Changes to Airbnb Booking Lead Time

After some review we’ve discovered that Airbnb calculates booking lead time differently than Lodgix and other companies.

Airbnb calculates backwards from 11:59 PM on the day the guest intends to check in, in the timezone of the listing. For example, if you set the Booking Lead Time to 3 hours, a guest can make a reservation for same day arrival until 9 PM. Supported values are 0-24, 48, 72, and 168.

We encourage you to review the Booking Lead Time setting for Airbnb which can be found here:

https://www.lodgix.com/system/partners/airbnb/

If your check-in time is 3pm, and you wish to not receive any last minute bookings after noon on the day of arrival, then your booking lead time would need to be set to 12 hours.

Lodgix and other channels calculate booking lead time from whatever check-in time is set for the property, whereas Airbnb calculates booking lead time from 11:59pm.

 

 

By |2020-10-29T15:52:28+00:00October 29th, 2020|News|0 Comments

Other Updates…

…in addition to the assigning bed types to bedrooms feature that was outlined in our last blog post, the team has been hard at work on several initiatives:

  • Version 2.0 of the Lodgix WordPress Plugin.   The video below gives a brief overview of where we are with that. Probably a later September launch.
  • Conversion of the Work Orders system to mobile friendly interfaces.   This should launch by 2nd week of September.
  • Horizontal scrolling on the multi calendar tape.  In final phases of testing.  Possible launch by 2nd week of September.
  • Support for custom cancellation policies on VRBO.   Possible mid September launch.
  • Entirely new REST API.   This feature is much anticipated and will allow Lodgix to feature a completely open architecture.   Beta publication and testing should begin September 4th!

Lots of resources are currently being put towards updating the mobile experience for guests and for Lodgix users, as well as making the application more developer friendly.    It’s a large application with many moving parts, so it’s important that we step back from time to time to assure that the product is adapting with the times.  In light of that, we really hope to spend considerable time in 4Q 2020 implementing a new mobile friendly dashboard, while also updating our invoicing and trigger systems.  Those three systems are in dire need of a refresh!

By |2020-08-31T19:04:02+00:00August 31st, 2020|New Features, News|0 Comments

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

And the iPhone 11 Winner is…

iPhone 11 Drawing is Today!

We want to thank all of the 43 Lodgix subscribers who left us wonderful reviews over the past few weeks. We’ve entered all 43 reviewers into a drawing for a new iPhone 11 (up to $750 value).

We don’t use random number generators for these… we do it old school.  All reviewers have been added to a spreadsheet and assigned a number from 1 to 43 based upon the timestamp of your review…

We have each number 1 to 43 written on a piece of paper…

And we have a hat…

The numbers were shuffled…

And placed in the hat…

A number was drawn at random…

The corresponding number on the spreadsheet belongs to…

Kristjan Lang of Dream Stay Apartments

is the winner of the new iPhone 11!! We will be in touch next week to make arrangements to get your new iPhone 11 ordered!

Thanks to all who took the time to review Lodgix and thanks to all for being such great Lodgix customers!

By |2019-11-26T18:35:36+00:00November 26th, 2019|News|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

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

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
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