Enhancements to Discounts and Coupon Codes

We’ve got some great enhancements coming up on Monday August 19th!

First up will be automated last minute discounts. Subscribers will now be able to define a last minute discount(s) and have those discounts automatically applied during the booking process. For example, currently if I noticed that I have period on the horizon where I have significant availability, I have to manually reduce the rates for that period for each property to offer a discount. That’s way too much manual labor and it’s inefficient!

Going forward, the new process will allow me to define last minute discount rules:

Rule #1: For all available nights in the next 20 days, discount 10%
Rule #2: For all available nights in the next 14 days, discount 20%
Rule #3: For all available nights in the next 7 days, discount 30%
Rule #4:  For all available nights in the next 2 days, discount 50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus this will allow the discounts to increase as the available night approaches. The best part is that these rules can be automatically applied which keeps my rate table clean and saves me a ton of extra effort – while increasing my occupancy.

Next up, will be applying discounts to specific periods.   The current coupon and discount code system does not allow coupon codes to be used for specific periods of time.  If you want to market a coupon code to your existing customers good for 10% off all summer 2012 dates, the guest could use that coupon code to obtain 10% off fall 2012 or summer 2013 for that matter.  That isn’t the case any longer.   Discounts can now be assigned date ranges assuring that discounts can’t be redeemed when they aren’t applicable!

 

Triggers for Property Managers

The Triggers interface has some additional options when the property management module is enabled and added to the core subscription.

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There is now an Owner option when the property management module is enabled.

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When the Owner option is set, another field appears which allows a particular property owner to be chosen. This functionality may be useful to those managers who want triggers setup to notify property owners when certain events occur (e.g. confirmed bookings).

Owner Statements Have Launched!

The ability to generate owner statements is the latest new feature of the Lodgix.com Property Management Module. It’s important to keep in mind that Lodgix does not pretend to be a competitor of larger companies like Escapia.com or LiveRez.com. We are building out a product that is cost effective by offering a feature set that is innovative and flexible and will work for most small to mid size property managers. Our product costs thousands of dollars per month less than a Escapia or LiveRez, yet still offers a competitive, flexible core product that allows you to manage and grow your business while keeping your hard earned cash working for you.

Accessing Owner Statements

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There is now a new menu item for Owner Statements under the parent menu "Property Management Reports"

Owner Statement Generation

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  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)
  3. "Save to owner account" will save the generated excel spreadsheet to the owner document account for future retrieval, emailing and editing
  4. An excel document will be generated (see below). This document can then be edited, saved and uploaded to the correct Lodgix owner account for archival, future retrieval, emailing, etc.

Property Owner Documents

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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.

  1. Choose a file to upload
  2. Describe the file
  3. Upload the file
  4. The description or file name can be edited at any time.

Overview of an Owner Statement

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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.

Statement Summary

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

Coming Enhancements

The purpose of the current implementation of the Owner Statement functionality is to aid the property manager in the manual creation of an Owner Statement. Future enhancements will greatly build upon the current functionality.

Items that are planned to enhance the Owner Statements in the near future:

  1. Ability to make the Owner Statement available to the owner at login.
  2. Ability to make owner documents available in triggers and email windows
  3. Ability for property manager to record additional expenses within Lodgix that will be included on Owner Statements
  4. Ability for a Owner Statement to carry a running balance
  5. Ability to record date and check # or automatic transfer was completed for balance due to owner
  6. Ability for Property Manager to generate all owner statements for all owners with one request. Current functionality requires each owner statement to be generated manually.
  7. Ability for property owner / property manager to exempt property owner blocks from certain or all management fees
  8. Possible option to include YTD totals on owner statements

HomeAway Connect Calendar Integration

This is not a real biggie, but we’ve launched the ability to sync your Lodgix.com calendars with HomeAway Connect.  This means no more double entry for your VRBO or HomeAway calendars!  Hooray!

Property managers with 20 or more properties can join the HomeAwat Professionals program and Lodgix will sync with HomeAway and actually add, edit and delete ENTIRE listings on HomeAway.  Of course, all calendar data is sync’d as well.

I am writing this on Saturday, June 18th.  We’ve got a couple small tweaks left to code on Sunday, so I expect the code to launch on the production server within 24-48 hours.  Not sure if FlipKey offers an API yet, but when / if they do we’ll integrate to that as well.

Lodgix is growing, growing, growing!  If you are tired of paying the $1000+ setup fees and $500.00 a month minimum from Escapia or LiveRes.com you might want to give us a try.   You’ll save a ton of money!

Custom Variables

The best way to explain this feature is to give an example. Let’s say you have several properties and each has a lockbox with a different lockbox code. You want to send out instructions (automagically of course) to an arriving guest with check-in instructions which would include the lockbox code for the property. Well Lodgix doesn’t currently have a field for a “Lockbox Code”. However, now you can define a custom variable that will allow you to define your own fields AND it will assign a variable to the custom field that you can reference in your correspondence templates, triggers and emails!

 

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Click on the “Custom Variables” menu item

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Click “Create new custom variable”

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  1. Description. This is the title of the field. For example, if the variable is for the input of property notes, the title might be “Property Notes”. In this example, the title is “Lockbox Code”.
  2. Location. Global Variable – value is static and will remain the same anywhere in the application. An example might be setting up an “Innkeeper” variable with the name of the Innkeeper. If the Innkeeper is replaced, rather than updating every piece of correspondence with the name of the new Innkeeper, you would simply update the Innkeeper variable and all correspondence would update immediately. Properties Variable (most common) – value can be set for each property/roomtype. A great example might be a lockbox code which is different for each property. A new tab will appear in the setup for each property where the custom variables you setup will be displayed awaiting input.
  3. Length. This is the length of the input field. For a lockbox code, a field length of 10 characters should be sufficient.
  4. Rows. This is the number of rows present in the input field. More rows are only necessary if you are adding a notes field or something similar.
  5. Save or Cancel the new variable.

Where are the new custom variables found?

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Custom variables that are set with a location of “Property Variable” will show up within a “Custom” tab within the setup for each property. Click on the custom tab and you will see the variable you defined with the corresponding input field. In this example we defined a “Lockbox Code” variable which will allow us to setup different lockbox codes for each property.

How can I reference the new variables within triggers, templates and emails?

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<CUSTOMVARIABLE1> will be present within all areas of the application where variables can be reference. Inserting this variable into an email or pdf template will substitute the variable with the actual input for that specific property. In our example, it would display the lockbox code for the specific property being referenced in the invoice or trigger.