Experience the difference of "Elite".

Custom Views for Owner Statements, WordPress & New API Channels Coming, Better Search for Support and 15+ other Fixes and Tweaks

  • Posted on
  • By

Happy Hump Day, everyone!  We took last Wednesday off, so this one is a doozy.  Strap in, and let's get started.

New Features

Our property manager users have asked for many things since the PM feature was added, and we've diligently listened and noted those things down.  Some of those items have waited a long time, and we're happy to announce that one often-requested feature is finally out.  You can now create custom views, with custom columns, for your owner statements.

Previously, you had to use one of three hard-coded views for owner statements - full amount, owner revenue or owner amount view.  These three views were based on what we felt most PMs wanted to show to owners, depending on their agreement with the owner.  However, they were far from adequate.  You might want to remove some of the columns that showed, add others, change how they were ordered or re-label the column header to have a different title or help text.  You can now do all that.

Go to the PM menu and you'll see a new Statement Views section.  Click create to get started and the rest is intuitive.

After selecting the columns you want to see, and the title for each, save and you've just created a custom view.

So then, how does one use these handy dandy new views?  Answer: everywhere you selected views before!  For instance, when previewing or creating a new owner statement, the Preferred View drop-down field will show your custom view along with the system ones.  Select your new view and off you go.  If you want an owner to always select that view, edit the owner record and set your custom view as the Preferred View for that owner.

We also changed owner statements to allow editing the view after it's created.  This allows you to go back and switch the view for old owner statements when you come up with a new design.

The owner statement was tweaked to allow temporarily-showing full amounts and some other things as well.  Give it a look!

While we were in there working on PM stuff, we also added the ability to set commission to quarter percents.  For instance, now you can set commission to be 20.25% instead of 20 or 20.5%, and you can do this everywhere commission is set - on the owner, property, booking, even the charge line item.

If you're an affiliate who sends us new users (thanks for that by the way!) you may want to take a look at our new join page, or you can see it on the registration support article.  We now require a credit card when signing up for OwnerRez.  Everyone is given a 14 day trial just like before, and the card charge is not billed upfront. However you cannot sign up for an account without entering a verified credit card.  There were a number of reasons surrounding this - mostly to limit fraud - and it's something we've been planning to do for a long time. We finally pulled the trigger.

We overhauled the search page on the www side to give you better, clearer results as well as show a search option in the top menu.  We also added a search bar to the forums area.  The forums will be overhauled in the near future, as well as other www pages, but we added the search bar for now to get you by.

We're super excited to mention a secret project we've been working on - plugin/API integration for WordPress websites.  This is a big undertaking and a ways off from release still, but I wanted to drop a note about it because we're now working with a PM who is piloting the integration for us.  Note that the WordPress plugin will be part of our Hosted Website premium.  If you want access to it, let us know, but please be aware that we are a ways off and only working with one user at the moment.

And while we're mentioning secret-projects-that-are-being-worked-on-but-not-out yet, here are a couple of new API channel integrations we're in the middle of working on:

  • Direct API integration for HomesToGo (including online bookings)
  • Better API integration for Houfy (full pricing and instant activation)
  • Direct API integration for SmokeyMountains.com (including online bookings)

Enhancements and Tweaks

Our favorite vacation rental insurance people put out a new updated Damage Protection brochure, so we updated our support material to show that new Damage Protection brochure.

There is a system message for booking cancellations, but sometimes the guest doesn't need to know if it's cancelled or they aren't know through other methods.  An example of this is Airbnb.  Airbnb handles cancellations and will notify the guest, so there's no reason for OwnerRez to bombard the guest with additional emails.  We changed the booking cancellation email to not email the guest for Airbnb bookings.

We updated our availability search logic to factor in required gaps.  This is important because if a guest is searching for available dates, they used to see properties that had open dates but could not actually be booked due to required gaps.  The new logic will remove those properties from the search results if the required gap makes it so the property is not bookable.

On Vrbo API bookings, the message that appeared when trying to recalculate charges was confusing, so we updated it. And we removed the option to recalculate charges entirely from the info tab of the booking if it's a channel booking - Vrbo or otherwise.

Those (very few) of you that are using SMS Messaging, the billing area is now updated to show the correct charges.  Not a big change, but showing SMS related charges is necessary now that the SMS stuff is rolling out.  There will be a lot of changes coming to this area - both SMS and billing - in the near future.

As we transition to a more guest-centric design, we are continuing to move pages and links around to better accommodate what we had before and the transition to the future design.  As part of this, we added a guest "Communication" link to the booking, quote and inquiry overview pages which drill into the guest conversation.  The email history links are back as well, though they now go to "Communication History" at the tab requested.

Bug Fixes

Long URLs when selecting properties and listing sites.  This was most notably seen on reports, but there were other pages affected as well.  If you select enough properties and listing sites, the URL would get massive and the page would crash.  Crashes suck, so we fixed it.

Copy spot rates. If you had no spot rates (ie. calendar rates) and tried using the Bulk Copy Rates page, it would crash.  All fixed!

Occupancy report percentages.  When lapping across years, the occupancy percentages were off.  This is now fixed.

Hosted site header stuff.  When editing a header and no pages existed, there was a crash message - now fixed.  Also in headers, the layout was wonky when you have too many links that overlap.  We cleaned that up as well.

Owner Statement printing with Safari.  Every try to print an owner statement from a Safari browser?  Neither had we.  A user recently tried and noticed a strange sidebar area showing in the print output.  This is now fixed.  Now that you know this, you can go back to using Chrome and Firefox, like 99.99% of the planet, completely unaware that anything was ever broken to begin with.

Long template names in System Messages.  On the System Messages page, long template names would make the page layout crunch up on the left side.  We fixed this.

Culture selector for uncommon currencies.  There are many types of currency in the world, particularly if you throw in language/culture variations.  Some individual countries have a dozen variations.  Our culture selector had a hard time with it too, but it's all better now.

All reviews on hosted sites.  Hosted sites might limit properties by default (ie. on the hosted site at large) but the review page would still show all properties.  This is now fixed.

Reply-To on inquiry response.  You may have noticed recently that when you replied to an inquiry in your email, the response came back to the OwnerRez help inbox (us!). This is because a recent update changed the Reply-To header on new inquiry notifications to point to help@ and not the guest's email address.  We put it back like it was.  All's well that ends well.

1 Comment (add yours)

Chris L
Aug 30, 2020 1:26 AM
Joined May, 2017 206 posts

Little bitty feature request: one of my owners wants to see not just arrival/departure but also *nights.* I was really hoping this update would address her request. I know it's possible to calculate nights from the arrival/departure dates, but I'd like to make life easy for her. :)

FWIW, what would be very cool is allowing using data from the various reports. Including things like ADR, overall occupancy %, etc. in the owner report would be useful.