COVID-19 Vacation Rental Features
We sure hope that everyone is staying healthy. And though COVID-19 sure seems to be trying to wreck this Summer, Bookerville has introduced new features to alleviate and help with the impact.
Minimum Days Between Bookings
Some areas are now doing a "soft open" for vacation rentals. This is good news for businesses, but also presents some challenges. Some locations are requiring a minimum number of days between bookings, so that any COVID-19 present on surfaces will die before the next guests arrive.
Bookerville has implemented a new optional setting to force a minimum number of days between bookings. On the Bookerville internal booking system, this is enforced when guests choose dates on the Public Booking Calendar. It can be found in the Property Setup page:
Channel Managers, Listing Sites
Bookerville is also vending this new setting now on our Property Details API feed. For those of you using the Bookerville API directly, the name of the new field is <MinDaysBetweenBookings>. We have asked both Channel Managers whether listing sites are supporting this feature, but it appears that so far, they are not.
To alleviate this, we are offering a new option for your iCal feeds as well as the Bookerville Availability API that the Channel Managers read. These new options will automatically "pad" bookings on either side with enough days to cover your minimum-days-between-bookings setting.
You can control whether this setting will cause your iCal feeds to "pad" days around each booking to reflect this in the availability that listing sites see. It will do the same thing to the Availability API if you (or a Channel Manager you're with) are using that. This should prevent guests from booking on those sites too close to existing bookings.
Please note: this new exploratory feature may not work with 3rd-parties reading your availability data, and there are two things to be aware of:
1) If there are existing (future) bookings that are already closer together than your minimum-days-between-bookings setting, the system cannot (will not) go change those bookings. You will have to manually deal with those existing bookings.
2) It's possible that due to the placement of existing bookings on your calendar, if you make this minimum-days-between-bookings setting, it could cause iCal feeds (and/or the Availability API) to express overlapping bookings. This could confuse groups reading that availability data, so if you use this new feature, be sure to monitor it carefully, and work with your partners to make them aware of what you're doing and why.
Unearned Revenue Report
Bookerville also has provided a new report called "Unearned Revenue", which shows payments received for future-arriving bookings. This can be helpful for potential relief and/or insurance claims, as well as identifying your potential liability for refund requests, etc.
Bookerville is paying close attention to the COVID-19 crisis, and making sure we are doing everything possible to help our partners through this unprecedented event. If you have ideas for improvements, or feedback on the features we have implemented so far, please let us know.