Deposits, fees, services, and taxes are all setup under Settings > Deposit / Fees / Services / Taxes. This step is usually best to do AFTER all of your properties have been entered into Lodgix. Each component of this interface requries that the deposit, tax, fee or service first be defined and then assigned to all or individual properties.
Please navigate to:
Settings > Inventory > Deposit / Fees / Services / Taxes
There are seven tabs that comprise the Universal Property Template:
- Reservation Deposit. Amount required to secure the reservation. This is prepaid rent.
- Security Deposit. Amount required in addition to the reservation deposit. A security deposit is always refundable and is never counted as income.
- Taxes. Amount required by state, city and municipal taxing authorities. Either a % or a per night flat fee.
- Fees. Cleaning fees, processing fees, damage protection, travel insurance, etc. Either a % or a flat fee.
- Services. Optional components of a reservation. Usually ancillary items like firewood, chef, ski lift tickets, grocery delivery, etc.
- Discounts. Discounts and Coupon Codes are covered in depth here.
- Damage Protection. Accidental damage protection is explained here.
Let's review the interface first, as it's comprised of two parts:
- defining the deposit, tax, fee, service or discount, and...
- assigning the deposit, tax, fee, service or discount
Add a New Tax, Fee, Service or Deposit
When there are no current fees, services, taxes, etc. defined, an Add ____ button will be present. Click the ADD Fee (or ADD Service, etc.) button to setup a new fee, service, tax or deposit.
If there are existing fees, services or taxes defined, then click the "+" icon located to the far right of any existing fee, service or deposit which will trigger the window to add a fee, service or deposit.
ADD to ALL or REMOVE from ALL Properties
To quickly add or remove the item from all properties use the ADD to ALL Properties or Remove from ALL Properties buttons.
ADD or REMOVE from Selected Properties
To ADD or REMOVE fees from selected properties, you can toggle the dropdown to display properties that the selected fee, tax, service or deposit "is assigned" or "is not assigned" to. Then use the "Add Fee" or "Remove Fee" buttons next to the chosen property to add / or remove it from that property.
With the interface now defined, let's review the individual components:
Reservation deposit settings are global and will apply to all properties in your Lodgix account.
- The amount (fixed or percentage based) that is due at the time of reservation.
- Select whether to include Services, Fees, and Taxes when calculating the percentage
- Select date when remaining balance is due
- Choose when to collect the security deposit.
- Click "Add Deposit"
Add Security Deposit
- Enter a name like "Security Deposit"
- Enter the amount of the security deposit
- Choose whether the deposit is a pre-auth or not. A pre-auth means that the security deposit is never actually collected. A pre-auth means that a pre-authorization is run on the guest credit card for the amount of the security deposit. This places a hold on the guest credit card in the amount of the security deposit, usually for seven (7) days, at which times the pre-auth will expire. Note: pre-auths typically aren't a real good mechanism for protecting the property as many times the pre-auth will expire before the guest checks out, leaving little protection for the property manager. Pre-auths also do not appear on the invoice.
The process of adding a Tax, Fee, or Service is very similar to adding Deposits. You will create the item, select it, and assign it to whichever properties it applies.
Adding a Tax
- Name the tax
- Assign a value
- Choose percent or fixed
- If conditional, then choose the rate of the tax, after X of nights. For example, for many areas, when a stay exceeds 30 days the tax is no longer collected.
- Important! Choose the type of tax as this will be used in reporting, quickbooks, etc.
Fees are items like cleaning fees, booking fees, processing fees, etc. They are typically mandatory but can also be set as optional, or internal.
Adding a Fee
- Name the fee
- Describe the fee
- Assign a value
- Choose percent or fixed. If fixed, choose one-time or daily.
- Mandatory, Optional, Pet Fee Trigger or Internal. Optional fees can be selected by the guest during the checkout process. Internal fees are not visible to the guest, but are available to be added to invoices. The pet fee trigger is explained in detail here.
- Group the fee into the correct category
- Choose if the fee is collected according to the collection rules setup under the Deposits tab, or if the fee is due at the time of booking.
- You can elect to pass the fee revenue on to the property owner and collect a commission as you do with rental income, or you can pass the fee revenue directly to the property owner in full without collecting any commission.
- If conditional, then choose the rate of the fee, after X of nights. For example, a cleaning fee might be $100 for shorter stays but when a stay exceeds 30 nights the fee is no longer collected.
- Important! If the fee is taxed make sure to choose which taxes are to be collected on the fee.
A service can be items like bike rentals, mid-stay cleanings, etc. Services are optional and can be added by the guest during the booking process.
Adding a Service
- Name the Service
- Describe the Service
- Assign a value
- Choose percent or fixed
- Choose how the Service is billed (One Time, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly)
- Service revenue can be passed on to the property owner and charged a commission as with rental income, or passed directly to the property owner in full without collecting any commission.
- Important! If the Service is taxed make sure to choose which taxes are to be collected on the Service. Also select if the Service is discountable, if a quantity can be selected, and if the Service is internal. Internal Services are not visible to the guest, but are available to be added to invoices.
Damage Protection Waivers
Most property managers no longer use security deposits for many reasons:
- Time required to collect / refund the security deposit.
- Possible loss of discount rate as most merchant accounts will not refund the discount rate.
- Possible damage to online reputation when a guest disputes the retention of the security deposit and complains in the many forums and review sites online.
Most property managers now mandate Damage Protection. Learn more about damage protection and how to set it up within Lodgix.