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Property Management Overview

Do you manage bookings on behalf of other owners?  Do you have co-owners or friends that own some or all of the cabins you manage that you charge a monthly commission to?  If so, we can help with that!

We've designed a property management system that allows you to calculate commission and generate monthly statements for your owners in a way that is clean, fast and built directly into the current booking system you already use.

Our property management system follows the trust/escrow accounting model, where it is assumed that you are collecting payments from guests as "rents in trust" in a separate escrow bank account.  We then provide "payouts" statements for both the owner and the PM (you!), so that money is moved from escrow to the rightful party at periodic times.

Get started by watching the March 2021 Webinar: Focus Session on Property Management with Paul Waldschmidt, OwnerRez CEO.

To gain a better understanding of the Property Management feature, read these comprehensive sections.

Getting Started with Property Management

Owners

Go to the PM area using the menu up top, click the Owners tab and start adding owners. An "owner" is a person or business that owns the properties you manage.  You can add as many owners as you want but each property can only have one owner. However, you can add multiple emails for each owner as a workaround.

After you're done with Owners, go to the Configuration tab under PM and set your configuration.  This allows you to define which owner is for which property (and commission rates specific to the property).  By default, the property will have the commission that you set on the owner record.  Every property that is managed for someone else (ie. that you take commission on) needs to be assigned to an owner in the Configuration tab.

Having done that, from here on, every new booking will automatically get the owner and commission % automatically assigned based on what you configured.  No old bookings will have it, but you can set those manually.  If you have a bunch of old bookings you want to set as "managed" (ie. that need to have commission calculated) you can use the Batch Update tool in the PM > Settings > Batch Updates to find and set them all at once.

Commissions

To see a booking's commission and/or set it manually on old bookings that were created before now, open any booking.  You'll see a new set of tabs "Expenses" and "PM" on the far right.  Click the PM tab.  That will show you what the owner and commission is for this booking.  If nothing is there, you can manually set it.  You can also use this to override the commission if a particular booking is supposed to have a different %.  For instance, say the owner brought you the booking himself and your deal with him is that instead of 15%, you'll only charge 10%.  This is the place where you can set that 10% on this booking so that it doesn't affect any other booking.

While you're on the booking, take a look at the Charges tab.  You'll notice two new columns showing up next to each line item: Commission and Non-Commission Amount.  These columns allow you to change the amount of commission on a line by line basis.  For instance, say that "pool heat" doesn't have any commission (it all goes to the owner).  You could edit that particular line item to have 0% commission.  Or say that the "cleaning fee" goes entirely to you as PM.  You would edit that line item to have 100% commission.  You can use the Non-Commission Amount column to specify a dollar amount that should be expensed before Commission is calculated.  This creates an Expense record and then calculates commission on the remainder.  For instance, if your Cleaning Fee first pays a housekeeper $50 and then you get 100% of what is left, the Non-Commission amount would be $50 and the Commission % would be 100.

If the same line item is always supposed to have a different commission, you can do that on the Surcharge directly.  Go to Settings > Surcharges, and you'll see that each surcharge can have a commission set there as well.  This ensures that the same surcharge is always kept the same.  By default, all surcharges have the same commission that is set on the owner/property unless you override it.  For instance, the "cleaning fee" always goes to you.  You would open the Cleaning Fee surcharge and set it to be 100% commission all the time.

Deposits

Regarding "deposited" payments: This refers to the Deposits feature. Essentially, a payment, refund, or host fee can be marked as "deposited" when the actual dollars are sent or withdrawn to/from your bank account. For Airbnb, this is commonly the day after arrival. Non-airbnb bookings can of course follow many various timelines dictated by the credit card processor (or non-cc payment mode). For owner statements you have the choice to wait until the funds are reflected in your bank account (deposited) before including a booking on the statement, or to include it as soon as the payment is received (undeposited) even if the funding might be well out in the future. 

Expenses

Take a look at PM > Expenses.  This is where you'll record items you paid for on behalf of the owner.  Owner Statements take expenses into account and subtract (or add) money from the statement.  It is assumed that "Expenses" are paid from the PM's general operations bank account, not from escrow.  When the statements are calculated, money is moved from escrow back to (or away from) the owner and PM to reimburse those expenses.

Lastly, make sure to review the Team Access feature.  This allows you to give login access to other people (e.g., housekeepers, owners, staff) who need to see guest or booking data.  You can fine-tune exactly what they see - from guest names to contact information, financial details, notes, and more.

Reports

While PMs can share reports with their owners, other than Owner Statements, most reports are meant to be viewed by the OwnerRez user.

Owner Statements

Now that you've done all that, take a look at a sample statement. OwnerRez includes a default email Owner Statement template that users can edit. Go back to the PM menu, click Owner Statements, click Create Owner Statement, select the owner and put in a date and click the "Preview" button.  This will show you what the statement will look like when you go to create one (before it's actually created).  When you're ready to generate the statement you'd click the "Create" button instead of Preview.

The easiest way to start owner statements and payouts from scratch is to issue one statement per owner and the corresponding payouts one day prior to the date you want to begin sending Owner Statements, such as the last day of the month prior to sending your first Owner Statement. This essentially creates a "baseline" so that the OwnerRz system thinks each owner is paid through the end of the month.

Learn more by reading the Owner Statements support article.

Have questions about older bookings? See our Extra Bookings (Too Many Bookings Showing Up on Statements) support article.

Owner Payouts

The Owner Payout menu is where you will record payouts sent to the owner.  Statements and payouts are separate entities in the system.  Each owner statement will typically have a corresponding payout (to pay the owner whatever is on the statement), but you don't have to do that.  You can apply payments to different statements and for different amounts.

For clarification, here are the definitions of Owner Net and Owner Revenue.

  • Owner Net = Owner Amount - Taxes (if paid by owner) - Damage Protection (if paid by owner) or is the amount the owner would expect to pocket after all liabilities are paid.
  • Owner Revenue = Owner Amount + Commission - Non-Owner Charges (charges where the entire amount is kept by the PM) or is the amount received by the PM for the owner (which includes commission the owner owes to the PM).

You'll notice a corresponding PM Statements and PM Payouts section as well.  These are similar to the Owner ones, only they create statements and payouts for the PM (you!).  This is important because in a trust/escrow accounting model, the money flows first into the escrow bank account, not the PM's general operations bank account.  Only then does the PM get paid, out of escrow, according to the commissions earned.  Every time you prepare Owner Statements and Payouts, you'll also want to prepare PM Statements and Payouts so that you also get paid.

Property Management Accounting

The term "trust accounting" tends to be an umbrella term for many things related to Property Management (PM) operations.

In the strictest sense, we do not yet have a real trust accounting module, end to end, where owner money is held in "liability accounts" where you can see each owner's balance and you move money from their liability account to a payout. 

However, most PMs do not need that level of accounting and simply are looking to accomplish the following.

  • Keep track of which owner owns which property
  • What commission you are earning from each owner/property
  • Keep track of the commission earned on each booking as they come in
  • Be able to record expenses against bookings, properties and owners
  • Generate monthly statements for owners to show their bookings, expenses and total owed to owners
  • Create payouts based on those statements and send those payouts to QuickBooks for easy payment options (ACH, check, etc)
  • Generate reports for all of the above
  • Customize the above for items to display on statements
  • Other owner-related tasks like an owner portal for showing them their bookings, statements, etc

OwnerRez does all of the above well so if that is all that you need, be assured that our PM module provides just what you need.  If you have to have the strict "chart of accounts" style of trust accounting where money is moved from account to account, then that's not something that OwnerRez supports at this time.