When it comes to offering your accommodation to the public, there are plenty of booking channels, or OTA (Online Travel Agency) websites out there to help get your rooms in front of as many potential customers as possible. Each of these channels can sell your rooms for you through their own booking portal, but what happens to the available inventory on Expedia when a reservation is made through Booking.com? Well, nothing! Once that booking is made, you'd then need to login to each of these OTAs and manually change the available inventory to reflect the booking that was just made. How are you supposed to do all that and run your business at the same time? Well, it's just not practical! Enter MyAllocator. MyAllocator gives you total control over all your booking channels from one convenient portal. Better yet, Checkfront is now integrated with MyAllocator to push real-time booking updates from your website to all your booking channels simultaneously and vice versa. All you have to do is enter your MyAllocator username and password into the add-on in Checkfront, update a few settings and we'll take care of the rest! Now, when a booking is made on your own website, or through one of your OTA websites, the available inventory will be magically adjusted across all the other platforms. All you need to do is sit back and run your business as normal
Setup in MyAllocatorBack to top
Before configuring the integration with Checkfront, there are a few things you need to setup within your MyAllocator account.
General DetailsBack to top
First of all, from the Manage page, click on the General Details link in the left sidebar. This is where you set whether your rooms are priced on a per person basis, or by the entire room. Minimum and maximum stays can be configured here too.
Automatic AdjustmentsBack to top
Next stop is the Automatic Adjustments link in the left sidebar of the Manage page.
The important option here is whether or not this feature is turned on. In order to keep your inventory up-to-date across your booking channels and within Checkfront, you will need to set this option to On. If you don't do this, the system will not recognize when a booking has been made and your inventory will not be properly updated.
Setup RoomsBack to top
The next step is setup your room types in MyAllocator so that they can be mapped to your room types in Checkfront. We'll worry about how to do the mapping part later, but for now, you just need to configure your different types of room. Click on the Room Types link in the left sidebar. From here, click the New Room Type button. Fill out the required details and add a label so you can identify the room type in Checkfront. Repeat this process for all the different room types you have on offer.
Setup ChannelsBack to top
The next step is to setup the channels you would like to be linked to MyAllocator. Please note that an account with MyAllocator does not automatically sign you up with all the OTAs it has access to. You must sign up for accounts with each OTA on your own. Only then can you set it up within MyAllocator. Click on Channels in the left sidebar, then the Add Channel button. Next, click on the Not Setup button next to the channel you wish to activate.
Each channel has its own method of integration with MyAllocator. In some cases, it may just be a username and password, in others, the setup may be inside the channel itself. Whatever the case, full instructions are easily accessible from within MyAllocator.
PMS ConnectionsBack to top
The final step is to setup your PMS (Property Management System) connections within MyAllocator. This enables you to define which third-party vendors (in this case, Checkfront) have access to your property via the PMS facing API. Click on the PMS Connections link under Integrations in the left sidebar.
From the (Connect to a PMS) drop-down menu, select Checkfront and click on the Add button.
You will now see Checkfront added to the list of active connections with its own unique authentication token. You do not need to note this token as it is used by the app behind the scenes.
Setup in CheckfrontBack to top
To get started with the Checkfront integration, go to Manage > Add-ons in your Checkfront dashboard. Locate the tile labelled MyAllocator (Channel Management section), hover your mouse over it and click on the SETUP button.
Enter your MyAllocator username and password in the pop-up window that should now be displayed. Click Activate when ready to proceed.
You'll now be returned to the add-ons tile view. We're not quite finished yet, so go ahead and click on the MyAllocator tile one more time.
You should see an options field with nothing currently selected. Open up the drop-down menu and select the option Lock items in booking notices from external channels. Click on update to save this setting. This is a vital step and must not be missed. This option tells the system that when a booking is received from an outside source, the inventory should be locked off so it can't be booked by anybody else. If you don't select this option, you may find yourself having to deal with overbooking situations.
Item MappingBack to top
Once you've successfully activated the MyAllocator add-on, it's time to sync your items in Checkfront. You don't need to sync all your items, just the ones you are offering across multiple channels. To get started with the sync, select your first item and go to its Attributes tab.
At the bottom of the tab contents, you should now see the MyAllocator Synchronization configuration area. Simply click on the drop-down menu to choose the room type you would like to map your item to. This is the room type you created in MyAllocator during the previous steps. After making your selection, you will see a calendar appear underneath, with a live snapshot of the availability and rates assigned to the room type. As your rates and availability change, you will see this updated on the calendar.
You will see in the screenshot above a disclaimer which must be accepted before you can save the changes to your configuration. By accepting the disclaimer, you are agreeing that it is your responsibility to confirm and manage your rates going forward. Once saved, your item in Checkfront is now synced with MyAllocator.
Reviewing External BookingsBack to top
Once a booking has been made through one of your third-party channels, it will be automatically added to Checkfront and your available inventory updated. To review your external bookings, go to Booking > Index in your Checkfront dashboard and click on the External Bookings button, as shown below.
You will now see a list of all the bookings that have come in through the MyAllocator add-on. From here, you can see the source of the booking, which in this case will be MyAllocator. You can also see which channel the booking came in from, the customer name and email address, amount of the booking, the item booked with start and end dates, plus the current status of the booking.
If the booking status is New, select the booking by clicking on any of the information in the table. A pop-up window will present the details of the booking.
Verify the booking details shown with the original channel booking and click Import Booking if you are happy to proceed. Make any changes to the booking details in the next view and click Add to Booking when satisfied with the reservation.
The Next button will now become active and you can click on this to accept the booking. If the booking has already been accepted, you can select it from the list of external reservations to view the booking details.
Updating InventoryBack to top
As bookings come in, whether that be through your own website or an external booking channel, your inventory levels will be updated accordingly. Should you decide to make manual adjustments to the inventory, this will also be automatically updated in MyAllocator. Make changes like these in Checkfront, using the Inventory Calendar, which is accessible at Calendars > Inventory.