Trigger Negative Exception Functionality Added

We’ve added a bit of new flexibility to the triggers interface.  It is now possible to NOT send trigger communications depending on the source of the booking.   This is directly related to our new Airbnb integration which will be launching soon.   Airbnb collects the guest payments and remits the host payments to property manager within 24 hours of guest arrival.   Most property managers require monies to be paid before arrival and have specific triggers that go out to guests alerting guest of those pending payments.

Most property managers will not want unnecessary communications reaching a guest as that will only serve to cause guest confusion.    This is true for other channel nuances as well.   Now it is possible to choose NOT to send various triggers based upon the channel, which should make life just a little bit easier for some.

Airbnb Integration Update

Slowly but surely we are working through all of the nuances of integrating to Airbnb.  We are hoping for a soft launch with a few selected customers in the last week of May. Before that however I thought it would be good to review how the Airbnb integration will work and what will comprise their minimum listing requirements.

The listing review process

Listing review process
All listings being managed via a third party Channel Partner must meet a minimum set of criteria prior to being live on Airbnb. The process of evaluating that minimum criteria may take up to 5
business days. You will be notified via email once your listings are live on the platform. If your listings were rejected, you will have an opportunity to modify the content and resubmit. As soon as
your listings are approved, they will begin appearing in search results on airbnb.com.

Airbnb listing minimum requirements
Airbnb expects our Channel-connected listings to meet a set of minimum content requirements,including:
● Minimum 8 characters in Listing Title
● Minimum 50 characters in Listing Description
● Minimum 70 days available with the next 365 days
● 7 or more images
● At least 3 photos have a minimum resolution of 1024 x 683 pixels @ 72 dpi
● 5 or more amenities
We do not allow hosts to connect via a Channel Partner in select urban destinations. For more information on the minimum listing requirements or regional restrictions, please contact your
Market Manager.

Transferring reviews to your new account
If you have been managing your listings through a manual Airbnb account, your Market Manager can help you transfer any reviews to your new, Channel-connected account. You can initiate this
process as soon as the connected listings are live on the platform. Please note that the review transfer process is a 1:1 host transfer: we cannot transfer reviews from a single host account across
multiple Channel-connected accounts, or consolidate reviews across multiple accounts into a single host account. Once this transfer process is complete, please deactivate the listings tied to
your manually-managed account to avoid duplicate listings on the Airbnb platform. Please note that listing and reservation data will not be transferred over as part of this review transfer process,
so there may be a period of time where you are managing reservations across 2 different accounts.

Note: if you are a Superhost transitioning over to an API-managed account, please alert your Market Manager of your Superhost status. They will be able to provide additional
recommendations for the transfer process that will avoid jeopardizing your Superhost standing.

Managing guest inquiries

Instant Book and channel-connected listings
All channel-connected listings are automatically enabled for “Instant Book.” This means that a guest reservation inquiry will be instantly confirmed as long as your listing calendar shows availability.
Airbnb listings enabled for Instant Book convert at a rate almost 2x higher than a listing that requires hosts to confirm a reservation. It also boosts your performance in our search ranking.
If for any reason you are uncomfortable with your guest, or they violate your host rules, you may cancel your reservation without penalty. Please reach out to your Market Managers for support or
questions regarding Instant Booking reservations.

Managing guest communications
Airbnb guests and hosts may communicate with each other via our messaging platform. Today, we do not pass messaging data through our API, which means you may not be able to manage your
Airbnb messages via your Property Management or Channel Management software. To respond to guest messages, you can log into airbnb.com and reply via your user inbox. We also
recommend configuring your account to receive email and/or text notifications every time a guest contacts you. You can set this up by navigating to the “Account Settings” portion of your account.
Any users with email notifications enabled can respond to Airbnb messages by replying directly to email notification. Airbnb does not allow for hosts to use the message system to transfer contact
information like email addresses, phone numbers or links to direct websites prior to a confirmed booking.

Post-Booking communication
Once an Airbnb booking is confirmed, a guest will be able to view the property address, check-in instructions, and House Manual on the Airbnb platform. We will also provide you with the guest’s
phone number details, and share your preferred phone number with the guest to facilitate better communication before and during your trip. Airbnb generates a platform-specific email alias for each user that can be emailed directly. This means you can communicate to guests without logging into the Airbnb platform. This email address expires 2 weeks (14 days) after a trip is complete.

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.

Should we develop a two-way sync with AirBnB?

Lodgix currently provides iCal feeds which you can cut and paste into your AirBnB listing.  This keeps  your AirBnB calendar sync’d with Lodgix.

As of 2/24/2014, this is the interface provided by AirBnB to suck up the iCal feed from Lodgix.

step1

step2

 

Within Lodgix. go here:
http://www.lodgix.com/system/calendar-sync/

Copy / paste the iCal feed URL for the correlating property into AirBNB.

How do I get bookings on AirBnB into Lodgix?

Currently, that’s not possible.  AirBnB doesn’t make available a feed to software companies.

However we could develop a parser that would parse the confirmation email you get from AirBnB and extract the guest name, phone number, property ID and check-in and check-out dates.  Lodgix could then create an invoice with that data.

However, it would still require the property owner or manager to login to AirBnB and update Lodgix with the guest email address, and also update the invoice to accurately reflect the transaction on AirBnB.

The benefit would be that your calendar on Lodgix would stay updated in real-time.

So I’m looking for some feedback if we should develop this or not, please fill out the short poll below and let me know what you think!  Results are displayed after the vote!

[yop_poll id=”2″]

 

 

iCal Feed Now Available for All Properties

For those of you who want to push availability data to sites like Airbnb or Google Calendars, we now publish an iCal feed for all properties.

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The feeds can be found under Settings > Marketing Partners > Review Offers under the “iCalendar” Tab.

http://www.lodgix.com/system/marketing_partners/

To use the iCal feed with your Airbnb:

In your Airbnb account, go to Calendar mappings and paste the URL. Your availability data will then sync from Lodgix to Airbnb.

For more info on the Airbnb iCal feature: https://www.airbnb.com/help/question/hosting/99.