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New Inquiry Triggers, Major Trigger Redesign, No More Platform Email for Booking.com, Improved Property Mapping Warnings Layout!

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Should we give a "trigger warning" on this one? Brace yourself... you read it correctly. This product update unleashes all the details of the new Inquiry Triggers (and Trigger UI redesign), and so much more from our February 14th release with 24 updates.

New Features

Inquiry Triggers Added

Historically, responding to inquiries was only possible by using Autoresponders. However, Autoresponders could only respond via email when the system had an email address to reply to. This left out Airbnb and Booking.com. And many users didn't even have any Autorepsonders configured. So, there was a pretty large messaging hole. Well... we've ushered in a new era of inquiry response options that now include channel (platform) and SMS message capabilities.

That's right, OwnerRez triggers can now send custom messaging templates automatically based on incoming inquiries - both by email and channel platform - which can help boost your response times, especially after hours when you might be getting your beauty rest.

We recommend every user set up at least one Inquiry trigger for responding on your behalf via Channel messaging.

Users can create an Inquiry Trigger by navigating to Settings > Messaging > Triggers > + Create Trigger > Event > Inquiry > and select Inquiry is received.

Trigger . Event > Inquiry is received

Inquiry Triggers can be configured with various Condition statuses, including Inquiry Statuses:

  • Available and Quotable
  • Unavailable
  • Rule Violation

Other Inquiry status options include:

  • Contains a Comment
  • Email Address on File Status
  • Adjacent Available Nights Status

Users should note that the trigger will match all inquiries if no criteria are specified.

Conditions > Inquiry Status

Many users will want to use this new functionality to answer on their behalf "after hours." You can do just that by setting up "Received after" and "Received before" conditions:

Inquiry Trigger Action options include the following (like Autoresponders had):

  • Create a quote
  • Mark the inquiry as answered is the default action
  • Mark the inquiry as read

Inquiry Trigger Action

Users will need to create their own Inquiry email, channel, or SMS template types by selecting Inquiry from the + Create Email, SMS, or Channel Template dropdown menu.

Select Inquiry from the + Create Email, SMS or Channel Template dropdown menu

As part of this release, existing Autoresponders have been retired in favor of triggers. Users that had Autoresponders configured have already been contacted by email with instructions.

Read the Inquiry Triggers section of the Triggers support article to learn more.

Enhancements & Tweaks

Triggers Redesign

Now, you might be telling yourself, "That inquiry trigger setup screen looked different than what I'm used to!" You are correct in having that thought. The configuration screen (or interface) you see for Inquiry Triggers is the same one for any Trigger type you set up going forward.

The more we worked on Inquiry Triggers, the more it became clear that the entire triggers interface was due for a redesign. The goal was to simplify how things were laid out and make it easier to see what's included in each configuration section without everything being available simultaneously. No functionality has changed here, except for adding Inquiry Triggers under Immediate type. The main difference I'd like to point out is how it's laid out below.

Now, when you click on Create, all trigger configuration sections fit "above the fold" on the desktop view, making it easier to understand how a trigger is configured. This is what the Immediate (i.e. as soon as an event occurs) trigger-type setup looks like. See how much more concise it is?

Similarly, this is what the Scheduled Time (i.e., when a period of time elapses relative to an event) trigger type looks like (just a little longer - due to the Retry options). Retry options moved up to be closer to the Action (literally!):

So, again, based on what "Type" you select, the interface adjusts with the available options.

Trigger Type

Based on the chosen type, you'll then pick which "Event" (i.e. time period and event that causes the trigger to take action) you want to use. If it's an Immediate trigger, you can pick from Booking, Blocked-Off Time, or now Inquiry events. If it's a Scheduled Time trigger you can select how many days before or after a Booking (is created, arrived, or departed) or a Blocked-Off Time (is created, has started, or has ended) and the time of day. 

One of the other noticeable changes is that Trigger Conditions combined several areas of the old interface together. You now add each condition you need individually, which helps keep a cleaner interface. Did you add a condition that you need to remove? You can click/tap the trashcan icon next to that condition.

Add or Remove Trigger Conditions (formerly Criteria)

Once you have your Conditions set how you need them, you must select the Action for that trigger to act on. Choices include sending an email, channel, or SMS message (based on the applicable custom templates for the trigger type and event selected).

The Action requires a matching template type to the type of Trigger you want to send. The help text will alert you to what Action type works. Plus, only the applicable and available templates will show when you select the dropdown.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that the Status (Is Enabled) checkbox has been removed. We determined it was not well placed, and it's a design element we plan to remove elsewhere. You can still enable/disable triggers from the Triggers grid. When a new trigger is saved, it is enabled by default. You can disable it by selecting the trigger and clicking Disable above the grid.

Check out how Triggers can help you get rave reviews on communication by reading the Triggers support article.

Property Mapping Warnings and Layout Improvements

When mapping properties to an API connection, OwnerRez has displayed key warnings or errors that prevent you from connecting those properties for a long time. Now, that display has changed a bit. Before there would be labels next to each other, making it hard to read if there were more than one or two. Instead of a wall of difficult-to-read individual yellow warning labels, the improved Property Mapping Warnings and Layout now includes clear hyperlinked text for each warning or error.

Property Mapping Warnings and Layout for all listing channelsUsers can check to see if they have any Property Mapping Warnings by navigating to Settings > Channels > API Integrations > their specific Listing Channel > Change Property Mappings. If all your properties are included for a specific API connection, you probably won't see any.

Platform Email Addresses No Longer Imported for Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo API-connected Bookings

Platform email addresses will no longer be imported for API-connected Airbnb, Booking.com (BDC), and Vrbo bookings. Why? Platform email addresses have always been problematic. While some listing channel platform email addresses worked fairly well, many did not. They created a lot of duplicate messages, stripped out links and formatting, truncated lines, and generally caused messaging mayhem.

Airbnb turned off the functionality last Fall. So this change mainly affected Vrbo and BDC, but some overall tidying was done for all three.

Platform Email Addresses No Longer Imported for API-connected Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo

How do I contact my guests if I no longer have the platform email address? OwnerRez recommends that all Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo API-connected users configure a channel template with an associated trigger to request a guest's full contact info (e.g., email address and phone number). This is already done for new accounts that connect via API. But it's good for all users to check their messaging.

OwnerRez recommends that users review their channel messaging templates (Settings > Messaging > Templates > Channel Templates) and triggers (Settings > Messaging > Triggers) to ensure they are sending the correct template to their guests across Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com. This can be done in place of or to augment other custom messages (e.g., email, SMS) sent on your behalf to the guest.

Automatic Channel Messaging Triggers on New Booking.com API-connections Added

As a fast follow-up to January's Booking.com Messaging Added to the Inbox release and since Booking.com (BDC) guest platform emails are no longer brought into OwnerRez for new BDC bookings, we added onto the channel messaging and trigger ("Request Renter Agreement for Channel Bookings via Channel Message") for new BDC bookings so that guests are asked for contact information as soon as bookings occur. OwnerRez already does this for new Airbnb and Vrbo API connections made, but now it also includes Booking.com API connections. Users will see the new trigger showing alongside the others in your Settings > Triggers list. If you already had this kind of channel trigger, that trigger listing site inclusion will say all. The screenshot below lists all three individually just to make the point clear.

Channel Messaging Trigger

NOTE: OwnerRez emailed those account users who didn't already have any message triggers configured to inform them that we skipped adding a channel trigger for their BDC bookings with further instructions.

Airbnb Transaction Sync Automatically Enabled for New API-connections

Once enabled, Airbnb Transaction Sync replaces the need for Channel Bridge for Airbnb transactions (e.g., payments, refunds) for future Airbnb bookings. All new Airbnb API connections will automatically have the Airbnb Transaction Sync enabled by default and have their Transaction Sync date set to the first day of January of the previous year (e.g. January 1, 2023). In a future release, we will be turning this on for all remaining existing users who haven't enabled it themselves. 

Airbnb Transaction Sync Enabled

Learn more by reading the Airbnb Transaction Sync support article.

Display Projected Fees for LynnbrookGroup Accounts in Net-Billing Mode

Lynnbrook Group has added support to send Net Billing transaction fee amounts for some customers by detecting the difference between settlementAmount and grossAmount from the createVisitorPayment to determine the Net Billing transaction fee.

  • If the payment method is Gross billing, the expected deposit date will be the 1st day of the following month after the payment date.
  • If the payment method is Net billing, the expected date for the fee will be the same expected deposit date as the transaction.

Bug Fixes

Do Not Allow Booking to be Deleted With Canceled Damage Protection. Deleted bookings that had paid for but canceled damage protection policies required manual refunds from OwnerRez. Deleted bookings is now disallowed if an invoiced or filed damage protection policy is in place; that way, a credit can be returned to the user automatically.

Fix Bug When Sending an SMS Message From a Template to a Guest That Also Has a Channel Booking. Some users who attempted to send a guest an SMS templated message in the conversation view encountered failures if the same guest also had a channel message thread. OR resolved this bug to ensure that users can send SMS-templated messages to guests with a channel message thread.

Fix the Broken "Configure" Link on Property Info After Enabling or Disabling a Property. The "configure" link next to First Payment section on the Property General Info page did not include the property ID, and clicking on the link resulted in an error. The "configure" link next to First Payment section on the Property General Info page now includes the property ID, and the link will work properly after re-enabling a property.

Fix Channel Tiles Misalignment When There are Coming Soon Channels. The in-app tiles of API integration listing channels were not displayed in proper alignment if Coming Soon listing channels were also displayed. OR fixed this issue so that all in-app tiles of API integration listing channels are displayed in proper alignment, no matter their coming soon status.

Fix Kaba Late Checkout Time. A user with a property API integrated with Kaba Door Lock with a multiple-mode user-level configuration encountered an incorrect checkout time during a booking with a late checkout time. We resolved this glitch, and API-integrated Kaba Door Lock properties with a multiple-mode user-level configuration will correctly generate door lock codes for bookings with late checkout times.

Fix Nightly Fees Rolled Into Rent for Listing/Property Search and Some Channels. Some users encountered nightly fee surcharges rolled into nightly rent displays for their property search widget with the rate range enabled and some affected listing channels. OR corrected this issue, and nightly fee surcharges will not be rolled into nightly rent displays for their property search widget with the rate range enabled, including affected listing channels.

Fix State/Province Display on Guest Autocomplete Form. The guest-facing forms' State/Province display was not properly toggling as expected when loading the guest form State/Province field. We fixed this glitch to ensure the appropriate State/Province field is the default display based on the guest country.

Handle Case When Importing From XLSX Where Google Sheets Munged the Date Value vs. Format Fields. Some users experienced import errors with Excel files due to changes in the Date Value vs. Format Fields when saved from Google Sheets. This fix ensures imports with Excel files saved from Google Sheets will import correctly.

Handle Duplicate Data in Airbnb Spot Rate Imports. A non-API-connected iCal user encountered Airbnb Spot Rate Import failures due to the insertion of duplicate dates when importing spot rates from Airbnb. We fixed this glitch, and Airbnb Spot Rate Import processes will be completed as expected.

Improve Template Enable/disable/delete. Deleted messaging templates were inadvertently disabled rather than deleted, but users could not edit or recover those "disabled" email templates. We fixed this so templates can be disabled, enabled, or deleted, or tell the user why they can't do the action they are attempting.

Only Show Hidden Payment Methods on Quotes to the User Who Created the Quote. Hidden payment methods were incorrectly displayed to Team Access Staff members who did not generate the quote for the hidden payment method. OR resolved this glitch by ensuring that hidden payment methods are shown only to the OR user who generated the quote.

Only Show "This is a preview of what the guest will see" on Guest Form to the User Who Created the Booking. Guest form previews were incorrectly displayed to some users, causing some confusion. We fixed this so guest form previews will only display "This is a preview of what the guest will see" to the user who created the booking and is previewing the forms.

Update Vrbo New Property Documentation to New Link. The link to "Add a New Vrbo Property" support article in-app was broken. It has now been replaced with the correct link.

Hubitat Lock Integration Private Beta:

  • Don't Filter Out Mid-stay Bookings Where Start/End Times are Outside the Filter Window. Hubitat Lock Integration mid-stay bookings' start/end times were incorrectly filtered out from daily background synchronization. OR corrected this issue, ensuring that Hubitat Lock Integration mid-stay bookings will be correctly synchronized to hubs.

Google Vacation Rentals Private Beta:

  • Disable Brand Editing Until After Properties are Fully "Recognized" by Google. Due to numerous Google Vacation Rental (GVR) Brand failures, the ability to add a GVR Brand will be disabled until users receive their first successful status check from GVR when the GVR Brand field is activated, allowing the user to configure their GVR Brand.
  • Improve Layout of Property Mapping Warnings in Preparation for "Self-service Turn-on." Property Mapping Warnings and Layouts have been improved in anticipation of the GVR self-service turn-on process.
  • Add New Landing Page Guest Form for Handling Channel Without a Hosted Website, in Preparation for "Self-service Turn-on." In anticipation of the GVR self-service turn-on process, OwnerRez has developed a guest form landing webpage to be used by OR users who do not have a Hosted Website.

16 Comments (add yours)

Scott J
Feb 21, 2024 3:39 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

There's a complication in this, in that when someone is starting to book on my website, I get notification of it being an inquiry.

I am not understanding why that is. But in this case, I don't want to have them sent a triggered response, not unless they abandon the booking.

Triggered responses to "abandoned cart" is standard for product sales. So I find it would be equally valuable to have "abandoned booking" trigger, which I don't see existing.


Scott J
Feb 21, 2024 3:47 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

Also, I'm not seeing a condition for time of day for the trigger to go off. This is important, as if I receive an inquiry during the daytime when I'm awake or not away, then I don't want a triggered response but to personally respond, oftentimes it's with a phone call.

Paul W
Feb 21, 2024 4:16 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

Also, I'm not seeing a condition for time of day for the trigger to go off. This is important, as if I receive an inquiry during the daytime when I'm awake or not away, then I don't want a triggered response but to personally respond, oftentimes it's with a phone call.

by Scott J – Feb 21, 2024 8:47 PM (UTC)

Hey Scott, that's a "Condition" on the trigger.  After selecting "inquiry received" as the event, add the condition "received after" time and set that to "8 pm", and then add the condition "received before" and put "6 am".  That will make it so that the trigger will only apply to inquiries received between 8 pm and 6 am.

Like this:

Scott J
Feb 21, 2024 4:28 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

I see that now, thanks, Paul.

There was some kind of glitch with my browser, I suppose, where even though I had selected Inquiry is Received, Booking is Created results were showing, so those time of day options weren't showing.

Could you also explain why an inquiry is triggered when someone is initiating a booking via my website, which uses the booking widget, and how I can prevent a message to them from being triggered in that case?

Also, is my website considered a channel, so that a channel trigger for an inquiry will work for that?

Paul W
Feb 21, 2024 4:29 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

There's a complication in this, in that when someone is starting to book on my website, I get notification of it being an inquiry.

When you get that alert saying that "Book Now started by Joe Blow", the inquiry has a status of "Quoted" at that point.  Because of that, your inquiry triggers should not apply because you will be targeting other types of statuses.

When creating an "inquiry received" trigger, make sure to add the condition of "inquiry status" and select the specific status you want to respond to.  We are writing some trigger examples about this right now (not done yet) but hopefully, it will help explain.

An example is sending a rule-violation response where someone asks for 15 people but your property only fits 10.  To do this, add an inquiry-received trigger with condition status=Rule Violation and select a message template to tell the guest "We're sorry but your request does not meet the rules of this property" and add the field code saying what the rule violation is.

Paul W
Feb 21, 2024 4:34 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

Could you also explain why an inquiry is triggered when someone is initiating a booking via my website, which uses the booking widget, and how I can prevent a message to them from being triggered in that case?

A "channel" template is used to send plain-text messages via a channel messaging platform.  At the moment, we support 3 channel messaging platforms:

  • Vrbo
  • Airbnb
  • Booking.com

As an example, if you have the Airbnb host app installed on your phone, when an Airbnb guest sends you an AIrbnb message, that's the "channel messaging platform" we're talking about.  The same is true for Vrbo and Booking.com

If you create a channel template in OwnerRez, and use a trigger to send it, we will send that message to the guest via the channel.  Email will not be used.

In the case of Vrbo, which provides the guest's real email address and also has a channel messaging platform, you could send both types of messages at the same time - ie. an email and channel message to the Vrbo guest at the same moment.

So to answer your question - no, your direct booking website is not considered a channel for messaging purposes because there is no messaging platform on your website.

Scott J
Feb 21, 2024 4:34 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

Thank you very much for all that clarification, Paul!

Scott J
Feb 21, 2024 4:42 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

Also, Paul, what about triggers for abandoned bookings?

Paul W
Feb 22, 2024 5:42 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

Also, Paul, what about triggers for abandoned bookings?

Good one!

I believe you can create a trigger for "scheduled time" and make it [x] days after inquiry is created and then target the "quoted" status, but we may not be exposing that status.  Looks likes we don't actually, so never mind!  I'll check into why we don't.  If we allowed you to target the "quoted" status, you should be able to see where an inquiry is still handing around as quoted and was never booked, and use that to nudge the guest after [x] days.

As it happens, we are also working on "quote" inquiries which will let you do the same thing - see quotes in pending/quoted status and nudge the guest after [x] days - as well as send triggers when the quote changes to preempted or another status.

Ashley H
Feb 22, 2024 6:45 PM
Joined Oct, 2021 2 posts

So to be clear, this still does not allow for the instance of a booking that has been started on my website by a guest. I would like to send them a quote via email when this happens as it is very easy to close out of the quote window by accident and have no way to get back. However, as that inquiry is now considered "quoted" I can't additionally send a quote automatically? As of right now I just send the quote when I see the email that a booking has been initiated, but I would love to automate this. Thanks 

Scott J
Feb 22, 2024 6:48 PM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

I would also like to get an email that a booking started on my website has been abandoned.

Scott J
Feb 23, 2024 2:54 AM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

Here's a technical confusion.

I just received an inquiry via Vrbo. When I went to answer it, there is no way to do so via Conversation.

So on the inquiry's Overview page, I click on "Answer" at the top. That takes me to where I can select to answer with or without a quote, and regardless of which of these two options I select, I am taken to an email formatting page, which will send an email message to a Vrbo proxy email address.

So how can setting up a triggered inquiry channel autoresponse work to do this, if I get such an inquiry during times for which I have the trigger set, and the only way to communicate with the guest is through the channel's proxy email address?


Paul W
Feb 23, 2024 7:40 AM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

I looked at your account, and there should be an inquiry in the conversation stream.  Vrbo channels automatically sync messages from Vrbo now, and the email side is unnecessary.  In fact, the email should be getting removed when we sync in the message from the platform.  I'll see if there was an issue or special case with this one.

Paul W
Feb 23, 2024 8:25 AM
OR Team Member Joined Jun, 2009 827 posts

Looks like this might be the culprit:


Still an open issue from yesterday, so the timeline is right for that affecting why the inquiry didn't coming into the messaging like it should (and instead sending you an email).

Scott J
Feb 23, 2024 11:01 AM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

Okay, so I got two alerts this morning that the same inquirer messaged me in two separate instances about an hour ago,, yet neither of those messages are showing either in the inquiry’s conversation or on Vrbo.

But now the conversation does show our previous messages back and forth and my message to him just now telling him about the technical problem, but still not those two messages from him to me.

Scott J
Feb 23, 2024 11:05 AM
Joined Mar, 2019 180 posts

I should clarify that those two alerts I got this morning were from OwnerRez, not Vrbo.