New iCalendar Interface is Live!

One of the objectives most have when using a system like Lodgix is to stop having to update calendar availability on multiple sites.

While it would be great if every listing provider had a two way reservation sync, most do not.  And even those that do, many limit full reservation sync to property managers with 5 or more properties.   However many listing sites have moved to support the iCalendar format for exporting and importing calendar data.  iCalendar data is limited but it will allow Lodgix to be the ONLY area where calendar data needs to be stored.

The Lodgix iCalendar Interface

The Lodgix iCalendar Interface

Let’s review the components of the Lodgix iCalendar interface:

  1. iCal Export URL.   This URL would be entered into listing sites that accept iCal imports.  This URL will contain basic Lodgix availability data to block dates, assuring that double bookings cannot occur on the listing site.
  2. iCal Import URL.   Lodgix supports multiple iCal import URLs.    For example, if a booking is made on Airbnb, once you have the correct, property specific Airbnb iCal import URL entered here. Another great example, would be a property manager with an owner who maintains a Google calendar of the bookings they take for their property.   By entering the Google iCal URL within Lodgix, the property manager can make bookings with the assurance that the unit is not getting double booked.  Likewise the property manager could supply the iCal export URL to the property owner, which he / she could enter into the Google Calendar, to assure that the Google Calendar remains updated with an bookings made by the PM.
  3. Auto Import.   The auto import features allows Lodgix to automatically poll the iCal import URL.  Lodgix will poll the import URL every 60 minutes to see if there are any changes in availability.  If set to OFF,  the import is a manual process.
  4. Manual sync – property.  To force a manual import of any new or changed calendar data, the sync button can be used.
  5. Manual sync – all properties. To force a manual import of any new or changed calendar data for all properties, the Import iCal – All Sources button can be used.

Important Notes About iCalendar Data

Important Notes About iCalendar Data

Importing rules:

  1. iCalendar data can never overwrite Lodgix invoice data.
  2. iCalendar data remains true to the source.  For example, if iCalendar data is being imported from a Google Calendar, and changes made to reservations on the Google Calendar (add a date, remove a date, etc.) will update the iCal block on Lodgix, ONLY if the block was originally created by the Google Calendar iCalendar import.

If there are any conflicts that result when iCalendar data is being imported, those conflicts will be noted in the Logs tab within the iCalendar interface.

Viewing Imported iCalendar Data on the Lodgix Calendar Tape

Viewing Imported iCalendar Data on the Lodgix Calendar Tape

iCalendar data are imported as blocks are in black.   The source of the data is noted at the top of the block.  Eventually we will implement the ability to customize the color of the blocks to vary by the iCal source.

Kaba Lock Integration is Live!



Lodgix is now integrated to Kaba!  Lodgix subscribers can now dynamically issue Kaba access codes to guests from within Lodgix!

Setup instructions are here:

Lodgix has also integrated to three other lock providers:




CSS Buttons Can Now Be Added to Email Templates

Some prefer having a more prominent call to action button in their email templates. Below are instructions to replace the “Book Now” link in your email templates with a “Book Now” button. Email templates can be found under Settings > Templates > Email

Note that this requires basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.

Example code and an illustration of the CSS Book Now button is located at the end of this entry.

Current Book Now link

By default, many email templates will include a link to book now. This is created using the [PROPERTY_BOOKING_URL] merge tag.

How Guests see the default Book Now link

The guest will receive an email containing a “Book Now” text link as seen above.

Updating the merge tag

Replace the default [PROPERTY_BOOKING_URL] merge tag with the [PROPERTY_BOOKING_URL_SIMPLE] merge tag. The merge tag can be found in the editor dropdown box.

Email template – Source Mode

To add a button using HTML and CSS, switch to the Source editor. See above.

Adding the HTML

This new merge tag will generate the url to book the property. Add a hyperlink and button text.

Adding the CSS

You can add inline CSS to style the button as you wish.

How the new button will look to guests

The emails that guests receive will now contain a “Book Now” button instead of the default Book Now hyperlink.

Complete code to insert the button shown

To insert a button styled exactly as in this example, you can use the following code:

<a href=”[PROPERTY_BOOKING_URL_SIMPLE]” target=”_blank”><span style=”background: #1793db; color: #ffffff; padding: 10px 20px; border-radius: 4px;”>Book Now</span></a>

Great News! HomeAway / VRBO is Rolling Out iCal Importing!

Great news!  As of June 2015, HomeAway is rolling out iCal importing, which means those of you with 4 properties or less can once again sync your calendars with HomeAway / VRBO!

If you have 5 properties or more then we recommend using the HomeAway Feed as you have the added benefit of listing sync, and connection to the BookItNow platform in addition to calendar sync.

iCal Importing with HomeAway

Here is the support article at HomeAway with instructions on how to define an iCal import URL within HomeAway.  Note in the support article below, HomeAway notes that not all listings have access to this new feature yet.

Location of the Lodgix iCal Export URL

Cut and paste the provide iCal export URL for each property into your corresponding HomeAway listing.

Universal Property Template – Security Deposits

Security or damage deposits are now setup within the new Universal Property template.

Settings > Templates > Universal Property

 Click on the Security Deposit Tab

  1. Choose when to collect the security deposit.  The most common (and preferred) implementation is “at time of reservation”.
  2. Click “Add Deposit”.
  1. Enter a name like “Security Deposit”
  2. Enter the amount of the security deposit
  3. Choose whether the deposit is a pre-auth or not.  A pre-auth means that the security deposit is never actually collected.  A pre-auth means that a pre-authorization is run on the guest credit card for the amount of the security deposit.  This places a hold on the guest credit card in the amount of the security deposit, usually for seven (7) days, at which times the pre-auth will expire.   Note: pre-auths typically aren’t a real good mechanism for protecting the property as many times the pre-auth will expire before the guest checks out, leaving little protection for the property manager.
  1. Select the security deposit.
  2. Add to ALL properties or
  3. Add to individual properties

The arrow shows how the table can be manipulated to show which properties contain (or don’t contain) the security deposit.

Note: most property managers no longer use security deposits for many reasons:

  1. Time required to collect / refund the security deposit.
  2. Possible loss of discount rate as most merchant accounts will not refund the discount rate.
  3. Possible damage to online reputation when a guest disputes the retention of the security deposit and complains in the many forums and review sites online.

Most property managers now mandate Damage Protection.  Learn more about damage protection and how to set it up within Lodgix.