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Property Management - PM Lock

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.

As you navigate the system, you'll notice a "PM Lock" indicator appear on bookings that have been remitted to the owner.  This article will help you understand what PM Lock is and how to use it.

What is PM Lock?

PM Lock is actually a very simple concept.  It's a flag on the booking that, when turned on, prevents the booking from updating any financial information.  This includes adding, changing or deleting any of the following:

  • Charges
  • Payments
  • Refunds
  • Fees
  • Expenses

Basically, while PM Lock is turned on, the booking will keep the above items fixed for all time.  It doesn't matter what type of booking it is or where it came from - the above items will not change.  This includes the following scenarios:

  • The OwnerRez interface will not allow you to edit these bookings - buttons are disabled
  • Channel API bookings (eg. from VRBO or Airbnb) will not update even if the channel pushes new updates for it
  • Channel Bridge import will skip over these bookings even if the charges are different and even if "overwrite financials" is turned on
  • If you're connected to OwnerRez via API, any API requests to change the above items will fail for these bookings

Why did we create this - what's the point?

Over time, we noticed that many PM had problems with old bookings reemerging with new balances because the booking would change in tiny ways.  A booking would be remitted to the owner, then months later some small unintended change would increase or decrease the charges (or fees or expenses) and the booking would show a new payout balance for the owner.  The next time a statement was generated for that owner, the old booking would appear on it with a small payout balance.  Everyone - both the PM and owner - would wonder what was going on.

The truth is - even if our financial code is perfect and never changes, there are many scenarios in which a booking can change slightly over time.  A channel could have calculated their fees wrong and months later be showing a slightly different balance.  You run Channel Bridge with too wide of a date range, which scoops up those changes, and suddenly your bookings are off again.

Often, a user's surcharge or fee settings in OwnerRez will change and then, accidentally, a bulk update (eg. PM > Batch Update or Channel Bridge) will update too many bookings with no way of putting them back like they were.  Maybe you wanted your new cleaning fee expense to only affect bookings moving forward, but it also updated 20 bookings from the past.  These accidents often change the owners' statements the next time they are generated and users are left to painstakingly go back and figure out how to put back what was there before - if it's even possible.

For a long time, we pushed users to use "starting date" criteria to precisely target where fees or commission settings changed, but that is an unrealistic expectation.  Fees and settings change over time, and it's extremely difficult to always adjust them in a way that is perfect relative to history.  In some cases, our settings do not offer starting date criteria at all.

We realized that we needed a "lock" of some kind to stop bookings from changing after the owner was paid out, and PM Lock was born.  PM Lock is not meant to tie your hands but to help you avoid accidents.

Setting and removing the lock

There is nothing magical about how PM Lock works.  As mentioned above, it's simply a flag that tells the booking to not allow any financial changes to be made.  And you're completely in the driver's seat!

If you want to make changes, you can remove the lock at any time.  You can also set the lock at any time.

To set the lock manually, go to the PM tab of the booking, click the Change button and look for that option.

Select it, click Save and the booking will go into PM Locked mode.  To unlock it, go in reverse - change the PM settings again and deselect the checkbox.

After PM Lock is turned on, the booking will show indicators for it in several places.  On the booking overview page, the Status field will show a label for PM Locked if the lock is turned on.  There's a handy "unlock" link right next to it to quickly remove it.

PM Lock can be set and removed:

  • on the PM tab of the Booking, as described above
  • on the Charges and Transactions tabs of a Booking
  • And, there is a special Batch Update for PM Lock now to set/remove them in bulk
PM Lock is also automatically set on any Booking when the booking is fully remitted on an owner statement.  This prevents unexpected changes that would affect statements you've already sent to your owners.