vrbo Messaging feature! 📨 

New Features

Vrbo Messaging Added to the Inbox (Public Beta)

The wait is over. Vrbo Messaging has arrived! 🥳🎉

For those accounts connected via API to Vrbo, native in-app Vrbo messaging is now available (on a go-forward basis). Corresponding with Vrbo guests directly in OwnerRez allows users to unify their guest messaging that much more. With OwnerRez's Inbox, conversation view, system alerts, and channel templates/triggers, you can save time and automate more of your messaging to be delivered via the channel (or "on the platform").

If you already use Airbnb messaging in OwnerRez, you'll be quite comfortable with the addition of Vrbo messaging.

OwnerRez has collaborated diligently with Vrbo to ensure the seamless appearance of Vrbo messages within the OwnerRez Inbox. Users can navigate to their Inbox by clicking on the CRM drop-down menu and selecting Inbox.

CRM Menu

New Vrbo messages will be listed in the Inbox. Note that the Via column indicates where the messages are from, in this example Vrbo.

OwnerRez Inbox

Clicking on each individual message opens the message in the Conversation View. When users open the Conversation View, they can see any comments that Vrbo guests have added allowing them to respond directly to the Vrbo guest within OwnerRez.

Conversation View

Please note: Vrbo Messaging history currently works on a go-forward basis starting June 7th (or the date you connect to Vrbo via API). We will look to bring in some history of previous conversations in a future release.

Learn more by reading our Vrbo Messaging support article.

Enhancements & Tweaks

Suppressed Email Address History Improvements

Ever had a guest mark your email as Spam? Or experienced a Hard Bounce even though you know you have entered the correct email address? That's frustrating because the guest will no longer receive any future emails from you, the host, about their upcoming reservation check-in process, property information, and more.

Users will always receive an OwnerRez email alert warning users that the guest has marked an email as spam or an email has bounced but attempting to reactivate the email was not as intuitive as we'd like.

While users could always reactivate any suppressed email addresses by navigating to Settings > Messaging > Suppressed Email Addresses, users can now reactivate suppressed email addresses by clicking the Reactivate Button button in the Email History.

Reactivate Suppressed Email Address

Reactivated email addresses are identified by the blue Reactivated Label label.

Learn more by reading the Suppressed Email Addresses Overview support article.

Bug Fixes

Automatically Remove SMS Brands From Users Who Disable SMS or Close Their Account. If users disable their SMS premium feature or close their account, OwnerRez will automatically remove any SMS Brand applications submitted, and assigned SMS phone numbers will be released making the SMS phone numbers available to others.

Expose Property Check-in and Check-out Times on v2 Property API. Property check-in and check-out times have now been added to the OwnerRez v2 API.

Fix Airbnb Payouts if they Include Non-booking-related Funds (e.g., Referral payments). Some users had Airbnb payout transactions with no associated bookings if they included non-booking-related funds, such as referral payments, which was confusing. This bug has been fixed and any non-booking-related payouts will appear as Adjustments in the user's Deposit section. 

Fix Airbnb Transaction Sync Issue That Caused Duplicate Payments on Alteration Re-syncs. This edge case occurred when an Airbnb API-connected booking changed and created a duplicate payment transaction. This bug has been fixed and all Airbnb Transaction Syncs will now de-duplicate and match Airbnb payments by amount and date.

Fix Booking Messages From Being Sent to the Wrong Message Thread in Airbnb for Some Guests. Some Airbnb API-connected users were experiencing outbound Airbnb scheduled message failures and were not successfully delivered to the correct Airbnb message thread because it was looking for the most recent communication, using the thread ID rather than the individual booking. This bug has been fixed to now send messages to the specific thread it's using on the booking channel. 

Fix Channel Bookings From Showing as "manual" if the API Channel was Subsequently Disabled. When users had an active API-connected channel that received bookings and subsequently disabled the API connection of the listing channel that created the booking, the booking indicated that it was created manually rather than the API-connected listing channel that originally created the booking. It correctly displays even if the API-connected listing channel is disabled.

Fix Hosted Site Blog Posts to Not Show if They Did Not Have a Category Set. When users created Hosted Website Blog Posts but did not set a category for the blog post, the blog post did not display on the blog even though the blog was published. This has been fixed.

Fix Vrbo Channel Bridge Import to Look at "Booking Amount" Too. This was a rare edge case but the Vrbo Channel Bridge (CB) Import was sometimes incorrectly considering the "booking amount" total item as a charge. The CB logic has been corrected to no longer consider the Vrbo "booking amount" total item as a charge and will be skipped.

Fix Vrbo Listing Feed if There are No Amenities Configured for a Property. Properties that had no amenities configured would sometimes produce an error on the Vrbo listing feed. This bug has been fixed and properties that have no amenities configured yet will no longer experience Vrbo listing feed errors.

Improve Hosted Site Blog Post Performance. Some users experienced a blog sort issue due to the blog post content on their Hosted Website causing a lot of simultaneous content sorting. This bug has been fixed and blog post content sorting will occur and display correctly.

Lynnbrook Group Deposit Processing Should Look for Yesterday's Deposits to Avoid Late Day Deposit Misses. Some users noticed that Lynnbrook fees weren't displayed as expected in the Transactions tab of related bookings forcing them to manually add those fees. OwnerRez has adjusted the daily sync to pull in the previous day's settlement instead of today's to catch everything.

12 Comments (add yours)

Susy D
Jun 8, 2023 5:21 PM
Joined Jan, 2023 1 post

Great job! Thank you for watching out for us. Blessings, Susy Downer

Collin H
Jun 8, 2023 5:31 PM
Joined May, 2023 2 posts

What an exciting update! 

 

I am looking forward to a fix for Owner-rez left VRBO reviews will sync with the channel and publish, please get this fix out soon! :)

Ken T
Jun 8, 2023 9:45 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1294 posts

Vrbo hasn't forgotten about that, they're talking about later this year though.

Ventura County V
Jun 9, 2023 1:08 AM
Joined Mar, 2022 103 posts

Loving the inbox integration!  Just had my first chance to use it tonight with an existing reservation.  I was out to dinner so I had to use my phone, it was so easy and I don't think I'll be needing to keep the VRBO app on my phone now.  Thank you for doing this!

Looking forward to my first inquiry to see if the autoresponder works and stops the response time clock.

Beccy Jackson
Jun 9, 2023 10:16 AM
Joined Aug, 2022 1 post

Thank you for all of your hard work getting these bugs fixed. 

Stephanie F
Jun 9, 2023 8:06 PM
Joined Nov, 2017 5 posts

Very much appreciated!

WanderLost Ozark
Jun 10, 2023 12:05 PM
Joined Jun, 2021 2 posts

I set up the Trigger function to send a Channel message. I noticed that the trigger would not run on existing bookings because there was not a Vrbo message thread already established. I went to Vrbo and just sent a "We are looking forward to your visit. Please reach out if you have any questions." message to these bookings. That seemed to establish the message thread and then the Triggers said it would send the Channel messages. I didn't see this mentioned in any of the instructions.

Anne S
Jun 12, 2023 11:31 AM
OR Team Member Joined Sep, 2022 61 posts

I set up the Trigger function to send a Channel message. I noticed that the trigger would not run on existing bookings because there was not a Vrbo message thread already established. I went to Vrbo and just sent a "We are looking forward to your visit. Please reach out if you have any questions." message to these bookings. That seemed to establish the message thread and then the Triggers said it would send the Channel messages. I didn't see this mentioned in any of the instructions.

Yes, Vrbo Messaging history currently works on a go-forward basis starting June 7th, meaning that only bookings made after June 7th will have Vrbo messaging activated automatically. We will look to bring in some history of previous conversations in a future release. 

Chris L
Jun 26, 2023 4:12 PM
Joined May, 2017 198 posts

Just wanted to say that you guys got this rolled out just in time!

Vrbo was having big issues this weekend.

  • I received an inquiry that could not be replied to via Vrbo (it was an inquiry, not a booking, but there was no reply field, and it had a message that I had to add an email address to this booking before I could reply). Replying via OwnerRez worked perfectly!
  • I have Vrbo set up to push alerts to my phone via the Vrbo app, email me, and text me of new messages. Guess what I didn't receive this weekend? Any of those. A backlog of texts, emails, and push notifications are coming in today for messages I received over the weekend. The email alerts from OR came through just fine (though I did have to teach my Gmail to treat them as "Important"), and I was able to reply to several messages this weekend that I wouldn't have even seen otherwise.

Social media groups of Vrbo hosts were all atwitter (pun intended) about problems with Vrbo, and I was mostly unaffected, thanks to OR. :)

Joel P
Jun 26, 2023 4:14 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2009 109 posts

That's awesome, Chris! We definitely heard plenty of murmuring about the Vrbo issues this past weekend, and we're happy we could mitigate those problems for our users.

Can't wait to get the next iteration out with history import... coming soon!

Anna A
Jul 8, 2023 1:15 PM
Joined May, 2023 1 post

We're having issues with one vrbo booking. Messages not being being sent by triggers because "booking doesn't have vrbo message thread". I don't know what happened exactly, but maybe related to the fact that the payment didn't go through the first time and guest used a different card to complete the payment later.

Ken T
Jul 8, 2023 1:17 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1294 posts

Yes, we're aware of this issue for bookings that pre-existed the implementation of the Vrbo messaging API.  We're working with Vrbo to get those backfilled, and, they will go away eventually.