When an inquiry is fielded by VRconnection,
the system automatically generates a reservation transaction and adds it to
your Active Transactions Queue (see image to right.)
Your transaction queue is simply an ordered listing of all your currently
pending inquiries and reservations, and can be found on your 'Manage
Listing' page (only you have access to this part of your listing.)
Each transaction in your queue is prioritized based on what 'step' the
transaction is at and the time frame necessary to act upon it. As
described previously, each reservation must progress through a
series of steps which include
Prioritizing Your Active Transactions
- Inquiry request
- Offering a reservation
- Accepting/declining a reservation offer
- Awaiting/receiving deposit payment
- 2nd payment due notification (optional for 3 payment approach)
- Awaiting/receiving 2nd payment (optional)
- Balance due notification
- Awaiting/receiving balance due payment
- Providing access
- Admission to property
- Refunding security deposit
VRconnection uses an innovative and patent pending approach to working
with your transactions. In a nutshell, the system is designed to
anticipate what is to happen next with each transaction you are working
with, stepping you through the process with incredible ease.
First, it categorizes all of your active transactions into color
coded 'priorities', ranging from Low
to Critical. It does this categorization
based on timing parameters on when things need your attention. Critical
items need your immediate attention, while low priority ones can usually
be ignored. In this way, VRconnection allows you to focus on only the
tasks that need your attention, while allowing you to ignore those that
are in a wait stage. Coupled with VRconnection's built in e-mail reminders,
you should never again need to look over each and every transaction to
get an assessment of what you need to do. This can dramatically cut down
on the busywork of managing your inquiries and guests.
Moving a Reservation Along with Next Actions
In addition to uniquely prioritizing your pending transactions,
VRconnection employs another innovative approach to moving your
reservations along to completion. For each step that a transaction is
on, the system will offer a list of the most common 'Next Actions' that
can be taken (see image to left). By anticipating the most common
next steps in the life-cycle of a reservation, VRconnection once again
helps to narrow your focus and make you much more efficient at working
through your transactions.
Continuing with our previous example,
after a reservation offer has been accepted by a prospective
guest, VRconnection will mark the transaction as 'Accepted' and awaiting
deposit payment. Initially the transaction will be prioritized as
Normal allowing time for the guest
to mail in payment and paperwork. After 3 days, the system will
escalate the transaction to Medium
priority and after 7 days, the transaction is prioritized as
Critical alerting you to the need to
follow-up with the guest to ensure that payment is on its way. In this
way, VRconnection is able to highlight which transactions require your
attention and which ones do not. The system will even send you e-mail
reminders when to do items become critical.
A reservation that has been 'Accepted' has three typical 'Next Action'
- Receive Payment is selected when you physically receive
payment (and paperwork) for the reservation. This will open a new form
to enter specific information about the payment received. Once that
is entered, the reservation will be moved to the next step in the
- Follow-Up can be used to proactively contact the guest if a
substantial amount of time has elapsed without receipt of payment.
- Abandon is used when follow-ups with the guest are unable
to solicit proper payment for the accepted reservation.
The reservation is then cancelled, the calendar cleared for the dates
involved, and the transaction archived.
Each reservation that is managed goes through similar priority
escalations and has similar sets of 'Next Action' options,
predetermined to be the most common courses of action when dealing with a
reservation at a particular step.
Transaction Control Panel
In addition to assisting you in ferrying along your transactions, the
Active Transaction Queue (and its counterpart Archived Transaction
Queue) also acts as a 'Control Panel' for access to all of your
inquiries, reservations, and guest information. You can access all of
the details of a transaction by clicking on the status of a transaction
in the 'Status' column of the queue. This will bring up the 'Update
Transaction' form for the transaction (see image to right).
Much of this form will look very familiar, since a lot of the information
displayed is configured during the
offer a reservation
procedure. However, some important additional information should be noted.
First, the 'Status' section of the page shows you a historical accounting
of the steps the reservation has taken and when these steps occurred.
Also note the 'Messages' section of the form. Here you will find
a complete accounting of all e-mail communications between you and the
guest. Whenever you utilize the built-in e-mail editor to send a
message to one of your guests, VRconnection will store that e-mail with
the transaction. If you receive an e-mail reply from the guest, that
reply will also be stored with the transaction. In this way, VRconnection
will auto-file all of your e-mail exchanges so that you can
easily revisit what has been communicated between you in a guest. No
more manually filing e-mails into a Byzantine folder structure in
your e-mail filing cabinet -- VRconnection handles it all for you
While most information pertaining to a transaction is managed and
maintained through the next action progression of the reservation,
the update transaction form can be used to make manual updates.
Simply make your changes and click the 'Update Transaction'
button at the bottom of the form. This approach
can be used when a transaction goes a bit awry and none of the
recommended next action options is the right fit. Most of the time,
manually changing the 'Status' of a reservation will put the
transaction back on track.
Working with EVERY Inquiry and Reservation
Up until this point, we have only discussed inquiries and reservations
that have originated from VRconnection's marketing efforts.
VRconnection also supports inquiries and reservations that originate
elsewhere or that occurred prior to enlisting our service. We strongly
recommended that you take a broader approach to advertising your property -
the more exposure you get, the more bookings should follow. For example,
you may advertise your property in a local paper or receive inquiries
via phone. In these instances, you can manually create reservation
transactions via the 'Make an Offer' and 'Book a Reservation' links on
the Manage Listing page. Use these procedures to offer reservations to
inquiries that come via phone or to add property bookings to the system
and fill out your calendar and active transaction queue as needed. Once
a reservation is manually added to the system, it will be managed by
VRconnection in the same manner as those reservations initiated by the
system. If you receive e-mail inquiries for reservations from other
listing services, VRconnection can act as a 'clearing house' to
automatically process all such inquiries. For more information on this
click here. The system can automatically
process inquiries from over 50 listing services and new ones are being
added on a weekly basis.
If you like what you see so far,
click here to list and manage your property with VRconnection.
Otherwise, let's continue the tutorial with