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Midsummer Updates Part 9 - Newly Overhauled "Empty Units" Report, Updated "Available Nights" Report, and Bug Fixes

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Hi everyone!  We're back with another update this morning.  This is Part 9 of our Midsummer Updates series which is appropriate because there are 9 updates in this one from the week of August 30.  We have one new feature and one enhancement, both of which are about reporting, and then about half a dozen bugs to go through.

New Features

We added a great new report called "Empty Units" that is designed to show you available holes between bookings and blocks.  But wait, you say -- didn't we add an Empty Units report a few months back?!?  Yes, we did, but that report has been moved to something different (see the enhancements section below), and we overhauled the "Empty Units" concepts.  After it was out for a few weeks, we realized that we need to change Empty Units to be a different kind of report.  What users really needed was a report that showed all available time, including hours, between time blocks along with what was happening at each of that available time.

The use case for an "Empty Units" report is that you have something to do where you need to get physical access to the property.  You might need to schedule maintenance or set up an event, and you're asking yourself "when is the next time I have more than 12 hours between bookings?"  Or perhaps, you want to see time coming up that is really short - like turnaround days with 3 hours between bookings.  This new Empty Units report will show that.

To see it, head on over to the Reports menu, find the Empty Units report and drill in.  The date criteria at the top is the period of time you're looking within, and it defaults to a 30 day period starting with today.  Below that, you can filter it to a min/max number of hours you're looking for.  For instance, you might need at 3 days coming up at one of your properties, so you'd enter 48 hours in the minimum hours side.  The report will show you all gaps coming up, at the property, when you have at least 48 hours open.

Notice the new columns that it shows.  On the left, it shows "Empty For" with the period of time you have left until the next booking comes in (or the next blocked-off time begins).  Next to that, it shows you when that begins and what happens at the end - is a guest departing or arriving, does a block begin, etc.

The report also shows a series of warnings on date ranges that are out of the ordinary.  These are the warnings that are shown:

  • Early Check-In - shown if the empty period ends before a booking where the guest is allowed to arrive earlier than usual.
  • Late Check-Out - shown if the empty period begins after a booking where the guest is allowed to stay later than usual.
  • No Time - shown if you have two bookings or blocks abutting each other with no time in between. This could happen if you granted late check-out and early check-in back to back without realizing it.  It could also happen if your property rules don't have a specific check-in or check-out time configured.
  • Same-Day Booking - shown if the empty period is sandwiched between two bookings that occur on the same day (guest leaving in the morning and a different guest coming in the same day).

At the top of the report, there are filters for these as well.  So let's select "Same-Day Booking"  as a filter and see where it occurs across several properties in the next 30 days.

Notice that in some cases, the "same-day" warning is showing because the guest departs and then the property is blocked off.  The system sees that as a same-day issue but in reality the property is simply blocked off after the guest departs.

Using the date range, hours and warning filters, you can also search for potential problems.  I'll select early check-in, late check-out and less than 48 hours to see if any property has unusual check-in granted while being less than 2 days open.  And I've found one:

Since its not a same-day situation, this is probably okay, but if it was same-day, it would show you that as well as a low number of hours available.

If you're wondering why specific check-in/out times are not showing and you're seeing "standard" text instead, this is because your property rules are not configured with an exact check-in/out time.  Go fix that in your property rules and then come back and run the report again.

Enhancements & Tweaks

As I mentioned above, the old Empty Units report was replaced, but we didn't get rid of the old version entirely.  We realized that it was still useful because it shows the number of missed nights during a date range which is important so that users can get a sense of the missed opportunity (or missed cost) of what they could have booked.  So we created a new report called "Available Nights" in the same Stays Reports area and moved the same functionality and columns over from the old Empty Nights report.  We also added a "# of Nights" columns so that you can instantly see where the big gaps are across properties and date ranges.  If you export this report to Excel, this will help you not have to create a formula for that as well.

The grouping will show you the total missed nights per property or owner, so that you can quickly see which property or owner is having difficulty.

In the future, we are planning to add actual cost columns to this report so that you can see what the ADG and ADR (average daily gross and average daily rent) amounts are for those missed nights.  This will give you a real financial amount to consider in terms of the amount lost by not booking these nights.  That's not out yet, but feel free to bug our Feature Request forum about it.

Bug Fixes

Financials options on portal access grant are only applicable to calendar info.  Statement views should be used to control what is visible in the statements.

Agreement links in editor are better.  Links to disabled agreements might still appear in template emails. We've improved the editor so that if you are linking to a disabled agreement, that will be clearer.

Recalculate commission less awkward.  If you've recalculated commission before, you might have seen the wording on the form change after you submitted it. Functionally everything was fine but that behavior was weird... Now it's not.

Vrbo change to New Listing Discount.  Vrbo changed the data response when they updated the New Listing Discount API.  We updated our code to match.

"Show Total" on PM Commission?  Last week, we added the ability to turn Totals on and off on statements.  We noticed that "Show Total" was disabled on the PM Commission field, even though PM Commission is a numeric value, so we turned that on.

Notify user if a disabled room is booked on Booking.com.  Previously, if some rooms of a hotel were enabled and others weren't, and you got a booking for a disabled room, you can get a weird error: "Index was out of range. Must be non-negative and less than the size of the collection. Parameter name: index".  We fixed this to detect that the room is disabled and send the user a message about it.