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VRBO Commission Fee For More Accurate Reporting

Status: Released 4 Votes
Ozark Stays
Jul 15, 2022 12:51 AM
Joined Aug, 2020 7 posts

Currently there is a gap in tracking Net Payments when it comes to VRBO api bookings. OwnerRez pulls in the payment processor fee (Stripe for example) but it has no visibility to the 5% pay per booking fee that I am paying VRBO at the beginning of the following month. Hence it does not add VRBO commission fee to the "Host Fees" category. Since I am now on the hook for remitting taxes to the state with VRBO once integrated, it would be easier for me to run a report for my taxable sales in OwnerRez that is accurate and factors in the 5% VRBO commission (or whatever your individual commission is). As it stands, I have to take an extra step and multiply my net sales by .95 to account for the 5% that VRBO is going to collect.

 

This could be achieved fairly easily I believe by adding a setting to the VRBO api where we can input our commission percentage to apply against our VRBO bookings. 

Ken T
Jul 15, 2022 1:47 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

But you can - go to the Transactions tab of the Booking and scroll down.  There's a Fees section.  If you have Airbnb bookings, you'll see that Airbnb fees appear in there.  Vrbo doesn't send us their fees, but, you can manually add them to that section once you know what they are.

Ozark Stays
Jul 15, 2022 10:59 PM
Joined Aug, 2020 7 posts

yea that's a good tip. But it's a manual step I wouldn't mind cutting out.

Ken T
Jul 15, 2022 11:35 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

Well, yes, and I don't blame you - but, unlike Airbnb, Vrbo does not pass us that information.  :-(

Ozark Stays
Sep 13, 2022 12:13 PM
Joined Aug, 2020 7 posts

Is there no way we could get VRBO to include the commission fees in their API feed? If not I still maintain that an API level feature would be good to set the commission percentage for VRBO. There is no variation in the fee charged. It is exactly 5% (or whatever your commission is) of the total of rent and surcharges.

 

This represents a one time entry at a property or API level as opposed to countless manual entries to make the fee calculation accurate for each individual booking. This process of manually adding the fee turns into a lot of administrative overhead at scale.

Ken T
Sep 13, 2022 1:23 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

We've asked, but they don't seem particularly interested.  We've looked into potentially importing them using Channel Bridge or an exported report from Vrbo, but there are issues with that too.  Maybe one of these days...

Alece
Sep 13, 2022 2:20 PM
Joined Jan, 2020 79 posts

Is there no way we could get VRBO to include the commission fees in their API feed? If not I still maintain that an API level feature would be good to set the commission percentage for VRBO. There is no variation in the fee charged. It is exactly 5% (or whatever your commission is) of the total of rent and surcharges.

 

This represents a one time entry at a property or API level as opposed to countless manual entries to make the fee calculation accurate for each individual bookings. This becomes a lot of overhead administration the larger the scale of your operation.

 

I agree. It would be awesome to be able to activate an automatic 5% expense for this since it can't be brought over via API or channel bridge! 

Chris L
Sep 13, 2022 4:36 PM
Joined May, 2017 177 posts

If Vrbo isn't willing to spec it into their API, then OR really needs to make an option to programmatically just do the math (it's simple) and automatically add it to any bookings on the Vrbo channel.

Same with payments. I should be able to set any bookings that are processed via a given payment processor to automatically have a payment fee of my choosing added. So even if my processor doesn't feed the actual processing fee back, any charges from that processor automatically get a 3% (or whatever I set) payment processing fee added.

This really shouldn't be that hard, and it'd save me at least an hour's worth of work every month.

April in MB
Sep 14, 2022 2:07 AM
Joined Nov, 2020 2 posts

Surely there’s some way we could turn on a fee calculation that auto populates for VRBO bookings. This repetitive manual stuff is so 2010. 

Ken T
Sep 14, 2022 12:32 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

Most payment processors do not use simple math to calculate their fees, and, they can vary by account even with the same processor based on your negotiations with them.  So, it is out of the question for OwnerRez to attempt to do that calculation itself.

At present, our integrations with Stripe and Lynnbrook do automatically import the accurate fees; our connections with them support the transmission of that data, and, those processors send it to us.  Other processors do not and/or cannot.

The Vrbo fees are also not mere simple math, which is also why we don't have a way to "just import" them yet either.  Research is ongoing though, as this is a known significant source of manual work which is the sort of thing OwnerRez is intended to get rid of.

Chris L
Sep 14, 2022 3:18 PM
Joined May, 2017 177 posts

Most payment processors do not use simple math to calculate their fees, and, they can vary by account even with the same processor based on your negotiations with them.  So, it is out of the question for OwnerRez to attempt to do that calculation itself.

by Ken T – Sep 14, 2022 4:32 PM (UTC)

You're half right. Some payment processors don't use simple math. But I don't care. I charge my limited-service clients 3% for payment processing. Yes, Ascent only charges me an average of ~2% (since I'm on interchange-plus with them), but I don't need the #s in OR to be perfectly accurate--I just want to avoid the hour of work every month to go through EVERY credit card charge with a calculator and tag on a 3% fee to charge my clients. All you need to do is allow me to automatically add a 3% payment processing fee to all my charges. It should NOT be hard for OR to do that.

As for Vrbo...yes, the math with Vrbo is simple: 5% of any charges that are not coded as tax. I often do the math myself when I have a stay that crosses from the previous month to the next one and Vrbo doesn't include it in their end-of-month statement until the subsequent month. In 100% of the cases, I'm exactly correct to the penny. If I can be correct 100% of the time, so can OR.

Ken T
Sep 15, 2022 11:54 AM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

We are actually working on a more general capability that would allow you to configure an expense (that can be for anything) of a fixed amount or a percentage.  So, this would achieve the effect you describe.  That should be out soonish.

Ozark Stays
Sep 19, 2022 4:31 PM
Joined Aug, 2020 7 posts

Ok, that is really all I wanted for this feature request. While we’re on the topic of what APIs “should” be transmitting, AirBNB should be updating their payment status. Is that in the works at all?

Ken T
Sep 19, 2022 11:23 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 936 posts

It is, and hopefully will be out later this year.