Optional Configuration Steps

RezStream Support -

Overview - Optional Configuration Steps

Depending on your property’s unique needs, the following RezStream Professional configuration steps can be completed.

 

  1. Defining point of sale items
  2. Defining packages
  3. Defining a deposit policy
  4. Customize the look and feel of RezStream Professional
  5. Defining Sources and Reasons
  6. Editing Reservation Colors
  7. Reservation Colors and Text
  8. Defining Holidays
  9. Defining Guest Interests and Titles
  10. Button Theme Colors
  11. View Options
  12. Call Accounting Configuration
  13. Bar code configuration
  14. The RezStream Booking Engine
  15. Defining States and Countries
  16. Changing System Properties in the Settings Tab

 

The first two optional configuration steps should be completed by properties that sell packages. A package is any room rate that includes items in addition to lodging. For example, a property on the Oregon Coast could sell a “Yachats Music Festival Package” that includes:

 

  • A bottle of wine
  • Inn monogrammed wine glasses
  • Breakfast
  • Tickets to the music festival 


Overview - Packages

There are three types of packages in RezStream Professional.

 

  1. Rate inclusive packages
  2. Standard unit rate packages
  3. Per person rate packages

 

Use the links above to learn more about each package type. In addition, the following links can be used to learn about specific package configuration functions.

 

  • Defining per person, per day rates
  • Defining a package
  • Linking a package to a rate
  • Package rate examples
  • Testing packages

Define the Package

With the per person/per day room rate defined, we will now create the Fly Fishing Getaway package. In this section, we will assume that the point of sale items included in this package have already been defined. For additional information about creating point of sale items, please see the section titled Defining Point of Sale Items.

 

Use the following steps to define the Fly Fishing Getaway package.

 

  1. From the top toolbar, click Tools > Unit and Rate Setup and select the Packages tab.
  2. Click the Add New Package button.
  3. Complete the fields in the Edit Package window and click the Save button.

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  4. With the Fly Fishing Getaway package highlighted in the Packages table (A), highlight the first point of sale item that will be added to the package, breakfast (B), and click the Add button (C).

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  5. A $10.00 charge per adult will be charged for breakfast each day, including the day of checkout. Check the Adult, First, Last, and Day+ checkboxes.

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  6. Add the float trip and lunch point of sale items. Both of these items will be charged per adult, per day (excluding the day of checkout). Check the Adult, First, and Last checkboxes.

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  7. The final two point of sale items, flies and miscellaneous accessories, will be one time charges per adult. Check the Adult and Once checkboxes.

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Link the Package to the Rate

With individual package items and the per person/per day lodging rate defined, we will now link these two components to simplify the reservation process.

 

  1. From the top toolbar, click Tools > Unit and Rate Setup.
  2. Click the Unit Rate Plans tab.
  3. Highlight the Two Bedroom Cabin unit type/rate plan (A) and select the Per Person/Per Day rate name.

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  4. Select Fly Fishing Getaway from the default package drop-down list.

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  5. Click the Close button.

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  6. With the link created between the package and the rate name, as soon as the reservationist selects the “Per Person/Per Day” unit rate (A), the package selection (B) defaults to Fly Fishing Getaway. Clicking the Recalculate button (C) displays updated reservation totals for the room rate ($85 * 4 Adults = $340/night * 3 nights = $1,020) and package items.

    2013-03-26_14_04_20-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

 

Test the Package

The final step in creating a per person rate package is to test the package and make sure that all components are posting for the correct amount on the correct day(s). In order to test the package, make a test reservation and click the Edit Invoice Details button on the “by the Day Reservation Dialog” screen.

 

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The Edit Invoice window is displayed. Here, package point of sale items and room rates are sub-totaled by day.

 

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Standard Unit Rate Packages

The second type of RezStream Professional package is a standard unit rate package where a bundle of point of sale items is added to a standard unit rate (rate name). From the “by the Day Reservation Dialog screen,” the reservationist selects a standard room rate (A) and then adds the bundled point of sale items (B).

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Clicking the Edit Invoice Details button displays the individual transactions that will be posted to the reservation.

 

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The standard Rack rate is being applied to the reservation. The Rack rate is defined in Tools > Unit and Rate Setup > Unit Rate Plans.

 

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A package can be linked to a rate name by selecting a package from the Default Package drop-down list. With the package linked to the rate name, the reservationist does NOT have to select it in the “by the Day Reservation Dialog.”

 

A benefit of using standard unit rate packages is that all seasonal and daily rate fluctuations are automatically accounted for when making the package reservation. For example, in the Edit Invoice window displayed at the top of this page, the standard weekday Rack rate of $95.00 is automatically applied the first day of the reservation and then the weekend Rack rate of $115.00 is applied to the second and third nights.

 

Conversely, with rate inclusive packages (described in the previous section), the room rate is defined once (for example $100.00/night) and does not dynamically update based on the number of people in the room, the day of the week, or the time of year.

 

Standard unit rate packages are defined in the same manner as rate inclusive packages, using the Tools > Unit and Rate Setup > Packages tab. The only difference when defining a standard unit rate package is the absence of a “rate” component.

 

In our example, three point of sale items are included In the Getaway Ski Weekend package:

  • Massage (1HR)
  • Full day adult lift ticket
  • Breakfast

 

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Based on the checkboxes in the Items in Package table, the point of sale items will be charged in the following manner.

 

  • Massage – a one-time $75.00 charge multiplied times the number of adults on the reservation.
  • Full day adult lift ticket – a daily $65.00 charge multiplied times the number of adults on the reservation.
  • Breakfast – a $7.50 charge multiplied times the number of adults on the reservation and applied the second day of the reservation and each subsequent day, including the day of checkout.

 

To illustrate these charges, the Edit Invoice window is displayed below.

 

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Package Rate Examples

The following examples illustrate two additional options (in addition to the NBA All Star Getaway package outlined in the previous section) for charging room rates in RezStream Professional packages.

 

The first example, displayed below, illustrates a per person/per night charge. In this package, there is only one component, Rate. With checkmarks in the Adult, First, and Last fields, the rate will be charged per number of adults each day of the reservation.

 

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To highlight this example, a test reservation will be made using the sample package.

 

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In the example above, there are three adults on the reservation for three nights, therefore the Daily Reservation Total equals:

 

$75.00 x 3 adults = $225.00 per night

$225.00 x 3 nights = $675.00 Daily Reservation Total

 

The second example, displayed below, illustrates a lump sum rate package. In this package, the room rate for the package is charged as a flat fee. With checkmarks in the Once and Rate fields, the rate will be changed just once per reservation, no matter the number of people or length of stay.

 

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A three-night reservation with two adults in the room is charged a room rate of $250.00.

 

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With this rate configuration, a six-night reservation with 4 adults in the room is also charged $250.00.

 

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Per Person Rate Packages

The third type of RezStream Professional package is a per person rate package where point of sale items are bundled with a per person room rate. This method is popular with outfitter customers (properties that sell fly fishing or hunting excursions, boat rentals, dude ranches, etc.) where there is a per person/per day lodging charge in addition to a menu of “activity” add-ons. In our example, we will be configuring the following Fly Fishing Getaway package:

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The following steps outline the process for creating per person rate packages. 

 

  1. Define per person/per day room rates.
  2. Define the package.
  3. Link the package to the rate.
  4. Test the package and rate combination. 

 

 

 

Define Per Person Per Day Rates

The first step in defining our sample Fly Fishing Getaway package is to create per person/per day room rates. Use the following steps to create the $85.00 per person/per day room rate.

 

  1. From the top toolbar in RezStream Professional, click Tools > Unit and Rate Setup.
  2. Click the Unit Rate Plans tab.
  3. Highlight the unit type/rate plan that applies. In our example, we will define per person/per day rates for the Two Bedroom Cabin unit type/rate plan.

    2013-04-01_10_12_26-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  4. Click the Add New Rate Name button on the Unit Setup screen.

    2013-04-01_10_12_34-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  5. A new line is added to the Rate Names table. Enter a descriptive name for the rate name, Per Person/Per Day.

    2013-04-01_10_12_40-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  6. The rate period field will be set at Daily, indicating that per person charges will be applied to the guest folio each day.
  7. Once we are finished defining the Fly Fishing Getaway package, we will return to the Rate Names table and link the Fly Fishing Getaway package to the Per Person/Per Day rate name.
  8. Enter a checkmark in the bookable column, if the rate should be made available to guests making reservations via the RezStream Booking Engine.
  9. Per person rates can be configured to vary based on seasons. In our example, the $85.00 rate listed in the rate table is based on high season rates. Per person rates will be added based on the following seasons and daily rate amounts.

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  1. From the Unit Setup screen, click the Add New Season button.
  2. Enter the season start date, 01/01/07.
  3. Enter $0.00 in the rate column.
  4. Enter a base cap of 0. A base cap of 0, coupled with a rate of $0.00, is the trigger for per person/per day rates.
  5. Enter the per person/per adult charge of $50.00.
  6. If necessary, additional rates can be entered for children, toddlers, and infants (note that these three rate person types can be customized to suit your property’s needs).
  7. Weekend per person rates can also apply.

    2013-04-01_10_12_54-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  8. Repeat steps A – G to add the additional three seasons defined in the table in step #9 on the previous page.

    2013-04-01_10_13_02-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

Rate Inclusive Packages

A rate inclusive package is one that includes a room rate along with point of sale items associated with that specific package. For example, the NBA All-Star Getaway package is configured to include the following rate and point of sale item components:

 

  • Two nights of lodging for two adults ($100/night)
  • An authentic NBA basketball ($65.00)
  • Two tickets to the Denver Nuggets game ($75.00/adult)
  • Admission to a pre-game basketball clinic ($100.00/adult)

 

Once individual point of sale items  and their categories are defined in the POS Inventory Setup screen (Point of Sale F4 > Modify Inventory > Add New Item), the package is created under Tools > Unit and Rate Setup > Packages and clicking the Add New Package button. Complete the Edit Package window.

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The “Detailed Description used on Booking Engine only” field in the Edit Package window (above) is the description Internet guests will see when booking the package via the RezStream Booking Engine. This description does not display in RezStream Professional. After completing the Edit Package window, click the Save button.

 

Highlight the package name in the Packages table and complete the following steps.

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  1. Highlight a point of sale item associated with the NBA All-Star Getaway package in the list (A) and click the Add button (B).

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  2. After adding a point of sale item to a package, it is displayed under the Items in Package table. Use the checkboxes to define when and how the point of sale item is applied in the package.

    2013-04-01_10_31_34-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

    The checkboxes in this table are described below.

 

CHECKBOX DESCRIPTION

Adult
(Person Rate
Type 1)

 

Multiply the price of the point of sale item by the number of adults on the reservation.
Child
(Person Rate
Type 2)
Multiply the price of the point of sale item by the number of children on the reservation.
Todlr
(Person Rate
Type 3)
Multiply the price of the point of sale item by the number of toddlers on the reservation.
Note: In our example, Person Rate Type 3 has been customized to read “Todlr.”
Each property can configure the person rate types to meet their needs.
Changes to the person rate types are made by clicking Tools > List Edit > Labels.
Infnt
(Person Rate
Type 4)
Multiply the price of the point of sale item by the number of infants on the reservation.
Note: In our example, Person Rate Type 4 has been customized to read “Infnt.”
Each property can configure the person rate types to meet their needs.
Changes to person rate types are made by clicking Tools > List Edit > Labels.
First The point of sale item is charged on the first night of the stay.
Last The point of sale Item is charged on the last night of the stay.
First and Last Entering a checkmark in both the First and Last fields means the point of sale item
will appear on the first full day of the stay, the last day of the stay (checkout day),
AND every day in between.
Day+ The charge for the point of sale item begins on the second day of the reservation and
applies to all dates, including the day of checkout.
Once The point of sale item is charged once during the package length.
Rate The Rate checkbox can be used in combination with the other checkboxes to create
the types of packages listed below.
 
Package Type Description
Nightly Rate The dollar amount in the rate point of sale item is charged each
night of the package, regardless of the number of people in the room.
In order to define this type of package, click the First, Last,
and Rate fields.
Per Person Rate The dollar amount in the rate point of sale item is charged per
night per person. In order to define this type of package, click the
First, Last, Rate, and applicable person rate types (adult, child, etc.)
Lump Sum Rate The dollar amount in the rate point of sale item is charged once
during the stay. In order to define this type of package, click the
Rate and Once fields.

 

The room rate component of our NBA All-Star Getaway package has the following checkboxes.

 

  1. First
  2. Last
  3. Rate

 

With this combination, the $100.00 room rate will be charged each night of the two-night stay.


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In addition, because the package component is defined as a “Rate,” the $100.00 room rate will be displayed separately on the Daily Package + POS and Summary Package + POS invoice options.


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3. Continue adding point of sale items to the package.

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Note – it is not necessary to create a new “Rate” point of sale item for each Rate Inclusive package. Instead, the price can simply be overridden, as in the example below.

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4. In our sample NBA All-Star Getaway package, the following charges will be applied to the guest folio.

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A. A one-time charge of $65.00 for the Authentic NBA Basketball.

B. A one-time charge of $200.00 for the Basketball Clinic ($100.00 per adult on the reservation).

C. A one-time charge of $150.00 for the Nuggets Basketball Tickets ($75.00 per adult on the reservation).

D. A $100.00 per night room rate. 

POS Items

Bar Code Configuration

Overview

RezStream offers bar coding capabilities for your point of sale (POS) needs. This feature allows businesses with large point of sale inventories to quickly and efficiently track, sell, and manage their products. Combined with our online credit card processing feature, users can quickly add items to their inventory, sell items in quick succession, and process the transaction through an Internet connection.

 

Note: You do not have to use credit card processing to take advantage of RezStream's POS bar coding features.

 

To take advantage of RezStream’s bar coding capabilities, it is necessary to purchase a barcode scanner, printer, and credit card reader. RezStream sells these items as a service to our customers and has purposely priced them to be reasonable. RezStream recommends purchasing these items by calling our sales department at 866-360-8210 or by visiting our website at http://www.RezStream.com.

 

Creating Bar Codes

You will need to either make your own barcodes or use barcodes that are already assigned and affixed to products. The easiest way to make your own barcodes is to use a software program to create barcodes. These can then be printed on a simple ink jet printer using sheets of barcode size labels. The process is very similar to printing address labels. The main point is that you do not need to purchase expensive label printers or expensive ‘packages’ to get the job done.

 

There are several good software programs on the market for making labels. One of the better programs is made by a company called "Wasp." It costs less than $100 and gets the job done nicely. Please see this link for more information:

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?sku=I300-1006

 

You can also make your own bar codes by downloading a bar code font. However, we do not recommend this option unless you are familiar with properly scaling fonts in Windows. You may save yourself a great deal of time and effort by using a pre-packaged font system instead. However, if you wish to create your own bar codes from scratch, a free bar code font can be downloaded from:

 

http://www.squaregear.net/fonts/free3of9.zip

 

NOTE: you MUST put an asterisk (*) before and after the code if you are using a bar code font. Example: *123*

 

Please note that we cannot assist you in creating bar codes. We offer the above information only as a service to RezStream customers.

 

Once you have labels created, you will simply need to assign barcodes to point of sale items in RezStream. To do this, use the following steps:

 

  1. Open Tools > POS Inventory.
  2. Select an item from the list or create a new item.
  3. Click on Scan Bar Code from the right-hand side of the screen and scan your bar code.
  4. If you bar code fails to scan, first reset your bar code reader to factory defaults by doing the following: a. Go to Page 1 of your bar code reader manual, and scan "Start of Configuration," then "Set Factory Defaults," then "End of Configuration."
  5. If your bar code still fails to scan, please try scanning another bar code to eliminate the possibility that your bar code is faulty. 

Overview - Defining Point of Sale Items

Point of sale (POS) items are miscellaneous sales items that can be sold individually or as part of a package. Examples of POS items include:

 

  1. A bottle of wine
  2. Tickets to a local festival
  3. Gift shop items
  4. Meals

 

If you are installing a new copy of RezStream Professional, there are two steps in defining POS items.

 

  • Deleting sample POS items
  • Adding new POS items

Adding New POS Items

Use the following steps for adding new POS items to RezStream Professional.

 

  1. Click Tools > Unit and Rate Setup and select the Packages tab.
  2. Click the Edit/Add POS Items button.

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  3. Click the Category Setup tab on the POS Inventory Setup screen.

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  4. Point of sale items, that are similar in nature and taxed at the same rate, are grouped together into POS categories. RezStream Professional comes pre-installed with default POS categories. If they are not applicable to your property (Beverage, Food, Gift Shop, Miscellaneous, and Phone Charges), remove them by highlighting the category and pressing the Delete Category button.

    2013-04-01_10_49_35-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

    After pressing the Delete Category button, the following prompt is displayed. Click Yes to confirm that the category should be deleted.

    2013-04-01_10_49_41-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  5. Add your property’s POS categories by clicking the Add New Category button (A) and then updating the description (B) and selecting a tax class (C) from the drop-down menu.

    2013-04-01_10_49_48-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  6. After adding all POS categories, click the Item Setup tab.

    2013-04-01_10_49_55-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  7. Click the Add New Item button (A) and complete the POS item fields on the right-hand side of the window. With a checkmark next to the “Booking Engine Bookable Item” field, the POS item is automatically uploaded to the RezStream Booking Engine where it can be sold as part of an online package. For additional information about generating online revenue with the RezStream Booking Engine, please contact RezStream sales toll-free at 866-360-8210.

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  8. Add additional POS items by clicking the Add New Item button. Once you are finished adding POS items, click the Close button on the POS Inventory Setup screen. 

Deleting Sample POS Items

RezStream Professional comes pre-installed with sample POS items. Use the following steps to delete these sample items that do not pertain to your property.

 

  1. Click Tools > Unit and Rate Setup and select the Packages tab.

    2013-04-01_10_53_54-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

  2. Click the Edit/Add POS Items button (circled in the screen shot above).
  3. Remove POS items that are not applicable to your property (Breakfast, Coffee Mug, Dozen Roses) by highlighting them in the POS Items list on the POS Inventory Setup screen and clicking the Delete Item button (B).

    2013-04-01_10_54_01-RezStream_Professional_Help.png
  4. Click the OK button to confirm that the POS item should be deleted.

    2013-04-01_10_54_09-RezStream_Professional_Help.png

 

After deleting sample POS Items, you are now ready to add your own POS Items.

 

POS Vendor Setup

RezStream allows users to track vendor information. You can either add a new Vendor, edit a Vendor, or change an existing contact in the Select Names screen to relationship "Vendor."

Add a New Vendor

Use the following steps to add a new vendor.

 

  1. Click the Point of Sale button on the main left-hand toolbar.
  2. Click the Modify Inventory button.
  3. Select the Vendor Setup tab.
  4. Click the Add New Vendor button.
  5. Complete the fields on the right-hand side of the screen.

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Flag an Existing Contact as a Vendor

Use the following steps to flag an existing contact as a vendor.

 

  1. From the Select Names screen, highlight the contact that should be flagged as a vendor.
  2. To view details, click the Edit button or double-click the contact.
  3. Click the Contact Notes tab and select the Vendor radio button.

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RezStream Booking Engine FAQ

The RezStream Booking Engine allows you to take real-time bookings from your property’s website. The RezStream Booking Engine offers fully automated credit card transaction processing and automated email confirmation generation.

 

RezStream also offers a GDS (Global Distribution System) module which connects to all the GDS systems, travel agents (via Pegasus), and travel portals, such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, and Hotels.com.

 

Why Offer Real-Time Online Bookings?

  • Travelers want confirmed online bookings. Online travel purchases have increased five-fold in just four years.
  • It will increase your bottom line. Many travelers will book only at properties that offer confirmed online reservations.
  • It gives you a competitive advantage. Offering online reservations will significantly increase your web site's "look-to-book" ratio.
  • Rooms are reserved while you sleep. It's like having a full-time reservationist, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

 

How Do I Sign Up for the RezStream Booking Engine?

There are a few requirements for using the RezStream Booking Engine:

 

  • You must be using RezStream Professional version 2007.9.1 or greater.
  • If you would like to automatically process deposits for online reservations you must sign up for a third-party Internet Merchant Account through RezStream. You cannot use your existing merchant account with the Booking Engine, as a special Internet-only "card not present" account is required.
  • If you do not want to automatically process deposits you must sign up for the Secure User Processing option.

 

Please contact our sales staff at 866-360-8210 or sales@RezStream.com for more information.

 

How Do I Sign Up for the GDS Interface?

You must fill out a GDS application and then work with RezStream support to load your property and rate information on the GDS. This process takes approximately 45 days.

 

For additional information, please review the GDS page on the RezStream website at:

 

http://www.rezstream.com/global_distribution_system.htm

 

Additional GDS information can be obtained by contacting RezStream Sales at 866-360-8210 or sales@RezStream.com.

 

How Do I Set Up the RezStream Booking Engine?

Please download the RezStream Professional Booking Engine User’s Guide from the RezStream website:

 

http://www.rezstream.com/documentation_rezstream_booking_engine.htm

 

Please contact our sales staff at 866-360-8210 or sales@RezStream.com for more information. 

 

 

RezStream Booking Engine 3.0 Features

Enhanced features in the RezStream Booking Engine version 3.0 include:

 

  • New design and improved performance. The administrative interface redesign is easy to use and all guest booking steps now load much faster.
  • New fully customizable administrative “dashboard.” Log into your booking engine and utilize “Quick View” graphs and charts. Customize the default view to meet any specific need.
  • Easier to make reservations. Use web browser “back buttons” to quickly select new dates or other important rate information.
  • New “master pages” for customizing colors of guest booking steps. Make internal booking engine colors and web pages match your existing website. Call RezStream sales at 866-360-8210 for a price quote on customizing your existing booking engine pages. (RezStream Website Design, Hosting, & Promotion clients may receive this benefit at no additional cost!)
  • Add up to six custom data fields to the final guest booking step. Unique data fields will automatically download into RezStream Professional PMS.
  • New letter tool with more custom options. Upgrade the look of confirmation letters.
  • New property management availability options. Assign unit owners to one or more rental units enabling them to view unit availability and/or make reservations. Set owner permission levels to “view only” or define more functionality if needed.
  • Add photos to point of sale items.
  • Increased availability calendar functionality. Add photos to your two-week availability calendar. Ability to add “BCC” notification for reservation e-mails.
  • Too many new features to mention!

 

Information for current RezStream Booking Engine Clients

All existing RezStream Booking Engine clients have automatically been upgraded to RezStream Booking Engine 3.0. Please update RezStream Professional to version 2007.9.16 and verify configuration data to ensure your booking engine will function properly.



RezStream Booking Engine Configuration Overview

In order to complete the setup process for the RezStream Booking Engine you must complete the following steps:

 

  1. RezStream Professional Booking Engine Setup
  2. Booking Engine Administrator Setup
  3. Payment Gateway Setup (optional)
  4. GDS setup (optional). Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to take real-time bookings from your website.

 

Please see the RezStream website for documentation information. Go to:

 

http://www.rezstream.com/documentation_rezstream_booking_engine.htm

 

You may also contact the RezStream support team at 303-872-0220 for further assistance. In addition, the following links can be used to learn more about the RezStream Booking Engine:

 

  • GDS Overview
  • RezStream Booking Enigne 3.0 Features
  • Auto Update
  • Uploading RezStream Professional Changes
  • RezStream Booking Engine FAQ




Auto Update

After completing the initial RezStream Booking Engine configuration, turn on the Auto Update feature in RezStream Professional by clicking File > Online Availability Update > RezStream Booking Engine 3.0 > Auto Update.

 

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The Auto Update feature automatically synchronizes availability between RezStream Professional and the RezStream Booking Engine.

 

If you are running RezStream Professional in a network environment, Auto Update only needs to be activated on ONE computer. RezStream Professional should be left open (or minimized) at ALL times on this computer in order to continuously receive RezStream Booking Engine reservations. 



Uploading RezStream Professional Changes

From time to time, you may want to change settings that were uploaded from RezStream Professional to the RezStream Booking Engine, for example, unit rates, taxes, or point of sale items. You should ONLY make changes to these settings in RezStream Professional. Once you have changed key information within RezStream Professional, you may then upload these changes to an existing RezStream Booking Engine account. When these RezStream Professional configuration settings are changed, for example, a new reason for reservation is added, the change is made in RezStream Professional and then uploaded to the RezStream Booking Engine using the following RezStream Professional menu option.

 

File > Online Availability Update > RezStream Booking Engine 3.0 > Verify Configuration Data

 

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After selecting the Verify Configuration Data option, RezStream Professional automatically creates a configuration file and uploads it to the RezStream Booking Engine.

 

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After transferring the configuration file to the RezStream Booking Engine, the Complete window is displayed and occupancy is synchronized between RezStream Professional and the RezStream Booking Engine.

 

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RezStream recommends making a batch of changes in RezStream Professional and then uploading the batch to the RezStream Booking Engine. Because occupancy is verified as part of the Verify Configuration process, as more and more reservations are added, it will take longer to complete the upload process.

 

Note Regarding Confirmation Letters

The “No Payment” and “Deposit Paid” confirmation letters are uploaded from RezStream Professional to the RezStream Booking Engine during the initial configuration ONLY. They are NOT uploaded as part of the Verify Configuration Data utility described above. Changes to letters that should be reflected in both RezStream Professional and the RezStream Booking Engine must be made twice, once in the RezStream Professional software and again in the RezStream Booking Engine Online Administrative Interface. 


GDS Overview

RezStream is proud to offer an automatic connection to the Global Distribution System.

 

We allow you to display availability through all the GDS systems, including Amadeus®, Galileo®, SABRE®, and WorldSpan®, as well as via the Pegasus gateway. This provides you with exposure via all the popular travel portals, such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Hotels.com.

 

For more information about setting up the RezStream Booking Engine and GDS, please refer to the RezStream Booking Engine Setup topic.

 

What is the GDS?

Long before the Internet changed the landscape of the travel industry, the Global Distribution System was created by the airline industry. The airlines created the first GDS in the 1960’s as a way to track flight schedules, availability, and pricing. In the 1970’s, SABRE (owned by American Airlines) and Apollo (owned by United) installed their GDS technology in travel agencies. This service helped travel agents automatically generate their own airline reservations for their clients and gave the major airlines significantly increased sales exposure.

 

With the creation of the Internet, travel websites multiplied. The traditional GDS providers (SABRE, Worldspan, Galileo, and Amadeus) formed their own travel websites. Popular Internet travel websites such as Travelocity.com (owned by SABRE) and Orbitz.com (powered by Worldspan) have continued to grow in popularity and market share. Today, the Global Distribution System consists of both the original GDS technology (travel agent data suppliers) and travel websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, etc. There are also many smaller regional GDS providers and travel website portals in the Global Distribution System makeup.

 

What are the benefits of participating in the GDS network?

The main benefit of the GDS is that it provides a perfect virtual marketplace for travel inventory sellers such as hotels, airlines, and car rental systems to showcase their wares to a global Internet travel audience. The GDS is a natural outlet for hotels, resorts, and even smaller inns that want to increase revenue and online marketing exposure. The GDS also allows independent properties a chance to offer special “dynamic packages” (bundled services that include hotel, airfare, special events, etc.) to their customers. With more and more consumers making travel reservations online, dynamic packaging is a growing trend. Research shows that travelers who book packages online stay longer at their destination and spend more money while there.

 

Who is the Global Distribution System best suited for?

The GDS is ideally suited for larger hotels and resorts located in desirable areas that have standard room types such as single rooms, queen rooms, king rooms, etc. Because the technology behind the GDS is older, there are limits on the total number of unit types that can be managed through the system. Currently, the limit is approximately 16 unique unit types. Dealing with limited unit type allowances can be a problem for vacation rental businesses that have 30 or more unique rental unit types, but techniques can be utilized to still accommodate these types of businesses. The GDS was never really designed for vacation rental management or smaller bed and breakfasts that contain limited inventory. It is also best to realize that the GDS cannot create consumer demand, so businesses located in popular travel destinations will always have an advantage using the GDS over businesses located in rural or lesser-known geographical areas.

 

What does the GDS cost?

When you sign up for the GDS, there are multiple fees involved. There is an initial one-time sign up fee of typically $300-$1,500 with a recurring annual maintenance fee of around $250. In addition, you will also pay approximately 10% to the travel agency or travel website that provides you with your GDS reservations. Finally, you must also pay some sort of fee to the back end technology companies that coordinate GDS data and feed it to the network. Pegasus is the most well known of these companies. Fees vary but expect to pay an additional $10-15 dollars per reservation to these providers.

 

With so many fees, why should I participate in the GDS network?

For most properties the benefits of receiving GDS reservations outweigh the costs. Room nights are perishable. Simply put, receiving 80-90% of your rack rate is much more desirable than seeing rooms sit empty. In addition, once you sign up for the GDS network you can limit inventory available through the GDS during your busy seasons and remember you only pay when you receive reservations.

 

GDS Payment Plan Options

The most common commission payment plan for GDS reservations is known as the “retail model.” In this model, hotels and other resorts elect to pay 10% per GDS reservation to the travel agency or travel website that provided the customer reservation. Keep in mind you must also pay the technology provider fee for every reservation. Another way to pay for GDS reservations is to sign up for what are known as “net rate” programs. Net rate programs, offered by Expedia for example, charge hoteliers and smaller properties up to 30% per reservation. The advantage of net rate programs is that they give preferential treatment (higher placement on travel websites) to businesses willing to pay higher rates. However, since large travel website portals often give superior placement to large hotels that offer more inventory and provide travel websites with more reservations, signing up for a net rate program does not always guarantee maximum online exposure. In addition, signing up for net rate programs in competitive areas (New York City) is of limited value. Some marketing companies will tell you that if you are not on a net rate program, you will not receive online reservations. The reality is that net rate programs are usually not worth the higher cost.

 

A third type of GDS payment plan is known as the “opaque pricing model.” Websites such as Priceline.com and Hotels.com offer steep discounting to consumers, which is beneficial to them, but participating properties have to sign special agreements to be involved and receive far less revenue per room reservation than bookings made on other traditional online websites.

 

How do I sign up for the GDS?

While you can sign up directly with some travel websites, it is often a better option to sign up through companies that partner with major GDS providers to limit the number of contracts you must sign and to prevent having to manage GDS inventory through more than one source. Most property management software companies link to the GDS network. RezStream, for example, provides two-way connectivity to the GDS through its RezStream Professional property management software system.

 

How can I get the most out of the GDS once I sign up?

After signup, it does take some time to ensure that all your property information is accurately entered within the GDS network. Most companies that sell GDS services will assist you in making sure your property’s best attributes are included in the GDS setup. Keep in mind that no detail is too small to omit when creating your GDS profile. Make sure to list nearby attractions, hospitals, restaurants, etc. Travel agents often view property data in older, less graphical format, so knowing where you are located and what amenities are nearby, is important to the agents when searching for the best location for their travel client. It is surprising how many businesses sign up for GDS services that do not upload property photos. Don’t let your business be one of them!

 

Once my GDS account setup is complete, how long will it be before I receive GDS reservations?

Many businesses sign up for the GDS and are disappointed that they do not get a high number of online reservations. Typically, smaller properties can expect 10-20 reservations per month and larger properties many receive as many as 5-10 per day. The number of GDS reservations your property receives is dependent upon a number of factors. Again, the GDS network cannot create demand for your property. You must be located in an area that people want to travel to or have unique amenities and services at your property that are appealing for travelers. In addition, if you have a lot of direct competition in your area, it will diminish the number of GDS reservations your property will receive.

 

How many reservations can I expect from the GDS network?

Many businesses sign up for the GDS and are disappointed that they do not get a high number of online reservations. Typically, smaller properties can expect 10-20 reservations per month and larger properties many receive as many as 5-10 per day. The number of GDS reservations your property receives is dependent upon a number of factors. Again, the GDS network cannot create demand for your property. You must be located in an area that people want to travel to or have unique amenities and services at your property that are appealing for travelers. In addition, if you have a lot of direct competition in your area, it will diminish the number of GDS reservations your property will receive.

 

GDS Summary

The GDS network offers properties valuable marketing exposure on the various popular online travel websites and to over 600,000 travel agents worldwide. However, the GDS is only the “icing on the cake.” Most properties will still get many more online reservations through their own website than they will from the GDS network. Therefore, make sure you have a well designed website, easy to use navigation, allow potential customers to book online, and that you hire a professional company to market your website. The practice of making travel arrangements online continues to grow. Make sure your property combines GDS exposure with its own website booking engine to maximize online revenue. 


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