Have you had success with Trip Advisor bookings? Can the details be imported into OwnerRez? I don't see an option to download bookings in the Channel Bridge, but I do have bookings.
We don't have channel bridge for TripAdvisor. We do have API integration that can push across properties and get back the bookings automatically: https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/connecting-or-to-tripadvisor-api
What I've heard on TripAdvisor is dependent on area. Some places they send lots of bookings while other areas it's here and there.
I have heard urban legends that TA produces bookings. It no longer does in my market (smoky mountains)., maybe couple a year. API integration only if you have 5_ properties.
We have the 5 properties... I am assuming I need a merchant account to do the API Integration?
You don't need a merchant account for the TripAdvisor integration -- they'll still be the merchant of record and process all of the payments. The only one you need a merchant account for the API integration is HomeAway.
Hoping to be up this next week with the Merchant account (using the OwnerRez recommendation). Is it possible to be shown as the merchant of record? Is it beneficial to be shown as the merchant of record?
HomeAway and booking.com allow you to be the merchant of record which means OwnerRez will receive the guest credit card number securely and process the credit cards on your merchant account. This is beneficial because you've got a lot more control over payment processing and scheduling and don't have to worry about payout schedules etc.
Airbnb and TripAdvisor do not allow this -- they will always process the payments on their end, then pay out after arrival (or whatever the schedule you have set up with them).
Pluses of being the merchant of record:
-Faster payouts (Airbnb and TripAdvisor don't send you the funds until after your guest arrives, and HomeAway defaults to the same but now offers an "Early Payout" feature to qualifying owners that disburses the funds about a week after the guest pays)
-Better processing rates (Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and HomeAway Payments all charge 3%; it's not hard to find a processor that will do 2.7% (like Lynnbrook) or possibly even better, especially if you're pushing any kind of decent volume through your processor
-Often easier to integrate with your accounting software and accounting workflow
Pluses of letting the listing sites be the merchant of record:
-Avoid monthly service fees (beneficial to lower-volume owners)
-Slightly less confusing to guests (a single charge to their card for the entire transaction, including listing site service fees)
-Some level of insulation from fraud and chargeback risk (the listing site takes on some portion of responsibility of verifying the validity of the guest's information; it's a bit murky as to whether they'll claw back funds from you after a fraud-based dispute, but at least you'll avoid chargeback fees and black marks against your merchant account)