Do you have a minimum stay?

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Nope, one night is fine with us
31% (9 votes)
Yes, but only during high season
21% (6 votes)
Yes, 2 nights but more on holidays
3% (1 vote)
Yes, 2 nights
3% (1 vote)
Yes, more than two nights
0% (0 votes)
Other
41% (12 votes)
Total votes: 29

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TBH

 

Como Depot's picture
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I am very used to comments, normally from those who have not a clue, but every now and then there is a nugget.

I can ignore the ones I do not like.

I give a 10% discount for stays of 2 nights or more.But most are one night.

 

 

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

As I suspected yesterday, I don't think TheBeachHouse appreciated all the bashing of her website and the person she was working with on it. She has removed the link to her website from her Innspiring profile, and even removed the Contact tab that would let us send her an e-mail.

The fact is, she NEVER asked for a critique of her website. I've said this before and will repeat it. Unless someone directly asks for website advice, I think people should keep their thoughts to themselves, just like you don't walk up to a mother and tell her she has an ugly daughter. If they want our opinion, they'll ask.

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I am sorry I said anything.  PLEASE COME BACK BEACHHOUSE! No one meant to be mean, just trying to be helpful, and for us all not knowing each other well it came across wrong.

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Joey Camb's picture
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trouble  is we forget that we are sort of like a pack! when it all comes at once (when I was new I had the same but Im a Big girl and can take it as well as 20 years of customers!) but if you are new and taken a huge risk and under renovation which we all know is stressfull enough on its own there has to be a list of things that are done one at a time and for example her porch hanging of has to take a higher place in the budget than an expensive web designer - she is probably doing what many of us here have done, get someone she knows to do it on mates rates just to get something out there, make a start so to speak which I can understand when your budget and time are being pulled in all directions.

From the people who have seen the web site and know the property perhaps a link showing the apologies? You have to remember not everyone is 100% web savey

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Ditto for me too. Was just trying to help. You don't know us...so we should have waited to broach the subject. Sorry.

Arks's picture
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Probably enough "only trying to help" input for one day!

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Probably enough "only trying to help" input for one day!

Yup. We can be overwhelmingly 'helpful'.

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indecision

We are a zealous bunch. Please forgive us for coming on too strong as we are excited about your new venture.We forget ourselves at times and just want to help.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

indecision

We are a zealous bunch. Please forgive us for coming on too strong as we are excited about your new venture.We forget ourselves at times and just want to help.

 

It's all good.  I just didn't want everyone and his brother hopping on to see how 'primitive' the site is.  ;) INN the meantime, we took some time this weekend to take pictures of the views and the breakfast.  Which will be added soon.  AND we got our first on line reservation.  From Germany!   AND we built our facebook page.  AND I made homemade muffins for the first time and they went over really well.  So it was a busy weekend.  AND best of all, our football team won!  

Joey Camb's picture
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We remember what its like, you have a HUGE list of all the things that need to be done which just seems to get bigger ie you get one off the top and another 5 climb on the bottom, you will never get to a point where there are no jobs on the list but you can get them down to a much more manageable size. We make a list every day with one of the bigger things on it so its less overwhelming. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

We remember what its like, you have a HUGE list of all the things that need to be done which just seems to get bigger ie you get one off the top and another 5 climb on the bottom, you will never get to a point where there are no jobs on the list but you can get them down to a much more manageable size. We make a list every day with one of the bigger things on it so its less overwhelming. 

 

I was happy that I found the box with my Fall coats in it!!!! When we moved, it was summer, NOW, I need my jackets!

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

indecision

We are a zealous bunch. Please forgive us for coming on too strong as we are excited about your new venture.We forget ourselves at times and just want to help.

 

It's all good.  I just didn't want everyone and his brother hopping on to see how 'primitive' the site is.  ;) INN the meantime, we took some time this weekend to take pictures of the views and the breakfast.  Which will be added soon.  AND we got our first on line reservation.  From Germany!   AND we built our facebook page.  AND I made homemade muffins for the first time and they went over really well.  So it was a busy weekend.  AND best of all, our football team won!  

I'm so glad we didn't scare you off! All this stuff you're doing feels a bit overwhelming, but just keep plugging along. You've had a very busy couple of days! Congrats!

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Great...all best wishes for success!

gillumhouse's picture
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YEA!! For all your firsts. Congratulations. 

Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

indecision

We are a zealous bunch. Please forgive us for coming on too strong as we are excited about your new venture.We forget ourselves at times and just want to help.

 

It's all good.  I just didn't want everyone and his brother hopping on to see how 'primitive' the site is.  ;) INN the meantime, we took some time this weekend to take pictures of the views and the breakfast.  Which will be added soon.  AND we got our first on line reservation.  From Germany!   AND we built our facebook page.  AND I made homemade muffins for the first time and they went over really well.  So it was a busy weekend.  AND best of all, our football team won!  

Isn't that first online rez the best? Good for you!

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

indecision

We are a zealous bunch. Please forgive us for coming on too strong as we are excited about your new venture.We forget ourselves at times and just want to help.

 

It's all good.  I just didn't want everyone and his brother hopping on to see how 'primitive' the site is.  ;) INN the meantime, we took some time this weekend to take pictures of the views and the breakfast.  Which will be added soon.  AND we got our first on line reservation.  From Germany!   AND we built our facebook page.  AND I made homemade muffins for the first time and they went over really well.  So it was a busy weekend.  AND best of all, our football team won!  

Good to hear! 

 

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Other -

Yes, during event periods and holidays.

Depending on the event or holiday, I will start off with either a 3 or 2 night min.  I address it again 1 month prior.  If it is an event I will wait til the last week before reducing the min. 

As for most nights, we have a 1 night min. with discounts for multi night stays, sometimes it is for 2 nights sometimes it is for 3.  I like an incentive approach.

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

For us, it's an economic problem. We simply don't make enough on a one-night rental to justify the change-over costs that we would incur, so we have a two-night minimum on the smaller cottages, and a three-night minimum on the larger ones. But vacation cottages are a different business than B&B...

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Iris's picture
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I have the pleasure of being very busy and my waiting lists are many and they are long.  there are people out there that have waited, no kidding, several years to "finally get in"

Some of our cottages have a 2 night minimum and others I want to book out for 5 nights or more. Of course I make exceptions and in the off season, which started last week, I will totally make exceptions to that rule.  I call it "reservation magic". You can real all about it on my website, heehee. 

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Madeleine's picture
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You may find you need to do this next summer. Possibly even 4-5 night mins so you are not going crazy. You can test it out with certain rooms or if you see all your rooms thus far are checking out on the same day.

I've been doing that this fall when I see everyone is booking one night on a Saturday. The remaining rooms are now 2 night min.

Kay Nein's picture
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We do 2-night minimums on holiday weekends AND during high season (i voted high season on this poll).  We also do it when there is a large event in town - art or music festival, holiday events, etc.

gillumhouse's picture
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I tried a 2-night min on holidays with a Monday. It did not fly. I am off the path, not in a "destination" so I take what I can get. One nights are frequent. Last night I had a taker for my Happy Birthday WV Special - the 3rd night is $18.63 + tax. Too many hotel rooms in my area to do a minimum.

Ice
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I have one room that I put a 2 night minimum (did so because of the size of the room).

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I am going to break in to your poll thread as I just looked at your site. You need to do a search here for SEO for your website. You need major help.

I am telling you this for your own benefit Smiling

1. You have no real value in your sit's page title for SEO

2. You have not SEO value in your page's descriptions

3. I see no google site verification done.

4. I see no installation of Google Analytics.

5. Can you brighten up your photos? They all seem very dark and not inviting. Where is the romance of the sea views? All is very dark.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I don't understand google site verification or google analytics.

Three things - 1 - thank you for the input. I truly listen to every single comment because we do want to do well and I know your comments are coming from the right place.  No worries.

2 - We've been in the business a total of three weeks and that includes taking the pictures and building the website from scratch cuz the woman who designed the previous site took the whole thing down and only gave us the name.  So we are a work in progress.

3 - The previous owner did no marketing at all.  At all.  we are truly starting from the beginning. 

Madeleine's picture
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You have done a LOT in 3 weeks! Good for you. Winter plans should include really spiffing up the website because that is your portal to the world. The rooms page loaded really slowly, as in my browser timed out and said the page was unavailable. You'll get the hang of it, don't worry.

Big plus is you know your area. Get out and get photos of the beaches, etc now, while you're slow and everything looks good. Then you can add them slowly over the winter.

Get a pic of your breakfast buffet too.

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Are you doing this site yourself? What are you using?

I see some other issues but I don't want to address them here. Have you looked at some other B & B sites for some ideas? You should. Many here have some good ones done with WORDPRESS themes....the way to go.

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EmptyNest wrote:

Are you doing this site yourself? What are you using?

I see some other issues but I don't want to address them here. Have you looked at some other B & B sites for some ideas? You should. Many here have some good ones done with WORDPRESS themes....the way to go.

 

We have a local web site designer who works for himself.  He and I have looked at every site in town. We deliberately made the site as simple as possible.  I personally dislike crowded websites and moving pictures.  He didn't have a lot of time to take the pictures because the weather didn't cooperate.   We plan to add links and event notifications and pictures of our koi pond, breakfast, better pictures of the views, etc.  When the new porch is built, we will get a new picture.  When we got here, the flower beds were all crabgrass.  We are working on that too.   When we get the new sign, we will get a picture of that too.  The old sign is peeling and rusty and makes a terrible first impression, but it's all we got!  Smiling I also want to add a blog and testimonials.  The season starts in May, so we have time to get ourselves together.  I worried about losing money when we decided to move in September.   But now, I'm glad we get to start slowly. 

We only activated the on line reservation system yesterday. 

One day at a time.  Every day in every way we are getting better and better.  Smiling  

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When you are looking at websites, don't just look at others in town look at the entire region as that is what people looking to stay are doing as well.  Some are looking & needing your town but others are searching for the ideal place.  Your website needs to stand out to be one of the ones that says WOW and then found in their short choice list. 

Good luck.  There is only so much one can do in a day, in 3 weeks you have done quite a bit.  Things will come into place over your slow time.  Lots of help here when you are ready!

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I am sorry to say, but your web designer knows nothing about SEO and basics such as google verification and analytics....really?????  Have you seen other sites he has done?

I see this as your navigation links....NO way should it be like this.

<a href="/index.html">Home</a>
       <a href="/about-us/index.html">About Us</a>
       <a href="/rooms-and-rates/index.html">Rooms and Rates</a>
       <a href="/reservations/index.html">Reservations</a>
       <a href="/our-policies/index.html">Our Policies</a>
       <a href="/directions/index.html">Directions</a>
     </nav>

What is he using to do your website? It must be a content management system and responsive for mobile devices today, especially if you want to be able to do blog postings etc etc

Madeleine's picture
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Yeah, I thought that was the old site. It's definitely not appropriate today to have anything like that.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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As Maddie said, simple is good. But your web guy didn't build any SEO into the site. It doesn't matter how beautiful a site looks, if there's no SEO/marketing built into the site, no one will see it. Question your web designer about it. Does he know what to do? If not, find someone who does. We can help with that. Does he charge you for everything you ask to have done on the site? Is there a CMS (content management system) where you can go in and make small changes later on?

You've had a lot on your plate the last 3 weeks and you're doing great! You have a wonderful location and a beautiful place. Everything takes time, but the website and web presence has to be high priority so you won't go into next season only able to fill on Saturdays.

Hang in there!

 

 

Madeleine's picture
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Simple is good. What you want to do is be better than the other inns in town in re the website. There are some pretty sorry looking sites there. Don't emulate them. Your guy needs to be ON TOP of SEO as you don't show up in the prime 'top 7' on Google. That's REALLY important.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I don't understand google site verification 

You have to verify to Google that you own the property, both for naming it on Google Maps and for controlling the Google+ page for the inn. To verify, you need to log into Google Places and add your business. Or if it's already listed on Google Places, you need to claim ownership. At some point, to verify you're the owner, they will send a verification PIN to your choice of the phone number of the inn as listed in Google Places, or they will send a postcard to the inn's Google snailmail  address. Once you get the PIN and enter it, you're the verified owner of the Google Places page for your place, and you can make changes to it's description, upload photos, etc.

Google Analytics will give you a ton of data on traffic to your website, like how long people stay on your site, what pages they look at, as well as where your visitors are from and much more.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I don't understand google site verification 

You have to verify to Google that you own the property, both for naming it on Google Maps and for controlling the Google+ page for the inn. To verify, you need to log into Google Places and add your business. Or if it's already listed on Google Places, you need to claim ownership. At some point, to verify you're the owner, they will send a verification PIN to your choice of the phone number of the inn as listed in Google Places, or they will send a postcard to the inn's Google snailmail  address. Once you get the PIN and enter it, you're the verified owner of the Google Places page for your place, and you can make changes to it's description, upload photos, etc.

Google Analytics will give you a ton of data on traffic to your website, like how long people stay on your site, what pages they look at, as well as where your visitors are from and much more.

Do a google search for your inn's name. There is a large box with a google map and your inn's name. Right under that box it says something like "are you the owner". Click that. The next screen will be a google sign in. DON'T MIX PERSONAL WITH BUSINESS if you already have a personal google e-mail. CREATE A BUSINESS ACCOUNT E-MAIL. Google will force you to do a personal google+ account before it will let you do a business page and that's fine.

I know it seems overwhelming, but this is very important to do. If you have problems, start a new discussion thread here on the forum and we will help!

Besides your website, google is the next most important thing to work on.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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and if you check our google review, you'll see it has been answered.  and we requested that it be removed.  haven't checked yet.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

and if you check our google review, you'll see it has been answered.  and we requested that it be removed.  haven't checked yet.

Fantastic! Google may not remove it, but just having an explanation there puts it back on an even playing field.

Arks's picture
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And some folks might object to entering their CC info on a  page that's not https but press on, it's looking great!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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just an fyi but I'm excited.  our on line reservation system is live and it works!

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

just an fyi but I'm excited.  our on line reservation system is live and it works!

 

Congrats!  I just checked it out and I got to the page where you enter your information and cc#, so I couldn't go any further. What I didn't see (and it may be on the next screen?) was your policies and a place where they need to click that they have read and agreed to your policies. Does that exist in you system?

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I don't believe so.  We did not include the deposit yet.  We will be doing that before the holidays.   Baby steps.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I don't believe so.  We did not include the deposit yet.  We will be doing that before the holidays.   Baby steps.

Whether you actually charge the deposit or not, it is imperative that they agree to your policies. You want to eliminate any conflicts that can/may occur. It's a must for online reservations.

Highlands John's picture
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I try to impose a 2 night stay minimum from May - Sept but it rarely works out that way. This year the season started very slowly and I panicked and took a lot of 1 night bookings  for July/Aug, which in hindsight was a mistake. Normally  I will take 1 night bookings during this period if it fits in a gap, I will turn them away if they have no bookings either side.

I need to impose this rule more rigidly next year as we ended up with lots of 1 nighters at the start August and the first week of september, I'm talking all rooms every night for 5 days.

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Iris's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

I try to impose a 2 night stay minimum from May - Sept but it rarely works out that way. This year the season started very slowly and I panicked and took a lot of 1 night bookings  for July/Aug, which in hindsight was a mistake. Normally  I will take 1 night bookings during this period if it fits in a gap, I will turn them away if they have no bookings either side.

I need to impose this rule more rigidly next year as we ended up with lots of 1 nighters at the start August and the first week of september, I'm talking all rooms every night for 5 days.

 I know exactly how you feel. It is frightening to think that you are turning people away because of minimum nights rule but in the end you will thank yourself for working through that. You will fill these nights.  Just let the possible guests know that you can't afford to give half a weekend away in favor of renting to them for one night, most understand and book for two nights. Believe me, I have been there.  Way back when we took over this place in 1994 and the cottages were priced at $ 25 to $55 per night. Oye. Memories

 

Innkeep's picture
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By being in a non-tourist area, the more than one night stay is infrequent.  I do impose a 2-night minimum for Parents Weekend at the university - that goes over fairly well, but I haven't found many that will reserve for more than one night for graduation. 

I do get a number of one-nighters that return multiple times for one night stays, be it parents, business people, or sometimes family from out of town.  Do I like one nighters?  No, but they do pay the bills.

I guess I need to educate the traveling public about all the wonderful things we have to do and see around here.  The only problem is that I rarely find that my own guests are interested in seeing any of the venues around here, even when I share  the things we have to do "eyeball to eyeball." 

Joey Camb's picture
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we are a conference and event town with weddings on a weekend - so it depends whats on ie September bridal is a 2 night minimum but its a Sunday Monday event so managed carefully I get Friday sat people who all check out sunday morning and then a full house comes in Sunday/Monday and so on.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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We've filled the place with Saturday night only people for three weeks, so I guess we will stick with one night for now. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

We've filled the place with Saturday night only people for three weeks, so I guess we will stick with one night for now. 

The longer you are there, the more you will see the trend and you can adjust if it calls for it.

Here's my thinking that might help. It's possible for us to fill Sat nights in our 4 rooms. Then I realized we had a high chance that we could book  2 rooms but for both Fri & Sat, I would get the same amount of money with half as much work. We then take a 1 night reservation if they book within 3 days of the weekend. If somebody books just a Sat., it's very difficult to find someone to fill that room with just a Friday night stay. It will usually just sit there vacant.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I accept a one-night stay, but impose a $15 surcharge for doing it. Lots of people have accepted that, and the $15/single night helps me accept it.

If the day comes that I can do without the one-nighters, I'll re-impose the 2 night minimum I started with, but that was causing me to lose one or two bookings a week, and that's not acceptable!

Highlands John's picture
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I have you considered making your +$15 your standard price and offering a discount for 2 nights or more, wondered if that works better?

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