Using the Rentals United thin plugin

The CMF Rentals United plugin allows you to import properties from your Rentals United account into your Jomres installation, and then sychronise static data, pricing and availability.

You can have an unlimited number of Jomres sites, and choose which properties to import, or just import all properties. This allows you to build a large network of sites, both on the OTAs (booking.com, AirBNB etc) and on your own sites too. The goal is to eventually wean yourself off the necessity of relying on the big OTAs with their huge booking fees by having your own network of profitable websites.

Important : Even if you do not have properties listed on Rentals United, for the purpose of allowing your property managers to connect with Rentals United you will need your own RU account so that you can map resource types to each other (Step 4). If you are the only one linking properties you will need to save these account details in both the administrator area and in the property manager pages in the frontend.

Step 1

Before you do anything else, you will need to have an account with Rentals United (RU). Log into your account there and if necessary create your properties. If you have properties in your list that need to be Improved, then they're incomplete. Incomplete properties cannot receive bookings from child sites, so make sure that you have completed all of your properties before trying to import them into the child site.

Note : For any properties that you want to import, you will need at least one Bedroom with a bed (eg. Double bed, single etc)

Step 2

Install the Channelmanagement Framework, Channelmanagement Rentalsunited and Api Feature Cmf plugins in the Jomres plugin manager on the child Jomres installation.

Step 3

In Settings > Site configuration go to the Channel Manager accounts tab and save your Rentals United account details.

Step 4

Still in the administrator area of your Jomres installation, visit Jomres > Portal > Channel Manageer Framework. Here you will link Rentals United dictionary items with Jomres items.

Click on Resource Mapping, select Rentals United in the dropdown if it's not already selected and click Next.

  • Choose Resource/Property type and click Next. In the next page associate the RU property types with the local property types that you have already configured on your Jomres installation system. Bear in mind that if you associate an SRP property type (e.g. Villa/Cottage) locally with an MRP type property on RU (e.g. hotel) then when a property of that type on RU is imported, your local property will be limited to just one room, so make sure that remote and local property types are matched like with like. What you are doing here is linking RU's dictionary items with the comparable ones in Jomres. This means that when you import a property then the imported property should have the same type as the one on the RU site. When  you are done, click Finish editing and  you will be returned to the mapping page, continue to map the other items.
  • Mapping property features is straightforward, just link like with like.
  • When mapping Room types I found that I needed to map "Bedroom" with the available local item "2 bedrooms" in Jomres, and left the other dropdowns untouched.

Step 5

Next you need to import properties from RU into your local installation.

Log into the property manager frontend pages and visit Settings > Channel Manager Framework. You'll be prompted to save your Rentals United account details.

There are two areas to this page. The first is a list of the imported properties. The second are gives you channels that you can choose to import properties from. Click on the "Import" button for "Rentals United : Import new properties."

On this next page you will see a list of properties that we have found on your RU account. Choose a property and click Import Property. After a few moments wait the property should be imported. When you return to the Channel Management Framework you will see it in the Imported Properties list.

That's it! Make a booking for that property locally, and it will be exported to Rentals United as a new booking.

 

Notes :

* Property changes, particularly property description & pricing should be performed on the parent property in Rentals United. This allows changes to flow down to all child properties. As a result, unless you've enabled development mode in site configuration, when the property is created a flag is set which disables most local property configuration options for this property. The exception is Property Configuration > Gateways tab, which you will still need to access to configure payment gateways on the child installation.

This means that if you set the newly created property to be the active property, most settings will be missing. If you are a developer who is working on your own functionality then make sure Development mode is enabled before importing the property, then the menu options will remain available to you. This setting is property specific.

* You can use Postman to make changes to your imported properties. Create a Cliend ID and Secret when logged into the frontend, and get an access token in Postman. The Rentals United thin plugin uses the CMF REST API to communicate with Jomres, which means that you too can use the same endpoints to access your properties. In Postman, for each request make sure that in the headers tab you set a key to X-JOMRES-channel-name and the value to rentalsunited

* Changes on the remote RU site are not imported immediately. There are two different scheduled tasks that are triggered to run every quarter of an hour. The first gets remote site (RU) changelog items for the property, which are put into a queue. The second goes through this queue and handles the changes, updating the local properties as required. Each of these changes is attempted 6 times before the system gives up trying.