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Property Management - Common Issues & Questions

Our Property Management feature allows you to track expenses and calculate commission/earnings for owners that you manage on behalf of. Read about it in our our Property Management Overview article.

This article provides a list of common questions and answers about Property Management that are not covered elsewhere.

Owner amount graph shown in the Portal Access dashboard

That graph that is shown to the owner inside their Portal Access dashboard uses the Owner Amount figure that is calculated on each booking.  But it's prorated to use the number of nights of the Booking that are within the month being shown.  This means that for a Booking that stretches across two months, the numbers displayed will not be the same as what is visible in the Booking Charges tab.

Here is an example of what the graph looks like to owners:

In each month column, the total amount shown is the sum of all Bookings that occurred during that month. If the amount does not match your records, please remember the following:

  • Bookings that overlap the month are prorated for the number of days within the month period.  In the above example, a October-November booking (i.e. arrive in October, leave in November) would only partially be reflected in each of the October and November columns.
  • Future months will only show payments that have been recorded.  Some channel bookings may not remit payments until a future date, which would change what is currently shown.
  • The Owner Amount number is what is used, not the total charges or gross amounts that you see elsewhere on the booking.  The Owner Amount is the total remittance the owner will have gotten for the booking.  Check the PM tab under each booking to see what that amount is.

How do I update bookings after changing expense or commission settings?

When you change settings on a surcharge or owner, that won't automatically update all of the existing bookings. This is because sometimes you make changes over time and you don't want to update to existing bookings. If you have a $50 cleaning expense now and it's going up to $70 for bookings arriving next year, you don't want to make the change on all of the old bookings.

Instead, we have a batch update tool where you can update bookings to use the current settings. Go to PM > Batch Update. If you've already got bookings connected to an owner, pick "Update all bookings whether already managed or not" and target the stay dates and properties that need to be updated. This will update all of those bookings to use the current expense settings on surcharges and also settings on the owner.

NOTE: this may take a long time since you've got a lot of bookings, sometimes 10 or 20 minutes. Just hit the button once and let it spin, don't try again.

If you've already created a statement for these bookings that need to be corrected to the new settings, go to the statement and delete it and then create (or preview) a new one. Statements are static once created and never change based on settings updates.

Why aren't bookings showing on the owner statement?

It's important to understand how owner statement generation works and why bookings are (or are not) included.  There are several things the system looks at when including or excluding bookings.

If you're wondering why a booking is missing, ask yourself the following:

  • Does the booking have PM turned on?  If you recently enabled the PM feature at large, there may be pre-existing bookings that do not have PM turned on at the booking level.  By default, pre-existing bookings do not have PM turned on automatically if they were created prior to PM being turned on.  This is a safety precaution to stop hundreds of old bookings from being picked up on new statements.  You can go to any booking, click the PM tab on the far right and change it to turn PM on or off for that booking only.  You can also use the Batch Update under the PM menu to turn on bookings in bulk.
  • Does the booking's stay dates (arrival, departure) match the selected criteria for the statement?  When generating the statement, you can select all bookings, only bookings up to the statement date or a specific range of bookings.  The booking's arrival or departure may be outside the statement criteria.
  • Does the booking have any charges?  If there are no line items, no earnings will have been calculated for the owner.
  • Does the booking have any payments recorded?  Even if there are charges on the booking, the system checks to make sure that payments have been made.  If there are no payments, the system assumes you have not been paid and excludes the booking from the statement.  After all, you don't want to remit money to the owner if the guest hasn't actually paid you yet.  NOTE: Airbnb and other channels sometimes don't show payout right away which lead to bookings not having payments entered.
  • Are the payments inside the statement period or future-dated?  Even if payment are entered, the system will exclude the booking if the payments are future-dated.  This is a safeguard in case you recorded a payment for the future but haven't actually received the money yet.  This is common with channels like TripAdvisor or Airbnb that have future payouts recorded.  If the statement is for January, but the payments are recorded as being in February or March, the January statement will not include the booking because you haven't actually been paid yet.  When February or March rolls around, those statements will pick up the booking from January.
  • Has the booking already been remitted as much as it can?  Remittance is tracked on every booking in addition to the commission and earning numbers.  The system notices what was already remitted in the past.  The missing booking may have already been picked up on a past statement and so there is no open remittance balance to include on the current statement you are working on.
  • Is it actually a booking or a blocked-off time?  Only bookings can be included on owner or PM statements.  Blocked-off times do not generate any commission or earning numbers.
  • Did you specifically exclude that booking when previewing the statement?  When previewing statements, there is a checkbox next to each row and the ability to exclude bookings manually.  If you're previewing a statement, make sure you didn't exclude some bookings by accident.

The vast majority of the time, if a booking isn't showing up on a statement, one of the above issues is the problem.

Extra bookings or expenses showing up on statements

When you create owner statements and PM statements, it is common for bookings or expenses to show up that you may not want included on that particular statement.  There are a number of valid reasons this can occur, and it's important to know how to handle this.  In some cases, when extra bookings are showing up, this indicates that the booking should be "un-managed" entirely or the owner timeline (ie. the period of time the owners owns the property) needs to be adjusted.  In other cases, the booking can be left in "managed" mode, but you still don't want it appearing on the statement.  To understand the various scenarios, please read our support article on extra bookings and expenses showing on statements.

Canceled bookings are showing up on the statement

The fact that a booking is canceled does not automatically exclude it from statements.  Read our support on extra bookings and expenses showing on statements which contains a section about canceled bookings

My contract with one owner calls for different commission percentages for his different properties, can I do that?

Sure!  You can set the commission on the property configuration page.  Go to PM > Configuration and note that each property can have its own commission settings, even if it's the same owner.

How do I see an owner's escrow balance?

We currently do not have a standalone report for showing owner balances.  However, you can generate a preview statement for all future dates to see that. So go to Owner Statements > Create > select the owner and select all future dates under booking options > then click Preview option. This would generate a full report of unremitted future money being held.

Airbnb and other channel bookings are excluding fee amount when calculating commission

>You might notice that the commission seems slightly lower than it should on some bookings, particularly those that come through a channel.  And if you study the Net for Commission amount on those bookings, you'll notice that the difference is exactly equal to the channel fee (or host fee) that is recorded on the booking.

This is because OwnerRez, by default, removes the fee amount when calculating commission to "give back" that portion of the commission to the owner.  Consider a $1,000 booking that has a $50 channel fee and no taxes.  Your agreement with the owner gives you 10% commission on the booking.  Since the booking in this case is $1,000, that means your commission is $100, right?  Actually no, because the channel charged $50 as a fee, so the booking total was only $950 making your commission $95.

If you dislike this calculation model, you can change it so that the commission is charged on the gross and not deducted from the fee.  To do that, go to the booking > Transactions tab > scroll down to the Fees area and click on the channel fee.  You'll see a window open with some settings.  Change the bottom one to "Don't deduct commission (calculate on gross)" and save.

This will instantly recalculate the commission breakdown on the booking.  If you go to the booking's PM tab, you'll see this.  If the booking was already remitted to the owner, the next owner statement will pick up the change.  Or you can delete the statement and re-run it.

To make sure all future channel fees do the same thing, go to the owner record under the global PM area and set the channel fees to never deduct commission from fees.  Remember that changing global settings will not update pre-existing bookings.  Those have to be done on a booking by booking basis or by using the PM > Batch tools.

Channel fee expenses and commissions

First off, what are channel or "host" fees? These are fees charged to you, the account holder, either by a channel such as Airbnb or Vrbo or a payment processor such as Stripe. Those fees are shown on the Fees grid on the Transactions tab of a booking. Stripe is currently the only card processor that will automatically send fee data, other card processors would have to be recorded manually. Airbnb, Vrbo, TripAdvisor, and booking.com all send host fee data.

OwnerRez does accounting a little bit differently than you may be used to with other systems because it's designed from the ground up to handle many different commission models. The charges and transactions shown on the Charges and Transactions tabs of a booking, respectively, are the gross amount paid by the guest including any credit card fees or host fees charged to you by the channel or processor. For example, if you have a $100 payment that Stripe charges 3% to process, you'll see a payment amount of $100 and a Stripe Fee of $3. You won't see a payment of $97. Host fees charged by channels are dealt with the exact same way -- for an Airbnb reservation of $300, you'll see a $300 payment and a $9 host fee, not a payment of $291.

In the settings for each owner, you control how those channel fees are billed back to the owner. You can control both the fee itself, and also the commission portion. We'll use the example of the $300 Airbnb booking with a $9 host fee and 20% commission below to demonstrate the effect of the options. On the charges tab, the 20% commission will be calculated on the entire $300 for a starting amount of $60 in commission.

For the fee expense, you have the following options:

  • Pre-deduct -- an expense is created to deduct from the owner, but it's removed from owner revenue before it's shown on the statement. For the example booking, $9 would be deducted from owner revenue before it is shown on the owner statement.
  • Reimbursed -- an expense is created to deduct from the owner and that expense is shown on the statement. For the example booking, a $9 Airbnb Host Fee expense would be shown and reimbursed on the owner statement.
  • PM pays channel fees -- no expense is created to deduct the amount from the owner, you pay out the full amount. This is rare, but can be used with commission calculated on gross.

For the commission, you have the following options:

  • Calculated on owner amount -- The commission for the host fee will be deducted from the starting commission. For the example booking with $9 host fee and 20% commission, this would deduct $1.80 from the commission for a resulting commission of $58.20.
  • Calculated on gross -- Don't deduct commission at all, just use that starting amount

Here's a breakdown so you can see the results of each combination of channel fee options for this example $300 booking with a $9 Airbnb Host Fee:

Expense Setting Commission Setting Commission Owner Revenue Expense Owner Net PM Net
Pre-deduct Owner Amount 58.20 232.80   232.80 67.20
Reimbursed Owner Amount 58.20 241.80 9.00 232.80 67.20
PM pays Owner Amount 58.20 241.80   241.80 58.20
Pre-deduct Gross 60.00 231.00   231.00 69.00
Reimbursed Gross 60.00 240.00 9.00 231.00 69.00
PM Pays Gross 60.00 240.00   240.00 60.00

Once you choose the settings you want for each owner, use the PM > Batch Update For Commission tool to update any existing bookings to match.

How do I set multiple owners for one property?

At present, OwnerRez does not support multiple owners for one property.

However, it is possible to set up emails to be sent to multiple addresses, which may be a way to accomplish what you actually need.  This is done by creating a custom email template that (itself, on the template) has multiple email addresses in the TO field.

  • Go to the Templates are and create a new Owner Statement template.
  • Set the TO on the email template to "{OSOWNEREMAIL}; additional@email.com" etc.
  • Configure that owner to use that template moving forward, in that owner's Preferences.  That will make sure the owner's statements go to their email address, plus any additional ones you added to the template.
  • Make sure that the template is not used for any other owners!

What happens if the wrong owner is assigned to the property or if the property changes ownership?

If you notice it right away you can delete that owner and add in the correct owner. If you have added the second owner and the first is still in there then you will need to go to Property - Owner Configuration. Delete the owner that has the delete button next to the name (this may be the correct owner but you need to delete them first), then click the Delete button by Owner Configuration. You can now go and assign the correct owner to the property.

Exclude money showing as owed to Owners that have already been paid

Under the Properties - Owner Configuration - Change there is a box for Effective Date. You will want to put in the start date for when Owner reports should begin processing payouts. Next, you will go to your Owner Statement and click on the Booking that should be excluded and follow these steps:

  • Click on the PM tab
  • Click on Change
  • Uncheck Yes, this booking is managed and generates commission (this will now exclude it from showing in the report)
  • Click Save

If you previewed the Owner Statement then just re-run the preview and the old Booking should drop off of the report. If you created a statement then you will need to delete and re-run the statement.

I want to edit the email template used for sending statements to owners.

OwnerRez includes a default email template for this purpose. You can't edit it, but you can replace it by creating email templates for owner statements.  Then, assign them to each owner so that each owner has their own type of template.

To do this, go to Settings > Email Templates and create a template of type "Owner Statement".  Save it, and  go to PM > Owners.  Select the owner you want to use it, click the Change button, click the Preferences tab, and select your new template from the Preferred Email selector.

At the time of sending the owner statement, you can also select from the templates you've created as well.

Once you have a statement set for each owner, you can use the Batch > Send Email function to email all of the statements out at one go and each one will use the correct template for that owner.

One of my owners sold their property to another owner, how do I handle bookings that overlap the ownership change?

At present OwnerRez cannot automatically prorate payouts for a booking that is split between two owners. Currently, only one owner per booking is supported.

Instead, add expenses as needed to the owners to make the adjustment. For the owner associated with the booking, add an expense with a negative amount to offset the amount paid to the other owner. And for the owner not associated with the booking, add an expense with a negative amount to remit the correct amount to them as well.