Experience the difference of "Elite".

We do not share users' contact information (ie. marketing lists) with third-party apps or partners. Ever.

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We do not share users' contact information (ie. marketing lists) with third-party apps or partners. Ever.

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Over the past couple of years, we've established an ecosystem for third-party apps and partners.

You've probably seen the many blog posts saying "OwnerRez now integrates with [x]" and talks about what the third-party offers with links to their website and a support article on our side talking about the integration.  This happens after we are approached by a third party who has built an app for our API and wants us to review and bless it.  We conduct some tests, tell them where it could be better, document how it works, and then give them our approval.  99% of the work is on their side - we basically just review it for them.  Anyone is free to create an app for OwnerRez, using our OAuth/API system, but to get the "integrated partner!" blog post, they have to demonstrate value and let us test it.

Over time, as this ecosystem of apps has grown and thrived, we've noticed some behavior that we wanted to address.

Some of these third-party apps have begun sending targeted email blasts to OwnerRez users, announcing the partnership and pointing out that they are contacting the user because of the mutual OwnerRez connection.

Maybe you've received one of these emails yourself?

It is, of course, perfectly fine for third-party apps to announce that they are integrated with OwnerRez.  App builders do a lot of work to expand the power and flexibility of our system, and it's flattering that they chose to invest resources in our ecosystem.  In fact, we are planning to expand our Integrations page to show more detail - what each app does, add some searching and filtering and so on.  We love third-party apps, and we have no problem with them telling the world (on their own website or social media) that they are now a member of our community. 🤝

The problem is the targeted email campaigns.  These email messages make our users believe that OwnerRez shared private contact information with the third-party app.  After all, how else could the third-party app have gotten your name and email address if OwnerRez didn't share it and say that you are an OwnerRez user, right?

We do not share your information - private or otherwise - with any third-party apps or integrated partners.

We never have and never will.  Our Privacy Policy makes this very clear.  In fact, we even go out of our way to stop internal employees from looking at user data unless they have a specific purpose (such as fulfilling help-desk tickets or ProConnect work).

So then how did they know I was an OwnerRez user?

Short answer: we don't know.  There are "leads" vendors who routinely email us about buying our competitors' user lists, and we assume they claim to sell ours too.  We're not 100% sure how they get this information.  Our working theory is that they use web crawlers to look for OwnerRez hosted websites that contain similar markers and then fill in names and contact info from those websites to know who to contact as an "OwnerRez user".  There are also conferences where PMs will say what vendors they use and OwnerRez is sometimes mentioned.  Those conference lists are not supposed to be sold, but they are shared with all the sponsors.

Can you tell them to stop?

We have. In some cases, multiple times.

When users have reached out to us, angrily asking why we shared their information, we have made it very clear that we didn't and we've reached out to the app and asked them to stop.  They don't always listen.  In several cases, we have told the third-party app that if they keep marketing in our name, we will remove their integration from our system entirely.

At the end of the day, we can't stop someone else's business from sending email messages across the internet to you.  A business can make whatever claims they want and can email whomever they want.

We know that many of the users they email are not actually OwnerRez users, so it's not a very effective marketing strategy.

What about big partners like Vrbo or Airbnb?

No means no regardless of size and power.  We have been pressured by large channel partners in the past to share lists and coordinate marketing efforts, but we have always made it clear we don't do that and never will.  And besides, as an Elite partner, we've demonstrated that those kinds of techniques aren't necessary anyway.

Why so passionate a response?

We've designed OwnerRez to be a People-First business, which means we treat others the same way we would like to be treated.  Privacy and trust are important, and we rely on that just as much as you do.  If someone is leading our users to believe that their trust is being eroded, we want to be proactive in addressing it!

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!

8 Comments (add yours)

Feb 18, 2022 10:34 AM
Sherry S says:

I suspect they simply buy the information from the credit card companies.  I don't know about other owner rez users, but I charge my monthly fee on VISA

 

Feb 18, 2022 10:59 AM
ShenRent says:

I think it's banking or credit card related as well. The big corporations all send you "what you can opt out of and what you can't" bullshit letters. Most people don't know they can opt out. If anyone in the credit pipeline, even credit score like Credit Karma or Experian, get the information than it keeps on flowing through getting copied over and over. Lead lists is a huge business and people spend millions researching it. I doubt it's even search spiders. I bet it's financial.

Feb 18, 2022 11:04 AM
Sherry S says:

Most companies sell your information, even if you opt-out.  I was in the business, on the side of buying lists for clients. The auto industry was devastated when the state files no longer sold auto registration lists based on a law passed by Congress.  But where there is money, there are workarounds.   Pretty soon the insurance companies, repair shops, anyone who came in contact with your car --  were giving up customer data-- which proved to be much more reliable that state records!!!!  It's double or triple verified (supposedly) before they sell the record.  I found the data extremely reliable.

Feb 18, 2022 12:18 PM
Scott J says:

How about making the app developers sign a written agreement that, in order to use the OwnerRez API - OAuth Apps, for OwnerRez to test their apps, and to get your feedback and the "integrated partner!" blog post, they will not send marketing emails to any of your users unless they first received permission to do so from individual users?

Feb 19, 2022 11:53 AM
Bill and Donna B says:

Thanks for the update and the passionate response!

Feb 19, 2022 12:27 PM
Why Waite Vacati says:

I am grateful for your response and dedication to all of your customers. Today it is hard to find a company willing to stand firm to protect the little guy and the big guy.

Feb 19, 2022 1:24 PM
Kita H says:

Hey all,

I would say to be targeted like this is a sign of success of your business! Thank you all for what you do and rise to new challenges everyday.

You can’t eliminate all those scammer calls and phishing emails out there but at least now we are aware, so thank you! 

Feb 20, 2022 6:21 PM
Karen B says:

It could maybe be FB groups?. I am in many and Owner Rez is touted often. Myself included. Raving fan ! 

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