Create a Reservation from an iCal Block with One Click

The newest Lodgix feature allows users to convert an iCal block to a reservation with just a single click.

Click on the block you want to convert

Click the Create Reservation button

That’s it! The block has been replaced with a reservation

The new reservation can be updated or modified just like any other. This feature is only available for blocks created via iCal. It will not work for blocks that have been created by subscribers, employees, or owners.

Most iCal feeds will not include the guests email address, and thus it cannot be used when creating the reservation. In these circumstances, Lodgix will generate a system email. This can be manually updated with the guests actual email address. If any additional information is passed through the feed (comments, etc.) it will be captured and stored in the Invoice Comments area of the guest control panel.

SMS New Booking Alerts Have Launched!

It is now possible to configure a text alert (SMS) when new online bookings occur.   To configure this service:

  1. Navigate to settings > important settings within Lodgix (https://www.lodgix.com/system/isettings/bookings/)
  2. Go to the Bookings Tab
  3. Verify your mobile phone number, and then click on Verify Phone and enter the code that is sent to you via SMS.
  4. Once complete a SMS alert will be sent to that number for every new online booking (see example below)



New Features and Enhancements

Nothing earth shattering in this update, but there are a few notable items that will help make life easier for some property managers.

Channel manager commissions can now be passed to owners

Many PMs use channels like Booking.com and Expedia.com as a source of new business.   The channels have substantial commission rates which they assess to the PM.   Many PMs wish to pass those fees on to the owner via the owner statement.   That is now possible!

The commission rate being charged by the channel must be entered withing Settings > Integrations > Channel Commissions.

Next there is a setting within the property management module for each owner that must be set to allow the commissions to pass through to the owner statement.  Keep in mind Lodgix charges an additional 2% for Booking.com and Expedia.com reservations, that 2% will be added to whatever commission rate you define for each channel.

There is also a new Channel Commission Report which will show all channel commissions for all properties for any given period.

Invoice fees can now be included as commissionable revenue on owner statements

Previously PM commissions could only be assessed on rental charges.  Now there is a new option within the setup of each fee or service to allow a commission to be assessed on it.

Area filter added to the calendar tape

For PMs with larger numbers of properties we had a couple requests to allow filtering by areas.  This feature has been added to the internal calendar tape.

Fees and services can now be designated as internal fees

Occasionally there are fees which a PM might want to assess a guest after the booking.  These fees are not meant to be viewable by guests when booking online. In our previous implementation there were only options for a fee to be “mandatory, optional or a pet fee”.  Now there is a new option to denote a fee as being as “Internal” fee.  When a fee is set to “Internal” that fee will not be displayed during the online booking process, it will only be available to the PM within the Lodgix invoice.

Please edit each of your existing fees of you need to denote them as being “Internal” fees.

I hope these new features make your management life a little easier!

Sometime within the next 10 days or so I hope to be writing about the launch of a significant new feature – the GUEST PAYMENT PORTAL.   That’s right, no more calling guests to update their credit card, just send them a payment request and the guest can go online and pay a balance, update their credit card, etc..  It’s coming!!  There’a little more fun stuff that will be included in that release, so stay tuned!

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.