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Channel Bridges--testing them out

Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Reply: Mar 27, 2019 11:22 AM by: BlueMtnCabins
Barbara S
Registered: 7/19/17
Channel Bridges--testing them out

I wanted to test these out during the free period so am trying to figure it out..

When I went in to "Settings"-->"Channels" i already had a TripAdvisor one set up (perhaps I did it in the past & didn't recall)? It doesn't have my TripAdvisor ID in it though (which I have) & won't allow me to add it. [Note: I was actually originally a FlipKey PPB lister & all got changed to TripAdvisor, altho I note that there is still the option to add a FlipKey channel -- should I do that instead of TripAdvisor?]

I added AirBNB & HomeAway channels & also the listing numbers for my properties. When I am in the AirBNB or HomeAway channel, there is a clickable button (upper right) that says "Channel Bridge Import". What happens if I click that? I don't want to change anything on my AirBNB/HomeAway listings by accident.

Thank you,
Barb

Paul W
Registered: 6/9/09
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

Hi Barbara,

Sorry for the confusion. There is a new "direct" channel option for TripAdvisor now. I just noticed that the tile isn't showing, because we were working with a limited beta group for awhile, but you can start the process by using this direct link:

https://secure.ownerreservations.com/settings/channels/edit?listingSiteType=TripAdvisor

That will get you connected. Keep in mind that TripAdvisor must approve you first as a "PM" and convert your account over. Look at the Instructions tab after creating the channel and follow what it says.

The "synced" channels for TripAdvisor an FlipKey are basically calendar import/exports and ways of mapping your property IDs so that when we get email inquiries, we know what property in OR it goes with.

Direct and synced channels are two different things. The direct channels are where our servers have a certified partner-level integration with the channel and talk directly with their database under the covers.

Now, on Channel Bridge...

Channel Bridge is a tool we created that helps users quickly "bring over" booking data from VRBO and Airbnb after the booking is imported from the VRBO/Airbnb calendar. Instead of having a "shell booking" in OwnerRez with just a guest name and blocked-off dates, you can use Channel Bridge to fully flesh out the guest contact info, charges, payments, fees and more, and in a much faster way. Here is an overview support article about Channel Bridge:

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/channel-bridge

And then read this about how to install it:

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/channel-bridge-install

We are constantly adding more support to this and our goal is to surface buttons inside of OwnerRez directly so that you the Channel Bridge functionality will happen automatically. Bookings will update several times per day with you having to press the Channel Bridge buttons.

Pro tip: If you run Channel Bridge to bring in information for a booking that already had charges/payments entered in VRBO, make sure to use the "overwrite" option when importing from Channel Bridge.

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

I asked TA to enable channel management integration and they said NO. They say I must have at least 5 properties (I have 3).

Chris Hynes
Registered: 10/19/12
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

Yep, they have that 5+ requirement right now. We're talking with them to see if they can relax it for us since the integration is very self service and shouldn't take much time on their part, but we'll see.

Either way, we'll soon have channel bridge for TA as well as the Airbnb and VRBO ones we already have. If anybody has a TA payment export they want to send over or an account we can look at that actually has bookings, send over to help@ownerreservations.com -- the hardest part right now has been finding enough data to get an idea of their formats :-o

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

So I contacted VRBO, to ask to waive 5 property requirement. here is their reply:
"The gist of the response is that we cannot grant an exception nor integrate with ownerez at this time because we're currently working with them on developing the integration, so it's not currently possible. Here's what the team had to say:

Since Owner Reservations is still in development, let’s hold off on creating a project. They can try again when the PMSC API development is done but unfortunately I don’t have an ETA. Since they are an unsegmented owner account, I’d recommend that they stay in touch with Owner Reservations on when their development and piloting with us is completed. Once done, they can come back and try again."

So basically they say that YOU will know when integration is ready... is it? TIA

Paul W
Registered: 6/9/09
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

Sorta kinda yes maybe but not yet. 😉

The last of our pilot users was onboarded this week and we're past all the paperwork steps. We expect to make the public announcement next week or the week after, but we haven't given out hard ETAs because we don't want to dash expectations if it's still a few more weeks.

Couple things...

First, there is a large line of waiting users to jump on the API. So even if you're ready and willing, there will be some delay in queuing everyone and getting an assigned HomeAway integration specialist and all of that. HomeAway has been very quick and thorough so far in this process, so it's been an easy experience on that side. But there are things that have to validated and verified so that the APi works.

Second, getting the 5 property requirement waived is going to be a secondary priority for HomeAway to getting the larger PMs onboarded. While they have shown willingness to allow smaller accounts to use the API, their focus is probably going to be on getting PMs hooked up first. So if you have 4 or less properties, expect to wait longer as well. And we don't have any guarantee that you'll get API anyway, so please keep low expectations for now!

BlueMtnCabins
Registered: 6/6/16
Re: Channel Bridges--testing them out

well , once this is in, I will try to ask some favours re my priority and less than 5 properties ;-)

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