Limited HTML Now Allowed Within WordPress Plug-in

We added a new field within the property setup for each property and called it “Additional Info”.  This field allows HTML and will appear immediately after the property description within the WordPress plug-in output.

The field can be found within the Details tab of property setup. The contents of this field will ONLY appear within the WordPress plug-in output.  Most integration feeds do not allow HTML, so that’s why the contents of this field will not appear on your HomeAway or FlipKey listings if you are participating in those integrations.

output

Some stuff we are working on…

The last several months have largely been spent navigating the summer holidays, while also working hard with our new development team to familiarize them with Lodgix.   Initially, we’ve been working on moving much of our static data on the Amazon cloud platform, while simultaneously working to device a new internal page rendering scheme which will allow us to update Lodgix incrementally to take advantage of the latest and greatest design and development methodologies.  It’s a big undertaking, but progress is being made.

We continue to roll out, small improvements in the short term, like the one we did today, which allows subscriber / employee blocks to be designated as owner blocks which will show up in the calendar tape, as well as in the housekeeping and arrival reports.   A small change, but useful for many PMs.

logoWe also inked a partnership agreement with BookingPal.com.  They are busy integrating our API into their systems which allow Lodgix subscribers to distribute inventory to 50+ new channels including booking.com and many others.

BookingPal increases vacation rentals visibility and bookings worldwide by connecting property managers and owners to online travel websites, travel agencies and real estate websites. Property Managers automatically publish and update their listings through API-based integrations with their Property Management System (PMS), while those without a PMS can login to BookingPal to add their vacation rental. All listings become immediately available for booking through a global network of online travel websites, travel agencies and real estate websites. As a result, BookingPal creates more vacation rental revenue industry wide.

We will have more information at the time the integration is complete and distribution is live, perhaps in middle of September?

gthy_main_logo

Glad to Have You is a mobile app provider that some Lodgix customers may find of value.   It’s not one of our personal favorites, but enough PMs use it that it makes sense to code a feed to it for those that have been using it with other systems.

We do have plans for our own mobile app for guests, however this is still in the planning phases, as in our opinion putting out an app like Glad To Have You offers little value add to the guests.   As such we are working on a mobile app that offers a true value proposition to both the guest and the PM.  As a vacation rental guest myself, I do not want to clutter up my precious iPhone space with another worthless app delivering me regurgitated content that could just have easily been emailed to me.    Apps are nice and all, but the utility of many of them is negligible and the actual usage statistics for most are very poor.  We’ll see if we can do better!

logo-qbooks

Intuit recently made some functionality available via their QuickBooks Online API.  We’ve got quite a few new features and enhancements in the queue for the QuickBooks Online Sync, however we’ve been waiting on Intuit to release the documentation for their new functionality.  Now that they’ve done that, we’ll start work on putting out some much needed new functionality soon!

Thanks for your patience!  I expect our development pace to pick up as the new team becomes more accustomed to our code and culture and as we slingshot out of summer and settle into the routine of fall / winter!

Resending a Manual Digital Signature Request

For various reasons there will come times when it’s necessary to resend a digital signature request.  Perhaps the guest didn’t get the first email, or maybe they deleted it…whatever the reason, it’s easy to send the request again.

Guest Control Panel > Documents Tab

To resend a digital signature request, go into the guest control panel, select the invoice which requires the digital signature and click on the Document tab:

You will see a button to “request agreement signature” (note image above).

That button will allow you to resend the digital signature request, the guest will not have to go through the booking process again, they will only be asked again to sign the rental agreement since they didn’t do it the first time!

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.