Selling rooms online or, Online Distribution is process that first involves setting up your Agents and then allocating the Rooms and Rate plans to those Channels. The number and types of channels you will manage depend on what you have elected to sign-up for or activate.
There are three general types of Agents, each of which can have multiple channels depending on the online distribution channels you choose to set up. Some Agents are set up by BookingCenter (Master Agents), some are created by you (
) and some are added automatically after you have signed up for an OTA contract Rate program (Net Rate Agents).
Each Agent a corresponding channel is Availability and Rates plans to each of these channels is setup and managed individually. and distribution is managed in each individual channel.
Agent Types (See Agent Types for more details)
- Master Agents: These agents control the availability and rates to your basic channels: They must have allocations in order to function properly, and only BookingCenter can edit them as they control 'shared' agents such as Expedia, Airbnb, or Booking.com agent allocations. But the allocation of your rates and availability to these Agents is unique to your own property.
- PMS Agents: These are "special" agents that you have set up in the My Agents area. This Agent is also used to set up Promotional Codes
Types of Agents
Master Agents:These agents control the availability and rates to your basic channels. They must have allocations in order to function property
- and can be used to create a 'Suppress Agent Rate' process during Kiosk or Mobile Self Check-in for your guests. When using the 'Suppress Agent Rate', Self Check-in can use a unique eSign document and hide specific rate information when your Guest uses Self Check-in, and this can be used for unique approaches to Self Check-in. For example, 'Booking with Pets' needs a unique 'registration' eSign that specifies pet policies but all other Guests get the standard eSign document; perhaps you use this PMS Agent for 'Booking with Activities' which needs a unique eSign Letter which is a waiver for risk, while other Guests get the standard eSign 'registration' document. There are numerous such examples.
- Net Rate Agents: These agents will only be visible if you have signed up for a Contract Program with a major OTA
Contract Rate programs are run by mass sellers such as,Booking.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz, Expedia, and Priceline. In these programs, properties agree to a reduced rate and the company pays you for the contracted rate instead of the guest. These are good ways to stay booked, especially in slow seasons, as the travel sites always give priority to their properties displaying Net Rates. BookingCenter can sign you up for nearly all Net Rate companies and automate the delivery of availability, rates, and bookings through these programs.
Usually we recommend waiting a few months to see the results of the distribution and marketing BookingCenter can do on your behalf, before signing up for a Net Rate contract. We have a complete list of Net Rate companies we can automate at: http://www.bookingcenter.com/products/net_rate.html. Contact mailto:GDS_Support@BookingCenter.com to request enrollment into any Net rate program.
- These are agents that you have set up in the My Agents area.
- Choose the Agent BUT and follow the steps above to manage the allocations to your buuteeq website
The BookingCenter PMS system automatically provides four Master Agent Channels by default. These agents control the availability and rates to your basic channels: frontdesk, members area, website and GDS (if activated). They must have Room and Rate allocations in order to function properly and are automatically populated with the Room Types and Rate Plans you setup in your system.
The other two types of Agents are the PMS Agent and Net Rate Agent. Both of these are optional and are activated when you either create a special agent or promo code, or sign-up and activate a OTA Contract Rate Program.
Once you have decided to sell your rooms online, it is time to think about how you will manage the availability and rates of these rooms to each Agent Channel. Since each Agent has a unique set of conditions and commission rates, you many want to tailor Room Allocation and Rate Plans to fit each channel.
Managing Availability and Rates on Website. If you are ONLY selling rooms on your website, go to Master Agents.
If you are selling your rooms on your website AND through general GDS distribution
If you are selling rooms ONLY on buuteeq
If for each Agent Channel that you have setup. Selling your rooms through these channels is online distribution and managing these rooms and rates is done in AGent Relationships
Online Distribution (Selling rooms online) and Channel Management (Managing Rates and Availability to each channel)
There are two important parts to the process of selling your rooms online:
- Managing Rates and Availability
- Allocating the Rooms and Rates to each Agent Channel.
MyPMS offers several options for managing Rates and Availability depending on the needs of your property.
The one basic requirement for ensuring
Allocation of Rooms
MyPMS offers a Channel Manager, Think about the amount of rooms you want to offer and the rates you will offer them for. Since each agent has a unique set of conditions and commission rates, the a, either through your website, GDS or OTA channels and/or Special Agents
In MyPMS distributing and selling Rooms online is done through Agent Channels. Agent Channels are independent and unique to the each agent through which you sell your rooms online. Each Agent Managing availability and rates of these rooms MyPMS allows you to Each Agent in the Agent Relationships list has a unique and individual channel there are three types of Agents:
- Master Agent
- PMS Agent
- Net Rate Agent
to which you can allocate Room Types with Rate Plans.
Each of these Channels can be further managed through Rate Loading and modifying the percentage (%) of the Rooms allocated in a Room Type.
Therefore, there are 3 ways to manage Availablity and Rates to Agent Channgels:
- Room Type/Rate Allocations
- Rate Loading
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- . Some of these Agents are what is referred to as 'Suppress Agent Rates', such as Expedia Collect or Booking.com pre-paid reservations. These Agents, when involved in a booking, create different views by the Guest during Self Check-in and the deposit and cancellation policies that are showed to a Guest when checking in via Kiosk or Mobile Self Check-in.
- Kiosk Agents. These Agents are applicable only to customers of the Kiosk Self Check-in product from BookingCenter, and offer unique settings such as one Kiosk for Hotel rooms, another for RV slots, and another for Cabin rentals. Each Kiosk Agent can thus have unique business rules and branding, with unique allocation of rates and availability to 'book and checkin' via each unique Kiosk. It is critical the following are set for the Kiosk to be used:
- Phone and email are provided here so that a Kiosk user can alert you if they are having difficulty.
Kiosk Active Message - You make a Letter and set for your Kiosk that acts as a 'screen saver' for showing when the Kiosk is ON and in 'welcome' mode.
Kiosk Inactive Message - You make a Letter and set for your Kiosk that acts as a 'screen saver' for showing when the Kiosk is OFF and cannot be used.
Kiosk Confirmation Message - You make a Letter and set for your Kiosk that confirms what is sent to the MyGuest system for when a User sets a Kiosk to 'On' so that staff can know that Kiosk mode is now 'On'.
- Suppressed Rate Agent: If you are using Self Check, then this Agent will be used to manage the Payment Policy and Gateway used in bookings via an Agent set as 'suppressed rates'. For example, if you participate in Expedia Collect (Expedia collects money from the Guest and provides a virtual 'Expedia Credit Card' to cover Room +Taxes) the booking often can't be 'authorized' as your typical authorization policy, as the card will decline any amount over the exact terms Room +Taxes amount (what MyPMS calls 'Projected Income'). Thus, we'd use a Suppressed Rate Agent to set a profile for how these bookings occur, most often setting 'Payment Policy' to NONE, and Online Gateway to: NONE so nothing was charged to these specific bookings via this Agent when using Self Check-in.
Since pre-paid bookings are often sold at different rates than are found in the PMS, this 'stream' can <optionally> present a unique eSign document that would 'suppress' rates from view of the Guest.
An additional common use of this Agent when using Self Check-in is to require an incidental credit card during self check-in, and then you can use your normal authorization policy to authorize the incidental card. However, keep in mind, if you do this, the Guest will have had their credit card paid to Expedia for the initial booking in full, then this new authorization you want on their incidental credit card, so you could be taking too much money in authorization for a pre-paid booking and create a customer support problem for your staff.
Additionally, the Self Checkin process - for bookings linked to an Agent set as a Suppressed Rate Agent - will STOP asking for an incidental card if the booking has 2 credit cards on file. This assists the situation where a 3rd party 'virtual credit card' was sent with the booking; then the Guest added their own credit card (either via the front desk of your property or via the MyBookings area prior to check-in - such as when they signed the eSign agreement) prior to going through Self Checkin. Thus, there are 2 credit cards on file, one set as 'guarantee by:', when the guest desires to check-in. If the Self Check-in system identifies 2 credit cards, then it allows the Guest to progresses without asking for an additional one.
Because the use of the Suppressped Rate Agent can be confusing, a Site can choose to set in General Settings "Require Incidental Credit Cards for Suppressped Rate Self Checkins?" to NO and requesting an incidental credit card won't occur at all, even with a booking linked to an Agent set as a Suppressed Rate Agent.
- Non-Suppressed Rate Agent: If you are using Self Check-in, then this Agent will be used to manage the Payment Policy and Gateway used in these bookings.These are usually 'normal' bookings made via your website, front desk, or OTA/GDS channels that haven't been pre-paid by the Guest. The value of this Agent is that you might choose different Payment Policy and Gateways for Self Check-in bookings than those via your front desk.
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