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Here at PointCentral, we’re always looking to develop quality partnerships with the best tech operators in the short-term rental industry. That’s why we’re thrilled to be working alongside the leading channel management and messaging platform, OwnerRez

To find out more about the company and how it supports property managers in streamlining and scaling their businesses, we’ve caught up with the Head of Partnerships and Marketing, Paul Hall. 

Tell us about OwnerRez, what it offers the vacation rental industry, and what your role is at the company. 

OwnerRez is an internationally recognized vacation rental industry specialist in channel management, CRM, PM, accounting, messaging, and website creation. Our solution integrates with all major vacation rental channels to seamlessly sync availability, rates, rules, and listing content. We support property managers in building their own unique brand through a modern fast website, as well as empower them to process payments directly, manage inquiries, provide five-star guest communication, and create an easy guest checkout with e-sign renter agreements.

I am the Head of Partnerships and Marketing at OwnerRez. I handle all integrations with OwnerRez to ensure our users have the best experience possible. Over the past few years, I’ve worked to add many partners to our network, so our users have plenty of options when choosing the best and most suitable solutions for their tech stack. You can find our entire list of integrated partners here.

Why do OwnerRez’s direct partnerships set it apart from other software platforms in the space?

Instead of using third-party managers, we’ve built direct partnerships with major vacation rental booking channels. Because of this, our connections are lightning-fast, clean, and simple. And, best of all, it means we don’t need to charge our users a percentage of their revenue, so they get the best service for the best price. 

Our developers have worked hard to refine our solution so it’s as user-friendly as possible, allowing companies to integrate with OwnerRez easily via our API. Every single partner we’ve integrated into our platform has gone through a rigorous testing process to ensure the sync is seamless and easy to use. 

How does OwnerRez’s technology support property managers in streamlining their businesses?

We’ve designed a property management system that allows users to calculate commission and generate monthly statements for their owners in a way that is clean, fast, and built directly into the current booking system they already use.

Our property management system follows the trust/escrow accounting model, where it’s assumed that property managers are collecting payments from guests as “rents in trust” in a separate escrow bank account. We then provide “payouts” statements, for both the owner and the property manager, so that money is periodically moved from escrow to the right party.

OwnerRez gained both elite star status with VRBO as a connectivity partner and preferred software partner of Airbnb in 2022. What role do you think tech innovation played in helping you succeed? 

Our developers are some of the best in the vacation rental space. Since we built our own direct API connections to the channels, we can easily add new features as soon as they are available and perform quick fixes to ensure our users have the most stable API connections.

As the short-term rental tech market becomes more competitive, how does OwnerRez ensure its innovations stay ahead of the curve? What’s your secret sauce? 

OwnerRez is profitable and privately owned. We have zero debt and zero outside investors. We are happy to get up every day and work on our product, and we’re not looking for early exits or acquisitions. We make careful, responsible decisions with money because it’s hard to come by, and we don’t want to trade our vision and control for outside investors. Due to this, we can focus on how to make the product better for customers instead of focusing on how to make the most money to impress investors.

What excites you about the integration with PointCentral? 

What sets PointCentral apart from some of the other services out there is that you can connect other devices besides just the door locks. Many people nowadays also want to implement smart home technology such as temperature sensors, noise monitoring, water sensors, and more. PointCentral is already ahead of the curve by offering connections with those products to seamlessly integrate them all into one easy-to-use platform.

How do your customers benefit most from using PointCentral’s technology?

OwnerRez integrates codes for PointCentral smart locks. Each time a booking is created, OwnerRez automatically obtains the access code to the rental, meaning property managers don’t have to lift a finger. If the booking moves to another property or the dates change, a new access code is obtained so that the guest will always be sent a valid code for their stay. This efficiency allows property managers to devote time to other areas of the business. 

The hospitality industry has seen its fair share of challenges over recent years. Has OwnerRez faced any particular obstacles and, if so, how have you overcome them? Any learnings to share?

Our co-founders are really good software engineers, but more than that — they’re also vacation rental homeowners and property managers themselves. This means they know from experience what tools and solutions can benefit their workflow and business. For more than a decade, we devoted ourselves to providing really good vacation rental experiences for guests. Now, we devote our time to providing really good software for vacation rental owners and property managers. 

A lot of our own employees use OwnerRez for their vacation rentals, giving us greater insight into what is needed by the end user. This allows us to easily, and quickly, adapt to an ever-changing market.

What does 2023 have in store for OwnerRez?

We have some really exciting things coming this year! Here are some of the highlights:

  • Google Vacation Rentals as a new first-class channel
  • Vrbo platform messaging
  • Airbnb Transactions and Payouts API

If you could give one piece of advice to property managers in navigating the ever-changing hospitality landscape, what would it be?

Automate as much as you can. If you don’t start with a solid foundation, you’ll run into a lot of issues when scaling up your business. Be strategic when deciding what to add to your tech stack, so you are only spending money on things that make an impact on your business. 

If you’re looking for a company you can grow with and integrate with the best software companies in the vacation rental space, get in touch with OwnerRez or find out more about PointCentral’s smart tech here.

The webinar ‘Understanding the smart home’ has concluded, but you can watch the recording here.