Newsletter: Holiday Letting System. 1st December 2004.
This note announces a new version of the Holiday Letting System which
is available to existing users at no extra charge. It also provides other information.
You are receiving this newsletter as you have
purchased the Holiday Letting System. (See http://holletsys.co.uk
New Version (V2.1) now available.
The latest version (V2.1 dated 1st December 2004) is now available for downloading
(Just download the evaluation version – your registration code turns
this into a full version)
This new version is available at no charge to existing registered users and
offers significant additional features that many users will find valuable.
The new functions were mainly suggested by existing users, and include
- Rates window / editing is completely rewritten. This now
shows one line for each week, making editing the rates files much easier and
more intuitive. Edit menu items provide duplication of lines and fields, and
copying and pasting lines. The cursor up and down keys allow you to move beween
lines quickly. You can now import data from another property, and have up
to 6 rate bands. This rewrite should address one of the more difficult to
use functions, judging by comments.
- Cancelled Bookings: The system now allows you to cancel
a booking and retain a cancellation charge, by clicking a new Cancel Booking
button on the Booking Form. (Only deletions were possible before.) A cancelled
booking is retained in the database. Details of the customer and the cancellation
can still be located in the Search Window (useful if they book again). If
you make a charge, this is reported in the accounts.
- Booking archival. This is substantially improved (before
you just deleted old records, one by one.) You can now archive all bookings
older than a specified date with a single click.
- Rent calculation. This is improved to cover short lets
and bookings that are not whole numbers of weeks. For bookings that are one
week or more, the rent is now calculated at 1/7th of the appropriate weekly
tariff per day. This produces the same result as before for an integral number
of weeks but also means that the program will now give you a "pro-rata"
rent for bookings that are not integral numbers of weeks. Rents for short
lets may also now be calculated, allowing you a wide range of options. Once
you have installed this new release, read Help Topic Rent Calculation. As
before, you can always override the rent if you wish.
- Overdue Payments: The user is now alerted if there are
any overdue payments when the program starts up. This check is done once each
day. It is also possible to perform this check from the main menu, using Tools
/ List Overdue Payments.
- Fly-by hints: These are introduced on the Status Window.
When the mouse hovers over the Free? column, and the date is taken,
information about the booking is displayed, including states and name of person
booking. This particularly helps a user see the status for Part-let weeks.
- "Waitlisted" customer bookings: You can now waitlist
a booking for a customer a long time in advance, by checking the Reserved
Bookings Box and entering customer details, including noting a deposit if
you take one. You are then warned a specified time before the let starts (default
is 8 months) that the waitlist is over and the deposit is now due.
- Property Selection: This release standardises the method
used when selecting properties to process. All property selection is now done
using List Boxes (previously check boxes were sometimes used - eg by the mailshot
- "Publish to Web" improved: You can now publish
several properties at once, not just the current property.
In addition, an automated way is provided to upload your web availability
status, using a free File Transfer Program available from http://erwwen.com/holletsys/eftp.htm
This should work for most web sites.
- Date Format Changed: The Status Window is changed to show
dates with the month in letters (eg "23 Aug 2004"). User comments
have indicated this is easier to work with.
- Viewing the History files: When you view history files
(ie copies of Archived, Deleted or Changed records) by double clicking the
file in a Windows Explorer window, these files are now always shown in Booking
Date order. This makes it much easier to locate a particular record. One benefit
is that all the changes you made to a particular booking now show in adjacent
records in the changed.hls file.
- Export / Import Bookings to CSV files: It is now posible
to both export and import data from/to the booking data base as a CSV file
(ie a file you can read in applications such as Excel.) This allows you to
process the customer details in other programs; to send the details to booking
agencies that request this, or to import bookings from a spreadsheet or an
alternative application. To import you must use a program like Excel to create
a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file in the correct format. Help topic Import
Bookings from CSV file gives full details.
The full list of enhancements is available in the Help files for the new version
and is also available on the web in the release history at http://www.erwwen.com/holletsys/releasehistory.htm
You are advised to upgrade as the new version has improved ease of use, and
a number of problems are also resolved. In addition this is now the only release
which will be supported. Even if you were one of our beta testers for this release,
you probably don’t have all the latest features, fixes and help and therefore
this latest version is worth installing so you are right up to date.
Note that when you re-install the software:
- You should not uninstall the previous version, or you will lose your settings
and data. Just install “on top” of your existing version.
- All options you have already set are preserved. You do not need to re-enter
your registration code.
Hints and Tips:
- The most comon cause for problems has been the rates editing. This is completely
rewritten and early feedback indicates that this is significantly easier to
- Listed in the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page are any other queries
that come in that I think may be of general interest. So you may want to bookmark
this page, and look at it from time to time. See http://erwwen.com/holletsys/support/faq.htm
Recent additions to the FAQ files explain why there are 53 weeks in some years
and how week numbers are allocated.
- Don’t forget to backup your data from time to time. There is an item
in the Help Topics (under Contents/Overview/Data Security) on this topic.
Selling a system targeted at a niche (and small) market at a low price is not
easy. If you like this system (and some of you certainly do judging by the comments)
then please do tell others you know who also manage holiday cottages. Thanks
especially to those who have recommended this system to others; through that
and search engines we continue to get a slow but steady stream of sales.
I hope the system is proving valuable. Your views are always welcome.
Best wishes to all users.
Web site: http://holletsys.co.uk
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44-(0)-20-8940-7087
88 Mount Ararat Road, Richmond, SURREY TW10 6PN.
Full list of the new features:
Click on this link for the release history containing a full list of enhancements: