Lots of Questions About Building A Base For Rentals and A Back Up Question

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Here’s my project:

Trying to help someone transition from using a very old, (as in it can legally consume alcohol now), locally hosted database to Airtable.

They run a hotel that rents suites by the month for business travelers. Currently, they enter, let’s say, John Doe into suite number 1 for a month. While John is here, he also subscribes to their featured cable tv package, subscribes to their faster internet connection and requested room service several times. Their current database has fields for each choices listed above and I can pretty much duplicate that part.

Now here’s where things have been going South for the owner over the years. Their old system did not retain John Doe’s records after he was check out, they were auto deleted :flushed: :see_no_evil: , so as to show suite 1 is available again.

The owners would like to switch to Airtable because of it’s massive flexibility AND retain John Doe’s past history with them, so that when he comes back for another stay, they have a history to refer too.

I have gotten the basics figured out about creating the base, creating tables within the base for each “item” that John could have purchased while here and even set the first row of the base to auto Generate a unique number for tracking purposes.

But now, how do I configure this set up so that when John checks out of suite 1, suite 1 will show as either reserved, available or out of service AND the database retain John’s past history?

Last question.
I totally understand snapshots and the backup scheme. We are looking at the Pro Plan because it looks like they will have about 4500 unique records per year in a database. That said, when John comes back through this territory in a year and a half for another stay, do we (Airtable) still have his past history immediately available to the clerk or has it been overwritten on the Airtable servers? And if it does get over written, how can we retain that past customer history on our end?

Thank for the hand holding! I have been reading the Airtable docs online for DAYS and I am learning a lot, but need answers quicker than that :grinning_face_with_sweat:

6 Replies 6

You need a table for Suites (a record for each Suite).

You need a “join table” where a Client is joined to a Suite for a period of time – I would probably call this table Bookings or some-such.
The Bookings table would need a link to a Client, a link to a Suite, a “Start Date”, and an “End Date” at the least.

Also, I would link a Booking record to all the “Amenities” used during that period, rather than linking them to a Client.

To do this part, you can have a formula field in the Suites table that checks the Bookings links to determine if the Suite is available or booked.

(And yes, any data you keep in your Airtable will be around as long as you leave it there – Airtable /the company/ never deletes your data, even snapshotted data, from tables/bases).

WOW thanks Jeremy_Oglesby! I knew that I was over thinking it, and had confused myself in the process :grinning_face_with_sweat: . I will add these configurations and test more.

And SUPER GLAD to hear that Airtable does not push data “off the table” :smiling_face_with_halo: after a set time.

You may (or not!) be interested in the attached screenshot, which shows a database I use to manage two vacation rental properties. I was previously using Excel; switching to AirTable has been life-changing!

There are separate (but obviously linked) tables for Customers (with their details); Bookings (dates; source of enquiry; property; rent etc.); Payments (deposits; balances; dates etc.); Suppliers (utilities; maintenance etc.); Expenses (costs incurred and allocated to Suppliers).

By organising it this way I can have repeat bookings from the same Customer w/o having their details twice. I can track cash flow in and out and automatically create a summary of revenue and expenses for my accountant. Using the Calendar I can show bookings and availability.

Hope this helps.Screenshot 2018-10-10 at 09.21.21.png

I like that! There are some great ideas in there. Thanks for sharing! Airtable is fantastic.

Thank you for sharing your creation.

I am attempting to set something similar for a ball room operator but seem to be stuck at creating the availability view of the room based on dates and times. I have been reading through various topics so far and seem to understand my needs of creating different DateTime columns which then need to be linked to a calendar table but I am having difficulty with the formulas.

Are you able to share a sample formula of your booking table?

Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi Bob

Thanks for your question but I’m not sure I’ll be much help! I don’t use formulae to derive availability, I just manually enter arrive/depart dates and use those in the ‘Data Range’ in the calendar view to show what has been booked.

I considered using a formula to make sure dates didn’t overlap but decided I didn’t really need it.