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Templates and Triggers and Reports, o my!

May 25, 2019 1:18 PM
Joined Jun, 2018 385 posts

I suspect others in the future will also find this useful...

ok- I went through Email Templates and Triggers, and Reports. I am trying to understand how to set these up effectively and have quite a few questions, below:

1) How do a lot of the custom templates know when to trigger?
For example, Dates Changed, Check-In/Check Out changed - how is things like this triggered?
Or Payment Request - does that automatically know when/what the payments are and verify it happened?
How does it know to send the Refund email templates?
Do these work with all major OTAs?

2) is there a sandbox or test system where I can learn/fully test process a booking with fake data, credit cards, dates, reports, etc?
everything I see is empty such as reports, so hard to know what they will look like other than column headings

3) Do all guest.email responses from ABB, BDC, HA/VRBO, FK go to the OR Email system? So far, it is forum activity.

4) pending cancellation and other cancellations - how does OR handle for direct bookings and OTAs?

5) Payments - how does OR know/handle that a sufficient payment was made? per a schedule

6) Review Request - how work with different OTAs and direct bookings?

7) How offer adjacent empty dates to current/near future at some discount - to lengthen their stay?

- Payment > Partially Paid (how much constitutes a partial payment - as little as 1$??)

Can I remove all but the listing sites I want in my profile from the reports (not all 47) - only VRBO, ABB, BDC, FK, etc

Listing site fees report - is this just their commission? What about my admin, pet, PDP, extra guest, damage or other fees?

Taxes. In Pennsylvania, listing sites have to remit taxes. But for direct bookings, I have to. How does the system/report handle this? So I know what is my responsibility?

Listing site fees - just their host commission? What about my admin, pet, PDP, extra guest, damage or other fees?

Also, is there a way to harvest the email/phone numbers of adult guests who are NOT the responsible party? perhaps when I send out the lease agreement? would like to gather for future "past guest" list (for future offers, etc).
Are all these emails pulled effectively from the major listing sites (BDC, FL, VRBO, ABB)

Chris Hynes
May 25, 2019 7:47 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1396 posts

Yep, great questions and will answer right here for the edification of everyone! Answers:

1) The built in templates trigger when the associated event occurs in the system. Most of them, like dates changed, check-in/check-out changed, payment request, renter agreement request. etc. are linked to actions you (the owner) do in OwnerRez, so you'll see the option to send those emails out and optionally edit them before sending.

There are a few ones that will go out automatically during the reservation process -- Booking - send confirmation to guest, payment receipt, Renter Agreement - send archive copy to guest. And then payment receipts will be sent if an payment is processed automatically.

Payment reminders and security deposit reminders will go out if a) you have them enabled and b) there is no automatically scheduled payment -- those are to make sure that a manual payment isn't forgotten.

And if a booking is in the pending state because "check is in the mail", then the pending reminders will go out until you record a payment or clear the pending flag (covered in more detail in (4) below).

2) There's not a sandbox system. Instead, create test quotes with yourself as the guest and run them through to bookings. Then void the payment and cancel the booking. That way you can see how everything works end to end. If you're doing credit card payments you can change the charges down to a couple bucks beforehand so it doesn't hit your card for a large amount, or create a check or custom instructions payment method for testing and deactivate it after.

3) No, platform messaging doesn't go into OwnerRez currently. We have plans to add a whole unified inbox system, but that is a large undertaking. For now, deal with the guest before booking on the platform, then after booking you have all of the scheduled and triggered templates going out to their email automatically from OwnerRez.

4) Pending is for bookings payments you would take outside OwnerRez like checks, Venmo, Zelle etc. For those, when the booking is made we mark it pending with an auto cancel date if you don't record the payment by then.

For cancellations and cancellation policies, we don't enforce a specific policy on you and cancel and refund are two separate operations in OwnerRez. For OTA's, they'll have a cancellation policy and handle that as they process the payment for you. For direct bookings, cancel the booking in OwnerRez and refund according to your policy.

5) The amount due is based on the total charges for a booking. You can filter the List tab for bookings that have a balance due. If you're using credit cards, this will all be handled automatically -- first payment processed on booking, balance processed when it is due based on your rules on the Rules tab of each property (like 30 days before arrival), and you and the guest will both get emails if a payment fails.

6) For OTA's, some have a review link you can send via email, otherwise you'd handle that directly in the OTA system. For direct bookings, there's a review link/request email you can send to the guest.

7) To send gap night emails to current guests, use a template like this: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/fill-gap-hole-nights. It's not going to automatically apply the discount, just get the guest to circle back with you and then you can add the charge when they confirm.

8) Yes, any payment > 0.

9) Not currently a way to filter the list down, but that's a good idea.

10, 12) Yep, listing site fees are what they take from the guest and what they take from you. If you want a charge by charge report, use the Line Item Pivot report.

11) For taxes, set them up in Settings > Taxes under the Pricing section. That'll assess the percentage on direct bookings and they'll show up as charges. Then use the Taxes report or Line Item Pivot report later to tally them up and prepare your remittance.

13) We don't have a specific additional guests list feature (it's on the todo list). You could add custom fields for that during checkout: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/capture-additional-fields-on-checkout-quote-acceptance -- but that is just a text box and doesn't have any way to validate that it's an actual email address.

14) We pull as much as info as we can from listing sites, but VRBO is the only one that'll give you the real guest email (you can pull this in to OwnerRez through channel bridge: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/channel-bridge). Some other smaller listing sites do this too, but BDC, ABB, etc are all going to give you a pass through email address that only works during the booking.

For those channels, set up a template/trigger like this: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/airbnb-request-for-contact-info-real-email-address-and-signed-renter-agreement which will get them to sign the renter agreement and in the process provide their real email address (the renter agreement signing process will capture updated contact info for any future booking, but won't let them update contact info if a booking is in the past).

May 26, 2019 11:31 PM
Joined Jun, 2018 385 posts

Great responses. Just seeking a little clarification

3) you said deal with the guests before booking. Obviously, for instant booking on the listing site, they only booked. I'm assuming that the OR template will take care of everything (normal) and they just contact me through the listing site communication systems for post booking questions and issues?

8) so the payment rules are only for direct booking or it also handles abb, BDC, VRBO, fk payment processing?

Paul W
May 30, 2019 2:02 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 800 posts

JTVRs said:

3) you said deal with the guests before booking. Obviously, for instant booking on the listing site, they only booked. I'm assuming that the OR template will take care of everything (normal) and they just contact me through the listing site communication systems for post booking questions and issues?

It's up to the guest how they want to contact you. Some like using the VRBO or Airbnb message thread (cause of the phone app or whatever). If they do that, it goes through the platform, and you have to answer on the platform. Others will respond back to you by email when you email them. In OwnerRez, we tend to push/encourage users to use the direct email side as that is more versatile and an open standard.

JTVRs said:

8) so the payment rules are only for direct booking or it also handles abb, BDC, VRBO, fk payment processing?

Payment rules are for direct bookings or channel bookings that come in through API integrations (which are basically like direct bookings). It's where you have a card on file and you are the one collecting payment (eg. not Airbnb).

May 30, 2019 2:46 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1102 posts

after booking, I run channel bridge and import the OTA booking with triggering of rental agreement e-sign, welcome email etc. Once the renter gets an OR email, they have my direct email address, phone etc. So they can communicate with me directly. Some chose to still email me via vrbo, for example. I don't particularly like that but I can always just reply via reply-to from my email inbox.