Software Settings Assistant

The Software Settings Assistant provides a simple way to guide users through configuring system settings. The Assistant takes the complex operation of setting up a system and breaks it into a series of simple steps. At each point in the Assistant, suggestions and helpful tips are provided when hovering over a field.

For advanced setup or configuration, view the videos and tutorials below

 

To start the Software Settings Assistant, within the top menu:

  1. Click on Account Settings
  2. Click on Software Settings Assistant

The Software Settings Assistant is comprised of three main steps:

Step One: Company Account Settings

Step Two: Global Default Settings

Step Three: Default Owner Account Settings

Company Account Settings

  1. Create Company Profile: It is important to complete all fields as this information will appear on System Reports that can be sent to external vendors as well as appear on emails sent to owners, guests, and staff members.
  2. Click Upload Logo to upload a company logo to appear on emails and reports sent to Owners, Guests, and Staff Members. The logo must be at the exact height of 125 pixels. If not, the system will automatically resize the logo.

Card / Bank Account Details

Around the 27th of every month, CiiRUS will process monthly subscription payments plus any auxiliary services.

To pay by credit card:

  1. Select Credit / Debit Card
  2. Click on Add New Card to complete all fields
  3. Click Submit

To submit payment via electronic check:

  1. Select eCheck from US Bank Account
  2. Click on Update Account
  3. Once completed, click Submit

Secure Track Users

The Secure Track Module will allow each member of staff to have their own user name and password set by the system administrator. Each user can only access features the administrator has permitted for the selected member of staff. For example: It's quite common to only allow the reservation staff to access the reservation features and accounts department access the accounting functions. This provides greater security as only relevant data is viewed and accessed.

Create Users:

To add individual users:

  1. Click Add User >
  2. Enter the First and Last Name > Password which is the users Staff Password, Email Address and Telephone Number
  3. Checking “Add as Administrator” will allow full access to the entire system.
  4. Click Add
  1. To add Non Admin Users, do not apply this setting
  2. When a user is added as a non-admin, Top Menu panels will appear
  3. Expand each panel to specify permissions the selected user will have access to. For example, Reservations & Quoting, review which features the selected user will have access to.

Report Headers & Footers

  1. (Report Header) - In the box below, enter a Report header. Companies typically enter their name, address, contact email address, telephone number, and website URL
  2. (Guest Booking Confirmation Footer) - Enter information to appear at the bottom of the Guest Booking Confirmation email templates. This is usually office hours and contact details. This information is not specific to each property, therefore, enter general information.

Add Contacts & Vendors

All business contacts, sub-contractors, vendors, utility companies, booking agents, staff members, etc. should be entered into the system.

  1. To add a contact, click Add Contact and enter required information, such as, Company Name, Email, Telephone
  2. Click Add
  3. After adding, locate the contact and fill in the remaining fields, most importantly, the Category and Sub Category must be specified. If it’s a Vendor or Booking Agent, tick applicable boxes.

Global Default Settings

The Global Default Settings section allows you to set the default settings for the main functions of the system, including, Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Reservation settings. All default settings can be overridden on a per property basis.

Housekeeping Settings

  1. (Global Default Cleaner) - Specify the Global Default Cleaner in the Housekeeping section. The system will automatically apply the specified cleaner to all properties. However, it can be overridden on a per property, or on a per clean basis.
  2. (Automatically Add a Clean to a Vacant Property) - Enable this setting to have the system automatically schedule refresher cleans if a property is vacant for the amount days entered into this field. For example, if the most recent clean was completed 28 days ago, the system will automatically schedule a refresher clean. This refresher clean can be removed from Housekeeping schedule.
  3. (Roll-Over Incomplete Cleans from Prior Day?) - This setting will continuously Roll Over incomplete cleans from prior day to current day until the clean is set to complete.
  4. (Cleaning Charges) -  Enter the default cleaning charges to charge or apply to the owners statements.  For example: Charge the owner based of the Number of Bedrooms. Enter the amount of bedrooms and the Housekeeping charge, which Is the amount charged to the owner. The owners housekeeping fees can be overridden on a per owner basis.

Maintenance & Work Order Settings

  1. To display Property Access Codes on Work Orders sent to Maintenance team members, check this box. Property Access Codes are the property address, gate, door, and alarm codes. Essentially, codes to gain access into a property.
  2. There are two Maintenance Modules, Basic and Advanced. Most companies use the Basic Work Order Module which allows staff members to dispatch work orders in real time. The Advanced Work Order Module is designed for resort style properties that will keep stock and organize large maintenance projects.
  3. To learn more about the Advanced Work Order Module, click on the following link Advanced Work Order Module

Inspection Settings

Just like the Housekeeping module, the inspection module will can assign an inspection to each reservation that is placed. First, configure the inspection settings to create statuses and types of inspections. Then to set the system to automatically schedule an end of stay inspection based on the departure date, specify the default inspector against each property.

Firstly, configure the inspection settings. To do this:

Navigate to the Inspection Settings page

As an example, a unit may require a “Pre-Stay Inspection” or an “End of Stay Inspection”

Before an Inspection can be assigned to a booking, the inspection status and type of inspection need to be added.

  1. To add a new Status: Click on the Add button
  2. Type for example: “No Issues” and click OK

To add an Inspection Type: for example: A Pre-Stay Inspection:

  1. Click on the Add button
  2. Type Pre-Stay Inspection
  3. Click OK

General Reservation Settings

CiiRUS is a multi-Commission level system. Commissions can be set on a global basis, per property basis, per supplier basis, and on a per reservation basis.

  1. The global commission percentage is entered here to have the system auto-apply to each reservation. Again, this can be overridden on a per property or booking basis.
  2. Specify the default check-in and check-out times, this can be overridden on a per reservation basis.
  3. When owners log into the owner portal account, allow or disallow owner to view net rental revenue. The net is the rental revenue after taxes and commission.
  4. As the Management Company, enable this setting to receive email notifications when new bookings have been added or modified.
  5. Email Setting- Enable this setting to have the system email the owner when a new booking is created.
  6. Update Rates - When this setting is enabled, the system will automatically update the rates of a reservation if either of the following scenarios occur.

      A:    Add or remove nights from a reservation

      B:   Move a reservation from Property A To Property B

The reservation rates are based on the rates that are assigned to each property.

GuestPass

Prior to allowing your guest to access their GuestPass account. You will need to enter property location amenities and house rules for each property in your account.

To do so, Navigate to GuestPass

Guest Portal General Settings

  1. Drop down that will select your chosen language
  2. Press this button to store the selected language as it's default.
  3. Deletes the selected Language.
  4. Contact Google to generate Google Maps API key. Once Google has provided the API key, paste the code into the (Google Maps API Key) field.

House Rules

Under the House Rules tab is where you can enter the rules of the house, that you would like your guests to read to help avoid any bumps in the road before they occur.

To enter a rule:

  1. Click on Add
  2. Enter Rule Tittle
  3. Enter rule details in the free from text drop down box
  4. Press the Select button to Apply the rule to a specific property (s) or click the Apply to all properties button
  5. Click OK

Location Amenities

To enter Location amenities:

  1. Select the Location Amenities tab
  2. Click Add
  3. Enter location title
  4. Enter description of location
  5. Enter coordinate codes for the map location
  6. Enter Location URL
  7. Enter Location Link Placeholder. To do so, Insert text to display for the location URL, for example: "View on Google Maps for Driving Directions!."
  8. Enter Location Image URL
  9. Enter Embed Video Link from YouTube
  10. Press the Select button to Apply the rule to a specific property (s) or click the Apply to all properties button
  11. Click OK

Please repeat these steps for each property for entering house rules and property location amenities.

Seasonal Commissions: What is a Seasonal Commission?

Typically, a Management Company will agree to seasonal commissions with their respective owners. Soley based on reservations, the commission due to the Management Company is based on the season. For example,let's say you have a booking during the summer season, the system will calculate and apply the commission, based on what they have agreed with the owner.

First, we must configure the Seasonal Commission sets and then we can assign each Seasonal Commission set to a property.

How to Configure Seasonal Commissions

To configure the Seasonal Commissions, go to :

  1. Account Settings
  2. Software Settings Assistant
  3. Navigate to Seasonal Commissions
  4. To add the commission, first we must create a new commission set
  5. There are 3 types of seasonal commissions  Fixed Amount, Fixed Nightly, and Percentage

If you earn a fixed commission amount per season, then you will add a Fixed Amount Commission Set

Creating a New Set

  1. Click on New Set
  2. Enter the title of the set name, for example "3 Bedroom Fixed Commission"
  3. Specify 'Fixed amount' from the type options
  4. Enter the default amount, this can be overridden on a per season basis
  5. Click Ok

Creating a New Band

  1. Click on the set that was recently created to add the seasons and the amounts
  2. To add the season, click on 'New Band'
  3. Specify the From Date and the To Date
  4. Enter your Fixed Amount for that season
  5. Click 'OK' to save the band

Continue adding the date bands and amounts for each season. If you skip a season or miss any dates, then the system will apply the default amount as your commission

Fixed Nightly Commission

If you earn a Fixed Nightly Commission:

  1. Click on New Set
  2. Enter the title of the set name, for example "3 Bedroom Nightly Commission"
  3. Specify 'Fixed Nightly' from the type options
  4. If you would like the system to pro-rate the commission, then enable the Pro-rate box. This means that if a booking is split over multiple months, then it will pro-rate the commission for each month. If unchecked, then the commission will be based on the arrival date
  5. Enter the Default Amount, this can be overridden on a per season basis
  6. Click Ok

Percentage Commission

If you earn a Percentage for each season,then you will add a Percentage Commission Set

  1. Click on New Set
  2. Enter the title of the set name, for example "3 Bedroom Percentage Commission"
  3. Specify 'Percentage' from the type options
  4. Enter the Default Amount, this can be overridden on a per season basis
  5. Click Ok

How to Assign the Seasonal Commission to each Property

Now that we have configured the seasonal commission sets, we are ready to assign each set to the property that it applies to. To do this:

  1. Open the Property Dropdown Chooser
  2. Click on the Percentage within the setup column for the property. This will open the Property Assistant
  3. Click on the Owner Accounting page from the sub-menu
  4. Specify the Seasonal Commission set from the dropdown that applies to the property.

Accepted Card Types

To maintain a centralized platform, the system can process debit, credit and echeck types of transactions. CiiRUS is currently compatible with the most common payment gateways, including;

  • Ascent Processing
  • Lynnbrook Group
  • Vacation Rent Payment
  • And any Authorize.Net (which is used by many card companies Golbally)

All of these processors are industry leading gateways dedicated to the short term vacation rental industry. CiiRUS has a two-full way integration that connects directly to the remote systems.

Once the system is connected to an integrated Credit Card Processor, enter the type of credit / debit cards you accept for payments submitted by guests and owners.

  1. Click Add to add credit card type and use the drop down menu to specify system type.
  2. Press OK
  3. Use the drop down menu to specify System Type

Booking Categories

Booking Categories are the source of the reservation. The system has a number of predefined categories available, these cannot be deleted or modified however, new booking categories can be created. The booking categories are assigned to each reservation to create reports and statistics of each booking supplier.

To add a new booking category,

  1. Click on Add Category
  2. Enter an abbreviation code and the full name of the booking supplier
  3. Specify the Color of the booking category as each booking category is color-coded
  4. If a booking category is exempt from taxes, check the Tax Exempt tickbox
  5. As mentioned earlier, CiiRUS is a multi-commission level system. To override the default Commission on a per booking category basis, check the box “Use Default Commission Percentage
  6. Enter “Commission Amount” for the selected category.

Auto-Process Balance Due

From Version 19.002, the system can automatically process the remaining balance due on the balance due date if a valid credit card is on file for the guest.

This can be enabled/disabled on a per booking category

For any Booking Category where you would like the system to automatically process the remaining balance, click the checkbox under the ‘Take Balance Payment Automatically column.

We highly recommend sending a notification of payment reminder to the guest that their upcoming payment will automatically be processed using the card on file. A CRM email can be created to automatically send out a few days prior to the balance due date.

Please review the tutorial on Email Templates and the CRM:

http://help.ciirus.com/m/31613/l/315737-emailers-and-rules

Booking Flags

Booking Flags can be assigned to a reservation to indicate it may have a special requirement. For example: You could create a booking flag named VIP Guest, to indicate that a reservation has a VIP guest coming to stay, or if a guest has requested an early check-in or late check-out. Booking Flags are a good way to deal with upcoming alerts. Reports can also be created for Bookings Flags.

To create a booking flag:

  1. Navigate to the Booking Flags page (This is where a user can define their own list of flags. This can be anything, from a Birthday party, to a returning VIP guest.)
  2. Click on the Add button
  3. Enter a Code and a Description
  4. Click Add

 

Configure Owner Accounting

Enabling the Owner Accounting Module will allow the system to generate monthly owner statements. If Enabled, click “Next" to proceed. If not, the Software Settings Assistant is now complete.  Enable the Owner Account if you would like to create and provide monthly owner statements. Disabling this skips the configuration of the owner account settings in the following screens. This does not disable the owner accounting functionality in the software. You can come back to this page at any time to configure.

Owner Account Categories

The Owner Account Category can be used as the general ledger or chart of account. The owner account category is assigned to each transaction to create bookkeeping reports and annual statements. The system has a number of predefined categories available, these cannot be deleted or modified however, new owner account categories can be created.

To create a new Owner Account category,

  1. Type in the category field
  2. Press enter on your keyboard.

General Owner Account Settings

1.  Minimum Owner Account Balance

The minimum owner account balance is the owner reserve amount. The owner must maintain this amount on a monthly basis. If the owner is below the minimum requirement, the system will require an owner payment that amounts to the minimum requirement. If the owners balance is above the minimum, the system will display an amount due to the owner.

2. Rental Revenue Setting

When disbursing rental income to the owners statement, send the net amount to the owners account. The net amount is the rental income excluding tax. To send the net amount, enable this setting. To send rental income including taxes, disable this setting.

3. Owner Account Monthly Print View

The system provides two options for the owner statement templates.

Option #1: Classic- transactions will appear in chronological order

Option #2: Grouped- transactions are grouped together based on type and category.

4. Information Box

In the box below, enter information to appear at the bottom of the owner statement, this is usually payment information and terms. This information is not specific to each property, therefore, enter general information to appear at the bottom of each owner statement. For example, Payment Information and Terms

Disbursement Rules

Disburse Owner Amounts

The system can disburse rental revenue to the owner’s statements based on the rule applied to each booking category. This efficient method provides a more automated solution to owner accounting. There is no need to individually credit the owners account for each reservation for each property one by one.

There are 5 disbursement rule options to choose from:

  1. Arrival date has passed, regardless if full payment amount is received from guests.
  2. Departure date has passed, regardless if full payment amount is received from guests.
  3. Arrival date has passed, and full payment is received from guests.
  4. Departure date has passed, and full payment is received from guests.
  5. Pro-rate owner amount based on booking dates. For example: 7/27/17 to 08/03/17 > 5 Nights is applied to the owners July statement >2 Nights is applied to the owners August statement

Tax Settings

1.     Tax Type

Each account can have up to three tax rates. The Taxes can have any label attached. For example, the UK uses VAT on most purchases whereas Polk County, Florida USA has two taxes for vacation rentals, one Sales Tax and the other Tourist Tax. Some locations have three taxes. Enter the label for each tax region.

2.    Tax Report Date

Management Companies may or may not have to file and remit taxes on behalf of the managed owners. If filing taxes on behalf of managed owners, specify whether the tax reports are based on the Arrival Date or based on the Departure Date.

For example: 7/25/17 to 8/05/17

  • If the departure date is selected, taxes for this booking will reflect on the August remittance
  • If the arrival is selected, taxes for this booking will reflect on the July remittance

 

Add New Tax Region & Tax Amounts

To add a new tax location:

  1. Click on Add
  2. Enter the Tax region name
  3. Enter individual Tax amounts for each region. Keep in mind, once a new tax region has been added, it cannot be edited or deleted.
  4. Click Add

Charge Tax to Owner