Introducing the new Listing Assistant! The old "property wizard/assistant" has been totally redesigned to deliver maximum efficiency for adding and setting up a new listing. The Listing Assistant provides a simple way to guide users through configuring new owners and listings. The Listing Assistant takes the complex operation of setting up listings and breaks it into a series of simple steps. At each point in the Listing Assistant, suggestions and helpful tips are provided.
After completing a page, click the red circle next to the page in the menu to track the progress. View the progress of each listing by clicking on the "Listing Chooser" to see the percentage completed.
The Listing Assistant is comprised of three main steps:
1. Listing Content
2. Reservation Settings
3. Specific Unit Details
For full optimization on the channels and websites, please thoroughly complete each step within the Listing Assistant. To begin, either select "Add New listing", or choose a previously added listing from the "Listing Chooser" and complete each step within the menu.
To access the Listing Assistant, go to:
- Owners & Listings
- Listings > Listing Assistant
The Listing Assistant is used when adding a NEW listing, as well as for updating and optimizing existing listings. This article covers both.
Add a new Listing
To add a new listing:
- Select 'Add New Listing'
- Select the owner from the drop-down menu or create a new owner and specify the owner information
- Enter the internal name of the new listing (this is the name that will appear in the system - not the name that will appear online and in guest communication)
- If a similar listing has previously been added, use it as a template to save time. Doing so will copy and populate the features, descriptions, images, rates and reservation settings. These can be overridden.
- Click "Add Listing"
Copy or Duplicate a Listing
A listing can be copied to a new or existing owner. This is helpful if the ownership of the unit has changed. To copy a listing:
- Select the listing to copy from the 'Listing Chooser'
- Click "Copy Selected Listing'
- Either create a new owner or select an existing owner
- Enter the name of the new listing and click "Copy"
Configure or Edit a Listing
After creating a new listing, important details must be configured to connect to channels and the website.
Specify the listing from the 'Listing Chooser' to get started.
Using the pages on the left-hand menu, complete all applicable information for the listing. Remember to click the red circle next to the page in the menu to keep track of your progress.
The Listing Assistant consists of the following steps:
- Listing Content
- Reservation Settings
- Specific Unit Settings
Each menu is expandable. Click on the menu item to expand that category.
Steps will NOT automatically move from red to green when you are finished on each page. This is because you may wish to partially complete a page and come back to complete it later. You must independently click the red circle to mark an item as complete.
Listing Content > Vrbo Import Tool
To eliminate double entry, the Vrbo Listing Import Tool can import the existing listing content (title, features, description, images, and rates) into the CiiRUS system. To proceed, copy and paste the Vrbo Listing URL into the below field and click on “Load Preview” to check the information and verify that it is correct.
Please note that this tool will only import the listing content once - at the time of configuration - not on an ongoing basis. It also does not import existing/future Vrbo reservations; for new customers, these are imported during the on-boarding process, and future reservations will be added by configuring the Vrbo integration in the Channel Manager. This tool will also override any information that is currently configured for this listing.
Listing Content > Images
Add or edit the listing images. These images will appear on the website and channels.
To add images:
- Click on "Add more Images"
- Either drag and drop multiple images into the window or click in the window to choose the images from your files
- Click "Done"
After uploading the images, drag and drop them to change the order. The first image will reflect as the main image on channels and the website.
To enter a description of the image, select the image and type the description into the window:
To delete an image, click the checkbox 'Select to Delete' and then click 'Delete Marked Images'
Helpful tips for uploading images:
- Multiple images can be dragged and dropped at once, however depending on the size of each image this may take longer to complete. Therefore it is strongly recommended to load the images in small batches or one image at a time.
- Only '.jpg' or .png' files are supported
- To change the order of the images, simply drag and drop. The first image will reflect on the channels and direct website as the primary image.
- For optimal channel performance, upload a minimum of 10 high-resolution images (1920 X 1080 pixels) and click on the image to input a description.
- Set by Vrbo, the character limit for image descriptions is 400 characters.
- To maximize the image, double click on the image.
Listing Content > Descriptions
For full optimization on the channels and website, it is very important to fill out the listing details. Filling out as many details as possible with good keywords will help the listing rank higher on the channels and increase reservation conversion metrics.
Hover over the "i" icons here and throughout the Listing Assistant for helpful tips and reminders.
Listing Title - Enter a catchy name for the listing to reflect on Airbnb and the website. Set by Airbnb, the title must be between 8 to 50 characters. For example, “Chic Central Park Apartment."
Vrbo Listing Headline - Required for Vrbo, catchy title, minimum of 20 characters. The property headline is the first thing guests will see in Vrbo search results – so make it count. For example, “Luxury 2 Bed Condo, 3 Blocks From Central Park!”
Listing Description - This is the full description of the listing and must be a minimum of 400 characters to successfully connect to the channel partner sites.
Website Selling Features - Enter 5 outstanding selling features. These bullet points will reflect on the listing pages of the direct website.
Website Listing Overview - Instead of the selling features, enter a brief description of the listing to appear on the website search page.
Website Location Description - Enter a brief description about where the listing is located, driving directions or proximity to major attractions. This will appear on the listing details page below the map on the website.
If unsure, check with your CiiRUS website development contact to confirm whether the direct website is configured to use selling features of listing overview on the results page. Submit a request at https://support.ciirus.com.
Listing Content > Location
It is very important to make sure the listing location is configured correctly as this data is required for the channels such as Vrbo and Airbnb. In addition, this information will be used in the system to populate various parts of the website, email templates, and reports.
Enter the following information:
- The internal unit name
- Unit type
- Location details in hierarchical order - the options selected here will determine how the listing is organized on the direct website's search facility. Each drop-down must be specified for this information to save
- Listing Category settings:
Commercial -- This check-box determines whether the listing is a registered commercial property
Furnished -- This check-box indicates that the selected listing is fully furnished. This option should be checked for nearly all short term rentals
Long-term -- Select this option if this listing is available for long term reservations (i.e. booked for month long periods), and will affect the online booking and search facilities. If checked, enter a monthly rental rate.
Please note that enabling a listing as long-term will hide the listing on the standard short-term search page on the website. A dedicated long-term search page can be added to the website instead by request at https://support.ciirus.com
Internal Address Fields -
Enter the address of the unit to reflect on certain reports. If the unit has a telephone line, enter it within the 'telephone' field. If not, enter 'N/A.'
GPS Coordinates -
The GPS Coordinates are used to display the listing on the map on the website and channels.
Enter the GPS Coordinates manually if they are known, or after entering the address, click the 'Auto' button and the system will look up and insert the coordinates automatically using Google Maps data.
Listing Content > Listing Features
Expand the 'Listing Features' menu to configure the following:
- General Features (for the direct website and some channels)
- Vrbo Features
- Airbnb Features
Features must be configured for the website, Vrbo, and Airbnb. This is a requirement for the channels and at least seven features must be selected. We recommend selecting ALL features that would apply to show up in as many search filters as possibly apply to each home. The features help potential travelers by narrowing down the search results based on the criteria they are looking for. A traveler may choose NOT to reserve a certain listing on the basis of a missing feature that may exist but had not been selected here during configuration.
Copy or Paste Features to another listing -
To save time when configuring a new listing, copy the features from another listing. To do so, select 'Copy Features from Another Listing' and choose the listing to copy from using the drop-down menu:
Likewise, after specifying the features for one listing, paste them to other comparable listings to save time. To do so, select 'Paste Features from Another Listing' and choose the listings to copy from using the drop-down menu:
This tool is great if similar listings have the same features or if all listings have the same set of standard features. Additional features can always be set on a per listing basis after copying or pasting them.
This tool can be used within each of the three feature pages (General, Airbnb, and Vrbo)
Be mindful that pasting features onto an existing listing will entirely replace that listing's features to be identical with the original. Make certain before proceeding to paste that this is the desired outcome.
Reservation Settings > Terms and Conditions Template
Create or edit the terms and conditions that apply to the website and channels. The terms template only has to be created once and then can be assigned to each listing afterwards. Multiple term templates can be created if different listings have different terms, but there is no need to create duplicate versions of the same terms.
To add or edit the terms, click 'Add/Edit Terms' to open the template designer:
From the window, either 'Add New' or select the template to edit or modify the terms. This will open the window to either add new terms or edit an existing template:
From this window, enter the terms template name:
Next, enter the terms in plain text that are required for the channels:
Then copy the same terms entered above to the window to the right for the website. These can include HTML and styling tools such as text colors, fonts, links, etc.
After creating the terms click 'Save and Close' and then assign them to the listing:
Reservation Settings > Reservation Payment Terms
The following settings are very important as they are required for channels and the website to successfully transact and book.
Down Payment Amount -
Specify which down payment option applies for the listing from the following options:
1. Fixed down payment per booking - Enter the amount to charge as a down-payment as one fixed rate.
2. Specific amount per week/part of week - Select how much to charge as a down payment per week booked; for example, if $100 is entered and the listing was booked for four weeks, then the down-payment would be charged at $400. Please note, this option is only for the website and is not supported by the channels.
3. Percentage of quoted price - Select a percentage amount to charge for the entire booking; for example, if the reservation is for $1000 and a 20% deposit is required, the down-payment would be $200.
If the percentage down payment should be taken from the total amount including additional fees and taxes, click the checkbox, "Percent of Total to include optional extras."
4. First night's rent - This will divide the days of the entire booking equally and charge the first night's rent as a down payment.
Please note, the channels only support the fixed and percentage down payment options.
Balance Due Date -
For reservations, specify how many weeks prior to arrival is the full balance due. When the value is set to 0, the entire balance will be due at the time that the reservation is made.
Security Deposit -
Vrbo supports a security deposit. The security deposit will be itemized upon quoting and booking. Typically, the security deposit is processed on the day of arrival. The authorized hold is released once the unit is inspected and no damages have been found. Please contact your merchant processor to verify when authorized holds are automatically released, as they can vary based on credit card type.
Multiple security deposits can be created and applied to different listings. For example, larger homes may have a higher security deposit amount.
To add or edit a security deposit template, click "View/Edit Templates"
Click the "plus" icon and enter the details in the grid. Click the "save" icon.
Once the template has been created, specify it for this listing by choosing it from the drop down and choose "Security Deposit Only."
Please keep in mind, this feature is only supported by Vrbo and simply itemizes the security deposit amount to the guest. The hold will psychically need to be processed on the day of arrival. The system does NOT auto-process the hold.
Reservation Settings > Online Reservation Settings
These settings apply to website and channel reservations:
- "Allow Online Reservations" - Enable this setting to allow online reservations for the channels and website. If not, un-check this box to allow inquiries-only.
- "Days to Enforce Gap" - To prevent same day check-ins and check-outs, input how many days to enforce a gap between reservations.
- "Last-Minute Booking" - To prevent last-minute reservations, input how many days to enforce a gap between date reservation is made and guest arrival date.
Reservation Fee - Supported by Vrbo, website and direct reservations. This fee is retained by the property management company (PMC).
Typically this is used by the PMC to off-set the credit card processing fee.
If applicable, choose from the following options:
- No reservation fee
- Enter flat/fixed amount. For example, enter $50 to charge the guest a fee of $50.
- Enter a percentage amount. For example, enter 10% to charge the guest 10% of the rental rate.
- For users that offer 'pay by check' or 'pay by credit card' on the website, specify to only charge the fee if the guest pays by card on the website booker. Selecting this will only apply the fee to the website, not to the channels.
Specific Unit Settings > Unit Setup Types
This page in the Listing Assistant is only visible for those who use one or more of the following modules:
- Allocation on Arrival (AOA)
- Lock-off Units
If one of these modules applies to your business model, please contact CiiRUS Support to enable the module for your account.
Allocation on Arrival (AOA) -
AOA is the hotel style of booking by the type of unit rather than a specific (door/key-level) unit. For example, “2 Bedroom Standard” can be setup as an AOA unit since it represents all 2 Bedroom Standard listings. Once a reservation is placed in the AOA unit, it can be allocated to the actual unit of that type.
If this listing is an AOA unit, enable this setting and specify the AOA category (2 Bedoom Standard):
Franchised Unit -
If this unit belongs to a franchisee, specify the franchisee below:
Lock-off Unit -
A lock-off unit combines one or more bedrooms that could be rented as a whole unit or as an individual bedroom. If this listing is a “child” unit (part of a parent unit), then specify the parent lock-off unit in the below drop-down menu.
Specific Unit Settings > Pool Heating Settings
This page in the Listing Assistant is only visible for user's that have 'pool heat' enabled. To disable this page if pool heating does not apply for your business, please contact CiiRUS Support.
If this listing has a pool and can offer pool heating, configure the following settings:
- If the pool heat is included within the rental rate, enable this setting. Please note that enabling this setting will itemize pool heat as “free” in quotes and online bookings.
- Specify the minimum number of days to charge for pool heat. For example, if the minimum days is set to "7" and the guest only books to stay for "5" nights, they will not have the ability to add pool heat since the minimum is not met.
Charge to Guest -
Specify if the pool heat fee is a daily or a weekly charge. Enter the amount in the applicable field:
PMC Pool Heat Payout -
This setting determines who will retain the pool heating fee, either the property management company (PMC) or the owner, for both PMC and owner reservations. For example, if the PMC retains the pool heat amount for PMC and owner reservations, enter '100%' in both fields. Or if the PMC only retains the pool heat amount on PMC reservations and the owner retains it on owner reservations, enter '100%' in the PMC field and '0%' in the owner field.
- For PMC Reservations > Does the PMC retain a fixed amount, or a percentage of the pool heating cost?
- For Owner Reservations > Does the PMC retain a fixed amount, or a percentage of the pool heating cost?
If the owner retains the pool heat amount, this will be processed and itemized on the monthly owner statement.
Specific Unit Settings > Access Codes
Access codes are split into two categories:
- Arrival Instructions Codes
- Operations Codes
Arrival codes are used to create and populate automated arrival emails to the guest using smart-tags in the Template Builder. They also appear in GuestPass on the day of arrival for easy access by the guest.
Operations codes are for internal reference only. Document additional access codes for various purposes.
Specific Unit Settings > License & Tax Identification Numbers
Input the business tax and license identification numbers issued by the applicable authorities. Depending on the listing's location, the channels may require tax identification numbers to successfully launch to the channels.
After completing all pages within the Listing Assistant, be sure to click the red circle next to the page in the menu. This will turn into a green check mark and also increase the setup progress at the bottom of the menu. The goal is to get each listing to 100%!