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Airbnb Transaction Sync, New API for Third-Party Website Designers, Dismissed Alerts, and Hosted Website Header/Menu Options!

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Woody Woodpecker, the cartoon character created in 1940 by Walter Lantz (his birthday is today!), is an anthropomorphic woodpecker known for his distinctive laugh and mischievous personality representing the American spirit with his irreverent and independent nature.

Unlike Woody's frenetic pace, today's look at the April 26 release with 21 updates represents OwnerRez's version of a more tempered and orderly (not crazy energy! ðŸĪŠ) but still a briskly-paced development process for the improvement of our software!

We'd love for you to be like Woody and take a deep dive and speed through this product update covering several new features, including the long hoped-for Airbnb Transaction Sync (i.e., no more Channel Bridge necessary!), along with API additions for Integrated Websites/Third-Party Website Designers, and new Hosted Website header/menu options!

New Features

Airbnb Transaction Sync Now Available via Opt-In

Access to complete booking financial transactions is essential. For Airbnb bookings, as most know, they are the merchant of record, and so not all financial info about the booking was natively available in OwnerRez...until now.

We know Channel Bridge is effective but also time-consuming depending on how many bookings a user has to process and how often they prefer to have Airbnb bookings up to date. And users who didn't Channel Bridge regularly, or at all, wondered why OwnerRez showed a balance owed for their Airbnb bookings, even though they were API-connected. Users could see the total booking amount and Airbnb reservation host fee, but no payment or refund transactions were in OwnerRez without running Channel Bridge for those bookings.

We're very excited to announce that those users who are API-connected to Airbnb can now access this powerful new feature. Enabling Airbnb Transaction Sync will automatically bring in booking transactions, including payments, refunds, and any Airbnb Resolution Center settlements. Also, deposits (Tools > Deposits) will be auto-created when Airbnb notifies OwnerRez of funds being released.

OwnerRez users can enable Airbnb Transaction Sync anytime by navigating to Settings > API Integrations > Airbnb > Enable Transaction Sync. Once you complete the steps and enable, the Transaction Sync enabled date will show on the Airbnb Channel settings page.

Airbnb Transaction Sync

NOTE: Before enabling the Airbnb Transaction Sync, OwnerRez users should run Channel Bridge to import all booking transaction info up to the Transaction Sync turn-on date you select during turn-on/opt-in.

Learn more about this much-welcomed new feature by reading our Airbnb Transaction Sync support article.

OwnerRez v2 API Endpoint Additions for Integrated Websites (a.k.a. Third-Party Designed Websites)

Did you know that OwnerRez has an API available to partners and users who want/need to integrate and communicate with our software? This is how dynamic pricing companies like PriceLabs send rates and housekeeping services like Turno organizes cleaners with your OwnerRez account.

These additions to the OwnerRez v2 API will allow partners and app builders to get property listing content like photos, amenities, bookings, descriptions, etc., to build integrated websites (without having to only use our WordPress Plugin). They can now use their content management systems to pull your live OwnerRez properties' listing data. We also created a new webhook that notifies these partners and app builders when properties change so that they can update your website promptly from their systems.

v2 OwnerRez API for Apps

The v2 OwnerRez API for Apps has been updated as follows:

  • We've added a new "Listings" endpoint with content data for property listings.
  • The integrated websites feature has been combined with the WordPress Plugin premium feature and is now called: WordPress Plugin + Integrated Websites (or WP + Integrated Sites for short)
  • We're continually improving our API; here are just a few general improvements we bundled in with this release:
    • Display more user-friendly error messages
    • No longer show read-only properties in POST parameters and samples in the help pages
    • Display more useful invalid date error messages
    • Make enumerable documentation show the snake_case (the process of writing compound words so that the words are separated with an underscore symbol (_) instead of a space) for each value

Learn more by reading our v2 OwnerRez API for Apps Overview support article.

Dismissed Alerts History

We added In-App Global Alerts a couple of months ago, but have you ever wondered where to find dismissed or expired alerts? Wonder no more! Dismissed Alerts are now available by navigating to the My Account section. The quickest way to get to it is from the upper right My Account drop-down menu, like so:

Dismissed Alerts

Each dismissed alert will be displayed as they were initially, along with the date that the user dismissed or we expired that alert.

Dismissed Alerts List

When users select Read More, the original alert will pop up.

Global Alert Read More Modal

Users can click/tap on Close (or click/tap anywhere outside the pop-up) to exit the pop-up.

The Dismissed Alerts History List is just one more demonstration of OwnerRez's commitment to transparency, security, numerous redundancies, and providing access to your critical vacation rental business data.

Option to Open Hosted Website Menu Links in New Tabs

Are you one of those who hate it when links don't automatically open in a new tab? If that's the case, then this update is for you! Some guests may habitually always right-click (or Ctrl + click) to open links in a new tab, but many do not. Hosted Website menus and pages now can be set to always open in a new tab! Pssst...some of us are probably more excited about this than others but users can now add this option while editing existing or adding menu items or pages to their OwnerRez Hosted Website. Navigate over to Settings > Hosted Websites to check it out! 

Users can choose the option to Open in new tab on the Menu & Location section/tab of each new or existing page.

  • For existing Hosted Website webpages, users can make this change in the Menu & Location tab and select Open in new tab.

Open in a New Tab

  • For new custom Hosted Website webpages, users can make this change in the Menu & Location tab and select Open in new tab.

Open in a New Tab

Be sure to hit Save! Remember that this is not a global Hosted Website change, so users must edit and choose the "Open in new tab" option for any existing item/page. And it's ok to mix and match--whatever suits your fancy!

Considering a direct-booking website for your property? Learn more by reading our Hosted Websites Overview support article.

Reset Option for Hosted Website Theme Header Templates

Ever get carried away with your website project and then decide that maybe you went too far? It can happen, especially with your OwnerRez Hosted Website! OwnerRez has a fix for that by now allowing users to reset their Hosted Website Theme Header back to baseline.

Users can reset their Hosted Website Theme Header Template by navigating to Settings > Hosted Websites > Header Layout > Pick a new template.

On the Hosted Website Template page, users can Reset to original Header Template.

Reset to Original Hosted Website Header Template

Want to learn more? Read our Hosted Website Customizations Headers & Menus support article.

Enhancements & Tweaks

Add Channel Links for More First-Class Partners

This enhancement was added for many of our first-class channels - ECBYO, FindRentals, FloridaRentals, getawayGoGo, Golightly, GuestSmiles, and Houfy all now link over automatically making it easier to find/see your listings on these channels. To do so, navigate to the settings for each API channel; if a property is mapped and properly configured to that channel, you can now click the hyperlink for each connected property in the Listing column on the Properties tab.

We plan to add this in the future for HomeToGo and our other newer first-class channels.

Learn more about our first-class channels by starting with our Channel Management Overview article.

Grid Edit Mode Additions

Late last year, we overhauled what was known as "Batch Mode" on grids. The Batch terminology didn't make sense to some and the selection behavior was not intuitive so we changed things up and moved to refer to it as "Edit." Well, those changes have worked well and it was time to apply the changes to more grids around the app. So, we made a couple of additional tweaks and have now applied Grid Edit Mode to over 55 grids in OwnerRez. A reminder of what this looks like, roll that beautiful Grid Edit Mode footage!

Batch Edit Grid

Clarify Vrbo Channel Configuration Instructions

We realized that our Vrbo Channel Configuration Instructions were somewhat terse. We updated the Vrbo API Configuration Instructions tab with a few extra steps and links to helpful support articles, and a link to the Listing Quality Analyzer (LQA) which we encourage all users to leverage often, when first setting up or when making changes to properties, settings, or channels/listing sites.

Considering integrating with Vrbo? Learn more by reading our Vrbo API Overview support article.

Bug Fixes

Canceled Booking Alert Email Should Indicate the Actual User Who Did It. We recently fixed blocked-off time system alerts to accurately reflect the Owner if they canceled the Blocked-Off Time. We realized that we also needed to fix canceled booking system alerts so that they accurately indicate the actual user that initiated the booking cancellation.

Don't Throw a Validation Error When Creating Quotes at Night in Pacific Time Zone. When generating a quote past midnight for a property located in a different time zone with a future arrival of today, an error would occur stating "arrival date may not be in the past" even though it's not yet tomorrow at the property timezone. This bug has been fixed, and the generated quotes will now correctly recognize the property time zone.

Don't Reactivate Listings on Airbnb Account Reconnect if There's an Identical Listing Already Active. A few OwnerRez Airbnb Integrated properties had their disabled (and identical) Airbnb listing inadvertently reactivated. This bug has been fixed to no longer reactivate the inactive listing on an Airbnb reconnect if another active Airbnb mapped property listing exists.

Fix Caption Area on Image Zoom on ownerreservations.com to Not Overlap Image. The automatic image-carousel pop-up on www.ownerrez.com was on top of the bottom portion of the image because the bottom image caption bar was overlayed on top of it. In addition, in the case of tall/large photos, the entire bottom portion of the image was cut off, regardless of the image caption bar. This annoying bug has been corrected and the image caption bar will display correctly on the automatic image carousel pop-up. You can see the fix by clicking/tapping on any image in this product update!

Fix Team Invites From Losing Property Selection Upon Creation. Some OwnerRez users experienced the loss of property selection settings when creating a team portal invite. This bug has been corrected and any property selections made when creating a team portal invite will now save correctly.

Hosted Websites Blog Index Does Not Render Intro or Conclusion Content. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and/or text added to a Hosted Website blog post Intro section were not rendering correctly when published. This bug has been fixed and any HTML and/or text added to a Hosted Website blog post Intro section will now display and publish correctly. 

If a Security Deposit Expires or is Voided For Any Other Reason, Such as Card Canceled, Don't Throw an Error. An exception error would occur if the credit card used for a security deposit hold was voided, expired or voided. This bug has been fixed and will now display the more friendly and helpful error, "Your card's expiration month is invalid."

Remove '5-star' From Remaining Automatic Review Alert Titles and Subjects. Even though some Airbnb API-integrated users have turned on Automatic 5-Star host reviews, reviews don't have to be 5-star if manually scheduled. OwnerRez has cleaned up all automated host review system alerts to no longer default to include the label of `5-star' in case it was a lower-star review.

Remove Legacy Channel Fields. OwnerRez realized that Airbnb no longer supports the Registration Number and Registration Date fields under each property's Description. And Vrbo no longer supports Location Description, Registration Number, or Registration Date under each property's Description. These fields have been removed from the API feeds to Airbnb and Vrbo.

Selecting "Check" Method on Change Booking Does Not Display in the Overview. When users changed a booking's details and selected the "check" manual/offline payment method, the booking overview displayed "Offline Payment Method: None" despite the user saving the "check" manual/offline payment method. This bug has been fixed and the selected "check" manual/offline payment methods display after saving as they should on the booking overview tab.

Switching From a Raw Stripe Method to Non-Stripe Method Fails to Process Second Payments. When OwnerRez users switch from the Stripe payment processor that used the raw method, meaning that a guest's credit card details are securely stored within the OR system, to another non-Stripe (and tokenized method) payment processor, future payments or security deposits would fail to process even though OwnerRez has access to the raw guest credit card details. This bug has been fixed to now update the proper validations and to only throw a validation error message if specific details are met.

Validate No Direct Links in SMS/Airbnb Templates. Back in 2020, OwnerRez added a validation check upon the saving of an email template to block users from accidentally adding links to specific bookings instead of generic links but SMS and Airbnb templates could still experience the same link problems. So we added the same prevention checks to handle SMS and Airbnb messages. We also updated the "Insert Field" button to instead display "Insert Field/Link" in SMS and Airbnb templates because that button can also insert links and not just fields.

14 Comments (add yours)

Ventura County V
Apr 27, 2023 9:42 PM
Joined Mar, 2022 113 posts

Thank you for implementing this!  I have enabled the feature and see my most recent Air B&B booking showing as paid.  This saves me a good amount of headache when I do my monthly invoicing, having to manually update all of the month's AB&B bookings.

Anne S
Apr 28, 2023 9:55 AM
OR Team Member Joined Sep, 2022 105 posts

Thank you for implementing this!  I have enabled the feature and see my most recent Air B&B booking showing as paid.  This saves me a good amount of headache when I do my monthly invoicing, having to manually update all of the month's AB&B bookings.

That's great to hear!

Ocean Zen
May 2, 2023 1:10 PM
Joined Jun, 2022 70 posts

In regards to AirBnB sync, I understand what is meant by running "Channel Bridge" first but the warning message asks to make sure Channel Bridge is up to date AND "please make sure you have configured your surcharges". What does that mean and what about the surcharges changes or is not changeable after the Sync is turned on? I'm not sure there is any detail in regards to that in the detailed instructions. Thanks!

Joel P
May 2, 2023 1:45 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2009 114 posts

Once you enable Transaction Sync, Channel Bridge no longer works. That's why we warn you to ensure you've run Channel Bridge as far as you want before you enable the feature.

The surcharge warning is there because without Channel Bridge, it is not possible to re-map unknown charges from Airbnb with new surcharges created in OwnerRez. This is primarily a concern for new accounts, but can also be a concern if you've added a surcharge in Airbnb, and not in OwnerRez.

We plan to remove the second warning once we have more tools in place around new surcharges.

Ocean Zen
May 2, 2023 5:29 PM
Joined Jun, 2022 70 posts

Thanks Joel,

 

How do you map surcharges? I don't have any in AirBnB other than resolution payments - is there a way to map resolution payments to surcharges in Channel Bridge? Will there be a way to map resolution payments to specific surcharges with the new Sync?

Joel P
May 2, 2023 7:33 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2009 114 posts

"Mapping" is an automated process that occurs within OwnerRez when a booking comes in from Airbnb. We look at the line items Airbnb lists for that booking and "map" them to the surcharges configured in OwnerRez. If there are no surcharges in OwnerRez, or we can't find a good match we add the line item as an "Other" type. 

Usually this is invisible because the description of the line item is all you need unless you are tracking expenses and owner revenue, than it can become a problem. However, if you were to create a surcharge in OwnerRez subsequently that did match the line item from Airbnb, you could run Channel Bridge (prior to enabling transaction sync) and we'll do the same "mapping" process all over and pick up the newly configured surcharge. We plan to build new tools to support adding surcharges in OwnerRez AFTER adding them in Airbnb (again, mostly useful for new account connections, since we encourage everyone to configure their surcharges in OwnerRez and let the API integration sync those to Airbnb).

Resolutions are a different beast entirely. We have some thoughts about those, but nothing specific to share at this time.

Vacation Vibe
May 4, 2023 3:45 AM
Joined Nov, 2022 1 post

Since we activated this feature, all of the new bookings have $0.00 for host fee. This is where we see the AirBnB host fee.

I figured out that if I manually go into the $0.00 host fee to see the details, the details are correct. I then edit the details then just save it without doing anything, the amount is corrected.

How do we get this fixed to be automated?

Joel P
May 4, 2023 6:50 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2009 114 posts

The host fee is no longer created when the booking is created. It is instead created when the Transactions are synced. The same fee is now called "Airbnb Reservation host fee"

Jim F
May 16, 2023 8:45 AM
Joined Feb, 2018 4 posts

With sync turned on to AirBnB does that also change the processing of the payment to our processor, or does AirBnB still control that part?

Anne S
May 16, 2023 9:15 AM
OR Team Member Joined Sep, 2022 105 posts

With sync turned on to AirBnB does that also change the processing of the payment to our processor, or does AirBnB still control that part?

by Jim F – May 16, 2023 12:45 PM (UTC)

Jim,

Even after you enable the Airbnb Transaction Sync, Airbnb continues to be the payment processor and controls all Airbnb transactions.

Jake & Erin H
May 30, 2023 1:59 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 2 posts

Since I've enabled transaction sync, resolution center payments no longer show up in charges.  They used to show up after I did a channel bridge sync.  How do I get them to come over now?

Anne S
May 30, 2023 3:37 PM
OR Team Member Joined Sep, 2022 105 posts

Since I've enabled transaction sync, resolution center payments no longer show up in charges.  They used to show up after I did a channel bridge sync.  How do I get them to come over now?

Jake and Erin, did you run the Channel Bridge process prior to enabling the Transaction Sync as suggested? Please contact our Help Desk with specific details so we can figure out what is happening.

Adria H
May 30, 2023 4:19 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2022 119 posts

Currently the transaction sync is bringing in the resolution payments to the Bookings>Transactions screen. We are adding an option, in the next release, to allow an automatic charge, or choose to manually create it. Until that release, you'd want to manually create the charge.

Jake & Erin H
May 30, 2023 4:27 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 2 posts

ok, thank you!