Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Few Upgrades in Gift Certificates

It is now easier than ever to sell gift certificates on your website. Thanks to requests from a few users, we have added a couple of features - ability to collect credit card information instead of using an online payment method, and ability to set the amounts that are displayed, and a new field for buyer phone number.

Setting Custom Amounts

To set which amounts your customers can purchase gift certificates in, just add an amount string in the settings section for your certificates. Such as "100#200#300".

Collecting Credit Card Numbers

Previously an integrated payment method was required (such as PayPal or for processing the gift certificate purchases. We did this in order to completely automate the process of selling certificates. However, some users have been reluctant to set up PayPal or one of the other integrations just for gift certificate purchases. For those users, it is now possible to use "Offline Payment Method" which works the exact same way as it does with the reservation pages. The buyer enters their credit card details on the gift certificate purchase page and the seller (you) get an email with the first 12 digits of the credit card number. The last four digits are saved with the gift certificate information. The gift certificate is not valid for use until you have charged the buyer's credit card and marked the gift certificate as valid. This way, in case there is a problem with the buyer's credit card the buyer can be contacted to fix this, prior to the gift certificate being usable. We have also added a field for buyer's phone number on the gift certificate page, to hopefully make it easier to contact the buyer, if necessary.

Here's how to set this up:

1. Set the Payment Method to Offline Credit Card
- if you don't already have such a method in your account, go to Payment Methods and add one first

2. Buyer Makes Purchase
- you will receive an email notification containing the first 12 digits of the credit card number
- the email also has a link for retrieving the last four digits

3. Activate the Certificate
- charge the buyer's credit card by matching the card numbers up (from the email and from the retrieval page)
- click the Activate button to activate the gift certificate

It is also possible to retrieve the card digits and activate from within ReservationKey, in the Gift Certificates page.

Click View Certificates Sold:

And click "Mark As Paid"

From this screen, you can also retrieve the last four digits of the card number. Once marked as paid, the Payment Information section will contain the date that you made the change.

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Star Choices For Marking Reservations

A few months ago we added the ability to add a star to a reservation. Now, we have expanded this feature where users can select which stars/symbols are displayed in the Reservation Details screen.

First select stars and symbols under Settings Tab, Preferences:

Now, these stars and units will appear as choices in the Reservation Details screen. Click as many stars or symbols to set or deselect.

The select images will appear on the internal calendar.

Use the stars to indicate whatever you like. Such as one symbol could mean the guest is bringing a pet, another for vegetarian, another for repeat guest, etc.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Enhancements to the Correspondence Window

We've added two new features to the Correspondence window.

It is now possible to add attachments prior to sending an email. Just click the Add link.

Additionally, PDF files can now be created from the contents of the email template, and attached to a message, all with just a few clicks. This is great for being able to dynamically generate PDF documents, where information is pulled into the PDF based on data saved in ReservationKey. An example of how this can be used is for creating rental agreements sent to guests renting vacation rental properties.

Note the new "Send As PDF..." button.

Clicking this button displays an additional field where text to include in the body of the email can be entered. The PDF attachment is created based on text and formatting contained in the original email editor field.

Click "Create PDF and Send" to send the email. The PDF is created and the email is sent. That's all there is to it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

ReservationKey Is Also For Property Managers!

Recently we've seen an uptick in interest in our system from people that manage vacation rental homes, condos, cabins, etc. I'm happy to say the system works great for these type of users, and continues to improve everyday.

Here is a link to a recent recommendation from a property manager user in Miami:

And here is an email I recently received from a prospective user that had a huge list of items she is looking for in her new system. It was pretty cool being able to go through this list and check off almost every item as a feature we offer. See below for the complete list and our response.

If you manage short term rentals, definitely consider our product for your needs. Not only do we have a very flexible and full featured product, but we offer it at a great price.

Customizable site - yes, with themes you can customize look and feel
Easy to create microsites/subpages - create as many pages as you need; one for property if you want
Twitter/iframe feeds on front page - you could do this with HTML; not a built in feature, but doable with HTML easy enough
Video capabilities - not sure what you need? Would be easy to embed youtube videos in the property description with HTML
Chat capabilities - not built in; seems like you would add this to your website rather than reservation system; on each of the pages you have for your properties, you embed your reservation page in to an existing page on your website where you also have chat feature
Embed Blog and social media - same
Integrated Website - we provide the reservation system, not a full website
Group page by location with availability calendar - possible
Capability to use Promo Codes - yes we have
Online Bookings - yes
Mapping - could add with html; not a built in feature
Image Gallery - yes we have slideshow
Optimized for Mobile - yes can make a theme specific to mobile ; regular system works well on mobile also
Comments Section - yes we have guestbook
Buy and Sell Gift Cards through site - yes we have
Real time availability - yes, all web based
Web calendar - yes, several reports can be embedded with iframes

Back End
Easy to upload photos - yes
Auto resize photos - yes (as long as file size is less than 800kb)
Weekend pricing - yes can have different rates for each day of the week
Easy to set up rates - pretty easy
Propery Owner Log in - yes, can have individual log ins
Easy to add fees - yes we have section for fees
Multi-user capability - yes , see above
Display multiple screens at same time - not sur ewhat you mean, but prob yes
Currency conversion - not automatic; have to pick one primary currency to display
Occupancy Reports - yes
Process Credit Cards - yes
Create duplicate properties using same settings - can duplicate some sections such as rates, reservation pages
Spell check - no; many browsers have this built in
Easy to read reservation calendar - yes
Ability to hold dates before booking - yes
Ability to transfer held reservations into actual reservations - yes
Ability to send PDF documents - yes; actually just now working on making a cool feature to turn an email template into a PDF and then attach that file to an email; great for generating contracts
Accounting reports - some; export all to csv for greater accounting abilities
Income tracking & stats - yes
Referral tracking - yes
Refund automation - i think so
Travel Insurance - can sell as an item for sale; a percentage of grand total of reservaiton cost
Reservation history - for sure

Auto reply quotes - yes
Payment notification/alerts - yes
Multi payment schedule - yes
Build email lists - yes
Integrated Email System - somewhat; we have new feature scheduled emails for anniversaries, birthdays, but not full featured email system ; for that use something like Vertical Response or Constant Contact
Waitlist - yes
Send auto payment notification to guests - yes, an automatic email can be set up which includes a link that they can use to pay their remaining balance
Email templates - yes, lots of flexibility here; merge codes, html, etc.
Guests receive auto receipt when booking online - yes

Affiliate marketing program - not really
SEO optimization - sort of, but more important is your website is SEO optimized since the reservation pages plug into your site
Book through Facebook - yes, easy to create facebook reservation page using our facebook apps.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Option For Scrollbar at Top of Availability Calendar

For users that manage many units, it is now easier to scroll the internal availability calendar. We've added options in Settings Tab, Preferences, for setting the location of the horizontal scrollbar. It can now be set to Bottom Only, Top Only, Both Top and Bottom, or None.

Top scrollbar:

and bottom:

So, if you find yourself scrolling to the bottom of the window to get to the horizontal scrollbar, consider enabling the scrollbar at the top of the screen. Here is the setting in Preferences:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Easier Linking Settings to Reservation Page(s)

Previously, after adding something such as an Item For Sale, it was necessary to also go into the Reservation Page settings and select which items should show on that Reservation Page. Now, it is possible to select the Reservation Page right from the settings for the item being edited - Items for sale, Themes, Payment Methods, Payment Schedules, Email Schedules, Discount Codes, and Custom Fields.

Just select which Reservation Page(s) should use/show this feature:

And it is still possible to edit everything the old way, through the Reservation Page.

This should make things more intuitive, and be easier than having to remember to go to the Reservation Page settings to enable the page for whatever was added.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Statistics Report

We've just completed a new report, Monthly/Yearly Statistics. With this report you can quickly see monthly and yearly totals of various categories, such as new reservations, payments, expenses, and emails..

Click on the "++" link in order to drill down and open a window that shows the exact items for that day or month. For example, this image shows a listing of emails that were scheduled to go out in January.

The red bar always shows your biggest entry. At the bottom of the chart there is a summary showing the total and average amounts.