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Lea Ann's picture
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10/11/2013

We had our grand opening this weekend and we have our first guests this weekend.  Thanks for feedback when I asked questions! You guys are great!

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05/30/2008

And so the adventure begins....  Hope you enjoy your journey into innkeeping!

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People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

gillumhouse's picture
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When I went to the Rooms & Rates first thing I see is a calendar that looks like YOUR activity calendar. I almost clicked back thinking I had a wrong tab but scrolled down and saw the rooms. The suggestion of a separate page for each room is a good one.  A reservation calendar does not need to show dining room rentals or other events - just available and unavailable for rooms. I was hoping to see photos of your property under Our Property, not a map. Good luck. You are just getting started and everything takes time. Get the web site squared away as quickly as possible though because it is your first impression - grab them marketing. Empty Nest and JB are tops.

Lea Ann's picture
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10/11/2013

Removed the other events off the public calendar. My photographer backed out on me today, so I am still working on getting some high res pics for our site!

Lea Ann's picture
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10/11/2013

Since we are taking whatever we can get, what do you suggest we do to show that the "common space" is rented?

gillumhouse's picture
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Lea Ann wrote:

Since we are taking whatever we can get, what do you suggest we do to show that the "common space" is rented?

You do not say anything on your web about hosting events - at least I did not see anything. What kind of events are you hosting? Is it anything that would impact my stay as your guest - noise, crowd, etc. To give you an example, I once booked a stay in a mansion in Nashville for us and friends. NOTHING was said about a wedding that was taking place that night in the downstairs - the entire first floor. We felt like prisoners because to go out to diner and return, we would have had to navigate the wedding guests and felt like we would be "crashing" the wedding reception. we did NOT get to enjoy the common areas other than a small room with board games on the second floor - we ordered pizza, whoopee! There was also a lot of noise and people clomping up and down the stairs most of the night. This was a splurge on our part.

Events belong in your diary. I do not show on my calendar the Elopements - unless rooms are being occupied by that elopement. That is a separate entity. If you re doing a luncheon - it does not impact guests so that part is like the banquet service of a hotel. People call to arrange an event. I would, if you are doing events and parties, add a page to the web site to show you DO events and the kind of events you will host. That can be a nice extra revenue stream.

IF you have the "common space" rented and it would impact the B & B guests, make renting the rooms part of the rental or if it is more lucrative to do the event, block the rooms so no guests can book. Events need to be voice to voice rather than an online booking.

Lea Ann's picture
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10/11/2013

I agree in removing the events off the main calendar. If we host any events, they will have to between the hours of 1030 and 1530. That way it should have minimal impact on our guests. 

Everyone's comments have been so helpful! I so appreciate it!

Lea Ann's picture
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We are planning on an "events" page. We have three things scheduled during this month.  We are giving them the space to try and get our name out there. We have a bridge club playing, a ladies church luncheon and a baby shower. We want to get photos so we can add them to the events page. 

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Lee Ann thanks for sharing your website, did you build it yourself?

I ask as we have some web-minded people here who may give you tons of advise on it, and if someone else built it or you built it depends on who takes it and listens. 

When I clicked the about "us" there was no photo of the "us" so that can be changed to "about" if you aren't willing to show the us. My personal opinion. I was hoping to see smiling innkeepers.  Have you registered your site with all the search engines? 

My other suggestion is to go get some bright colorful flower photos and add them in here and there for color, and crop some of your images to give a partial view, there is a lot of dark/brown. Give it a boost in the romance department.

Example the main header image would be great to have the innkeeper and guest on the porch (you don't always have to show the entire photo/front of the house) to make it more interesting. If you have these photos in larger sizes, feel free to send them to me and I can do some cropping and examples of what I mean. Send me that main image and a couple room photos if you want. email me at innkeeperva@gmail.com smiley

You could easily use this line in a call out - big and bold on the page where it is found:

"Come enjoy some sweet tea under the Oaks served with southern hospitality."

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Lea Ann's picture
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We added a pic of us to the site.  I have a good friend that's a photographer and he's going to come by and take some photos for us.  We might recruit some models for pictures. 

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Lea Ann wrote:

We added a pic of us to the site.  I have a good friend that's a photographer and he's going to come by and take some photos for us.  We might recruit some models for pictures. 

That is awesome.

Lea Ann's picture
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10/11/2013

It's through wix. We had someone build it it begin with, but we are now maintaining it. Thanks for the suggestions, we will definitely take your suggestions. 

Lea Ann's picture
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All went wonderful! We just need to get the word out.  Here is our website www.inntheoaks.com. I would love for you guys to look at it and make some suggestions.  Looking for cost effective marketing, getting the most bang for our buck.

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Speaking of pictures, I really loved the look for the two rooms shown with the drapes open - so ohhh I'd like to sleep there type of feel.  (The two rooms that started with a "D")  The other two rooms seemed a bit dark  in the photo, one with purple drapes and the other with yellow, if you end up taking some more pics, I wonder if opening up the drapes might show the rooms in a better light (and hey, I may be wrong-others may see it differently, but I would be curious if so far your reservations have been made more for those "D" rooms).  In my place, when I posted some new pics of our least rented room, sales went up.

By the way,  I like your integration of a square deposit into the reservation process.  Swift!

Other small detail, when you mention about the property, the first thing you mention is that it's walking distance to the community college.  I'm not sure who your target audience is, but if I'm going away for the weekend, I like to know more about what you mentioned later - outdoor recreation activities!  Downtown district! - what's fun to do.  Of course, your guests may be business travelers - but I was thinking looking at the lovely pictures of the two D rooms, hmmm... if I stayed there, what could my hubby and  I do in Decautur.... 

Anyway, Congrats!

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05/22/2008

http://www.inntheoaks.com/#!rooms__rates/c1jh6

What is this?  This is not a good page / file name for search engine purposes. All your pages are like this.

Is this stock template from a company and you fill it in???

Is this WORDPRESS? If so why don't you use a Availability Plug in to show room availability?

I would love to see more color to the site. The beige/ brown theme is just so blah. Sorry...you asked.

How about a  page for each room? I would love to see more and better photos.

You should have availability with each room. Haven't you checked out Reservation Key for this? You should.

I would not put PRESS up on the precious space for the menu bar. Get all your important pages there rather than using a drop down.

 

Good luck

Lea Ann's picture
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Someone else built our site through wix, but we are maintaining now.  I don't know anything about reservation key, we will look into it. 

Thanks for the suggestions, we will definitely make some changes.

 

 

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EmptyNest wrote:

http://www.inntheoaks.com/#!rooms__rates/c1jh6

What is this?  This is not a good page / file name for search engine purposes. All your pages are like this.

Is this stock template from a company and you fill it in???

Is this WORDPRESS? If so why don't you use a Availability Plug in to show room availability?

I would love to see more color to the site. The beige/ brown theme is just so blah. Sorry...you asked.

How about a  page for each room? I would love to see more and better photos.

You should have availability with each room. Haven't you checked out Reservation Key for this? You should.

I would not put PRESS up on the precious space for the menu bar. Get all your important pages there rather than using a drop down.

 

Good luck

 

^^Listen to this one Smiling

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

Lea Ann wrote:

All went wonderful! We just need to get the word out.  Here is our website www.inntheoaks.com. I would love for you guys to look at it and make some suggestions.  Looking for cost effective marketing, getting the most bang for our buck.

 

Love it!   Congratulations!

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TBH

 

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01/12/2013

I'm anxious for you to come back and tell us how it is going!

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07/23/2008

 wishing you the very best! and the very best guests. 

 

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Sunshine

 

Anon Inn's picture
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09/26/2011

Congratulations!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Fantastic Let us know how everything goes!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Good luck!

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Best Wishes   and may you always be level headed, booked full, have great guest and let bad vibes roll of your back like a duck lets water roll of its back !  : )

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Mary in Virginia

 

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06/24/2008

Hope you never forget the feeling of excitement you are feeling right now. 

May every guest that graces your door be gracious and happy.

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10/07/2008

Congrats! If you want to share your website/facebook page with us here or email it (to our email from our profile) we can share it on our pages as well.

Have fun. Smiling We look forward to YOUR stories.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

Congrats!  It's an exciting time..take some pictures so you can always remember the first guests.yes

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Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Congrats! All will go well and 20 years from now, you will remember your first guests.

timberbandb's picture
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12/02/2013

gillumhouse wrote:

Congrats! All will go well and 20 years from now, you will remember your first guests.

Absolutely true!!!! I remember my first guests back in May of 1994! OMG - am I really that old?!?!?!

Congrats on your new adventure!

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A "seasoned" Innkeeper in PA.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

And I mine from 1996

Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

It's the best feeling in the world.  Your guests will love that they are among the first.  Seven years down the road for me, and I still warn my guests that I'm still getting the hang of it!

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01/12/2013

Fantastic!  Best of luck to you  Be sure to come back and let us know how it went.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

wonderful!

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Great! Best wishes!

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Ice
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02/22/2010

yes

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