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!
Hooray! It’s now easier than ever to search and find that perfect property for a guest. The calendar tape within Lodgix now includes additional filters for Areas and for Amenities.
The Areas filter won’t appear unless you’ve configured your “areas” within the Area Manager (properties > area manager).
The amenities filter is configurable. Instructions are provided in the tutorial / overview below. Every area has different hot buttons. For some being “oceanfront” is a must, for others it’s having a Jacuzzi or mountain view or both. We give you the option to both define (properties > amenity manager) and configure (calendar tape > configuration options) which options you want to use to filter matching properties with availability.
Soon we’ll extend this functionality as an option to the guest online booking calendar and then soon after that we’ll update the Search Rentals widget within the WordPress plugin to optionally include the amenity filters.
The net result is that searching for specific properties with specific amenities for both property manager and guest is becoming much easier!
The calendar tape is one of the strongest features of Lodgix. It is fast, highly configurable and very interactive. The interface is easy to understand and works incredible well across all platforms and browsers. The calendar scales to the size of your screen, so if you are using a 24″ iMac the calendar tape and can displays months and months of data and hundreds of properties at-a-glance.
- Property names
In an effort to improve the calendar tape interface for property managers with many properties, we have launched real-time filtering. As the filter criteria are selected, the properties displayed will filter to only show properties that meet the filter criteria.
The initial filters are for the arrival date, number of bedrooms and the area. For those that have properties assigned to various areas (utilizing our Area Manager), you are now able to quickly select the area and have ONLY properties displayed that are assigned to that area.
The fourth filter is optional and is a configurable filter where the Lodgix subscriber can select the amenities of their choice to act as filters. For some they may want to filter properties that are “oceanfront”, for others having a “pool” might be super important, and for others it might be showing only properties with a “king bed”, etc.. Everybody is different and to that end we will be allowing you the choice of determining which amenities are most important to you!
Each reservation has a color code (colors can be customized) which correlates to the invoice status of the reservation. This makes it super easy to distinguish between which guests owe money, which guest have paid and which guests have refunds owed to them.
Mouseover the property name to see the number of bedrooms, baths and sleeps.
More onmouseover Features
Mouseover the guest reservation to view the dates of stay, guest name and the invoice status.
Onmouseover Display for Blocked Dates
Onmouseover displays who created the block, the dates of the block and the reason for the block. Blocked dates are shown in black of a subscriber block and in dark blue if the owner made the block. All colors are customizable.
Touch Sensitive for Mobile Devices
If you are using a touch enabled device, you can scroll through dates on the calendar using your finger. Likewise you can also use the arrow buttons or jump ahead to future dates using the calendar icon.
Within the Calendar Tape > Configuration Options area it is possible to set a variety of options:
Cell Width and Cell Height (set each to equal number to maintain a square). To display more properties per page, set these numbers smaller, to display less properties (but make the viewing area easier to read) set these numbers higher.
Property Name Column Width can be adjusted higher or lower depending on personal preferences and readability.
Weekend Shading. Some define a weekend as Friday / Saturday, others define a weekend as Saturday / Sunday.
Font Size. Usually configured at the same time the Cell Width and Cell Height are set.
Disable Date Tooltips. Onmouseover display for properties can be enabled / disabled.
Disable Filters. Turns the filter bar on / off.
Select the amenities you want to use as filter criteria within the calendar tape. Either click on the (+) icon to move the amenity from the left column to the right column, or just drag and drop! Don’t forget to save your selections, then check the calendar tape!
This is not a real biggie, but we’ve launched the ability to sync your Lodgix.com calendars with HomeAway Connect. This means no more double entry for your VRBO or HomeAway calendars! Hooray!
Property managers with 20 or more properties can join the HomeAwat Professionals program and Lodgix will sync with HomeAway and actually add, edit and delete ENTIRE listings on HomeAway. Of course, all calendar data is sync’d as well.
I am writing this on Saturday, June 18th. We’ve got a couple small tweaks left to code on Sunday, so I expect the code to launch on the production server within 24-48 hours. Not sure if FlipKey offers an API yet, but when / if they do we’ll integrate to that as well.
Lodgix is growing, growing, growing! If you are tired of paying the $1000+ setup fees and $500.00 a month minimum from Escapia or LiveRes.com you might want to give us a try. You’ll save a ton of money!