Ok guys, here it is!

33 replies [Last post]
Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

After talking with many of you through email and phone conversations, here are the thoughts all combined into what I think will really be something, if we work together at this. There are a lot of sites out there for us to be on and many of us pay thousands a year to be listed with them, but let’s all be perfectly honest here. They are more concerned about making a profit than making sure we have guests making reservations. I could give many examples of greed coming from these sites, but many of you have mentioned them to me already, so it would be a mute point. Let's take a look at Groupon and Social Living! Great sites to be on...if you want to work for free. We all know that you have to discount your rooms and then give them 30%-50% commission. Yes,they do sell them for you, however, after all is said and done, you’ve had to drop your rooms almost 60% in some extreme cases! Therefore, how are you really benefitting at the end of the day? The same scenario unfolds with Social Living. However, in the InnRewards program, if you wanted to give that big of a discount, you could... but without paying additional commission to anyone. You get to keep that 30%-50% commission and your guests are, in fact, getting a bigger discount because of it. This is just an example of the benefit your property could see from this program. If you’re a property that does not give discounts, still good! Give a reward of whatever you choose, and the guest still benefits and you still pay no commission whatsoever.
No one is going to tell you what you have to provide, the choice is completely yours. I will say, however, keep in mind that in your off season if you’re trying to figure out a way to pay a bill, you will have a valuable tool at your finger tips. The bigger the reward, the more bookings and the smaller reward, perhaps the less bookings. From the customers end, we feel that it would be a blast to scroll through and see what kinds of perks, gifts, discounts etc. that are available to choose from. From a box of chocolates, to a bottle of sparkling cider or wine, to a free night’s stay... Depending on your reward, a customer may easily be persuaded to choose your property over another. This will be key, if you are needing to fill extra rooms.

Here are a some Q/A and suggestions a few of you had, that we thought were great.

1) Is this part of the guest tracking idea?

Sorry, that ship sank. So...NO!! It is in no way a guest tracking device.

2) Will my reward have to be a discount and a minimum amount?

No! You control whatever you feel you would like to give as a reward. But you will have to offer something or it negates the purpose of what we are trying to do.

3) Will I have to email someone each time I want to change something on my listing.

No. You will have your own owners portal to change your info 24 hrs a day. Your advertisement will have 1 pic and a description of your property and the reward you are giving out. When a customer clicks on your listing, it will go directly to your site. I hate the fact that some of the sites I'm currently paying to be on take my prospective guests to their little web page about my property...then on to my main website. Let's face it, our individual sites are who we are and explain our property better than anyone else could.)
So, this will be a “no middle man” website!!

Will any type of property be able to be listed?

Absolutely not! Hotels, motels, chains, etc. will not be able to list with Inn Rewards.com. This will be specifically for small Inns and Bed and Breakfasts. I’m thinking 25ish rooms per property or less. (Thought’s ?)

Who will have to pay? The customer or the Inn?

I think more people will use the site, if the customer is free. Actually the first 6 months to a year will be free for everyone. That said, I’m thinking I will eventually charge around $20-$25 a year for each property to be listed. Again, the idea behind this site is not money driven. It’s to get more people to choose B&B’s and Inn’s. If we get enough people and the word gets out, we might be able to cancel some of the other extremely costly sites we are on!!

How will people find out about this?
That’s up to all of us and how bad do we want this to work! The sky is the limit if we can get the word out. I do like the idea of having a logo on each property site that guests can click on and it goes to INNrewards.com.

Goal for this site:

The site will be searchable by state or country. As InnRewards get more users, I hope to be able to break that down a little more into greater detail. That will be costly to do and I won’t be able to do that at this time. We really need people to use the site, so I believe every property should be listed free, until the site gets a lot of properties signed up. I do think there should be a team of us that keep in touch and make suggestions. I feel this is very important. This will keep great ideas and knowledge flowing into the site. I’m hoping a few of you would be willing to step up and join the “Directors” so to speak, of this site. We were thinking maybe 10 properties from all over. We could set up a group email where we could talk about thoughts and suggestions for the site and what we can do to make it better. I also think you should be rewarded for your efforts by doing this. We would be able to offer you a free listing, in addition to some extra exposure... or something along those lines, in exchange for your help. It won’t take up a great deal of time, and is not something that you have to help with long term. Perhaps the group could even rotate in and out.
Thoughts on this?
I think this might be a good foundation to start with. More ideas will come, as we move forward.
I would love to be able break the hotel “rut” that so many people are stuck in and get new customers to switch over, giving places like ours a fair try. Bed and Breakfasts and Inns offer a wide variety of exclusive perks and personalization that many people simply are not aware of. Paii has tried with their “Better Way To Stay” campaign, but I’m not sure they are headed in the right direction with this. For example- “Death to Doilies”... If I owned a Victorian inn, I would be really upset about this. Some people like doilies. I don’t think that was a good idea on their part. We should be promoting that all of us are a “Better Way To Stay”. We need to show people all of the great little extra things we do to make each and every one one of our guests feel welcomed and appreciated. I think we have a chance to break out a new message letting everyone know what we are truly about. That message should be about letting our customers know that we really and truly value their business and in return, we would like to reward them for choosing to stay with us.

I think everyone has had really great ideas, and I greatly value your opinions! It is my goal and my greatest hope that this will bring all of us a better tomorrow! Thanks!

__________________

Hillbilly

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I just saw this on HARO, I would approach this if our InnRewards was set up already, this is business travel, but sometimes they may go in a different direction when they find a diff source.

Travel

1) Summary: Business Travelers Using Hotel Loyalty Programs

Category: Travel

Email: 

Media Outlet: Anonymous

Deadline: 3:00 PM EST - 29 November

Query:

Last minute request for interviews of business travelers who use
Hotel Loyalty Programs, pros and cons, benefits, customer
service, etc. Other interview sources fell through. Quotes will
be used in article for major print global publication.
Requirements:

Business travelers, frequent or occasional, who use Hotel
Loyalty Program points to book vacations, business trips, etc.

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

As I'm working on this new site, I might have a suggestion. I know we all have different reservation software. So I'm not sure what yours can do and this might already e available for some. I use ResKey. I know that I can offer a discount by offering a code to guests. They enter this in while making a reservation. It takes it off their total automatically. This will work great for Innrewards. The only problem is, I might not want to offer a discount all the time. I might want to offer a bottle of wine or a gift basket. It would be nice to be able to offer a code that we offer on innrewards that when they enter that we will know what to give out. I asked John about this and he said he would work on this if he had enough people that would use it. I think this would really be helpful when guests make an online reservation. Some programs might already have this. If you do not participate in online reservations it's ok. You will need to just make sure when a guests calls you with what ever special you are doing, you have a simple system in place. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this idea?

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

July in May?

This is very complicated. 

I don't think I will be having a bunch of different rewards, I will have only one. If I want to change it then I will change it on the innrewards website. 

I have diff discount/gift codes on rezkey now, "bookonline" or any other, "BOGO" etc. I wont have them per month or per gift, it is too much. Whatever I do will do for a certain amount of time.

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

July in May?

This is very complicated. 

I don't think I will be having a bunch of different rewards, I will have only one. If I want to change it then I will change it on the innrewards website. 

I have diff discount/gift codes on rezkey now, "bookonline" or any other, "BOGO" etc. I wont have them per month or per gift, it is too much. Whatever I do will do for a certain amount of time.

That is why you could leave it blank or the guests could enter RWD (so you know they are rewards guests). It is also why we are each setting up our OWN rewards. If someone wants to change rewards every month to encourage return guests to get a different reward next month or in a couple months they can but would need to know what they are offering when.

I meant this for the guests who book in advance (rare these days, but possible) because they liked the reward offered that month. So now you know to set one of whatever aside for that guest. I am not planning to give a discount as a reward. I plan to do a roast of coffee. I may choose to offer a particular country of beans or a choice of 3 for that month. I would need to know to keep some of that country on hand.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

July in May?

This is very complicated. 

I don't think I will be having a bunch of different rewards, I will have only one. If I want to change it then I will change it on the innrewards website. 

I have diff discount/gift codes on rezkey now, "bookonline" or any other, "BOGO" etc. I wont have them per month or per gift, it is too much. Whatever I do will do for a certain amount of time.

That is why you could leave it blank or the guests could enter RWD (so you know they are rewards guests). It is also why we are each setting up our OWN rewards. If someone wants to change rewards every month to encourage return guests to get a different reward next month or in a couple months they can but would need to know what they are offering when.

I meant this for the guests who book in advance (rare these days, but possible) because they liked the reward offered that month. So now you know to set one of whatever aside for that guest. I am not planning to give a discount as a reward. I plan to do a roast of coffee. I may choose to offer a particular country of beans or a choice of 3 for that month. I would need to know to keep some of that country on hand.

You see this is what I want to discuss too, in the end we don't want someone already on our website then going for freebies or rewards because it is so easy to do so, unless we want everyone to do that.  "New reservations only" and etc whatever is stipulated.

Case in point, our smallest and oldest restaurant was giving away a free western dog if you came in on election Tuesday wearing an I VOTED sticker.

They got in deep doo doo as you cannot do this, so they said sorry and said "Okay, we changed it to anyone who comes in on Election Tuesday and mentions this they will get a free western dog"

I think about the person who handed me the coupon they found in a nearby CVB and said we will apply that. Coupons have limited space, so you can't put all the reg's on them, I learned my lesson that day, and it soured me on those guests, I might add.

So whatever we do, we will need to work out how they redeem knowing they are innrewards, not just someone stumbling upon it and getting something, or give it to everyone who fills those conditions, like the western dog.

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

You see this is what I want to discuss too, in the end we don't want someone already on our website then going for freebies or rewards because it is so easy to do so, unless we want everyone to do that.  "New reservations only" and etc whatever is stipulated.

 

Sorry, but if this takes off it is bound to happen, but if I fill up because of this GOOD, that is my intention!   With having a link on our site (which I am also in favor of) people are bound to find it and register.  It is just like any other offer we make, you have to think of it as advertising money; choose your reward based on that. 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Joey Bloggs wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

July in May?

This is very complicated. 

I don't think I will be having a bunch of different rewards, I will have only one. If I want to change it then I will change it on the innrewards website. 

I have diff discount/gift codes on rezkey now, "bookonline" or any other, "BOGO" etc. I wont have them per month or per gift, it is too much. Whatever I do will do for a certain amount of time.

That is why you could leave it blank or the guests could enter RWD (so you know they are rewards guests). It is also why we are each setting up our OWN rewards. If someone wants to change rewards every month to encourage return guests to get a different reward next month or in a couple months they can but would need to know what they are offering when.

I meant this for the guests who book in advance (rare these days, but possible) because they liked the reward offered that month. So now you know to set one of whatever aside for that guest. I am not planning to give a discount as a reward. I plan to do a roast of coffee. I may choose to offer a particular country of beans or a choice of 3 for that month. I would need to know to keep some of that country on hand.

You see this is what I want to discuss too, in the end we don't want someone already on our website then going for freebies or rewards because it is so easy to do so, unless we want everyone to do that.  "New reservations only" and etc whatever is stipulated.

Case in point, our smallest and oldest restaurant was giving away a free western dog if you came in on election Tuesday wearing an I VOTED sticker.

They got in deep doo doo as you cannot do this, so they said sorry and said "Okay, we changed it to anyone who comes in on Election Tuesday and mentions this they will get a free western dog"

I think about the person who handed me the coupon they found in a nearby CVB and said we will apply that. Coupons have limited space, so you can't put all the reg's on them, I learned my lesson that day, and it soured me on those guests, I might add.

So whatever we do, we will need to work out how they redeem knowing they are innrewards, not just someone stumbling upon it and getting something, or give it to everyone who fills those conditions, like the western dog.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw! It IS a problematical situation!

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

gillumhouse wrote:

I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw! It IS a problematical situation!

Is it? Could be a blessing. We want people to use it and give out the rewards. I want them to go home and talk about it. Tell their friends to try a Bed an Breakfast. Luckily, I control what we will be giving at our propertyI have been mentioning it to some guests to get feed back on the idea. They Absalutley love the idea. If I happen to get 1 or 2 more reservations a month that I might no otherwise. It will pay for what ever I might offer. I beleive we will all be receiving a lot more bookings after this is up and going! If every guests that makes a reservation gives a code, then I know where they are finding me and where they will recommend others to go and look for me or you!

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Joey Bloggs wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

July in May?

This is very complicated. 

I don't think I will be having a bunch of different rewards, I will have only one. If I want to change it then I will change it on the innrewards website. 

I have diff discount/gift codes on rezkey now, "bookonline" or any other, "BOGO" etc. I wont have them per month or per gift, it is too much. Whatever I do will do for a certain amount of time.

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

I think this will work for ResKey users.  I just added a custom field.  I just named it "Enter Your InnReward.com Code Here!"  Thanks Gillumhouse!

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

gillumhouse wrote:

Rather than in the Discount, have an entry of Reward Code that if left blank just goes on with the reservation or if filled tells the innkeeper this is the reward of the month and valid codes would be RWD01 thru RWD12. That would tell the innkeeper the reward to be giving. Having a chart of what rewards we are giving each month would tell us what that guest gets so if they booked for July in May a RWD05 would tell you the 05 reward is what they are expecting to get in July.

That's a great idea! That would work great! It would just be another reservation field.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Wow! Sounds like a great idea!

Even though the name is InnRewards, a separate page could be optimized for 'Bed and breakfast rewards' for those searching specifically for 'B&B'.

Looking good Bob! Glad you were able to jump on this. I, for one, do a lot of talking and little doing. Thank you.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

I'm in!

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I'm in!

your inn my inn we're all inn!

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I'm in!

You mean I'm inn! Eye-wink

 

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Offline
Joined:
07/23/2008

I'm inn... too! smiley

__________________

Sunshine

 

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

I can also try to bring in the UK BB's as am on an online forum with about 1000 members don't know how many will bite mind - would you consider registering another domain name ie BBrewards? its just in other countries bed and breakfast inn is not a phrase that is used.

Also setting the reward youself is better as for example you might have a special deal with a florest or hand made chocolate maker ie you appear to be giving out a better deal than you are.

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I can also try to bring in the UK BB's as am on an online forum with about 1000 members don't know how many will bite mind - would you consider registering another domain name ie BBrewards? its just in other countries bed and breakfast inn is not a phrase that is used.

Also setting the reward youself is better as for example you might have a special deal with a florest or hand made chocolate maker ie you appear to be giving out a better deal than you are.

Do you guys call them BB's, Bed and Breakfast or another name? I'm really excited about what kind of rewards people are going to offer! I think it will be really fun.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

Probably Bed and Breakfast (in full) would be the most popular search term - for UK properties

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

I gotcha. That's what my property is called. Bed and Breakfast rewards . Co m is not available. Inn rewards I feel is kinda a mix between the two. Both bb's and inns go hand and hand. That said, I do not want to single anyone out. Even if I was able to get that domain name and link it to inn rewards, it would still go to the same site. If we do 2 sites, I think it will lose its luster. I could have catagories on the site and separate the two. We can try them all together at the beginning and go from there. Here is what i hope will happen. If you have a customer that is looking and has only stayed in Inns. They might see a Bed and Breakfast for the first time that they would like to try. Maybe the reward was enough to bring them to your door and give you a try!

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

As you know I am on board when ever you say GO! 

Spreading the word - logo on each of our sites would be great and also telling our guests as they depart or in our thank you emails, newsletters as well.

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

As you know I am on board when ever you say GO! 

Spreading the word - logo on each of our sites would be great and also telling our guests as they depart or in our thank you emails, newsletters as well.

happykeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2008

Sounds good. I'll look forward to joining

__________________

Take a leap.... and a net will appear

 

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

I'm interested it this also.  Just too much going on (in personal life) right now.  Just say a prayer.  Thanks

__________________

"Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well." Mark Twain

 

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Ice wrote:

I'm interested it this also.  Just too much going on (in personal life) right now.  Just say a prayer.  Thanks

Prayers will be said! Hope everything will be ok for you! Keep your head up...

Innkeep's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/04/2008

Do take care Ice

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Ice wrote:

I'm interested it this also.  Just too much going on (in personal life) right now.  Just say a prayer.  Thanks

You have it my Friend, Will add you to the candle Saturday night also.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I am also willing to kick in $25 (and I do not part with money lightly). Just tell me where & when to send. I like being able to choose the reward as I can do something unique or if I want I can make it a discount - we may find guests trolling for the best rewards. Just keep it simple for everyone. Do not try to make it do anything other than rewards and send them to our web sites. Keep it simple and that will keep the costs down.

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

I'm not worried about the money. We need to get it working. I will not be asking for money anytime soon. Maybe some good word of mouth and to get some other properties to sign up after we are up and going! That will be worth more than money.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

So in other words, this may be a "much better way to stay"  since the other was a grassroots-poke-fun at anyone that is not top of the line in all areas, not promoting what most of us are, mom and pops. Using our off hand humor on this forum to propel its theme onward...

So like this forum, A place where innkeepers belong... and run by innkeepers, the InnRewards will also be run by innkeepers, for the most part. 

I like it all. I am ready to sign up, I need to go and find some images. So the next step will be tell us in a numbered list what YOU WANT from us... ?

  1. inn name
  2. address
  3. website url
  4. email contact
  5. Ph#
  6. google map link
  7. # of rooms
  8. 30 word description of the B&B - ie TAGLINE
  9. Photos (for thumbnail) and High Rez for website header etc, wherever needed.
  10. basic room rates or range from $159-229
  11. KEY WORDS (a string of key words for each inn for their location)
  12. Owner/innkeeper name
  13. Type of reward given
  14. How to redeem this reward
  15. Dates for this reward/requirements

I believe in keeping it simple, an inn photo with contact info and link, and what the reward is may be sufficient, we want them to click over to our website to check the place out.

Thanks for your hard work Bob. Thinking of this is like saying how much innkeepers care about attention to detail, to making guests stay a great experience. This is an extension ...called real hospitality.

I am willing to pay $25 to be listed. How you deal with money coming in may be much more work...so let us know when it happens, and you need the $ from me.

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

Joey Bloggs wrote:

So in other words, this may be a "much better way to stay"  since the other was a grassroots-poke-fun at anyone that is not top of the line in all areas, not promoting what most of us are, mom and pops. Using our off hand humor on this forum to propel its theme onward...

So like this forum, A place where innkeepers belong... and run by innkeepers, the InnRewards will also be run by innkeepers, for the most part. 

I like it all. I am ready to sign up, I need to go and find some images. So the next step will be tell us in a numbered list what YOU WANT from us... ?

  1. inn name
  2. address
  3. website url
  4. email contact
  5. Ph#
  6. google map link
  7. # of rooms
  8. 30 word description of the B&B - ie TAGLINE
  9. Photos (for thumbnail) and High Rez for website header etc, wherever needed.
  10. basic room rates or range from $159-229
  11. KEY WORDS (a string of key words for each inn for their location)
  12. Owner/innkeeper name
  13. Type of reward given
  14. How to redeem this reward
  15. Dates for this reward/requirements

I believe in keeping it simple, an inn photo with contact info and link, and what the reward is may be sufficient, we want them to click over to our website to check the place out.

Thanks for your hard work Bob. Thinking of this is like saying how much innkeepers care about attention to detail, to making guests stay a great experience. This is an extension ...called real hospitality.

I am willing to pay $25 to be listed. How you deal with money coming in may be much more work...so let us know when it happens, and you need the $ from me.

Great! When you sign up you will be able to provide all that info. We are still working on building the site. It won't be very much longer. I will keep you posted. Thank you for participating in this. I already have a few properties in my town that want to sign up.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.