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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.

Missing bookings - why are certain bookings showing on statements?

When you create owner statements and PM statements, it is common for the statement to not contain as many bookings as you thought there would be.  There are a number of valid reasons this can occur, and it's important to know how to handle this.  Bookings do not magically disappear from statements out of the blue.  There is always a specific calculated reason why the system includes or excludes them.  You just have to figure out what that is.  To understand the various scenarios, please read our support article on missing bookings.

Extra bookings - there are too many bookings showing 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 statements

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.

I want to edit the owner statement template.

Use "themes" to customize the header or footer of your owner statements.  Go to Settings > Theming and drill into the account theme you want to use.  Then scroll to the bottom where it shows the Owner Statements header/footer section.

You can edit those to say whatever you want, add a logo, etc.  You can also use field codes to make them dynamic to the owner or date.  For instance, you could make the top of each statement show your logo, the owners name and the statement month and year like: "Statement for Jane Doe for Month 20XX". You would enter the below in the edit screen and format it to have the font, size, etc. that you want.

ShenRent logo
Owner Statement for {ONAME}

Then, click Save and go to the PM module area and view an existing, or create, an Owner Statement (then to preview use the Print Statement button). The above on the statement looks like this:

I need to be able to send Owner statements to more than one email address.

You can also do this by using a custom email template for your owner statements.  Owners can still only have one email address, but the way around this is to create a custom email template for each such owner, that can then be configured to be sent to multiple specific email addresses.  To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Templates and create an email template of type "Owner Statement"
  • Name it something specific to that owner like "Statement email for John & Mary Smith LLC" so that it's clear
  • In the TO email address field of the statement, put the multiple email addresses where it should go.  You can comma separate as many as you want.
  • Finish the template and save.
  • Go to that owner record in the PM menu > then Preferences > select the new email template in the drop-down as the template they should get when statements are sent out.
If you do this for all the owners that need multiple addresses to receive statements, you can then use the Batch > Send Email button on the owner statements grid to blast them all at once, and they will each get the correct email(s).

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.

How can I show surcharges (e.g. cleaning fee) and taxes to owners?

You can configure custom columns on owner statements that will show exact surcharge and tax amounts from bookings.  And for tax amounts, you can select each type of tax.  Like all custom columns, you can choose your own name and description to show to the owner.  You can rearrange column order as well.

Let's use Cleaning Fee as an example.  In your custom view, add a column and scroll down the list to the bottom.  You'll see a new set of columns called "Specific Surcharge" where you can select any of your surcharges.

These surcharges are exactly the same as the surcharges you've configured in your rates settings but only those surcharges with a mapped fee category are shown.  And the fee category itself is shown, not the surcharge description.  So if your surcharge is called "Housekeeping" but it's mapped to a Cleaning Fee category, this list of columns will show "Cleaning Fee".  Same with pet, additional guests, and all the other types of fee categories.

Right under that, you'll notice a list of the taxes from your account.  You can select taxes as custom columns as well, so that you owners can see a break-down of each type of tax in addition to the totals.

Once you've added a few surcharge and tax columns, go preview a quick owner statement and notice how it looks.

Those columns will show the exact amounts for your surcharge and taxes based on whatever the booking charges were at the time the statement was generated.

I gave my owners monthly statements, but now I want to see data for the entire year to give a full-year summary.

You can generate a full-year report using the PM Owner Statement Bookings and PM Owner Statement Expenses reports.

Last month's statement for an owner was negative - will that carry over and be deducted from next month's statement for that owner?

No, each statement stands alone.  If you have a negative owner statement, you can either have the owner send you the money and record a negative payment to them, or, you can wait until the next positive month, work out the balance due, send it to them, and record that as a payment.

I'm configuring my PM statements, and I'm unclear on what the Booking Expenses options mean.

Follow General Expense criteria (where is the general expense criteria located?)
The "General Expenses" is the group of options immediately above the "Booking Expenses". A booking expense is an expense that is directly connected with a booking, while a General Expense is an expense that is NOT connected to any booking (a regular maintenance expense, for example).

Only include if the booking is remitted and the expense occurred as of the statement date
This option tells the statement to only show expenses that happened (are dated) before the date of the statement AND only if the booking that the expense is related to is included on the current or a prior statement. In other words, expenses for future bookings would not be included on the statement.

Include in the booking is remitted no matter when the expense occurred
This option tells the statement to show any expense no matter the date of the expense or the booking, as long as it hasn't been included on any prior statement.

How can I see a running balance due to my owners?

At present, we don't have a balance report per se, but you can use the Multiple Payouts interface to see the balance of each owner (including those with negative balances).

My owners' Dashboard display does not match their Statement!

The report on the owner dashboard, accessible via Portal Access shows bookings by owner revenue (includes unpaid charges), while the PM Owner Statement shows what is paid out to the owner. These are not the same thing.