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ECBYO & Florida Rentals API Integrations & more as we close out 2022!

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Are you dreaming of longer days and warmer weather? We are too! Or if you're in the southern hemisphere, maybe you're ready for colder weather? Either way, learn more about the December 16th and December 23rd, 2022 releases with eleven updates, including two (yes, two!) Florida API-Integrated First Class Channels.

Right smack dab in the middle of the last two releases (on December 21st), we at OwnerRez, and those in the northern hemisphere, experienced the winter solstice, the "year as reborn," or the gradual waning of daylight hours that are reversed and begin to grow again. Some refer to it as the "extreme of winter" or the "shortest day of the year," but it also means that your days can only optimistically grow longer from that point on. With the last two releases of the year, even with the least daylight, we managed to close out the year in an optimistic fashion! Read on to share in our optimism!

Enhancements & Tweaks

Florida Rentals API Integration Updated

Florida Rentals is not a stranger to OwnerRez, but they updated their integration to support not only inquiries but the full booking experience. Your content (photos, amenities, descriptions), rates, rules, and availability automatically syncs with Florida Rentals. You can receive bookings using your credit card processor, and all guest communication is direct!

OwnerRez and Florida Rentals

Learn more from the FloridaRentals.com Setup & Connecting support article! (Update: check out the Updated Florida Rentals First-Class Channel Integration formal announcement blog post!)

Emerald Coast By Owner (ECBYO)

Emerald Coast By Owner (ECBYO) is a regional vacation rental listing website for the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama, created in response to the ongoing changes in online travel agency policies and pricing structures. They are a subscription-based model, charge no booking fees, and maintain zero control over your payment collection (or refund) process. The guest and their contact information are handed over to you at the time of inquiry. The guest then books directly on your existing website.

OwnerRez and Emerald Coast By Owner (ECBYO)

Learn more from the ECBYO Setup & Connecting support article! (Update: check out the formal Integration with ECBYO partnership announcement blog post!)

Post-release Property Descriptions Updates

Creating your Property Description is key to marketing your vacation rental! Crafting your Property Description is your opportunity to "sell" your vacation rental to potential guests by highlighting the unique amenities that your vacation rental offers.

If you missed the news, OwnerRez's Property Description feature allows users to customize property headlines and descriptions depending on the API-Connected Channels!

As a rapid follow-up to the release of the property descriptions overhaul, we needed to improve several things post-release.

  • When duplicating a property, it should duplicate description overrides for all channels in use, not just the default one.
  • Removed the OR logo icon next to property description fields that don't apply to OwnerRez Hosted Website or WordPress plug-in. It is now only visible next to the relevant fields.
  • There was a bug when a property was using an Airbnb override but only using the field code in the Short Description field, but the referenced Default Short Description (i.e., Listing Description / Summary on the Default tab) was empty. This caused an issue when connecting a new property to Airbnb API. It's now fixed.
  • Converted Text-to-HTML for descriptions in the API listing endpoints if it is a default description so that it can always return HTML.
  • On the Property Descriptions preview pop-up, for context purposes, it now tells you which channel you're previewing along with their icon/logo in the top right.
  • Some account field codes aren't relevant to property descriptions, so we disabled those from being supported.
  • If field codes are used on the Default Descriptions tab, and on the override you use the field's default field code, they don't transform since they're now inside another field code. We adjusted the code to support such scenarios!

One of the most visible and helpful updates to Property Descriptions (Properties > Description) was the default description area now includes all channel listing icons. When users hover over each channel listing icon, helpful tooltips will appear showing the channel's character count limits, as shown below. It's a lot to look at, and in a future release, we'll enhance the display but it was necessary to indicate which fields map where at a glance.

Learn more using the Property Descriptions support article.

Post-release Team Access Tweaks

OwnerRez users can grant access to Staff Members or Portal Users (owners, cleaners, maintenance staff, etc.) to view calendar availability and perform actions like blocking off time or viewing owner statements. Each user gets a separate login, and OwnerRez Users can configure a variety of access to one or more properties, including the ability for a single property to share multiple owners.

After the release, we determined Team Access needed some necessary tweaks. Those improvements included:

  • We recognized that the Portal tab would be used more frequently than the Staff tab, so we moved the Portal tab to the left of Staff and set it as default.

  • A security adjustment... users impersonating other Team members are not permitted to create or edit other Staff's permissions. Only the primary/inviting user can make those permission changes.
  • If you invited a full OwnerRez user as a team member, they accepted and closed their account later; there was no indicator on the user/invite; there is now.
  • The team invite email displayed under system messages displayed the theme footer when previewed, but the email sent did not include the footer. The footer is now correctly included upon sending too.
  • When users created a new Team type email message, the preloaded text was not aligned with the changes we made to the default Team system messages. The preloaded text has been corrected.

Interested in learning more? Review the Team Access - Overview support article to get started.

Bug Fixes

Allow Users to Retry Deposits. A couple of OwnerRez users encountered an error when they attempted to retry to record a deposit following a deposit error. We have resolved this bug.

Bookings Starting on the Last Day of the Month Were Not Visible on iPhone Month View. Bookings scheduled to begin on the last day of the month were not visible on the Month view on iPhones only. This bug has since been resolved.

Fixed Issue Where the Trigger Month of the Year Wasn't Wrapping Around December to January. When field criteria were set for greater than December (month 12) and less than July (month 7), the system evaluated the criteria independently and never matched since those are mutually exclusive criteria. Now, such criteria will be detected and evaluated together so they wrap across January.

Email List Report Column Corrected. We corrected a column in the Email List Report that displayed incorrect date formats for inquiry contacts.

Prefill Stripe Account Email Address When User Clicks on the Reconnect Button. If your Stripe account email address is different than your OwnerRez account email address, the OR Stripe reconnect button was prepopulating the email address with a user's OR account email address rather than the user's Stripe account email address. This was causing problems for the user because Stripe did not recognize the user's OR account email address and instead prompted the user to create a new Stripe account. We have resolved this so that users that need to reconnect their Stripe account will have the correct Stripe account email address prepopulated.

Send Travel Insurance Payment Transaction Failure Message to Guest. When guests purchased travel insurance and had the Rental Guardian travel insurance portion of the payment method declined, guests were not receiving an email alert from OwnerRez notifying them. We have released a fix to have the alert go out in those instances again as it should. All future travel insurance purchase payment failures will send an email alert notifying the guest about the Travel Insurance payment failure.

Unique Field Definition Index Addition. We discovered it was possible to get duplicate field definition entries for the same field when a user made simultaneous requests. No longer!