Manual Booking Process - Tutorial
The Manual Booking Process (Phone Reservations) / Rate Quoting Workflow
Lodgix.com Vacation Rental Manager is a full-featured vacation rental management tool designed to help track and manage your vacation rental properties. The entire process below can make a manual guest booking in <60 seconds. There are quite a few steps in the process of making a manual booking, that's why we always recommend to ENCOURAGE GUESTS TO MAKE ONLINE BOOKINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE!!
Add Booking & Phone Inquiries w/ Rate Quoting
Phone inquiries are still quite common. Lodgix.com has a built in rate quoting feature that allows for quick and easy access to rate data when you need it. When a guest calls for an availability inquiry or rate quote or calls to book your vacation rental, the first step in Lodgix is to open the availability calendar, check availability and begin the rate quoting or reservation process.
Making a reservation / generate a rate quote using the calendar tape
Select the date and number of nights on the calendar tape. A dialog window with options to Book, Quote or Block will display.
Mousing over the Total link will display a breakdown of the rental charges / fees that you can relate to your guests if questioned (see next image). Additionally, if you have per person rates enabled, entering the number of guests will dynamically update the rate so your quote is always accurate!
Continuing the Reservation Process..
Click the "Book" button to advance to the next step of the manual booking process.
This is the heart of creating a new reservation. All of the fields are pre-populated with the dates and # of guests that were selected on the availability calendar.
Note: You can also access this screen and enter the dates / # of guests manually at any time by clicking on the Reservations > Create Reservation menu item.
Follow the sequence of six steps outlined above.
- Click on the "select existing guest or add new guest" link and enter the guest name and email address. The system will automatically filter the results while you are typing to alert you if the guest is already in the system.
- Confirm the start dates and end dates of the reservation
- Enter the number of guests. (Note: if making this booking manually you will have to choose and confirm the property as well)
- If this is a non-profit group, click to make the group "tax exempt" and ask for the state tax exemption number from the guest
- From the drop down apply any discounts you have setup in the system.
- Click "Create Invoice"
If the reservation was successful, then a message will appear saying "Reservation successfully saved" and a new tab will be presented which can be clicked to view the invoice which has been created (#2). A link to the "Guest Control Panel" (#1) is also presented. The next step is either to go to the invoice and review / modify it to meet your needs or go to the guest control panel and enter or confirm the guest mailing address.
Most folks tend to go to the Invoice first to make sure the invoice makes sense and then head over to the Guest Control Panel to complete the reservation.
The first step is either entering the guest mailing address or confirming with the guest that the address on file is still the correct address. Click on the Guest Name at the top and confirm or enter contact data.
Billing Data Entry Form
Once you've entered or verified the guest contact details, click on the Invoice tab at the top of the screen and review the check-in / check-out times and make any modifications for the guest if necessary. Next open the Billing Tab and request the guest payment details (#2) and process or record the payment within the Transactions window (#3).
Billing data can only be saved if you have a payment gateway setup and configured correctly. All guest credit card data is saved on the servers of payment gateway, assuring PCI compliance for both the vacation rental manager and Lodgix.com.
Billing Data - Safe and Secure
One the credit card PAN (primary account number) is entered and saved, the data is encrypted and masked (represented by XXXXXX). You will never need access to the actual credit card number again.
Process the Credit Card
The Process Payment button will only be visible if the payment gateway has been setup and configured correctly. Clicking on Process Payment pops a payment window. The Record Payment button should only be used when recording a payment made outside of Lodgix (check, cash, etc.).
Process & Record Payment Window
- Enter the amount of the payment. The "Amt to Confirm" button will enter the required confirmation amount automatically for you.. The "Balance" button will enter any remaining balance amount.
- Click "Process Payment". The application will communicate with the payment gateway using tokenization and charge the guest's credit card. Funds will be deposited into your bank account in 24-48 hours, depending on the terms you have with your payment gateway / merchant account provider.
Next Step: Send a Confirmation
The "Conversations" tab within the guest control panel is an important component of running a streamlined vacation rental business. Once a reservation has been confirmed (via payment of the reservation deposit), the next step is to email the guest a confirmation. Lodgix supplies a default confirmation and a default invoice. You can use the default templates right out of the box or you can edit them and tweak them for your specific business. All communications with the guest control panel are logged.
Email Window Options
This is the modal window that appears when sending a guest an email. In this example, you can see that the system has dynamically generated a confirmation and attached it in PDF format. The property owner has appended a standard confirmation response to save time and then it's just a matter of hitting the "Send" button.
The communication with the guest is logged and hyperlinks are made available to the vacation rental manager for easy viewing of any attached documents as well as the text of the email itself.