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So far Brent Kleinheksel has created 149 blog entries.

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

Updates for April

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

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

Some Updates

TripAdvisor Rentals Integration is Almost Complete!

Within the next several days we will begin live testing our updated integration to TripAdvisor Rentals. While we’ve been integrated to TripAdvisor for many years,  TA has recently overhauled their connectivity options to provide more flexibility,  real time availability updating (no more ical!) and reservation syncing.  They have also added some wonderful people to their support team, which has made working with TripAdvisor easy and much more enjoyable then we ever thought possible.

Expected general availability is in the first week of March 2019.

Infrastructure Updates

A large portion of our development efforts the past several months have been focused on keeping our frameworks updated.  These updates to both Django and Python require a great deal of research, preparation, manual coding and lots of testing.   This is important.  Many applications fail to account for the time and cost of keeping systems up to date.  Over time the damage becomes irreversible.    Lodgix is constantly investing in the future and working hard to assure that the platform is kept up to date and secure.   While these update processes take time and detract a bit from the coding of more whiz bang features, they keep Lodgix stable and assure that our foundation is solid and ready for additional long term growth.

Once complete, our staff will be well prepped to begin working on many new enhancements to the application.   Thanks for your patience during this period!

By |2019-02-20T10:38:42+00:00February 20th, 2019|News|0 Comments

1099 reporting and TripAdvisor integration update

It’s been awhile since my last post, sorry about that. We haven’t gotten nearly as much accomplished as I’d hoped recently. We’ve been getting eaten up by the channels. Airbnb has been a particular thorn in our side. That has taken lots of bandwidth, however it appears some progress is being made and things have settled down a little this week, which gave us time to squeak in a small time saver for our property management clients.

1099 report

There is a new option within the Owner Statement report that will allow a summary 1099 report to be generated.

  1. Choose the period.
  2. Select all owners (individual owners aren’t eligible as this is a summary report).
  3. Choose PDf or excel.
  4. Landscape or Portrait mode (landscape is best).
  5. Select IRS 1099
  6. Download

Depending on the number of properties and reservations, the report generation might take a few minutes.

In the future, we will probably try to connect this to some service that will both pay owners and generate and file a 1099 for each owner.   Wouldn’t that be nice!

TripAdvisor Integration Update

We did switch over to the new rates and availability api from TripAdvisor last week.   There were a few hiccups but they have since been resolved. We are now actively coding to their updated content and reservation APIs. Once complete the TripAdvisor integration should be very similar to our other integrations and allow reservations made on TripAdvisor to be pushed into Lodgix. iCal will no longer have to be used for calendar updating with TripAdvisor – hooray!

Hoping to have that complete in the next 10 days or so.

By |2019-01-30T14:47:07+00:00January 30th, 2019|New Features|0 Comments

New Multi Property Booking Calendars Have Launched!

Our new calendars offer some great new functionality and speed:

  1. Filtering (drill down by date, amenity, location, etc.)
  2. Full screen option
  3. Colorful, modern designs and options
  4. Multi-lingual
  5. Anchored headers
  6. Importing of holiday dates
  7. Mobile friendly

Here are some examples:

56 properties for rent @ outrageouscabins.com in Tennessee

Hotel and vacation rentals @ The Enchanted Inn in Clearwater Beach, Florida

By |2018-10-29T19:28:09+00:00October 29th, 2018|New Features, News|0 Comments

New Property Setup Interfaces Launching October 8th

Our property setup interfaces were the oldest remaining interfaces on the application, dating all the way back to our launch in 2018.   Presenting old interfaces to new trial subscribers is not generally considered a good thing, so for the past 12 months we’ve been slowly rearchitecting how properties are setup.   Originally each property was setup individually.  This worked fine for small companies, but for larger companies (or any firm with 5 or more properties),  it just makes sense to be able to setup certain items once and then have those items optionally flow to other properties.

Additionally, we are constantly strivign to make all of our interfaces mobile friendly, and the property setup interfaces accomplish that nicely!

One of most notable improvements is the user interface for uploading images.  It is now super streamlined and provides feedback on the image size and alerts the property manager if an image really should be uploaded at a higher resolution.   We also offer the ability to download the original image, which can be nice if the original image is lost.  The uploader now also feature status indicators and reduces a few steps to make bulk uploading of images super easy.

 

Several fields have also been combined to make the setup process seem less daunting.  Overall the property setup experience is much improved and should encourage new and existing users alike to dig further into the application!

By |2018-09-26T15:36:25+00:00September 26th, 2018|New Features|0 Comments

New Multi Property Booking Calendar Preview

Hello All!

Our new multi-property booking calendars are getting oh so close to launch.   Our current calendars were great…7 years ago.  However today they are getting stale and with mobile devices now being so widespread, it’s more important than ever that our calendars reflect the times.

Rather than simply reskinning them, we opted to recode them from scratch.   This allowed us to drastically improve the load times for accounts with many properties and many reservations.   As Lodgix grows, our core customer is changing as well.  As such,  all of our new interfaces and functionality are coded to make them as simple as possible when used by property managers with 50+ properties.

I’ve recorded a small video. It’s actually 9 minutes long.   I encourage you to check it out.  I expect we should have the new calendars on the production server within 10 days, at that time I will be able to embed the actual calendar for blog visitors to hack at.

By |2018-09-18T21:46:12+00:00September 18th, 2018|New Features|0 Comments

HomeAway Import Now Supports Reservations and Reviews

 

Setting up new properties in Lodgix has never been easier – at least for HomeAway customers.  Last year we coded the ability for a property manager to import inventory setup on HomeAway  / VRBO into Lodgix.

This feature can save a bunch of time, as the alternative would be to manually copy and paste all marketing and amenity data into Lodgix – FOR EVERY PROPERTY.  Yuck.   No one cares to do that.  Initially, the HomeAway import was limited to property data only.   Not any more.

Today Lodgix can also import all existing HomeAway reservations and reviews into Lodgix.   Most property managers wish to integrate to HomeAway.   Integrating to HomeAway wipes out all property and reservation data on HomeAway and overwrites that data with data from Lodgix.  Thus before the integration can begin, all property data must be present on Lodgix so it can be sync’d back to HomeAway to update and / or  create listings.

Reservation data needs to either be imported into Lodgix via ical and then turned into a reservation (old way) or better yet, imported into Lodgix from HomeAway (new way).   Once all HomeAway reservations are present in Lodgix,   the integration to HomeAway can be done and then all listings on HomeAway will be sync’d with Lodgix and all future reservations taken on HomeAway will be pushed into Lodgix.   Reservations taken on Lodgix (or other channels) will sync with HomeAway and block those dates on the HomeAway calendar.

Additionally, Lodgix can now import your existing HomeAway / VRBO reviews, which will make populating your existing wordpress site, super easy.

By |2018-09-05T20:52:37+00:00September 5th, 2018|New Features|0 Comments