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Request for Contact Info (real email address) and Signing

When guests book using an OwnerRez Hosted Website, or your own website using OwnerRez widgets, they are taken through a checkout process that collects their email and requires them to sign your legal rental agreement.

When guests are booking on a major listing site like Vrbo or Airbnb, of course, they aren't going to go through this process.  You have to do it another way.

OwnerRez users should be aware that some email systems (yahoo, hotmail, etc) may have additional security settings that may not allow clickable links for messages from unknown senders.

Guest Data from Different Channels

  • Airbnb has removed the platform (a.k.a. proxy or pass-through) email address function (e.g. jane-xyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyz@guest.airbnb.com). See the instructions on the Request Airbnb Guest Contact Information support article.
  • If you are using an API connection to TripAdvisor, or Booking.com - the API connection will not give you the guest's real email address.  They only give you a fake temporary proxy email address that goes through their server.  But it is able to handle real email, so the method discussed on this page will work: the trigger can automatically send out an email template inviting the guest into an OwnerRez process that will obtain their real email address and get an e-signature on your rental agreement.
  • If you are getting bookings from Airbnb/Vrbo using an iCal calendar import and Channel Bridge: no email address is provided via iCal.  But when you run Channel Bridge, it will obtain and populate the email address available - real for Vrbo.  Channel Bridge offers a checkbox option to fire on-create triggers much like the API process above.  This method works here too.
  • If you are connecting to Vrbo using the API, you are automatically given the real email address.  So the on-create trigger and email template can go out automatically to get the guest's e-signature on the rental agreement. Since we already have their real email address from the API, they don't need to provide it again, but they can update it in this process if need be.
  • FloridaRentals and Houfy send inquiries, not bookings, so the guest will reserve and finalize the booking via the normal direct booking flow.
  • For Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeToGo, if you are using the API, you should specifically state in your House Rules that your guests are required to sign your rental agreement.  This is in the API settings.  If a guest refuses to sign, they are violating your House Rule, and you can cancel their booking without penalty.

Why This Trigger?

With Booking.com, and TripAdvisor, the guest's email address is set as the proxy email address provided by the channel.  The guest's real email address (Gmail, yahoo, personal, etc.) is not shown or available.

For Airbnb, see the instructions on the Request Airbnb Guest Contact Information support article.

This is very frustrating for owners/PMs because you need to know your guest's real email address so that you can contact them directly and not have the channel strip out content or shut off communications later.  The only way to get the guest's real email address is to ask for it directly.

Sample Email Template

Rich Text Editor

OwnerRez users can create an email template by navigating to Settings > Messaging > Templates.

OwnerRez Templates

From the + Create Email Template drop-down list, users should select the Booking template.

From the + Create Email Template drop-down list, users should select the Booking template.

The Create Booking Email Template will open up with a rich-text editor that creates text to display within web browsers, presenting the user with a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" editing area in order to reduce the effort for users trying to create formatting directly as valid HTML markup.

OwnerRez users should name the email template a name that is meaningful and descriptive to their business workflow. In this case, we've named this template, "Request for Contact Info (real email address) and Signing".

Request for Contact Info Email Template Example

Users can add Custom Booking Fields to the email template by clicking on the Insert Field link in the left corner of the email template body.

Insert Field

Users can add custom field into their email subject line and body of the email template by clicking on the Insert button button to the left of the custom field in the Insert a Field modal pop-up. 

Insert Custom Fields

Click Save, then select Preview at the top of the screen.

Save and Preview Email Template

When the Preview modal opens, users will note that they can not only preview the email template but they can also toggle between properties and bookings for each property by selecting from the two drop-down lists at the top of the Preview modal. Users can exit the Preview modal by clicking on Close.

Preview modal

Users can Save the Email Template and Preview it as many times as they like until they are satisfied with it. Then click on Save and Close.

HTML for the Tech Savvy

Below are other options for our more tech-savvy users.

Subject:

Renter agreement for {PDISPNAME}

Body:

Hi {CFIRST},

Thanks for booking {PDISPNAME}!

I have entered your {BSOURCE} booking into our main booking system.

Could you take a second to click on the following link? This will open a POC (point of contact) form and renter agreement that we ask all guests to sign before coming out to {PDISPNAME}.

e-Signature form for Booking # {BID}
{BUFIXUP}

If you could take care of this ASAP, that will complete your booking for {PDISPNAME}.

Talk to you soon and thanks for booking!

-{MYFIRST}

Or, if you're comfortable pasting the HTML code (just use the <> in the email formatting bar), here's the code for a prettier one:

<p><img style="margin-left: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px;" src="{PIMGURL}" alt="" align="right" /></p>
<p>Hi {CFIRST},</p>
<p><strong>Thanks for booking&nbsp;{PDISPNAME}!</strong></p>
<p>I have entered your&nbsp;{BSOURCE} booking into our main booking system.</p>
<p>Could you take a second to click on the following link? This will open a POC (point of contact) form and renter agreement that we ask all guests to sign before coming out to {PDISPNAME}.</p>
<p><a href="{BUFIXUP}">e-Signature form for Booking # {BID}</a></p>
<p>{BUFIXUP}</p>
<p>If you could take care of this ASAP, that will complete your booking for {PDISPNAME}.</p>
<p>Talk to you soon and thanks for booking!</p>
<p>{MYFIRST}</p>

It is essential that the URL link be visible separately as a normal "clickable" link. Yes, it looks a bit ugly and old-fashioned - but if you don't do that, it won't work for Airbnb and Booking.com.

If your properties are listed on Airbnb and you are using our API connection, you can send messages to your Airbnb guests using Airbnb's internal messaging system, not just email.  This works in much the same way, with templates and triggers - you just use the Airbnb template type instead of email:

Airbnb internal messages can't do HTML, but they can handle URL links in plaintext - so, don't copy the HTML shown immediately above, but the plaintext body above that will work fine.

Create Trigger 

Now you need to create a trigger to send this email to the guest after you get a booking that needs it. You can do this under Settings > Triggers by creating an Event Based trigger.  Use these settings, and select the Email Template you created in the previous step:

Make sure to also select the appropriate channels:

Channel Bridge

If you are using API connections, this email will be automatically sent when needed.

If you are using Channel Bridge, don't forget to check the "Send Create Triggers" checkbox: