Before using the inquiry management system it is imperative that you take the time to understand how it works and what options are available to make it work best for you. Many property managers receive hundreds of inquiries PER DAY. Their requirements are quite different than someone who receives 30 inquiries PER MONTH. One thing that is important to everyone is RESPONSIVENESS. If a guest takes the time to send an inquiry then you must have the processes to generate an informative response to that inquiry AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
Understanding #1: Inquiries Flow Through Lodgix
- Within Lodgix you will be issued an email address @lodgix.com. All inquiries from supported vacation rental listing sites must be sent to the @lodgix.com email address to participate in the inquiry management system. There is no other way.
- You must provide a default email where you would like all inquiry notifications to be sent.
Understanding #2: Properties are either Available or Not Available
Every vacation rental listing site provides a guest contact form each listing. Although not required, a typical guest will fill in the dates they are most interested in, as well as ask a few questions about the rental.
THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF INQUIRIES ARE RELATED TO PROPERTY AVAILABILITY.
Lodgix addresses this by parsing every inquiry to determine if a property is available or unavailable based upon the dates provided by the guest in the inquiry form. Lodgix also reviews your internal rules to determine if the rules for the property are met. Thus all inquiries are checked for availability and adherence to any rules that are setup within Lodgix to determine if the property is Available or Not Available.
Understanding #3: Auto-Responder Vs. Auto-Template
An Auto-Responder is a response that is emailed to the guest WITHOUT ANY INTERVENTION on the part of the Lodgix subscriber. There are three templates that can be applied depending on whether the property is AVAILABLE,NOT AVAILABLE, or NOT AVAILABLE DUE TO RULES NOT MET. Lodgix provides a couple of sample templates, but we highly advise that you customize your templates for your own business model.
An Auto-Template is like a loaded gun. The gun will not go off unless you pull the trigger, but it's ready and willing in the event you need it. The suggested auto-template response can be edited for each guest response if necessary. AUTO-TEMPLATES ONLY WORK IF AUTO RESPONDERS ARE OFF. An auto-responder is an auto-template, the only difference is that auto-responder templates go out IMMEDIATELY. Auto-templates require you to approve them before they are sent to the inquirer.
Auto-Responder Template Sample
The red arrows show the template response for an AVAILABLE property.
- If the template response is good "as is" then just click on the "Approve" button and the response will be immediately sent to the guest
- If you'd like to edit the response or add some additional text to it, simply click on "edit reply" and a new window will open where you can edit the reply and then send it.
- To respond quickly to the guest you can simply respond using the "reply" mechanism in your email client.
- And finally, if you want to edit the quote, you can click on the "New Quote" button and then you will be taken to Lodgix where you can edit the quote, just as you would edit an invoice