The Merlin Software resort management function is a comprehensive and powerful module that incorporates property management, front office/reception and reservations management in one solution. Merlin’s chief architect, Mike Pnematicatos, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about this important module.
Tell us what the Merlin front office module is all about?
It’s all about reservations, front desk activities, reservation stock, and reservation rights.
Merlin’s resort management module has two versions, depending on how you use it or what your role is in the business.
Both versions have exactly the same functionality but they are each set out differently. We have old and familiar front office module, but we also have the PMS module (property management system), which displays all functionality from a front desk/hotel perspective.
Can I make different types of reservation bookings on Merlin? What about my rental programme?
We cater for all types of reservations: Timeshare fixed and float; points; inbound exchanges; internal exchanges; oh and rentals as well.
Can I record flight details so that I can arrange transport?
Yep. It’s all in there. Inbound and outbound flights details, airport pick up and drop off – the whole nine yards.
Can Merlin manage different rental rates for hotel bookings?
We have extensive revenue management capabilities using rental rates cards that dynamically vary the rental rates based on three criteria: Occupancy level at your property; days out the booking is made; length of stay.
Each of these criteria can be set up with any number of breakpoints and for each one, you can set a factor or percentage that dynamically varies the rack rate based on how full or empty you are, how many days out the booking is made and how long the guest is staying.
We have certain rules around the length of stays depending on the resort. How does Merlin handle this?
Merlin Software caters for permitted stay lengths, permitted check in and check out days and so on.
Does Merlin keep a history of all the previous stays?
All guests (and not only owners), have their own unique profile or name in Merlin. Each time they stay with you the details of their stay are added to their existing profile in Merlin. This way you get a full history of their activity at your properties.
Can the module track the commissions for travel agents?
Oh yes. We cater for both commission and wholesale prices to travel agents.
How can I effectively report on room revenue?
There are numerous reports giving you rental income and room revenue – too numerous to mention here.
Can I make reservations at external properties where we don’t have inventory?
You are able to easily add and book for your members if you don’t have inventory in Merlin, but obtain it from some external source. And Merlin will track the cost of this external inventory as well.
We often have maintenance requirements in rooms. Can I track this on Merlin?
Merlin will allow you to record maintenance items for rooms and to categorise these. Then you can allocate to the maintenance department and even to a specialist in that department who will get an email or SMS/TXT message when the maintenance is logged.
We send out annual statements to our members on points usage and have a specific template. Can we use this?
You can upload your own templates into Merlin and use these for your points statements. Merlin will even send these for you. Just one of the benefits of being in the cloud.
Does this module work with Merlin’s other modules such as the back office/accounting functionality?
Oh absolutely. Every module in Merlin integrates with the others. So rental and guest charges will immediately be picked up in the back office/accounting module.
What future enhancements do you have planned for Merlin’s resort management module?
We have spent the last year or so enhancing Merlin’s Front Office/PMS capabilities to include the very best features of top line hotel property management systems.
At the same time, we retained the integrity of the timeshare component. Merlin is fit for mainstream hotels as well as for those who operate mixed-use programs (hotel and timeshare).
Of course, it is perfect for the plain vanilla timeshare operations as well.
But we are not stopping there. Next on our schedule is the creation of a new PMS user Interface/app that will freshen up the PMS module’s look and feel.