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Channel Management

Channel Management

API Integrations

Calendar Import/Export

Channel Bridge

Page-Specific Help

Bookings

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Channel Management Overview

OwnerRez started as a way to centralize booking calendars between listing websites so you don't get double-bookings. Our Calendar Import/Export feature still offers an effective way to do that.

But there's a lot more to listings than just syncing calendars.  Your listings need to stay up-to-date with many things - rates, rules, photos, amenities, etc - and it's a pain to have to manually make those changes by hand on multiple channels and for multiple properties.

We've built a comprehensive set of Channel Management features that allow you to make those changes in one place - OwnerRez - and have them replicated onto the major listing sites.  Need to update a last minute rate or replace an old photo?  You can do that in OwnerRez in one spot and the changes will sync out to your website and channel listings without you having to lift a finger!

The most powerful part of our Channel Management is a series of API Integrations that we have developed with certain channel partners.  With API integration, bookings and guest information are pushed into OwnerRez automatically, from the channel, just like a direct booking from your website.  In some cases, you even have access to the guest's credit card and can do your own processing - that's right, for channel bookings!

As you can imagine, Channel Management is a broad topic with a lot of nuance and variation.  What type of user you are, and how you run your vacation rental business, will have certain ramifications.  Please read the following sections to dig deeper into our Channel Management features.

Features for 'Mom and Pop' owners (less than 5 properties)

We love individual owners, and OwnerRez was originally designed for them back in the day!  We believe that owners with one property should have access to all of the same tools that PMs use.  Unfortunately not everybody feels that way and sometimes we're stuck with limits imposed by the channel. Regardless, OwnerRez has great channel management features available for everyone.

If you have less than 5 properties, you'll need to use a mix of calendar import/export, Channel Bridge and some API integrations to manage your listings.  The entire process won't be automated, end to end, but you'll have tools at your disposal.  The below table shows more details about the mix.

Please Note: full API integration is available for Airbnb and Booking.com no matter how many properties you have.

Function Can Sync How it works...
Calendar Yes, fully You'll set up background syncing using our iCal-based calendar import/export engine for every channel (including regional/local listing sites) where you have listings.

For your Airbnb and Booking.com listings, you'll configure API integration which will sync calendars automatically.
Rates & Rules Yes for Airbnb, Booking.com

Manual tool for HomeAway/VRBO

No for everything else
Except for Airbnb and Booking.com, there is no way to have rates sync in the background automatically.  However, we have a manual rate push tool you can use, using our Channel Bridge tool, that will push a full 2 years of rates from OwnerRez to HomeAway/VRBO.

Every time your rates change, you'll run the manual rate push to update HomeAway/VRBO.  If you have rates listed on other channels, you'll need to update those listings by hand.

Only a limited set of rules (minimum nights, arrival day) is pushed across using the manual rate push tool.  So when your rules change, you may need to update your channel listings by hand.

For your Airbnb and Booking.com listings, you'll configure API integration which will sync all rates and rules automatically.
Content
- Photos
- Amenities
- Descriptions
- Rooms
Yes for Airbnb

No for everything else
Except for Airbnb, there is no way to have content sync in the background automatically.  That only works via API integration and only Airbnb is available for small users.  Our API integration for Booking.com does not support content.

If your content changes in OwnerRez, you'll need to update your channel listings by hand to match.
Reviews Yes for Airbnb

Manual tool for HomeAway/VRBO and TripAdvisor

No for everything else
Airbnb will sent reviews into OwnerRez automatically, but they are the only one.  All other channels do not do that even if you were big enough to qualify for the API integrations.

However, via our Channel Bridge tool, you can quickly download all of your reviews from HomeAway/VRBO and TripAdvisor and then bulk import the reviews into OwnerRez.

For all other channels, you would have to manually find and copy/paste those reviews into OwnerRez by either entering them manually or filling in our import spreadsheet.
Bookings Yes for Airbnb, Booking.com

Manual tool for HomeAway/VRBO

No for everything else
Airbnb and Booking.com will push bookings directly into OwnerRez, but all other channels will not unless you are using an API integration (and users with less than 5 properties won't qualify for those).

For other channels, like HomeAway/VRBO, the calendar import/export process will create new bookings will they are detected on the channel calendar.  Those booking will appear mostly empty, with only a name and basic arrival/departure date.

You will then need to use Channel Bridge to download and import the rest of the booking data from the channel.  Channel Bridge can do this for both HomeAway/VRBO and Airbnb.  This will bring in many other details such as the party size (adults, children count), guest email, guest phone, charges, payments, fees and more.  This is a manual process but can be done for bookings in bulk.  As the bookings change on the channel, such as second payments being made, you'll run Channel Bridge again to pick up the new changes.
Guest Info Yes for Airbnb, Booking.com

Manual tool for HomeAway/VRBO

No for everything else
This works the same as the Bookings category above.

For Airbnb and Booking.com, the channel will push the guest information directly to OwnerRez when the booking comes in.

For all of the other channels, you'll need to either use Channel Bridge or manually copy/paste that information into OwnerRez from wherever the booking came from.

Features for PMs (5 or more properties)

If you have more 5 or more properties, you will have full access to all of our API integrations.  API integrations are very powerful and sync everything in the background without you having to lift a finger.

Let's review the same table of functionality as above but this time for PMs.

Function Can Sync How it works...
Calendar Yes, fully You will set up API integration and the calendars will sync whenever there is a change.  Calendar import/export (iCal) is not necessary.
Rates & Rules Yes, fully You will set up API integration and the rates from OwnerRez will push over to the channel whenever there is a change.

In the case of TripAdvisor, OwnerRez is checked in real-time whenever a guest attempts to book or get a quote on TripAdvisor.
Content
- Photos
- Amenities
- Descriptions
- Rooms
Yes, except for Booking.com Except for Booking.com, all of our API integrations will manage content changes for you.  Whenever the content changes, OwnerRez will push the changes over to the channel.
Reviews Yes for Airbnb

Manual tool for HomeAway/VRBO and TripAdvisor

No for everything else
Airbnb will send reviews into OwnerRez automatically, but they are the only one.  No other channels do that, even though you are big enough to qualify for the API integration.

However, via our Channel Bridge tool, you can quickly download all of your reviews from HomeAway/VRBO and TripAdvisor and then bulk import the reviews into OwnerRez.

For all other channels, you would have to manually find and copy/paste those reviews into OwnerRez by either entering them manually or filling in our import spreadsheet.
Bookings Yes, fully Our API integrations will push bookings directly into OwnerRez including party size, financial info and more.  However, there are differences between API integrations, so read our comparison article for more details.
Guest Info Yes, fully Our API integrations will push guest info directly into OwnerRez including email address, phone and in some cases even the home address.  Airbnb and Booking.com push across a proxy email address, so we recommend asking the guest for a real email address after the booking comes in.

Messaging and unified inbox

Currently, our Airbnb API integration sends messages from Airbnb to OwnerRez directly and you can answer those, as well as prepare special offers, directly in OwnerRez. You can also send images and everything else that Airbnb supports in their message system - all from OwnerRez.

However, there is no "unified inbox" in OwnerRez beyond the Airbnb messaging, so your VRBO bookings (for instance) will not send messages through to OwnerRez.

We are working towards a long-term goal of having a global unified inbox, and our goal is to support both direct guest messaging (email and SMS to the guest directly) and also support platform messaging (through VRBO and Airbnb) via the same unified inbox.

You can forward inquiries into OwnerRez, and we have a parsing engine that will turn emails into inquiries and allow you to prepare quotes and sends responses.  However, that uses traditional email as a response to the guest, not the same inbox as the Airbnb integration.  So the Airbnb inbox and the general inquiry system are two separate things.

As discussed in our inquiry forwarding support article, we do not recommend forwarding VRBO or TripAdvisor inquiries to OwnerRez because the guest's email address is hidden, and any response you send back by email will get stripped by VRBO or TripAdvisor.  We recommend answering those inquiries on the platform or by email directly as you have done before.

Extra costs and fees

There is an extra monthly cost to use Channel Management, in recognition of the large amount of coding work required to create and maintain the API integrations and Channel Bridge.  However, we do not take a percentage of the booking revenue in any way.  The price for Channel Management is a flat monthly fee, added to your monthly OwnerRez invoice, based on the number of properties.

You can see the exact price by visiting our pricing calculator page or reading our comprehensive Costs and Fees article.  As you add additional properties, the price per property drops quickly.

Our fee for Channel Management does not include any charges or fees from the channel for listing your property.  For instance, if you list on HomeAway, they may charge you a few hundred dollars per year as an "annual subscription".  Our small monthly fee is in addition to that and does not include their annual subscription fee.

To be clear, there is no extra cost for calendar import/export.  That is included for free in the base monthly price.

How to get started with Channel Management

Channel Management is a daunting subject - we get it.  It is one of most integral features in OwnerRez because of how wide-reaching it is and how many other functions it affects.  And since it affects your marketing, it affects your revenue and profit if you don't get it right.

First, understand that there is no magic button you can press to have it all working instantly.  It takes time to learn and understand.  It takes reading and configuring settings.  If you're wanting to pay someone to make it work quickly and without you having to be involved, don't bother going down this path - it won't work.  You have to learn how tools and functions work so that you can continue managing them as your business matures and changes over time.

Then, identify which group you are in from the sections above - a mom/pop owner or a PM.  Do you have 5 or more listings?  If you do have 5 or more listings, do you want to use API integrations?  There are some PMs that don't for various reasons.

Once you've identified which type of user you are, start down the table above and hook up each item one by one.  Start with the Calendar and get that syncing in both directions with all channels.  Then configure your rates and rules and push those across the channels where possible.  Watch a booking come in and see how it looks and whether anything further needs to be done with it.  If you can push content, do that.

Finally, follow the links and dive deep into the other articles that we've referenced above.  Here they are again:

As you read and learn, you might find these other articles interesting as well: