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SMS for Canadian Users, Batch Update Bookings for PM, Airbnb Infants, more Stripe/3DS2 Tweaks

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Happy Wednesday, everyone! We have 31 updates to talk about, most of which are enhancements and bug fixes like last week.  Let's go through the details!

New Features

Just one new feature to mention this week - we opened up our SMS feature to Canadian users.  If you're a Canadian user, you can now search for a Canadian phone number to claim and use in your OwnerRez account.  This will give you a phone number that is local to your area and matches your geographical location and brand.  It may also help your guests avoid long distance charges if they are local to your area.  Are long distance charges still a thing? 🤔

To use a Canadian phone number, follow our SMS instructions but select Canada as your country and enter the Canadian area code you'd like to use.  You can search on any range of numbers (or even alphabetical letters) and our carrier will return any available numbers that match.

To be clear, any user, whether Canadian or not, can register and claim any type of phone number they want regardless of their geographical or business location.  For instance, an American user can claim and use a Canadian phone number and vice versa.  The same is true for our South American, African, European and Asian customers.  However, it is recommended that you use a phone number that aligns with your geographical or business location.

Enhancements and Tweaks

We recently announced our support for 3D Secure 2 ("3DS2") which allows our European users to successfully take credit card payments while following 3DS2 legal requirements.  Over the past few weeks, as we've worked with European users, we've enhanced our Stripe Connect and 3DS2 support with a few more updates...

After moving to Stripe Connect, we noticed that Stripe security deposits (ie. holds) were not allowing users to capture funds if the Stripe transaction was captured a certain way, so we fixed that.  We also updated the Request New Card guest form to allow the guest to choose a different card if the first choice failed and the OwnerRez user was using Stripe Connect.

Over on the channel side, we noticed that Vrbo might send 3DS2 information to us, with a new booking, even if the OwnerRez user doesn't have a Stripe Connect account that supports it, so we skip the 3DS2 process in that case.

Some of you may have gone through the process to connect your Stripe account to OwnerRez and then wondered why it didn't save.  After coming back from Stripe, OwnerRez asks you to set some basic settings and then save.  We changed this to save the Stripe connection right away and then ask for the settings after the fact.  That way, if you click away, the Stripe connection is still saved.

We'll keep our eye on all the new 3DS2 stuff, but if you see something that seems off, let us know right away!  Even if you're not a European merchant, keep an eye on your Stripe settings and processing history in OwnerRez and let us know if something seems off.

We're doing some research to help our website customers create much nicer custom pages in their OwnerRez hosted websites.  This will allow you to select page layouts for many different styles as well as have mobile/tablet responsive layouts built-in by default.  But until we get that out, we made a tweak that makes large images and long lines of text automatically adjust to mobile layouts automatically.  This will help in the meantime until our custom pages have better options.

We notice a lot of little things each week that can be improved.  For instance, this past week:

We noticed that you couldn't sort the Triggers grid by the Description or When columns, and some of you have a lot of triggers!  We updated that so that sorting works on both the Description and When columns.

We noticed that inquiries from Vrbo were allowing you to send quotes back to Vrbo with the links stripped out.  We changed this so that the double-blind proxy email address isn't stored on guests in OwnerRez but only on the Vrbo inquiry record itself, and then we changed the answer process for Vrbo inquiries to not allow normal email answers.

We noticed that PMs with hundreds of properties were getting really slow results when guests searched for availability across all of them.  We figured out that this was caused by our system generating a to-the-penny amount total for each property it returned and it was returning all of the properties.  We changed the availability widget for properties to return limited page sizes and then show a pager below the properties so the guest can move forward to the next set of results.  This greatly increases speed while giving guests an smaller set of properties to scan before moving on.

We noticed that our hosted websites can have a home URL address but it would only go to a page with an actual URL of "home" if it existed.  We changed this so that the "home" URL auto-redirects to the real home page.

We noticed that stored cards on file weren't showing as successful if the last transactions was a security hold.  We updated our stored card logic to consider security holds as successful transactions (assuming the credit card is approved, of course).

We noticed that Airbnb sends an "infant" count that isn't part of the guest list and doesn't increase the number of children.  The Infant number doesn't really change anything about the booking, but you might want to see it nonetheless.  We updated the booking overview page to show the Airbnb Infant field if the bookings happens to have an infant count denoted.

To be clear, this only shows up on Airbnb bookings and only bookings where the guest has included an infant count.  The Infant count does not increase the total guest size and will not show up in the Party Size information as well. There is currently no way of searching for bookings that have an Infants count.

If you use our PM system, at one time or another, you've probably had to turn off historical bookings that crept into owner statements the first time you ran statements.  And you may have had to do this again.  By "turn off" I mean you went to the booking, clicked the PM tab and set it to be "un-managed".  This takes the booking out of the PM system so that commission and earnings are not calculated at all.  The booking ceases to exist for PM purposes.  However, there was never any way to do this in bulk.  So if you had many months of bookings that had this problem, you had to radio our help desk to take care of it.

We've updated our Batch Update Bookings for Commission page to support "un-managing" bookings en masse.  This works just like it used to only instead of turning bookings on, you can now turn them off as well.

Have you ever tried to select and set a lot of rates on the rate calendar at once?  If so, you may have noticed that it would take a few seconds to finish. We updated our "spot rates" to work a lot faster.  You can now set a couple of years worth of rates in less than 1 second. 🤯

Oh hey, if you use the Norton Safe Web community, OwnerRez has now been whitelisted as a safe app/website to use!  No, never heard of it?  We hadn't either, but evidently it exists and some of our users were getting bugged by a "THIS MAY BE UNSAFE!!" warning whenever they got our emails or logged into OwnerRez.  We submitted all of our domain names to be whitelisted in the Norton Safe Web directory so our Norton users are all set now!

Bug Fixes

Booking activity language and formatting.  Awhile back, we started calling "security deposits" security holds instead.  The booking activity list - that thing that shows a chronological bullet list of financial activity - was still saying "security deposit" so we fixed it to match.  We also made sure the date formatting was using the user's preferences.

WordPress Plugin in Allow All mode.  There was an issue where the Personal Access Tokens for WordPress plugins would not work if the IP Restrictions list was set to Allow All.  This might be the case, for instance, if you re-used the same token for multiple sites.  We fixed this to work.  However, we do recommend using a unique token for each application you want to connect.

Minimum night rule or gap night rule?  We noticed that our Minimum Gap Night rule was kicking in when the Minimum Night rule was shorter, so we fixed this.  The Minimum Gap Night override only takes over if it's shorter than the Minimum Night rule.  Does it hurt your head to figure out what I just said?  Yeah me too, but the engineers say it was a real bug and it's fixed now.

Multiple scheduled security holds.  In certain situations, pending bookings were causing multiple security holds to be scheduled.  For instance, you might have already scheduled one manually or the guest might have scheduled one using a guest form.  Then, you go to Confirm the pending booking and the system schedules them again.  We fixed all that so that the pending > confirm process is smarter and double checks what's already been scheduled.

Vrbo Quick Connect link.  When connecting the Vrbo API integration, there's a newish "Quick Connect" process that certain users can qualify for.  However, we noticed that the link for Quick Connect was showing when properties had no listing data (descriptions, amenities, photos). The user would go mash Quick Connect link and fireworks would happen.  We now hide the Quick Connect link unless the property has listing data.

Quote listing site.  When editing the quote Info page, changing the Listing Site back to blank (to remove it) and saving did not work.  The original Listing Site information would still remain.  This has been fixed.

Dutch widgets.  Our friend Dennis from LayerFort noticed some translation issues with the Dutch words in our widgets.  He graciously gave us the fixes and double checked some other Dutch translations.  Thanks, Dennis!

Hey, we cover nadrual diasters ant deelays!  We found and fixed a small typo in a blurb about Travel Insurance.  It was pretty tiny, but hopefully no Grammar Nazis decided not to buy Travel Insurance because of it!  🤓

Default Property URL for multi-user widgets.  Users that use our hosted website feature automatically get a default Property URL generated for each of their properties.  They can override this by setting the Property URL to something else but, if that's removed, the system falls back to using the hosted website URL.  However, some of those users were also listed on multi-user widgets which are widgets that allow multiple OwnerRez users to display their properties, across the different OwnerRez accounts, on the same single widget.  When that happened, and the property had no Property URL, the default URL was not kicking in.  This has been fixed.

Discount codes on Renter Agreement previews.  When someone previews the Renter Agreement for their quote, the table of charges was not including any promo-code generated discounts.  This is because the preview is dynamic and depends on a number of parameters that are passed to it on the fly.  The promo code is now being included so that the charges are fully displaying any promo-code discounts that were selected by the guest right before they previewed the Renter Agreement.

PM Lock locks down Damage Protection.  PM Lock is designed to protect PM users from accidentally manipulating bookings after they've already remitted the money to the owner.  However, we noticed that Damage Protection could still be changed on bookings that had PM Lock turned on.  This creates the potential of still changing the owner's balance depending on what happens with the Damage Protection.  We updated PM Lock to not allow Damage Protection to be changed if PM Lock is turned on.  In order to add Damage Protection manually, you now have to remove PM Lock first.

RemoteLock discount clarity.  We fixed the RemoteLock discount message to refer specifically to their branded locks.  RemoteLock does not honor the OwnerRez discount on the non-RemoteLock hardware in their online store, only on their own.

What third party?  We were flagging the booking as having sent alerts to third parties when no third party alerts were configured in the first place.  We now detect that the property has no third parties and don't set that the alerts were sent.

New Videos

This week, our latest videos are about installing OwnerRez on Android and iOS devices and our integration with TouchStay.  Enjoy!