#1 advice from a seasoned innkeeper

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10/07/2008

My #1 advice to you is to INVEST in a website.

Invest means, money and time. Have an up-to-date website (this means current for today's devices) with nice large clean photos, simple information, and ease of use. Let them peruse your website, get the info they need, check availability and reserve online. LET THEM, PLEasE!

This is your storefront, this is like a BIG OL' BILLBOARD on the side of the highway...this is everything! Yes I said everything! Nothing matters more than to have a decent website from the get go. Too many here are having to rebuild, start off with everything you want and need on your website.

There is no FREE OPTION. This is a business for goodness sakes! Run your business like a business, a business in 2014 needs to have a GOOD website. Do not hire out someone you know who says they know how to build a website. please. pretty please. we want you to succeed. 

Stop sending people away, give them the opportunity to book a room with you!

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06/24/2008

#3 - If you do stage your room photos with extras (i.e. fresh flowers, champagne, or snack tray) make sure you make a disclaimer that they are not automatically included. 

Noted this due to a recent thread where the guest thought it was included because it was shown in the photo.  If there is one, there are more with the same thinking. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Copperhead wrote:

#3 - If you do stage your room photos with extras (i.e. fresh flowers, champagne, or snack tray) make sure you make a disclaimer that they are not automatically included. 

Noted this due to a recent thread where the guest thought it was included because it was shown in the photo.  If there is one, there are more with the same thinking. 

Had to laugh.   Not getting fresh flowers in your room is not exactly bad service.   I did see the thread and it sounded like someone who was impossible to please.

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Joey Camb's picture
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nope to be fair to Griphon - he specifically says that on the web site it said those things were included ie flowers and it turned out to be a bud vase with wild flowers in compared to what was in the picture.

So I would also say If you do say X will be in the room it should be similar to the picture

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06/24/2008

Joey Camb wrote:

nope to be fair to Griphon - he specifically says that on the web site it said those things were included ie flowers and it turned out to be a bud vase with wild flowers in compared to what was in the picture.

So I would also say If you do say X will be in the room it should be similar to the picture

I found the site and no, it does not state anything about flowers.  Not saying the innkeepers don't need to rethink their business as in hospitality, but the flower issue should not have been one!

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Copperhead wrote:

#3 - If you do stage your room photos with extras (i.e. fresh flowers, champagne, or snack tray) make sure you make a disclaimer that they are not automatically included. 

Noted this due to a recent thread where the guest thought it was included because it was shown in the photo.  If there is one, there are more with the same thinking. 

No way, never!

I was thinking about this topic last night watching tv and it occurred to me there is never a person in an ad with bad teeth. cool

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04/02/2014

We have a great website with professional photos but the times are a changing.  This year I'm putting money aside to create a better one with all LARGE PHOTOS and taking out most text as guests don't read anyway.  It will be responsive for all platforms.  I'm also having an app created for us that guests will be able to download on their iPhone or Android phone with everything they need to know when they are here - the best restaurants, activities, directions to everything, onsite info, breakfast info, checkout info, etc.  In this electronic world, we need to be up-to-date as our younger guests are expecting it more and more.  And if a guest is out and about and can't see the books we have at the B&B, they can still have all of the info at their fingertips on their phone - now that's service and makes us look much more professional.

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

Can you share some information on developing the app? 

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happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

Nothing but the truth! Our last website was great- but it is in desperate need of a redo. We have been getting ready for it and hopefully will tackle it soon. Even though business has been going up and up, failure to keep up will bring it crashing down. I love the app for guests!

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Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

I totally agree. A great website is a must. You can have the best property in town and have the ugliest website and you will have very little if any guests. Or have the best site and the worst property and be as busy as you want to be. Do not put all your start up money into your structure. Your website should be at the top of your list. JB is correct. You know what your limits are and you need to stick with them. Do not attempt to make your own website or have your friends brother do it for you. (Unless you do this for a living) This is the front door to your business. You want people to come in and look around. For the most part, we have all been there done that and have all learned the hard way. Take this advice and use it. PLEASE!!!! If you chose to ignore us, don't ask later why your not getting any reservations. FYI a good website should run $2,000 - $8,000 or more depending on how many pages and if you hire someone to take professional pics. But your rate of return is your lively hood!

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

#2 Advice from a seasoned innkeeper:

Your website must have excellent photos. Not point and click.

Professionally staged even if you do it all yourself.

Everything straight. Tissues, clocks, trash cans hidden. Toilet seats closed. Window coverings adjusted to either show the view or distract from it.

End up with an ugly power cord? Photoshop is your friend.

Staging can include flowers or a throw, fireplace on, awkward doors closed.

But straighten that damn bed skirt and the blinds for Pete's sake! Fluff those pillows! And creatively crop for the best angle!

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Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

And put all the side lights on.

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10/07/2008

I didn't want to push it! haha  GREAT would be preferred of course. Good, really good and decent are runners up! 

I read it like this Maddie and thought "another great innkeeper tshirt!"

for Pete's sake! Fluff those pillows!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

a business in 2014 needs to have a GOOD website.

Here I must disagree - one must have a GREAT web site. If you are going to take your own photos, at least let the good ones here help - I submitted mine until I was told they were reasonably OK - as great as they need to be? NO, but passable. I must have submitted 10 photos of each room, taking hints and redoing to get the ones on my web site. (DH was afraid I was going to fall off the porch roof taking photos of one room - the only way to get decent shots was to crawl out the window and shoot from there.)

Newbies and aspirings and lurkers - we are here to help you succeed and that means giving critiques, not to be hurtful but to be helpful.

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