Custom Invoice Variables Have Launched

Custom property variables have been a part of Lodgix for a long time.  Custom property variables allow for custom fields like for example, wi fi codes, gate codes, directions to property, pool instructions, special notes, etc..  These fields can then be referenced using merge tags in guest communications, rental agreements, etc.  Super convenient and flexible.

Over the years many have requested the additional flexibility to allow for invoice variables.   Invoice variables might encompass fields like “airline”, “flight #”, “pickup instructions”, “auto license #”, “identification number”, etc..  That sort of information is specific not to a property, but to a specific guest and invoice.  Custom invoice variables are now live on Lodgix!

Once the invoice variable has been created, it will appear in a new “Custom” tab with the guest control panel.

The contents of the new field(s) can be accessed by using merge tags to place the content within any dynamic document or email.

 

There will be additional options in the coming weeks to allow these fields to be displayed during the online booking process.  Currently they are available to the property manager for manual input only.

Arrival Report Changes

The arrival report has been cleaned up and enhanced a bit.  Previously there were separate columns for invoice notes, services and housekeeping notes.  We’ve combined all into one column with an identifier showing what sort of notation is being displayed:

When an invoice has both arriving housekeeping notes, invoice notes / block reasons, and a service, all of those items will be itemized and noted for easy reading:

There are filer options within the arrival report to display (on / off) the arrival notes as some accounts may not wish to display invoices notes on the arrival report.

Housekeeping Report Enhancements

Housekeeping notes have been split up into two fields:

By splitting up the fields the notes for the departing guest can now be displayed on the housekeeping report:

The arriving guest notes will continue to show up as before.

Owner block notes / reasons have also been added to the reports.   These will show up for arriving guests only and look like this:

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.

Lodgix now supports subcategories

In the past a property could only be assigned to one category which could be used in filtering properties.   Of course filtering by # of bedrooms, price, amenities, etc was possible.. but search by location was limited to one parent category.   Thus if you have properties in Paris, your search location would be limited to Paris.   Now however subcategories can be assigned to parent categories allowing properties to be assigned to any of Paris’s arrondissements or areas.

Read the full blog post on this great new feature.