29 08, 2019

Hurricane Dorian – Why Travel Insurance is so important for coastal property managers.

By |2019-08-29T13:59:18+00:00August 29th, 2019|News|0 Comments

I am still surprised at how many coastal property managers allow guest refunds for stays that have to be cancelled due to named storms.   In North Carolina, whenever I’ve booked a vacation rental on the coast, the property management company always recommended the purchase of travel insurance.   They let me know at every stage of the booking that I would not be getting my money back in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.   My only course of recourse would travel insurance and they highly suggested I purchase it – especially if my travel was during hurricane season.

As a guest,  that did not bother me.  I can understand why a business cannot allow mother nature to interrupt their cash flow.   Imagine having to refund all of those guests stays, especially during a busy Labor Day travel season, because of a hurricane.  Yikes, what a mess.

Travel insurance isn’t that expensive and it provides a lot more than just protection from named storms.  It protects against cancellation due to job loss, sickness and a death in the family.  It protects not only your vacation rental accommodations, but flight costs too, as well as costs associated with lost luggage.

Here is a list of some of the items travel insurance typically covers:

If your property manager isn’t offering travel insurance or effectively mandating it by not offering refunds under any condition, then consider purchasing travel insurance on your own. Lodgix has a travel insurance partner that is reputable and makes issuance super easy, just visit:

https://lodgix.pablow.io/

Happy travels!

 

25 07, 2019

New Fee Assignment Report

By |2019-07-25T18:42:37+00:00July 25th, 2019|New Features|0 Comments

Fees created in Lodgix can be assigned to multiple properties, and multiple fees can be assigned to each property. For subscribers with larger numbers of properties it can become difficult to track which fees are assigned to which properties. Fees assigned to each property can be viewed within the property setup screens, but each property must be viewed individually.

To address this, today we added a new Fee Assignment Report, which can be accessed on the page within Lodgix where fees are assigned to properties.

The report clearly charts which fees are assigned to which properties, allowing you to see all of your fee assignments from a single report. No more navigating from property to property to view fees!

This should be a huge timesaver when working with fee assignments, especially for our larger subscribers!

13 05, 2019

Housekeeping Update On The Way

By |2019-05-13T18:30:10+00:00May 13th, 2019|New Features|0 Comments

…this is probably a bit premature, however it does get me excited as it begins to address a shortcoming in Lodgix that’s been present for almost a decade.   That’s right a decade, since our inception. 🙂

While Lodgix has some pretty snazzy housekeeping and arrival reports, as well as Employee logins, and automated SMS and email triggers.   We don’t have:

  • any way to assign invoices to Housekeepers;
  • any way for a Housekeeper to update the status of a property (clean, dirty, inspection, etc..), view Housekeeping notes, etc.;
  • a Housekeeping app, designed only for mobile phones, that a Housekeeper can use in the field to easily update the property status and communicate with Lodgix.  Also the app should display assigned work orders, as well as allow work orders to be opened / edited and closed;
  • a visual way for the host / property manager to see (and edit) the current clean status of a property;

So coding has started, won’t know how long this will take for a couple more weeks.  Currently researching interfaces that perform well on a phone!

Fingers crossed!

 

15 04, 2019

Updates for April

By |2019-04-15T14:00:06+00:00April 15th, 2019|New Features, News|0 Comments

SMS Character Limit Increase

Today we increased the allowed number of characters for SMS messages from 150 character to 450 characters.   However, messages with >160 characters will be broken down into chunks of 153 characters before being sent to the recipient’s handset.  Each “chunk” is the equivalent of sending one sms.   So sending a 450 character text will require three “chunks” which cost Lodgix 3x as much as sending a 150 character text.   That’s why we’ve been slow to increase the character limit.   Most modern phones are now smart enough to combine those “chunks” into one seamless text.

Sending SMS messages to your guests for directions, door codes, etc..  will assure that the most important information gets read (and delivered) in a timely manner.

 

TripAdvisor Integration is Complete

Occasionally a small bug or two is found, however in general the connection is stable.  TripAdvisor has some odd nuances with their connection which can at times take a few days to resolve, however overall the connection is working well.  We will be adding rate multiplier and commission functionality later this week.

Support for Wifi Locks from RemoteLock is Pending

While we have always supported the algorithmic locks from ResortLock, the wifi locks were not supported.  That will soon change.  We have some testing to complete this week, however this additional functionality should be live soon!

Recode of Owner Documents

The file system for owner documents has grown dated and slow for some accounts.   We are currently experimenting with using the Amazon Elastic File System to store owner documents (owner statements, rental agreements, etc..).  Hopefully the tests will go well, and soon that functionality and interface will get a much needed performance upgrade.  Keep you posted!

Beta Calendar Tape

We spent a few more days on improving the beta calendar tape recently.   One of the most frustrating components was how dates were displayed.   We returned to the look and feel of the previous calendar for that, and we added it to the bottom of the calendar as well (helps those with larger numbers of properties)

Additionally we improve the spacing at the top of the calendar to make it more functional on all screens and mobile devices.

 

More work needs to be done and we are committed to making additional incremental improvements in the coming months.

Infrastructure Updates

A great deal of time continues to be spent on updating our core systems to more recent versions of Python and Django.  Lodgix has been around now for 11+ years, and every few years significant effort must be made to update the core systems to keep them current.   This takes a lot of time and testing.   However once complete it allows us to introduce new interfaces and new coding techniques that take advantage of the improvements present in more recent versions of Python and Django.   This update cycle should end in May and then we will have 18 months or so where the entire team will be free to code new functionality!

Happy Monday!

Lodgix