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OwnerRez, Quick Books, Website, Alternative to VRBO Guest-Paid Insurance

I see here positive mention of OwnerRez. I notice that they offer integration with QuickBooks, “Property Management” (defined as “Calculate commission, generate owner statements and record expenses”) as well as provide services like SMS, website.

https://www.ownerreservations.com/pricing

By way of background we have just one listing, which is in the U.S. on Airbnb and VRBO, $215/night, and administration has been easy, though a little tedious at tax time as my method has been to use a dedicated credit card for the listing plus a spreadsheet for cash expenses.

The downside to my current practice is that I don’t have categorization of the credit card expenses until I create that at tax time, and no real-time view of our economic performance (though I could do that by just categorizing the expenses monthly, which is what I’d need to do with QuickBooks).

OwnerRez cost is not much for one listing: $35/month for the base service, which provides channel management and legal agreements, and $80/month for all the services (about $10/month more for each of the four add-on services listed below).

My questions are:

  • What benefits do you see OwnerRez for a Host such as myself? I’m not sure of any benefit to me of the base service except for the legal agreement capability, which I think I could also do on my own with DocuSign for $10/month.

Do you see these add-on benefits worthwhile ?

  • Property Management
  • Website
  • Quick Books integration
  • SMS messaging

Do Hosts see a benefit to using a tool like QuickBooks? Or keep their numbers more ad hoc like I do? [I would think that once you have more than one property/listing that the benefits of a tool like Quick Books soars because you might want to understand in real time the profitability of each property/listing.]

If I added the website add-on, would the idea be to drive repeat customers to that website so they could avoid Airbnb and VRBO fees? [For those of you with a social media presence I realize that you could drive followers to the website that way, probably not part of my strategy yet.] If I had my own website could I easily mimic what Airbnb/VRNO does with cancellation penalties? That is, offer a signup and TOS, take credit card and charge for cancellations, maybe also for damages? [I’m guessing ‘no.’]

One thing I value from VRBO is its ability to have the guest pay a $79 [typically] premium for $3,000 of insurance in case they damage anything – not sure whether I could get something close to that elsewhere if a booking came to me directly on my website. Do you know? I don’t want to rely on a legal agreement to go after guests for such damage.

I realize I am asking a lot of questions. Please feel free to pick and choose the question you’d like to respond to. And thank you, in advance.

all my answers are above in the info

4 Likes

What an informative answer! Thank you.

So,

Am I right in thinking that you recommend this?
Are the guest’s optics that they are make the booking just as they do now or are they ‘redirected’ to an OwnerRez platform?

I use OR with my two cabins/3 listings. Advantage for me is the AP connection is near instant and I do not worry about double booking between the platforms.

I have the OR website too, all my changes go everywhere, website and booking platforms. SO if I change anything, it is just in one place.
I do get direct bookings, but I also used google ads/PPC for 2 years. I turned off the ad campaign a month ago and I just got a direct booking the other day. Google maps helps, I get a lot of traffic there. I always tell people to use Google Maps to find me to generate google juice, IDK if that works or not.

I do not use QB integration

I do not manage other properties so I do not use that part either.

I love OR and will keep using them.

RR

3 Likes

Does anyone know about this?

I’ve read you can purchase damage protection insurance through OwnerRez for a nominal fee, and then you can charge a fee for it to your guests. It was around $30 US for the insurance and some hosts would charge $50 or $75 US to the guests. I don’t know if that is still valid, though.

Thank you. I just wrote them. I’ll report back when I hear.

Does anyone know about this?
It is the damage coverage through OR.
I place it on every reservation. It has to be on all or none.
I only use $500 worth of coverage, because in all these years there is very little that can be a costly damage in my homes that I can forsee anymore.
And I charge $69 for the coverage, so I earn an additional $56 on each reservation.
on 100 reservations each year that is good pocket change.
I also hold a security deposit against the credit card.

what are you reporting back on?

No, I don’t see that @RiverRock says that there is damage protection through OR.

So I don’t know that this is currently something OR offers.

I apologize, you are correct. Not only that…I have read the whole thread wrong.
You asked about it.

One thing I value from VRBO is its ability to have the guest pay a $79 [typically] premium for $3,000 of insurance in case they damage anything – not sure whether I could get something close to that elsewhere if a booking came to me directly on my website. Do you know? I don’t want to rely on a legal agreement to go after guests for such damage.

So, OR does not “offer it”. Damage Protection is a 3rd party company. It can be utilized through the OR system. You select it for all bookings, or no bookings. You select the amount of coverage. You choose what to charge the guest.
It is also a far far superior protection than the one used by vrbo ( CSA ). For VRBO it is the guest who is the insured. For OR it is the Owner who is insured. Huge difference. Claims are also very easy.
@PitonView does not use OR and that is why she can not answer that in more detail.
I am sorry for my misinterpretations on the comments. My mistake entirely.
OR is great. Damage protection through OR is great.

3 Likes

I’m going to post here the link to my Google Doc about OwnerRez. If moderators need me to edit this or anything, just let me know. By way of full disclosure:
I have used OwnerRez for 4+ years, they are the only CM/PM I have ever used so cannot compare them to others.
I was referred to them by other hosts on a large Facebook STR group, OR was the overwhelming favorite when I asked.
This question, about PMS/CM is asked anywhere from once a week to half a dozen times a day in the 30+ Facebook STR groups to which I belong, so this doc is pretty helpful.
There is a wonderful FB group of volunteer users helping other hosts, Unofficial OwnerRez Support Page.

There are a huge number of assorted permutations as to how we run our businesses, what is for some a critical feature is anethema to another host. For example, by connecting API to VRBO, I collect my process my own CC payments, total control, merchant of record for chargebacks, no need to call VRBO CS, etc. But other hosts have been aghast at the idea of having to process the taxes themselves. Me, I started out processing taxes before ABB/VRBO got involved and my state requires hosts report even if they owe $0 so it’s no big deal to me, others who’ve not done it, they say no way so they don’t API connect, which mystifies me control freak that I am. So many ways to do it, no one is right or wrong.

My doc does include my affiliate link, if I or another host are helpful to someone signing up, then great, clicking through the affiliate link gives the referrer a small portion of your early payments, not a big deal, costs you nothing, for me. There are several people on the FB pages who will do full OR set ups for those either not techy enough or too busy to do it themselves, I don’t know what they charge, but I am sure they also click the link for the affiliate fee to go to them. Newbies ask a ton of questions, I don’t fault those helpers for doing that.

1 Like

Do you see these add-on benefits worthwhile ?

  • Property Management- this is for actual property managers managing other owner’s properties
  • Website- I have my own, created on WP before I had OR, I don’t market much, but I have booked about 20% of my bookings this year direct. I don’t really market so most of those direct bookings are returning guests or guests smart enough to google my property names or a guest adding on extra nights. With one listing you could try that on your own, via the quote function before you jump to having a website.
  • Quick Books integration- if you use QB, I don’t
  • SMS messaging- I don’t use this as I am cheap and have not seen the need, I think it’s more needed for bigger set ups where multiple people might be replying to guests and where it’s critical to have that flow. For me and my local manager, it’s just us, no need to separate that communication and I will text guests from my phone, not worried about the number being revealed.
2 Likes

I just want to thank you for this incredibly valuable post and attachment. You were. very generous to share this. I have spoken with my Host on this (I am co-Host) and we are definitely going to do this (and use your link).

So I can hire OwnerRes to do it through ProConnect, or one of these people on the FB pages. If you know of anyone on the FB pages that you think might be preferable to ProConnect ($500), please direct message me. I understand that some of the process is not just techie but thinking through vendors and policies, your ‘permutations,’ which goes beyond ProConnect. So I wonder whether some of the FB folks you refer to might be both techie and wise. If not, Owner Rez’s ProConnect might be way to go – do you have an opinion?

→ OwnerRes seems SO, SO valuable that it makes me wonder whether/how this forum might have certain posts – like this one of yours – or groups of posts organized under key topics (e.g., reviews, rules, service animals, etc.) that newbies can go to and moderators direct others to. I sense there is a lot of ‘gold’ in this forum.

If someone thinks that is a good idea maybe they can let the moderators know – I forgot how to find them (and I’ve been ‘forever’ ignored by at least one of them). @muddy probably knows.

Anyway, @busymumsy , thank you, thank you, thank you!

As Joe Biden would say, this is a big f . . . deal! [At least to me though I have just one listing I like to have more control (!) and love that I could get damage protection, possibly even control the security deposit on Airbnb reservations, and have my own website (with my own cancellation policies) for repeat business, giving me the hope of becoming less dependent on Airbnb over time, which seems prudent. And aside from the time cost to setup (or $ cost if your hire) the cost ($35/month for starters) seems trivial and could easily be recouped with just one successful damage claim,]

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