Homeaway Instant Booking Now Supported

Lodgix subscribers now have the option of offering a guest the ability to “Instant Book”  on all Lodgix properties participating in the HomeAway integration. Guests prefer a property that’s instantly bookable, and properties that offer Instant Booking typically enjoy higher conversion numbers.  On HomeAway, higher conversions = higher sort order = more bookings.

Previously HomeAway only offered the option to Book it Now, which allowed the property manager 24 hours to approve or reject the booking.   Instant Booking is really not that different, except that Lodgix will immediately communicate to HomeAway that the booking has been confirmed without any action on behalf of the property manager.

Lightning bolt identifies all Instant Bookable listings on HomeAway

Within Lodgix, there is really no difference between the two options as all the processes typically required to confirm an invoice (reservation deposit payment, signed rental agreement, etc..) would still have to be completed after the booking has been confirmed. Instant Bookings can still be cancelled, however HomeAway requires that Instant Booking participants understand that too many cancellations of Instant Booking reservations will negatively impact that property’s sort order on HomeAway.

Instant bookings are a filterable item on HomeAway.

So the combination of a separate filter for Instant Book listings and the fact that Instant Book listings have higher conversions, is a pretty compelling reason to enable it for all of your listings.   The end result will be even more bookings from HomeAway as your property sort order will continue to improve versus other listings that aren’t offering Instant Book.

Participation in the HomeAway Instant Book program does require approval from your HomeAway account manager.  They will review our account to determine if your booking conversions are high enough to warrant participation in the program.

New Online Booking Page Editor

Your booking pages can now be customized via our Booking Page Editor to match the look and feel of your website, or to be more inline with your brand identity. This can be done under Settings > Booking Page Editor. The editor interface is very easy to use and requires no HTML or CSS knowledge.

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You can now upload your own custom logo to display on the booking pages. There are also dozens of other customization options available, giving you the ability to set a custom color scheme, edit font styles, and control the placement of certain elements. We also included a booking page preview that updates in real time as you make your selections.

Booking-Page-Example

The page can be customized significantly in just a few minutes using only the options provided (as shown above.) However, you also have the option to customize the page beyond the options that are provided, using the built in Custom CSS field.

Complete documentation of the new Booking Page Editor can be found in our user manual here.

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>