Current Projects Update

Our two primary development projects have made significant progress since our last update.

Online Booking Page Redesign

I’ve seen the first online booking page redesign / recode test pages and can’t tell you how excited I am to get rid of our current pages.   Those pages continue to work well, however the design is dated and the mobile experience very sub par.   The new pages are responsive,  utilize the latest in buttons / icon designs and offer a great deal more flexibility.   It’s just a really big deal to flush the old code / design and usher in the new.   We still have several weeks of development of testing left, but great progress has been made!

I might have some screenshots next week Monday.

Merged Rates / Rules

An incredible amount of work has been done as we work to consolidate a the rates and rules setup for each property into one interface.  An immense amount of automated testing is being done to assure that all quotes and bookings from all services (booking calendars, WordPress users,  API users, channel users, etc) work as before with no downtime or discrepancies.

There will be huge interface differences which will be rolled out incrementally, however all guests should notice no difference in the rates and rules being used in quotes and bookings.  This update will only make property setup and maintenance MUCH easier, as well as make future coding MUCH easier and efficient on the development side of things.  It’s a much much needed update and one that I can’t wait to have behind us!

More soon!

Current Projects

The last 12 months have largely been spent rearchitecting large portions of the application.  This can be extremely time consuming, even for some of the best developers in the world. Recoding and refactoring the backend, while simultaneously launching a new front end framework requires a lot of man hours.   The good news is that we are currently working on two projects which will update two very important components of the application and will be very visible once launched.

Online Booking Pages

The Lodgix online booking pages have not been changed since the launch of the company in 2008.  Much is required of the interfaces and much is required of the code powering those pages:

  1. Mobile friendly.  Super important to have the pages make booking as easy as possible on phones and tablets.
  2. Simplicity.  A move to a one or two page booking process is essential.
  3. Skinning.   Lodgix users need much greater flexibility in skinning the look and feel of the Lodgix booking pages to match their website.
  4. Customization.   The ability to add / edit fields in the booking form, as well as to make certain field mandatory are super important.
  5. Design.   Updated, fresh design to make the booking process easy and simple on all screen sizes.
  6. Integration of new travel insurance partner.  Optional ability to offer travel insurance during the booking process.

and much, much more.

We are two weeks into the development process.  I should have some screenshots available soon!

Merged Rates and Rules

Lodgix currently has separate interfaces to setup nightly, weekly, monthly and per person rates.   Then we have separate interfaces to setup minimum night stay, arrival day and departure day rules.  All of that property setup can be time consuming.   Yes, we offer property cloning, rate / rule copy, etc..   However even with that, adding and updating rates / rules requires too much time.

Our new interfaces will allow all rates and rules to be setup on one page and will make the updating of those rates / rules for future periods a simple component of the universal property interface.

This project has been in progress in various stages since the summer of 2015.   The next stage will be an interim stage, still using our old display framework, but merging all current rates / rules.   The backend code will be completely new, but we will utilize the old display framework to ease the transition and testing to a completely new property setup process.

I expect we’ll start testing the new code in a couple of weeks and then perhaps a couple of weeks after that we’ll launch it to the production server.   So barring any huge fires, possibly a June 1 launch of the interim interfaces.   We’ll then move immediately to begin coding the new interfaces which will make things all nice and pretty and even more simple!

Imagine being able to say, “i’d like all my properties to reflect a 10% increase for 2017” and then making one change, applying it to all properties and five seconds later, all of your rates are 10% higher in 2017.

Or perhaps demand is running ahead of last year and you want to make an adjustment to your primary season pricing for all remaining available dates by increasing rates 5%, click a button, make the adjustment, apply to the correct dates and to individual or all properties and wah lah!  The change is complete.

This will set the stage nicely for more advanced automated yield management in the future!

New WordPress Plugin User Interface!

Our WordPress plugin was recently refreshed with an exciting new user interface.   The new interface is responsive (works great on mobile devices) and it provides real-time feedback to setting changes.

Previously if the icon set was changed, or one of the many display settings were tweaked, the site would have to be regenerated and then opened in your browser to view.  This process could be time consuming.

The new process displays a sample design of the affected design on the settings page.   As you make changes, the sample design updates to reflect the changes.  This will allow rapid tweaking and exploration of all the many menu driven design options offered within the plugin.

Here are some screenshots of the new interface:

2016-04-28_8-40-19 2016-04-28_8-38-36 2016-04-28_8-37-56

New Owner Statement Generation Options and Interface

Generating owner statements is getting easier!   The following improvements are now live:

  1. Ability to email owner statements to individual owners.   Previously it was only possible to email the owner statement to all owners.
  2. Ability to customize the default subject and message body of the email sent to the owner.
  3. Ability to turn on / off columns within the statement that are not pertinent to your business.
  4. Ability to set the width of the data columns within the statement to improve readabiity.
  5. Ability to increase / decrease the overall font size of the statement to improve readability.
  6. All owner emails will now show as coming from your company, as long as your spf records are setup correctly.

Accessing Owner Statements

Accessing Owner Statements

There is a menu item for Owner Statements under the parent menu “Reports”

Owner Statement Generation

Owner Statement Generation
  1. Click to choose a preset date range or enter a custom date range.
  2. Choose a Property Owner (note owner accounts must have been set up and properties assigned to the owner for any options to appear here).  Also, multiple owners can be selected.   All owners is also an option.
  3. Choose the format of the statement (Excel or PDF).
  4. Choose the orientation of the statement (portrait or landscape).
  5. “Save to owner account” will save the generated statement to the owner account.
  6. Choose “Individual Statements” to generate individual owner statements.  The option for “Summary Statement” will only be made available if all owners are selected.   A summary statement will reflect all rental activity, work orders and rental expenses for all owners on one statement.  Summary statements cannot be emailed.
  7. Choose to “Download” or “Send” the statement(s).   If multiple statements are being generated, a zip file will be created containing the individual statements.   If just one statement is generated, it will download as a PDF.

Settings

Settings

There are two types of settings for owner emails and owner statements.

Owner Communcation

Allows the default subject and message to be set.  This is for when an owner statement is generated and sent to the owner by Lodgix.

Owner Statements

1) Set the font size of the statement, which can result in more information being displayed on one page.

2) Disable columns.   Some PMs might not require some data to be displayed to the owner, those columns can be disabled.

3) Set Column Width.  Reducing or increasing column widget might help with readability or with fitting more information on one page.

Overview of an Owner Statement

Overview of an Owner Statement

The Owner Statement is calculated using completed reservations only and can be computed using either preset or custom time periods.  Thus a reservation that begins their stay in June and ends their stay in July will only show up on the July owner statement.

The Owner Statement can be calculated off of Gross Rental Revenue or Net Rental Revenue.   Gross Rental Revenue contains rents only, it does NOT include any fees or services which have been added to the guest invoice.  This will allow a clean number to be generated.    The setting for gross or net rental revenue is set within the settings for each property owner as defined within the Property Management Module.

The Owner Statement is broken out by properties and sort by the arrival date for each property.   Any taxes that are setup within Lodgix for each property will be broken out on the statement.   Owner Blocks are also displayed on the statement.

Any fees that are setup within the property management module by the property manager to be assessed to the owner will be broken out and subtracted from gross rental revenue to arrive at a net rental revenue number.

Management commission percentages are displayed and the total commission generated is derived from either a % of gross rents or a % of net rents depending on what the property manager has setup for the property.

Net to owner is the amount remaining after rental commissions are subtracted from either gross or net rents.

Work Orders / Rental Expenses

Work Orders / Rental Expenses

When work orders or rental expenses are assigned to an owner with Lodgix, they will flow through to the owner statement and be broken out in their own respective sections of the owner statement.

Statement Summary

Statement Summary

The Statement Summary provides a brief overall summary to the property owner .

Property Owner Documents

Property Owner Documents

Owner statements generated from the application will show up in the owner account if the “save to owner account” option was selected at the time the statement was generated.  Property managers may wish to store receipts / invoices in the owner account.  Pretty much any type off file can be uploaded into the owner account allowing the owner to login and view those files at their leisure.

  1. Choose a folder where the document should be stored (or create your own)
  2. Choose a file to upload via the file upload icon.