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So far Brent Kleinheksel has created 148 blog entries.

Exciting Updates are Underway

Building a web-based software product is a continuous, intensive process.  Lodgix launched over 12 years ago!  Wow.   During that time, pretty much every competitor that was around then has folded,  a few were sold or retired and others rebranded (which is the online equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig).    There are a few that remain, and they show their age.   Web-based software is tough.  You think you can do it with a small team, but the reality is that interfaces and technologies change and they change quickly.  Consumer preferences change. Industries change.  No shortage of challenges!  So, it’s a constant battle between spending time updating frameworks, UIs, partner APIs, infrastructure and the need for new functionality.  Many, if not most, small web-based companies are not up for that challenge and eventually the product gets dated and the cost and time required to update is too much, and the product sorts of fades into obscurity.  Very common.

Lodgix on the other hand is now on our 4th framework update, and it’s an exciting one.  With each new interface launch, the interfaces are faster and offer a ton of additional mobile functionality.  We are finally in a position with our new team members to tackle the oldest of interfaces…with only invoicing and triggers left to update.  Lots of great updates, faster interfaces for larger accounts and a gradual, but great improvement to the mobile experience.

So what is in store for the near term?

  1. WordPress plugin 2.0 is under active development and it will be great.   Mapping, favorites, quoting, new themes, etc..   Beta testers will get a taste of it in late June to early July.  It will be a much needed improvement and super exciting.
  2. Calendar tape and booking calendar improvements.  We’ve already made incredible performance improvements over the past month which has allowed us to launch vertical infinite scroll.  Additional optimizations are underway to allow for horizontal finger scroll on mobile devices.  Should be very cool and be a dramatic improvement when using the booking calendar (and calendar tape) on mobile devices.
  3. Guest credits.  This is a new feature which came about as a result of the large number of cancellations due to COVID.  To preserve cash flow many of you simply offered a credit to the guest to be used against a future stay.   However there really isn’t any way of doing that in Lodgix.  This new feature will allow for the issuance of a guest credit at the time of cancellation, email it to the guest (optionally), report on all credits (issued, outstanding, redeemed) and allow the guest to use the credit within the online booking process, much like a coupon code.
By |2020-06-04T18:27:40+00:00June 4th, 2020|New Features, News|0 Comments

WordPress Plugin Changes are Underway

We recently hired a new WordPress developer. This is great news and will allow us some time to grow and expand the functionality and design of our WordPress plugin. The initial changes will be small, but we will soon pick up speed and move to implementing mapping, inline quoting, favorites, etc..

The first small batch of updates were done this week.

  • New “Grid ” inventory display option, which is an update to the now named “Grid Classic” option. The Grid display option increases the image size, adds some image overlay options and incorporates some icons into the display.
Grid
Grid
Grid
Grid Classic
Grid Classic
By |2020-04-17T16:07:14+00:00April 17th, 2020|New Features|0 Comments

New Lodgix Header Goes Live on Monday January 27th

Use the comparison tool below to get compare the current header versus the new header. Drag the slider across the image to load and unload the new header.

New Header
New Header
New Header
Old Header
Old Header
Slide to compare the old and new headers.

The new header offers a lot of advantages:

Mobile friendly. Don’t take my word for it, take a look. These are screenshots taken from my very small 4.7″ Pixel 2.

New Mobile
New Mobile
New Mobile
Old Mobile
Old Mobile

Menu navigation is also much improved.

New Mobile
New Mobile
New Mobile
Old Mobile
Old Mobile
By |2020-01-23T21:56:12+00:00January 23rd, 2020|New Features|0 Comments

Visual Rates Tape & Housekeeping App are Coming!

As promised,  coming off of a very long, very large infrastructure update cycle, we’ve moved on to some more visible improvements to Lodgix.

Housekeeping Enhancements have Launched!

This is a great improvement to Lodgix.   We are still working on additional tweaks and fixing user reported bugs, however the overlay and app themselves are working great.

Please take some time to learn more about the new functionality:

http://support.lodgix.com/en/articles/3323797-housekeeping-overlay-app-version-1-0
http://support.lodgix.com/en/articles/3317440-housekeeping-report

Visual Rates / Rules Tape is Coming!

Dynamic pricing is coming to Lodgix.  The technology as a whole has been present on Airbnb for some time and there are many third party companies out there now that offer alogorithms that will dynamically adjust rates and rules.   Some PMs like the functionality, others don’t.   At present, Lodgix does not have an easy way to quickly update rates and rules for a property.   For those using our seasonality templates, it’s not horribly difficult, however it would probably still require a series of steps.

For example, let’s stay you wanted to change the rates to $150 per night for October 12 and 13 due to slow bookings for that period.  There is an existing rate period setup for Oct 1 thru 30 for $200.0 per night.  Here is how you would change the rates currently:

  1. open the seasonality template.
  2. edit the Oct 1 thru 30 rate period,  shorten it to Oct 1 to 11.
  3. create a new rate period for Oct 12-13.
  4. create another rate period for October 14 thru 30.
  5. Apply to all properties assigned to the template.

If not using our seasonality templates, the steps above would have to be done for each property.  Not fun and time consuming.

How will the new visual rates tape work?

  1. Open the tape
  2. select properties, select dates
  3. click change for Oct 12, enter $150, confirm
  4. click changes for Oct 12, enter $150, confirm

That’s it!  all properties are updated, all channels are distributed with the updated rates.

Here is a quick video showing the new interface.   If all testing goes well,  we hope to soft launch this itnerface in 5 to 10 business days.

By |2020-04-29T19:19:40+00:00October 7th, 2019|New Features|0 Comments

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

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!

 

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

Housekeeping Update On The Way

…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!

 

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