hey, all

8 replies [Last post]
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Joined:
02/07/2016

Hey, guys

Aspiring here, have lurked for a few months. Trying to put together checklists of what we need to do.

So... I have a question in best way to check in guests.  I envision something like the following (once their booking is complete).

1) They have done their thing on b...com, air bnb, TA, website - confirmed, etc.

2) I know you get credit card first, but since the guest comes from all sorts of places, how do you get the card, deposit ahead of time?

4) Do you charge for whole stay first, first day first, after each day, or after whole stay? I do not really want to be chasing people who have left early or out the door on their way to the car...

5) I will have one of those auto doorbells that enable you to talk to them anywhere from your cellphone. If I am near the door, I want to know they are registered guests before letting them in!

6) If they call/come by before checkin time, I tell them checkin starts at 3:30. If they argue I tell them I am not there yet or there is a $25 early checkin and only if their room is ready.

7) ONCE it is checkin time and they are confirmed as registered guests, I will provide the front door code and their room code (plus room number). If I am answering door can provide on paper or sent to their cellphone or something else.  All doors will have quality codelocks. No keys or room cards for me.  Half the time I am in motels, the cards seem to fail to work at least once.

Problems with my plan?  Reality? Help?

 

 

 

Tom
Tom's picture
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Joined:
10/11/2009

Really depends on guest expectations and that varies a lot by country, city v. rural, transient/traveler v. destination tourist.  See what other successful inns are doing in your area and use that as a guide.

Here we keep it simple: greet each guest, give them door code if they need it, run the cc when they check out (card number on file for reservation, but don't advance charge).  Seven years, no real problems.  Casual works for our marketplace -- may not work for yours.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

Welcome InnPossible

Question - Are you planning to live on site?  Is it an area where you feel safe ?

I'm all for technology and self checkin when needed, but I also like some human contact. As onsite innkeeper, I liked to see who was staying. (not that I remembered everyone's name)

And there will be the inevitable door holder ... guest coming in or going out or just near the door who holds the door open for someone else. I had guests prop the door open while they brought things in and forget about it ...  

Lee2014's picture
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Joined:
12/11/2014

    Welcome!  We charge them the first night stay when they book.  We take CC, Checks, and Money.  We greet every guest at the door and show them their room.  (regardless of hour)  So when they check in we get the remainder amount.  We run their card through (or accept the payment) and they sign the screen.  The guests also checks over their check in inn card to make sure everything is correct and sign it.

     That being said, our repeats who been coming for years have done self check ins if they are late and they check in with us in the morning since they know where their room is, etc.

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Arks's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2010

2) I know you get credit card first, but since the guest comes from all sorts of places, how do you get the card, deposit ahead of time?

I use Reservation Key to take online reservations. Guests pay a deposit equal to one night at the time of booking. Reservation Key takes the card info and saves it in the system so, for a stay of more than 1 night, I can charge their balance when they arrive, without having to get their card.

When bookings come through Booking dot com, they give their CC info to Booking and Booking passes it along to me to charge their deposit through Reservation Key. Booking does not take money. They just pass along the CC info to me, and debit my bank account at the end of the month for their commission. 

4) Do you charge for whole stay first, first day first, after each day, or after whole stay? I do not really want to be chasing people who have left early or out the door on their way to the car...

One night charged to their card when reservation is made, balance charged when they arrive. If they no-show, I charge the card about 8 p.m., for 2 nights.

7) ONCE it is checkin time and they are confirmed as registered guests, I will provide the front door code and their room code (plus room number). If I am answering door can provide on paper or sent to their cellphone or something else.  All doors will have quality codelocks. No keys or room cards for me.  Half the time I am in motels, the cards seem to fail to work at least once.

With my system, each guest receives a custom door code the day they book the reservation. My keypads can be programmed via internet, so when a reservation comes in (with deposit paid) I make up a door code for them, program it into the door for the time/date of their arrival (it automatically deactivates at their time/date of departure), then e-mail them their code and I can forget about it. They arrive, come in, and I don't have to be there to check them in. They have the code and I have their first night's deposit.

And Welcome

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

 

happykeeper's picture
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Joined:
12/11/2008

I have said this before, but when we open our retirement rentals, we will be using Arks as our prototype. We'll likely be in Tuscany or some other far flung location, so it's gotta be seamless and hassle free. 

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Offline
Joined:
02/07/2016

Don't you find giving them a door code before check-in risks them walking in on current guest? I was planning to provide code about the time check-in starts..

Arks's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2010

InnPossible wrote:
Don't you find giving them a door code before check-in risks them walking in on current guest? I was planning to provide code about the time check-in starts..

That's impossible. My programmable keypads hold up to 19 different codes, and I can set the day and time a code becomes active, and when it becomes inactive. So I set guest A's code to expire at 11:30 on day of checkout (posted check in time is 11:00 a.m. but I give them a little more time, but I don't tell them this), and I set guest B's code to activate at 3:30 p.m. on that day (posted check in is 4:00 but I give them a little more time, and don't tell them). So no two parties ever have access to the room at the same time.

The reason for the extra time is not that I'm nice. It's so they don't go calling me complaining that they tried the code at 4:00 and it doesn't work, when they actually tried it at 3:59. The codes activate/deactivate very precisely.

Morticia's picture
Online
Joined:
05/22/2008

It doesn't sound like you are planning to greet the guests at the door but rather talk to them via phone to give their access codes to them. Verifying they are registered guests sounds like you are in a city setting where random people might just be trying to gain access. It also implies you won't be taking walk-ins but only people who have made an advance reservation.

In which case you will need to run their card for the full amount when they make their reservation otherwise you won't know if the card is good or not.

Lots of guests are special little snowflakes, it happens, you deal.

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