Lodgix.com Website is Relaunching…

The Internet continues to change and evolve.  As such we’ve decided to double down and have committed to hiring two additional developers that will start in late May.   We are updating our software development processes and taking everything to the next level.

The first step we need to take is to update our own website.  From there we’ll be able to leverage those learnings and technologies to redesign our booking pages and update our calendars to make them more appealing and effective on mobile platforms.

Here is a screenshot of our new website:

new-website

 

Once we get the additional development staff settled in we hope to speed up development (and innovation) and look forward to introducing:

  1. Significant improvements to housekeeping and adding ability to assign housekeepers, track and report status of cleans, etc.
  2. Improving the rates / rules setup interfaces, allowing rates and rules to be extended forward with a click of a button.  Additionally more tools are planned to make the initial setup of nightly, weekly and monthly rates easier and quicker.
  3. Addition of Booking.com to our list of channel partners.
  4. Launching a new changelog allowing all subscribers to quickly see a daily log of new features, changed features, retired features, etc.
  5. Continued enhancements to our Quickbooks sync module.
  6. More features and enhancements to the property management module to make the generation of owner statements more intuitive and containing deeper links to guest invoices.
  7. Continued work on revamping the internal user interfaces to support mobile devices and ease of use.

And there are many user submitted suggestions for improvements that we are constantly monitoring and reviewing for implementation into the application.

Lots of great stuff!  We are committed to Lodgix and committed to our clients!

Brent

Airbnb Reservation and Calendar Sync

Lodgix can now sync your Lodgix calendar data with your listings on Airbnb using our iCal feed.

Lodgix can also automatically create invoices on Lodgix from confirmed reservations on Airbnb, which saves a ton of time having to manually rekey reservations on Airbnb into Lodgix, as well as it keeps your calendars immediately up to date across all platforms, avoid any possibility of double bookings.

Calendar Sync – Locate the Lodgix iCal Feed

Click on the Settings > Channel Management > Calendar Sync menu item within Lodgix.

Click on the iCalendar Tab

  1. Find your property
  2. Cut the .ics (iCalendar) feed URL provided for that property, you will need to paste the URL into Airbnb

Login to Airbnb

Steps 1 & 2 show the steps within Airbnb to locate where to enter the source calendar address from Lodgix. Click on the “Found It” button and copy / paste the iCal feed for that property from Lodgix.

Note: This tutorial was made 2/24/2014 and the iCal import worked fine. Some have said that Airbnb has turned off this feature, but at least for a brand new account it worked as of today.

Reservation Sync – Airbnb

NOTICE: Only confirmed bookings from Airbnb are imported into Lodgix.

  1. Find your Airbnb property id, in the example above it’s 2450965

Map Airbnb Property ID to Corresponding Lodgix Property

Go Settings > Channel Management > Calendar Sync > Mappings Tab

Update Airbnb with your custom Lodgix.com email address

The email address to use on Airbnb is in the format:

book-<customer_id>@lodgix.com (eg book-2@lodgix.com)

You can find your customer id here: http://www.lodgix.com/system/edit_settings

Make sure to SAVE the updated email address.

Limitations of the Reservation Sync

Because Airbnb does not provide a legit way of syncing reservation data, we had to use an alternative method. This method involves reading (parsing) the reservation confirmation email that is sent to the listing owner when a reservation is confirmed.

The data on that email is limited to the property id, the guest name, the guest phone number and the arrival and departure dates of the booking.

Lodgix will automatically create an invoice using this data. A fake email address will be assigned to the guest. It is your responsibility to login to airbnb and cut / paste the actual guest email address into Lodgix. Likewise it is your responsibility to edit the invoice to match the charges assessed at  Airbnb.

Lodgix.com New Features – Part I

Dashboard Reservation Widget Icons

image2

Lodgix previously had two methods by which bookings were entered into Lodgix, manually (phone) and online (booking calendars).  However now that we support two-way syncing with AirBnB and also bookings coming in via (new service soon be announced), it becomes more important for an owner or manager to be able to quickly look at the dashboard and determine where a booking originated.

Thus the dashboard reservation widgets now will show icons depicting where the booking originated: airbnb, homeaway, online or manual.

Calendar Tape Filter for HomeAway & Flipkey Listing IDs
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Thanks to a timely suggestion from a long-time subscriber, we recently implemented calendar tape filtering for your HomeAway or Flipkey listing IDs.   When you have larger numbers of properties and lots of listings on sites like HomeAway, it’s very common for a prospective guest to call in asking about availability for a particular listing id.

It can be tough to quickly match the listing ID to the corresponding property on Lodgix (especially for someone unfamiliar with your inventory).  To make this super easy we implemented a filter on the calendar tape. Now all that is required is to enter the listing ID in the lower left corner of the calendar tape and the calendar will filter the properties to only display the property that matches up to that ID!

This feature only works if the mappings are property setup within either the calendar sync area of Lodgix or within the inquiry configuration area of Lodgix.

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Should we develop a two-way sync with AirBnB?

Lodgix currently provides iCal feeds which you can cut and paste into your AirBnB listing.  This keeps  your AirBnB calendar sync’d with Lodgix.

As of 2/24/2014, this is the interface provided by AirBnB to suck up the iCal feed from Lodgix.

step1

step2

 

Within Lodgix. go here:

http://www.lodgix.com/system/calendar-sync/

Copy / paste the iCal feed URL for the correlating property into AirBNB.

How do I get bookings on AirBnB into Lodgix?

Currently, that’s not possible.  AirBnB doesn’t make available a feed to software companies.

However we could develop a parser that would parse the confirmation email you get from AirBnB and extract the guest name, phone number, property ID and check-in and check-out dates.  Lodgix could then create an invoice with that data.

However, it would still require the property owner or manager to login to AirBnB and update Lodgix with the guest email address, and also update the invoice to accurately reflect the transaction on AirBnB.

The benefit would be that your calendar on Lodgix would stay updated in real-time.

So I’m looking for some feedback if we should develop this or not, please fill out the short poll below and let me know what you think!  Results are displayed after the vote!

AirBnB Two Way Sync
Should we develop it?