Discover what happened in 2017
2017 has been a long and fruitful year of new developments both within the holiday letting industry at large, and within Avantio.
To make sure you haven’t missed any of our developments, we’ve put together a summary of what we have been working on, to keep your business at the front of the industry. If you would like any further details about these developments, just check out our blog, get in touch with your Account Manager or speak with our Customer Support Team.
Let’s start with the holiday lettings management software, our VRMS built especially for the vacation rental industry. We have launched a number of industry leading features which all work to optimize the resources spent on management of large agencies.
- One of our latest developments to be launched is Harmony Task Automation, which is a tool to custom schedule your protocols intuitively to fulfil business needs. In this first phase you can automate guest reviews, payment reminders, guest and owner communications to save over 70% of your monthly resources!
- We also launched the Check-in online, which is a guest Check-in, fully integrated in the software to save company resources at check-in time.
- The Check-in online is found within the Guest Area, which is a dynamic log-in for guests, which increases re-bookings of your properties through creating a better guest experience.
- The mobile-friendly Providers Intranet tool will be invaluable for any professional agencies who use external providers or internal employees to undertake services as this will save significant management time to co-ordinate change-over services for your properties.
- To support you with the payment processes, we have implemented connections with two more payment processors, bringing the number of payment providers available to you to 11. First Atlantic Commerce (FAC) is a global online payment solutions provider, while Receptio (powered by Syspay) has a new industry leading partnership with Avantio PCI Wallet, to bring automated solutions exclusively, guaranteed to save money and time whilst reducing risk of fraud.
- To help with the legal requirements to export data and the need for financial exportations, we now have INE exportations for Spain and SEF for Portugal and a bank transfer for the bank SEPA.
- The automatic exportation of data to SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), is completely integrated in the software, which combined with the Check-in online is a real time saver.
- The module for the exportation XML of INE in Spain fully automates the bi-weekly submission of statistics in a fast and simple manner when using the software. The aim is to achieve maximum efficiency in the collection of data on overnight stays in Spain.
- And finally, the XML export for anyone using account SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), allows for Owners settlement transfers and tourists refunds.
To help with management processes, we have launched an intuitive management dashboard, which now shows your key data in a glance, in a form which can compare over periods of time.
And on top of this, our team of UX/UI experts has been reviewing new designs for your listings and filters, planning and channel manager area, to create a better, quicker experience for your agency with a more intuitive design.
Web Site Design Improvements
So let’s take a look now at the Avantio website designs. A significant change for 2017 has been the redesign and re adapted to new Google SEO requirements our custom websites a brand new launch of new designs. These customizable and personalizable webs are designed especially for the holiday lettings market, and are packed with new, exciting features and facilities to help you increase sales and stay ahead of the competition.
Some of the tools which are going to make significant time savings in your agency are the Check-in online and Guest area tools, and to increase the online bookings you receive, we have transformed the booking forms to be customisable and flexible according to you needs.
Channel Manager Developments
Our Channel Manager has gone through a period of significant growth in 2017, as we have been busy developing our Preferred Partner programme to provide industry leading connections to some of the best global and local channels available.
We have added a number of new Channels to the Preferred Partnership, and significantly improved the connection with some of our existing partners.
New partners including the most populars like Airbnb and Booking.com, but also local portals like the French portal My Home In, the French portal for Medium-term rentals, MorningCroissant, short term rental specialist for worldwide travel agencies Apartmentdock, the specialist in the Spanish market Spain-Holiday.com, the German short term Ferienhausmiete, and the only short term portal 100% specialized in business travel MagicStay!
Improved connections from existing channel partners include Vacancesweb, offering properties for the Flemish market, Travelfactory the French channel with significant experience in the market, Traum-Ferienwohnungen a German leader and Locasun an online travel agency specialized in apartments, villas and camping rentals.
Again, the big news has been the development of the new Booking.com Content API, a fantastic development which will increase the synchronization level and the interaction of your listings at Booking.com, the Airbnb Content API with improved content listing information synchronized with the channel, and HomeAway Instant Booking which automatically confirms traveler booking requests for you with no need for any manual intervention by your agency.
All these changes have been implemented to create a better guest experience and higher conversion rate for your agency and will undoubtedly bring new, profitable business in 2018.
And it’s not just new channels that have changed the channel manager, our UX/UI design team have made improvements to create for you a better user experience, and implemented a fundamental change so you can now also configure the payment collection policy for each portal that you work, so the payments for each reservation are collected in the way that best suits you.
More improvements of Avantio
Outside of the channel manager, we have been also been building relationships. We strongly believe in the value of associations to develop the industry and provide a voice in governmental changes of legislation. This year we are pleased to have become members with ALEP Associação de Alojamento Local in Portugal and VDFA, Verband Deutscher Ferienhausagenturen in Germany, and have begun working with them in a two way exchange of information in events to present information and news to the industry.
Within the company we have also been making changes, to provide you with the best tools, and business opportunities to expand and help you to grow.
The whole international team has been growing, in particular we have invested heavily in the employment of skilled technicians in 2017, to provide the resources we need to develop your software to keep you with the most advanced tools on the market.
We have also made significant changes in our Customer Service department to give you a better and more personalised service, with the creation of four new areas of customer service with a Communication and Telephone / Email and Chat section, an Onboarding team, a Technical team and After sales service team.
Our marketing team has also been busy working on organising the communications to you about all the changes and latest news in the blog, the software log-in and the social media.
To help with this, the new Brazilian-Portuguese website is live for all our Brazilian clients, and we have organised and attended over 29 events in 9 countries! This includes the launch of the Avantio Partnership Conferences in four countries, bringing together our Preferred Partner channels together under one roof with legal, marketing and industry experts for presentations, networking and workshops. If you want to come to any of our events, look out on our blog for an event near you.
What is coming for 2018?
And if you thought 2017 was busy…wait until 2018! We’ve got plans to keep us busy achieving our goals.
In January we will be opening the new office with our American team, dedicated to working with our clients in North America, caribbean and LATAM.
We will also be launching our French Standard (NF525), which comes into force in France in January 2018, so that all software that record monetary transactions are recorded in the system.
We have a selection of fantastic channels entering into our preferred partnership scheme to provide you with bookings from new markets…and so much more.
Let us take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2018 for you and your loved ones, from all the team here at Avantio.