Experience the difference of "Elite".

Channel Improvements, Cleaning Triggers, and Improved Sidebar Menu Behaviors!

  • Posted on
  • By

Happy International Women's Day! 💚 Oh wait--that was yesterday?! 🤦‍♀️

We were so into National Procrastination Week that it slipped right by us! In all seriousness, OwnerRez would like to honor and celebrate the vacation rental industry achievements of women.

We recognize the importance of gender diversity and women's contributions to the travel and technology industries. International Women's Day reminds us to reflect on progress made toward gender equality and the work that still needs to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities and representation in the workplace. We believe that empowering and supporting women in tech is the right thing to do and leads to better innovation and more successful businesses. A special nod to those on our team here at OwnerRez!

P.S. Don't go back to procrastinating just yet. Please read on for the 18 updates from our March 8th product release -- a bunch of channel listing enhancements, cleaning trigger additions, improved sidebar menu behaviors, and more.

Enhancements & Tweaks

Channel Listing Clarifications For Publishing

In OwnerRez, it was sometimes unclear how to publish listings or tell if listings were published. We improved the published status in these ways:

  • For channels where we can publish the listing (Airbnb and TripAdvisor), if the listing is inactive, we now show "Unpublished" in the status label.
  • For Airbnb, where we track if it was ever published, we make the label red if it was never published.
  • For inactive Vrbo listings, we now show a (?) in the label with a popover that points them to the Vrbo adding a new listing article.

For Airbnb and Tripadvisor, we have clarified the process of publishing a property listing by breaking up the drop-down list into two drop-down lists, one for Change Property Mappings and one for Change Listing Status.

The Change Property Mappings drop-down list now only includes the following.

  • Connect Properties
  • Change Sync Mode
  • Disconnect Properties

The example below details the Change Property Mappings drop-down list on an Airbnb listing.

Airbnb Change Property Mappings

The new Change Listing Status drop-down list allows users to either Publish or Unpublish their listing, as detailed in this TripAdvisor example. Note: on Airbnb, you can also Delete (but be careful with that one!).

TripAdvisor Change Listing Status

This new drop-down list is available for Airbnb and TripAdvisor API-integrated Channels since both support these listing status features.

Learn more by reading our API Integrations Overview support article.

Channel Listing Security Deposit Updates

Lost TV remote? Broken window? Besides our Damage Protection program, security deposits provide a way to guarantee that you'll be able to cover any damages. Vrbo API-connected properties have been able to specify whether the security deposit is included in the Guest Charges and displayed during guest checkout for a while now. Or you could choose the option to just mention it in your house rules and have your totals display less. As long as the specific listing site supports it, OwnerRez has implemented the same security deposit display options for other API-connected listing sites.

The enhanced security deposit display options are now available in OwnerRez on the API settings page for each. First up will likely be Florida Rentals.

  • Emerald Coast By Owner
  • Florida Rentals
  • getawayGoGo
  • GuestSmiles
  • HomeToGo

Note: these channels will have to add support on their side to reflect the setting accordingly.

When connecting (or editing) any of these API connections, users can select the following from the Security Deposit section within the Credit Card Payments section.

Schedule a security deposit using OwnerRez property rules by clicking the checkbox.

  • Select one of the following:
    • Include the Security Deposit in the listing channel guest charges.
    • Don't show in the listing channel guest charges. Instead, I have stated the security deposit hold and amount in my house rules.

The above channels' API settings page security deposit sections are identical except for the listing channel name. See this example from Florida Rentals.

API Connected Channel Security Deposit

Want to learn more? Read our Security Deposits Overview support article.

Houfy Now Syncing/Importing Reviews

OwnerRez users work extremely hard to get reviews. And if you're like most users, you ask your guests to post reviews after every booking, but only a tiny fraction do. Building a good list of reviews can take a long time, and the more you have them, the stronger your reputation (and easier your marketing) gets.

Having your reviews displayed on your API-connected channels adds to the legitimacy of your vacation rental! We're pleased to announce that one more channel is syncing/importing your OwnerRez reviews to their channel--Houfy! HOUFY derived its name from "HOUse For You." Not only is Houfy currently free from service fees for both hosts and guests, but it is a platform for book-direct vacation rentals, with over 55,000 properties worldwide.

Houfy

While setting up (or editing) their Houfy account, OwnerRez users now have the option to Include Reviews.

Houfy Include Reviews

Interested in learning more? Watch our Houfy Setup & Connecting support video.

Improved Sidebar Menu Behaviors

OwnerRez keeps getting better and better! Last week we rolled out our new Ribbon Calendar with the nifty navigation handle, and this week we've subtly improved the in-app sidebar menus' behaviors!

At the bottom of the page, notice how the lower left hover link moves to the right when you hover in the lower left side of the menu when it would previously block other menu item selections. See how the scrollbar snaps to the center when you click on the upper or lower menu items in the sidebar menus? Previously you might select a menu item, and it would scroll the sidebar menu would snap to where the thing you were on was no longer in view. Subtle, but much better!

Inproved Sidebar Menu Scrolling

Keep in mind that these sidebar menu behaviors may act differently depending on your device, browsers, operating system and display resolution.

OwnerRez Updated to Newer Airbnb API Version

One of the most powerful advantages of using OwnerRez is utilizing our channel management API connections with large Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Airbnb. In this release, we updated our Airbnb API to a newer version under the hood providing our users with a range of benefits, such as improved performance and enhanced security.

Airbnb

Learn more by reading our Airbnb Overview support article.

Cleaning Date Event Trigger Additions

Triggers?! Who doesn't love a trigger? Users can schedule their custom Messaging Templates to send by using the Trigger feature to determine when it will be sent. You can configure the Trigger to send the Template a certain number of days before/after arrival or when a specific event occurs.

Users can set their triggers by navigating to Settings > Messaging > Triggers.
Navigating to TriggersClick on Create Trigger.

Create Trigger

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you say. We all know how to create triggers... But has anyone ever experienced the agony of ensuring that cleaners are aware of any booking changes affecting cleaning dates? Or maybe the Owner needs to know when their property will be cleaned, especially before or after blocked-off time? OwnerRez has addressed this by adding two new triggers to the list of trigger event types!

Presenting the Blocked-Off Time cleaning date changed event trigger.

Blocked-Off cleaning date changed trigger

And the Booking cleaning date changed.

Booking cleaning date changed

Users may also notice that the option to allow the Trigger to send multiple instances of a message was removed. Why? Because it was confusing to users, especially since we had language stating it was "not recommended." We discussed this internally at length and ultimately decided event-based triggers should always fire, even if it is multiple times during a booking.

Learn more by reading our Email Templates support article.

Bug Fixes

Accept Vrbo Surcharge Amount on Booking Even if Amount is 0 in OwnerRez. OwnerRez experienced an edge case where a Vrbo booking crashed due to an incorrect surcharge added. OwnerRez has corrected this bug to accept and validate Vrbo's booking surcharge amounts even if the amount is 0 as long as the surcharge is a positive number and a discount only if a negative number.

Enhance Permission Denied Impersonate Page. OwnerRez users designated as staff (mostly property management staff) and regular OR users using multiple accounts through portal and team accounts received permission denied errors during the Impersonate process. We streamlined the permission error process to redirect to the login page (instead of displaying the error page) with a message that their currently logged-in account doesn't have access to do that, and they need to log in to their primary account.

Fix Crash in LQA When a Tax Has Per Property ID, But None Are Populated. The Listing Quality Analyzer was experiencing a crash when taxes were applied to an account with no property ID attached to the tax. This bug has been corrected.

Fix Issue Where Inquiry Email Subject Wasn't Using the User Culture Setting. It was brought to our attention that a customer-facing {IDES} inquiry field code for dates in inquiry emails was not rendering the user culture setting correctly. This bug has been corrected so that the {IDES} inquiry field code for dates in inquiry emails will render and display according to the users' culture settings.

Remove Bambora, now Worldline, Test Charge Support. OwnerRez used to support testing credentials on payments provider Worldline by charging a test card and checking their response for "Card type not accepted." The expected response from Wordline on testing payment credentials has changed, and the test function is not currently working. Until we learn more, we have disabled charge testing on Worldline.

Render og:image by Default for Hosted Website Property Pages. When some users shared their OwnerRez Hosted Websites, we noticed that the property image was rendered incorrectly and only text was displayed. All OwnerRez Hosted Websites have a specific property image, so we decided that the property image (og:image) should be rendered automatically.

Return HTTP 400 Status for OAuth app exceptions (instead of 500). If users submitted invalid data to the oauth post action, it resulted in a 500 server error. All the cases in which we throw an OwnerRezOAuthException are consumer errors, not server errors. We have corrected this to default that exception class to HTTP 400 instead of 500.

Set active=false on Listing Feed if Property is Unchecked in the Vrbo Property Mappings. A listing channel contacted OwnerRez regarding a few failed booking attempts for a specific listing. It was determined that the listing, initially included in the feed, was deactivated by the user in OwnerRez. That listing channel has added the additional validation to verify that if the listing isn't returned in the index, the listing will be considered inactive based on the listing index feed.

Update Braintree API to Latest Compatible. A new version of the payment processor Braintree's software development kit (SDK) with new security enhancements was released. We upgraded to the latest compatible version.

Update Partner Logos/Names for Worldline and PointCentralBambora has a new name, Worldline, and a new logo. PointCentral has a new logo. Worldline's name and Worldline's and PointCentral's logos have been updated inside our app and in support articles.

Use Channel Name (If set) vs. Company Name in Vrbo Feeds. After optimizing our Vrbo advertiser index feeds last fall, we noticed that Vrbo displayed company names rather than channel names (if set in OwnerRez). This bug has been corrected to always show the Channel Name (if set in OwnerRez) in Vrbo.

Validate Min Age on Property Import. While OwnerRez does validate the minimum age when editing amenities, we realized it was not checking to validate the minimum age upon property import. This bug has been corrected, and the minimum age will now be validated upon property imports to ensure it can't be set to less than 18 years.

4 Comments (add yours)

MB
Mar 9, 2023 9:13 PM
Joined Dec, 2018 23 posts

RE: Cleaning date: I could previously search by 'has cleaning date: yes or no' but that option is no longer visible since the calendar update. Am I missing it? It has created a lot of issues with my workflow to have that disappear on me ...

Ken T
Mar 9, 2023 9:20 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1406 posts

Yes, the new ribbon display is missing many of the filters that the old one had, but, they'll be added back in the next version.  In the meantime, you can revert back to the old ribbon with all its filters if that works better for you.

Shawn H
Mar 9, 2023 9:24 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 192 posts

Hello MB - if you're speaking of the Ribbon Calendar and if you need that particular filter, you can revert (or toggle between) the new ribbon and the legacy ribbon for now here: https://secure.ownerrez.com/account/preferences

Read up on the latest regarding the new Ribbon View here.

MB
Mar 10, 2023 2:33 PM
Joined Dec, 2018 23 posts

Thanks Shawn and Ken. I LOVE the new calendar-- it is so much easier on my old eyes. And thank you for letting me know I can toggle back and forth to access the filters I need.