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

Ignore Minimum Night Rule – New Option

There will be times where, for example, a property manager has a 7 night minimum rule in place.   Then, for whatever reason, a booking is allowed that creates a period of days that are <7 nights that are book ended by two reservations.   At that point, the 7 night rule is not possible to be enforced.

Lodgix has offered an option since our inception to “ignore the minimum night rule and allow guest to book online.”

 

 

 

This is a property specific setting.

The limitation when offering to ignore the minimum night rule has historically been that all bookings will then be allowed.  So even though the 7 night rule cannot be enforced and even though the property manager might like to fill those dates, they may not want to fill those dates with all one night rentals.

To help with that, we’ve introduced a more granular setting that can be applied:

 

 

This setting allows a floor to be set so in those events where a rule cannot be met, further restrictions can be set to allow bookings that are “at least” X of nights.   Many simply don’t have the resources to allow for a one night or two night booking, so for those customers this setting should be quite helpful!

 

By |2018-06-19T15:26:19+00:00June 19th, 2018|New Features|0 Comments

New Feature – Bounced Email Log

We have just launched a dashboard widget to track bounced emails sent to guests. This identifies emails that were not delivered, providing the opportunity for alternate communication to the guest.

The Following Types of Emails are Tracked

  • Triggers sent to guests
  • Emails sent from the Communications Tab of the Guest Control Panel
  • Emails sent from the Invoice screen
  • Payment Request emails
  • Digital Signature Request emails

The Following Types of Emails are not Tracked

  • Inquiry responses
  • Triggers sent to Employees
  • Triggers sent to Owners
  • CC and BCC fields in any email

A full explanation of this feature and instructions for configuring this widget on the Lodgix dashboard can be found here: Lodgix Bounced Email Log

By |2018-04-17T18:54:35+00:00April 17th, 2018|New Features|0 Comments

Updates coming to Lodgix

..so it’s been awhile since our last update, sorry about that.    Let’s review where we are at.

The single property calendar relaunch is done, but yet’s it’s not.

While I’ve been happy with the concept, the actual implementation needed tweaking and more flexibility.   What I am seeing come out of this last round of tweaks looks good, but we’ll see.  Once I am happy with design, it will go live.

Discount and coupon code functionality will relaunch on Monday, January 22, 2018.

There are two primary reasons for the relaunch.   The primary reason was that today discounts and coupon codes are a universal setting.   It is not currently possible to have different length of stay pricing for various properties.  It is also not currently possible to assign unique promo codes to individual properties.  All of that will change on Monday

Additionally, the discounts and coupon codes interface will be retired and that functionality will be rolled into the interface where taxes / fees / services and deposits are currently setup:

For those integrated to HomeAway, the additional discount flexibility will also allow Length of Stay pricing that can vary by property.

SMS Messaging for Guests, Employees and Owners

Should launch early next week.   There will be a new field for “SMS Phone” that will appear in every owner, guest and employee account.  Guests will be asked if they wish to receive text notifications from you during the online booking process.

We currently offer SMS notifications for the primary subscriber to receive new booking notifications as well as SMS notifications to the subscriber when payment requests are completed.

 

By |2018-01-18T03:05:11+00:00January 18th, 2018|New Features, News|0 Comments

Single Property Calendar Design Update

Progress has been a bit slow, as we decided to recode the calendar completely, rather than modifying our existing code.

To refresh your memory, our existing single property calendar looks and functions like this:

Our new sine property calendar, which is still under development, currently looks and functions like this:

The advantages are many:

  1. Optimized and coded to work very well on mobile devices.
  2. Quoting will be displayed within the calendar, eliminating the popup window and tooltips.
  3. Additional rules like arrival and departure day rules are displayed and enforced within the calendar.
  4. Extensive flexibility to match color scheme to your website.
  5. Will incorporate ability to display last minute and length of stay discounts within the interface.

Overall, it should be a real nice improvement and function much better across all browsers and platforms than our current calendar.

Once the single property calendar is complete and launched, we will move on to the multi property calendar, which is also in dire need of some great design improvements!

By |2017-11-30T18:14:57+00:00November 7th, 2017|New Features|0 Comments

New Calendar Designs Are Coming Soon!

The channels have really kept us busy the last 4 or 5 months with all of their changes.   It’s been time consuming trying to keep up with all the changes at HomeAway while concurrently coding a new integration to Airbnb and then keeping up with all of their changes.   Not really a pattern we wish to replicate.   Even more frustrating is that most of the changes don’t benefit Lodgix customers at all, they are simply changes meant to line the pockets of HomeAway – all in the name of providing a “more consistent guest booking experience”.   Sigh.

However we have finally started work on recoding our booking calendars and calendar tape to provide a more modern / current design for our subscribers.   I am quite confidant the changes will be welcomed.    Screenshots of the prototypes will be provided in the next 7 to 14 days!

Thanks for your patience!

By |2017-10-05T14:11:13+00:00October 5th, 2017|New Features|0 Comments

HomeAway Secure Messaging Update – Lodgix Changes – Part Two

In Part 1 of our series on the new HomeAway Secure Messaging Platform we reviewed what data and formatting can be sent to a guest who inquiries through HomeAway.   In a nutshell, ONLY plain text will be allowed.

Many Lodgix subscribers have customized HTML response templates that are used to respond to HomeAway inquiries.   On Wednesday, August 2nd those templates will no longer be used.   Instead a standard text template that we provide will be used.  The default text can, and should, be edited.   Only merge tags that do not contain HTML will be available within the text template.

  1. Click on the Text tab to edit the contents of all emails sent using text only.  This is only required for HomeAway.   Responses to inquiries from other sources will continue to be sent using full HTML.
  2. In the standard text response for available properties, the HomeAway or VRBO is used to drive the guest back to the listing.
  3. Make sure to SAVE your changes.

How Do I Edit the Text Responses for HomeAway?

Open the Email Templates page at settings > templates > email

Within that list look for all templates that are assigned to the inquiries component:

The templates highlighted in yellow below are the most important:

It is important that you visit the inquiry settings area of lodgix here:

http://www.lodgix.com/system/inquiries/items/setup

To determine:

  1. if autoresponders are turned on or off for your account.
  2. and if autoresponders are on, then note which templates you have set to make sure those templates are edited.

If nothing is done, and if you are using a custom template, Lodgix will continue to respond with the full HTML in your template to HomeAway inquiries.  In that event, HomeAway will strip all HTML elements until the response meets their guidelines.   Those responses will appear somewhat broken to the guest as much of the referenced content will be blank, as it will have been stripped by HomeAway’s filters.

By |2018-03-26T09:15:23+00:00July 31st, 2017|New Features|0 Comments