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Default Country Option Added to Account Culture Settings, Google Vacation Rentals For All Coming Soon!

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Why is Friday a happy day?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Because the next day is a sadder day... we couldn't resist! Jump for joy (and you'll see why below) into our latest product update that's all about our March 6th release with 18 updates, including a new default country option to account Culture settings.

But first, possibly the month's biggest release news is a Coming Soon update... that's right, we've updated Google Vacation Rentals' status in the changelog and this product update (below) as "coming soon." It will emerge from private beta into public beta sometime later this month!

New Features

Default Country Added to Culture Settings

OwnerRez users are not all located in the United States. Or their properties or most guests who book with them aren't. So to have the Country dropdown better reflect the needs of the user and/or their guests, we've added a setting to be able to adjust that. This new setting will help those needing their country setting to not default to the United States.

Following the October 2023 release of the Upgraded International Phone Number Input, we wanted to build on that effort and tie in the country dropdown selector and make it configurable.

You can now set Default Country which will change the default country used in OwnerRez dropdown lists. OwnerRez defaulted it based on certain factors from your existing account, but you can tweak it if necessary.

Users can change their account culture default country setting by navigating to Settings > Branding & Legal > Culture > Change.

When users add new guests to their account, we now reflect the default country setting, for the international-friendly phone number input, and place that country at the top of the country dropdown list. Here is a user-facing form (i.e., in-app) with Italy set as the default country under Culture settings.

New OwnerRez User Default Country

These default country settings have been added to the various in-app areas (i.e., where phones/addresses are entered) and all guest-facing forms.

OwnerRez will also now attempt to detect if the guest is from a different country. Some browsers block that, so it OwnerRez can't detect the location, it will show the default country setting. Here is a guest-facing form with Italy still set as the default country.

Give this a try if you need it for your business or guests, and let us know how it's going for you out on the OwnerRez Forums!

Enhancements & Tweaks

Country Selector Added to Phone Number Field on Create Account and Setup Pages

Back in October, when we did the phone number input internationalization work, we left out a couple of spots. Well, we've circled back to those spots, and now when a new user signs up for OwnerRez, we automatically detect their country based on the phone number they enter, or if they select their country's country code first, we go off that. Then, when they select the country dropdown, their country is placed at the top of the drop-down list, making it that much quicker to get a new account going.

International-friendly Phone Number Input for New OwnerRez Initial Account Setup

The chosen country (phone country code) is carried through to the start of the Setup Wizard.

Bug Fixes

Do Not Match Vrbo Inquiries to Disconnected Channels. Some Vrbo inquiries were incorrectly matched to disconnected Vrbo API channels rather than the correct Vrbo API-connected channel. We fixed this glitch to ensure Vrbo inquiries match the proper Vrbo API-connected channel.

Extract Arrival/Departure Dates Properly From Availability Search Widget. Some Availability Search widgets were not correctly populating arrival and departure dates in search results. OR resolved this bug so that Availability Search widgets will correctly populate arrival and departure dates in search results. 

Fix Attempted Quote Creation for an Inquiry When No Dates are Provided. Some inquiries attempted to generate a quote for an inquiry without the required travel dates. We corrected this issue so that quotes will not be generated for inquiries without travel dates.

Fix Duplicating QuickBooks Payment Mapping Records. Due to a lack of duplicate payment checks, some QuickBooks users encountered duplicate payment mapping records. OR fixed this bug and instituted additional validation checks that will refuse to match Payment to QuickBooks if duplicate records exist.

Fix Email Failure Due to Mismatched Branded Portal. This edge case occurred when an email failed to send due to a mismatched branded portal. We resolved this glitch, and mismatched portal branding domains will be detected before users attempt to configure email templates and create triggers to send the email.

Fix Pricing Item Incompatibility With Airbnb API:

  • Pass-through Taxes.  The newest Airbnb API version no longer supports the EligibleForPassThroughTaxes . All remaining usages have been updated to reference the new pass_through-taxes_collection_type.
  • Weekly/monthly Discounts. The newest Airbnb API version no longer supported the weekly_price_factor and monthly_price_factor fields, resulting in any discounts set for exactly 7 or 28 days, wouldn't correctly be passed to Airbnb. OR corrected this issue, and any discounts set for exactly 7 or 28 days will be correctly passed to Airbnb.

Fix Unpublish Error on Non-Airbnb Properties. Following last month's Airbnb API Updates for Photos, Security Deposit Options, and Unpublishing Reasons release, some users who attempted to unpublish non-Airbnb properties received errors. We quickly put out a hotfix to ensure users can properly unpublish non-Airbnb properties.

Fix Vrbo Listing Import Failures. Due to changes made by Vrbo, some users encountered only partial Vrbo listing imports or import failures. OR corrected the process so that users can perform the Vrbo Listing Import process properly.

Only PM Lock Bookings on Lynnbrook Refundable Damage Deposit Release if There are Fees. Before fees could be applied, PM Locks were incorrectly applied to bookings with Lynnbrook Refundable Damage Deposit Releases. We resolved this bug, and PM Locks will not be applied to bookings with Lynnbrook Refundable Damage Deposit Releases before fees are applied.

Properly Assign Pre-existing Vrbo Message Threads to Bookings. Occasionally, Vrbo inquiry message threads with different inquiry IDs for the inquiry and subsequent booking caused a failure to match the Vrbo message threads to the reservation. OR corrected this glitch to ensure that pre-existing Vrbo message threads will be assigned appropriately to bookings.

Reset Account Suspension Alerts When Balance is Paid. Some accounts received incorrect account suspension alerts despite the user already having paid the balance due. We fixed this bug, and account suspension alerts will be sent in the proper sequence.

Send Guest's Chosen Display Name to Vrbo for Reviews. Instead of sending the different display names for guests who opted to choose a different display name instead of their real name for direct booking reviews, we mistakenly sent guests' real names (first name, last name initial only) for direct booking reviews to Vrbo. OR corrected this glitch to send the accurate display names to Vrbo for guests who opted to add a different display name instead of their real name for direct booking reviews.

Update Account Theme Editor Help Text. Following the November 2023, My Account Restructure and Menu Changes release, we needed to update the OwnerRez account theme editor help text to reflect the change from profile to account owner language. We changed the account theme editor help text from "Leave blank to use account first/last name." to "Leave blank to use account owner first/last name."

Google Vacation Rentals Private Beta Coming Soon:

  • Fix Error Caused by Stay Date Criteria on Extra Guest Charges. We encountered a rates API formatting issue that resulted in failing to correctly push extra guest charges to Google Vacation Rentals (GVR). OR resolved this rates API formatting bug, and extra guest charges will be correctly pushed to GVR.
  • Send Alert if Property is Not Included in Hosted Website. Hosted Website properties marked as not viewable did not correctly receive an alert when they were GVR API-connected. We resolved this issue by checking property URLs when generating the GVR feed and generating a sync error if a property URL is missing.