Workflow for Creating a Reservation or Rental


Entities

The following is a flow chart of the main entities involved in creating a rental or reservation in SWS.

swsworkflowexample

An account can have multiple contacts and multiple rentals. A rental must have a primary contact (Contact Type = ACCOUNT_MANAGER) and can have additional secondary contacts. Site rules may require at least one secondary contact as well. A contact that is primary on one rental may be primary, secondary or not related at all to another rental on the account. The account name for personal accounts is the last name, first name of the first contact added to the account. For business accounts an account name should be specified. Each rental will be associated with the unit being rented. The unit has a number assigned by the organization and a primary key known as the UnitID. The two are often confused. If you are displaying information to a tenant you will generally want to use the Unit Number. If you are renting or adjusting a unit in code the unit ID, as the item’s primary key, is generally required.

Finding A Unit and Dynamic Pricing

The first step is displaying the available units. There are multiple options for this: GetSiteUnitData, GetSiteUnitDataV2GetSiteUnitDataV3, GetUnitData and GetUnitDataWithPromos. GetUnitData returns ALL units in a site along with their pertinent information including ID’s and its version number which will be important when reserving the unit. This method allows a site to customize grouping, pricing and promos to their specifications. It means a little more work, but things will come out exactly how the organization prefers. The only required parameter is the SiteID, the rest of the parameters allow for filtering the results and are all optional. The GetSiteUnitData methods return a single unit based on a pre-set grouping. This grouping takes Width, Depth, Door, Climate, Access Type and Features values into account. For example, if you have ten 5X5 units, half that are climate controlled and half not, you will receive back, IF available, two units, one with climate control and one without. You also have the option to include the best available promotion for each item selected. Again, SiteID is the only required field. There are fewer filter options on this as the items have already been winnowed down. Also failing to indicate a desire for promos will default to false for performance purposes. Both methods return the information necessary to complete a reservation/create a new rental using the MakeReservation method.

Choosing an Account

For a brand new tenant, call CreateNewAccount. This method will create the account and at least one new contact, one new address and one new phone, which will then be available to accept rentals.

If you wish to add a unit to an existing customer’s account, you will need to use the SearchBy method to retrieve their AccountID and then use the AccountID to add the rental to their account.

Making a Reservation/Creating a New Rental

Once you have either created a new account or located an existing account, you can create a reservation/rental. First some terminology regarding reservations and rentals:

  • Quote Only – This is created when a person has indicated interest in renting a unit but does not wish to commit to a reservation or rental. An account is still required. This allows for obtaining all the contact information. A unit is still required so anyone following up on the potential sale is aware of what type of rental the customer is looking for. The unit is NOT put on hold and can be rented at anytime by anyone else.
  • Soft ReservationThis does not hold a specific unit, but will hold a unit of this type. The reservation will exist until its expiration date or until the reservation is cancelled. If there is only one unit left, it will not show as available to rent due to the soft reservation.
  • Hard Reservation This method holds a specific unit for a site specified length of time. Generally there is also a reservation deposit amount paid, although it is not required. If there is a deposit required, the payment process described below MUST be completed before the reservation process is considered complete. If it is not the rental will be cancelled during our nightly processing.
  • Rental – To heck with reservations, the customer has a moving van parked out front. The move in is NOT done, however, until the payment process below has been completed.

MakeReservation does all of the above including upgrading from one status to another. MakeReservation will always return a QuoteID. If a reservation or rental is created there will also be a RentalID returned.

Making a Payment

So you’ve created the account and we’ve made our unit selection now we have to pay for the thing. Making a payment is a three step process.

Step OneGetAssessments – This method retrieves a list of line items to be paid. Regardless if this is a new or existing rental and whether or not you already know the total due this method MUST be called. Assessments may or may not be in existence for the rental. By calling this method it will create any assessments the organization or site requires. Failing to call this process means you may not have the correct total due and will cause errors in payment.

The method will return a list of line items that are due for the requested time-frame. If the tenant has any cash credit/escrow that can be used for payment, they will also be listed here. Note: Cash credit/escrow is not automatically deducted from the total due.

Step TwoGetTotalDue – This step can be skipped if the items in GetAssessments are looped through and totaled. There are some rules to keep in mind for this option. Extended is the total due not including taxes for the assessment, a fulfilled amount indicates some payment has been made on the assessment and that will not be deducted from extended, finally any tax amount must be added in. If a cash credit/escrow is present the extended amount indicates the available balance that can be used toward payment.

Step ThreeMakePayment – And you thought we’d never get here. MakePayment accepts the above data, some total data and three payment types. One or any combination of payment types is allowed (i.e., customer wishes to pay half cash, half on a card, or possibly split the payment between two cards, etc.).

But, wait?! They have a promotion for the first month free and GetTotalDue says $0 is due. I don’t have to make a payment…. Yes, you do!!! Any new rental is not moved in until a payment is made. This will push the paid thru date forward and move the tenant in. If no payment is made, even if it’s a $0 cash payment, the rental will be ended as an abandoned rental during nightly processing. They will have to be moved in again, possibly missing out on a day of rent.

The MakePayment method will return a transaction ID if successful. The CashCreditApplied field has been deprecated.

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