The new summer vacation season is heating up – and so is the action at iGMS. Our team continues to pursue methods to streamline the way hosts and vacation rental managers deal with reservations, however they are booked. We know that juggling a variety of guests requires well-honed tools: and, as always, we are excited to provide you with more of those!
As hosts ourselves we understand that first-rate guest communication is pivotal, and that’s why the iGMS product team is pleased to introduce a groundbreaking new feature: guest communication for direct bookings.
From now on, the Unified Inbox will allow seamless communication with guests booking a stay directly with you. This booking might come from your website, Facebook page, Instagram, messengers or any other medium related to your marketing strategy. Simply create a manual reservation on the iGMS calendar for direct booking guests, and you can start enjoying the guest management capabilities. Hosts can take control of the manual direct booking flow by employing iGMS automation: built-in templates, multiple triggers, image sending, smart check-ins, and an automated cleaning schedule.
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A manual reservation is a handy iGMS solution for hosts and vacation rental managers who receive guest inquiries directly, out of OTA’s channels. To add a new direct booking manually, you need to open the property calendar and select the dates of your guest’s stay. Then you should enter the guest’s name, email and phone number, the cleaning fee amount, and the host’s name. Once all the necessary data has been entered, the iGMS system will automatically create a reservation card and a thread with the guest in your Inbox. Concurrently, the app synchronizes the availability of the dates with vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway (in case you’ve linked them via the channel manager).
Let’s see what more iGMS has to offer for your direct bookings.
Exceed guests’ expectations
With the new upgrade, direct bookings will get the same smart messaging capacities as the reservations coming from vacation rental platforms. Now iGMS users can engage customizable and automated templates to uplevel communication with the customers from the external channels. With our Unified Inbox, guests who book directly will get all the information addressed personally to their mailboxes in a timely manner. iGMS secures communication with all the major email providers, such as Google, Yahoo, Outlook and other services.
Weave a thread
You just need a valid email address to initiate a new dialog with your guests from manual reservation. As soon as you create a manual booking, the automation will follow the preset rules. The greeting message will be sent upon a confirmed reservation – the check-in instructions will make the lives of your guests much easier. The checkout message reminds guests to check out on time and follow the rules relating to your property. We have another amazing feature to show you too – you can now attach images to templates or regular messages. Hosts can send the map of the area or the details regarding the location of the key locker. This all serves to enhance the guest experience. When necessary, the reservation key data, such as length of the stay and the payout, can be easily updated via the reservation card.
Keep a record
Each manual reservation features the individual reservation number and itinerary list. This means you can easily find the required reservation in the Inbox search bar by its number. You can also use the number for housekeeping excel sheets. To print the itinerary just click on the reservation number in the guest’s thread. We are also pleased to announce that the manual reservations payouts features will be added to the Report section soon.
Color-code direct bookings
Keep your reservations colorful to sort them out more easily as per the criteria: paid out stays, number of beds, or the source of the booking. The feature comes in handy when managing availability from our Multi-calendar. You can easily navigate manual reservations by the violet, lilac, pink, black, orange or golden colors. Another proven practice is to use the color to mark some specifics of a guest’s stay. For example, golden reservations to signify a fully paid out reservation, black for those who have requested additional amenities (extra pack of linens or a baby cot), and orange to denote an early check-in stay. Jot down the details in the Information Section and change the reservation’s color via the guest’s reservation card when necessary.
Polish up a cleaning routine
Cleaning automation works for manual reservations in the same way it does for automatic bookings. iGMS schedules a new cleaning visit upon every checkout. However, cleaning automation also allows you to add a cleaning fee that you may want to specify when creating a reservation. If you have already enabled the automatic assignment of a cleaner or created a check-list, these will work for manual direct bookings too.
Direct bookings are becoming extremely popular with hosts. Cautious travelers are looking for a personalized and immediate service, and making direct contact with a host allows them to do this. The flexible, safe and easy process of direct bookings management on iGMS can increase your revenue. We will help you to connect to more booking-ready guests and reduce the costly commissions from OTAs. Moreover, iGMS will ensure that your rentals’ availability and rates are always up to date across all of the distribution channels (so, you won’t have to worry about overbooking and the penalties involved).
We really believe you’ll enjoy our new channel of communication; it’s specifically designed to connect hosts with extra booking opportunities and shrink their workload. While we are sharing good news we would like to tell you about another great feature we think you will like. We will be adding a payment processing feature to iGMS manual reservations in the coming months. We are happy to share that Stripe has been officially chosen to enhance direct bookings. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see our features in action, don’t hesitate to join iGMS for free. Stay tuned, we have plenty more new and exciting changes coming very soon!
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