Now that we've prepared, it's time to begin adding the basics. While myfrontdesk has a lot of customization options, this section covers the most necessary ones for your property.
Once these have been completed, you can then progress to step 2 and begin setting up your distribution channels. Let's get to it!
1. Log into myfrontdesk by Cloudbeds
After setting your password with the link provided in your first email, you can always access your property from www.cloudbeds.com or directly through your login page.
2. Next, you'll answer a few short questions about your property
These include your currency, time zone, channel manager and PMS status, and how your rates are designed. Once finished, click on the green "Begin setup" button.
3. Welcome to your property's interactive getting started guide!
The interactive getting started section does a great job of guiding you through the majority of the setup process. All the pages feature a detailed tutorial and also have tool-tips you can hover over for a quick explanation.
We'll be highlighting the settings in the required sections that you'll need to complete to progress to the next stage.
Note: Remember to click the blue "save" button in the bottom-right corner every time you finish filling out a page.
1. Confirm that your Default Time Zone is correct. If you have a myallocator account, make sure the time zone settings in each match.
- Note: Mismatched time zone settings can cause bookings to be displayed with the wrong check-in time or even date so this setting is very important.
2. Confirm your default currency. If you have a myallocator account, make sure that the settings in each match one another and also those used on your distribution channels.
- Note: Mismatched currencies can cause rate discrepancies and also result in mischarging customers.
If you don't have a myallocator account, one will be created for you in the distribution setup stage.
3. Select whether to allow additional bookings even when your property is at full occupancy. We reccommend you leave this inactive by default. If you do enable it, however, be aware that you are at a significant risk of overbookings.
4. Select whether you activate the Auto Check out Extension, if active, it means that the reservations that have not been changed to checked out status will be automatically extended by the system.
5. Select whether you activate the Auto No show, if active, it means that all the reservations that are not checked in the system, will have the status changed to No Show automatically.
Click on the blue save button in the lower right hand corner when finished.
5. Property Profile
The general profile section includes your basic property info and what customers will see on mybookings. We'll be going through each of the settings here briefly, but you can always read more about this section in the knowledge base.
- Make sure your property type is correct
- Write a description for your property, this will appear on your mybookings page, so make sure it's good!
- Upload some images for your property. These will be used on your mybookings page.
- Keep in mind that this is the information that will be available on your booking engine, so you may not want to have your full name listed as a contact.
6. Add Accommodations
Correctly creating accommodation types is one of the most vital settings for your property. This affects both your myfrontdesk and mybookings accounts as well as the inventory and availability of your distribution channels. There are additional customization settings available on this page, but we'll be going over just the basic steps.
We strongly recommend creating distinct room types (ex "Standard Dorm" or "Women's Dorm") and not separate individual rooms (ex "Standard Dorm Room 1"). Creating separate individual rooms instead of room types will make your inventory incompatible with the majority of distribution channels. For more information about why creating room types is strongly recommended, please read our Distribution Channel Mapping Guidelines.
To add a new room type:
- To add a new room type, click the green "New Accommodation Type" button below.
- Name the new accommodation type
- Remember that guests will see the names you input. We recommend using normal titles like "Standard Double Room".
- Select whether the room is a dorm or a private room.
- If it's a dorm, you'll add the number of rooms, room occupancy (number of beds), and then whether it is gender-specific.
- Add a description of the room for your guests.
- Add the accommodation amenities.
- Upload Images of the rooms.
- To rename individual rooms or beds inside of an accommodation type, click on the "edit room names" button.
- To delete a room, click on the "x" icon. Once this is done, it cannot be reversed, so only do this if you are certain.
- No changes will be finalized on this page until you click the blue "save" button.
7. Room Rates
Once your accommodation types have been created, it's time to add add your rates. This section allows you to quickly control what prices are displayed for each room type based on the date. On this page you may include the base rates for any period, including specific days of the week and minimum or maximum length of stay limitations. These are the standard rates for your rooms and the only rates that are sent to your distribution channels.
Note: Per-person rates are used for customizing your mybookings engine and are not sent to your distribution channels. To allow the greatest level of flexibility, myfrontdesk sends out a standardized Best Available Rate across all your channels. This helps ensure a consistent sync with your multiple OTAs.
To get started, click on the green "Add interval" button.
How To Add An Interval
- Select the date range you would like this interval to effect.
- Choose a minimum and/or maximum length of stay required to make a reservation.
- Closed to Arrival/ Departure settings are used to prevent guests from arriving or departing on specific dates within the range. This is particularly useful when combined with the other rate restrictions.
- Select the days you want to set a rate for. Not selecting a day within this range will restrict you from being able to sell inventory on those days unless there is a different interval for only those days added.
- Click the blue "Add Interval Button"
Once you have added all rate intervals for your accommodations, click on the blue "SAVE" button in the bottom right corner.
8. Taxes and Fees
Do your rates include any taxes or fees? If you are planning to connect to any channels, you'll want to make sure your taxes and fees are consistent across myfrontdesk and all of the channels.
If all of your taxes and fees were already included in the total room rates you added, then you do not need to fill this out.
- Example: If you enter a rate of $100 and do not set up any, the guest will pay $100 because all taxes and fees are included in the rate.
If your taxes and fees were not included in the total room rates you added, then you will need to fill this out.
- Example: If you enter a rate of $100 and set up a tax of 10%, the guest will pay $110. This is because all taxes and fees are not included in the rates you have entered. Your 10% tax has been added to the rate.
For details on how to fill this out, take a look at our article on how to create taxes and fees.
These are the specific details for how you handle the daily operations of your property. For the specifics on setting this up, please read our Policies Feature Overview.
10. Credit Card Security
In order to remain compliant with PCIDSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), we must enforce stricter password requirements when allowing the retrieval and viewing of customer credit card data. For these reasons, you must establish a separate password in order to access the credit card information from your bookings.
11. Importing Reservations
You're almost there! This is the final step in the setup process before moving on to distribution. It's time to add all current and upcoming reservations for your property. This is an absolute requirement as it is what creates the availability for your property and helps prevent overbookings. Think of this as adding the batteries.
For most people, we recommend just adding reservations manually since it will help build a great understanding of the reservation creation process.
Want to get through adding a reservation quickly? Only the following info is required to create a booking:
- Accommodation type
- First and last name
- Email - If you don't have one for your guest, you can just enter a placeholder email (ex: "Guy@Dude.abcef" would work)
- The guest's country of residence
Importing your past reservations is not required, but can be useful for reporting and maintaining a past and repeating customer list.
There are two options for Importing Reservations:
Option 1: Add Reservations Manually
If you are only adding a few reservations to the system (under fifty or so), we recommend adding them manually by clicking the "New Reservation" button. This can also be done in the top right of the reservations page, calendar, and dashboard. Doing this will allow you to gain familiarity with creating reservations and is used by many properties as a training exercise for their staff.
To learn more about creating new reservations, take a look at one of the following knowledge base articles:
- How to make a new reservation using the Simple View Option
- How to make a new reservation using the Split View Option
Option 2: Bulk Import
Another option is using the bulk import tool, located on the reservations page and also through the "Import Reservations" page of the interactive Setup Guide inside your account. You can learn more about this option in our Bulk Importing Reservations walkthrough.
Great! Now that you've setup the core of your property, it's time to move on to Step 2: Distribution!