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Hillbilly

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I have to say, I almost feel sorry for some of you. I know it's your choice but my heart goes out to all of you who do not do real time bookings. I'm going to lose sleep over you! ;) One thing that I have noticed from changing to this type of reservation process is that the customers are Higher class and they have money! I have found that they are ordering more pkgs and leaving bigger tips! Why is this? I have come to the conclusion it's because most of them are tech savy and have good paying jobs. One of our customers told me this ......They like the fact after the kids are in bed they can lay down on the couch at midnight with their iPad and look around at places to stay. They come across a place that looks nice and look to see what they have open. Oops no way to find out because they don't do online reservations......Oh they do have a form to fill out. Nope not going to waste time with that, because the last time I did that it took 3 days for a response....lets keep looking....this is when they found our site. This was a $1200 reservation. People want instant gratification now days! They don't want to wait around for an email response or a phone call just to find out you don't have what they want! You can make the choice to work harder, or work smarter. Just sayin!
.
Bob said:

I have to say, I almost feel sorry for some of you. I know it's your choice but my heart goes out to all of you who do not do real time bookings. I'm going to lose sleep over you! ;)
I think a lot of innkeepers don't know there is such a thing as 'real-time'. They think every booking system works the same way theirs does.
Don't lose sleep over them. Count your blessings (and your cash!) They'll figure it out (or they won't).
.
I had a good night sleep after reading your comment! Thanks!!!
 

Hillbilly

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Hi everyone. I have to be honest with you. For many years I thought going to online reservations was not something I wanted to do. I thought I would have more control over who stayed and who I didn’t want to stay by not doing this. I finally decided I would give it a try. At that time I looked at many programs and talked with companies. I decided to go with Webervations 2.0. They needed genii pigs and I liked the fact that they were working on a program to charged cards when the customer reserved. They said it should be up and going in a few months. Three years later i’m still waiting and they now are closing up shop on 2.0. I did learn a lot from this new way of making reservations. (online reservations)
I didn’t have to carry around reservation books everywhere I went.
I no longer had to worry about a double booking.
I people could agree to our cancellation policy
I could show people packages without sounding like a car salesman
The list goes on and on.....
After the news of web 2.0 going dark, I decided now was the time to make my life even easier. I did even more research and talked to many different companies. I decided to go with Reservation Key. I know for some of you who have gone to this company know the reason why. ( I don’t need to go into details, if you don’t know why you can ask me)
I decided after losing $3800 last year on cancellations and no shows I was going to do this right! I now only take online reservations and they must pay for 1 night when booking. OH MY GOSH this is a life saver! I no longer have to have a reservation come in and then go to the computer and get their credit card number and then type it in just to find out the card declines. Then you spend a few days tracking them down to get a card that has money on it for a deposit. I will not ever find my self wasting time doing this. Everyday at 5:30 I get an email stating how many reservations and deposits I made and it batches out automatically. I didn’t have to do anything! If you are not doing this you you should be! I have also found I will have steady income for the whole year, even when we close. I can’t say this enough. If you don’t keep up with technology it will come back to haunt you. It also makes your company look more professional. I have found this new way of making reservations a life saver and I have a lot more time to spend with my family now. I just thought I would let you know what my experience has been from someone who was scared to make a change because I was set in my ways. I will also say hoping to make more reservations from having a calendar on your BLOG is not going to bring a lot of business. Think about it. When you travel do you go to a blog to look to see if the place you want to stay has rooms? Also, it could hurt your business if someone does happen to click on to your Blog and see you show something open. They call you and you tell them oh, "I'm sorry that is not open" (Ooops, you forgot to update your calendar and now you have to take a few hours to make sure it is correct) This will be a turn off for customers. If you do not have real time calenders that go with your reservation program, do not do this!.
Thanks for the update Crystal Cove Bob. I hear ya! I think many of us (without the benefit of an online forum such as this) thought we would weed out the bad guests by speaking to them, I did it as well before taking the leap. I have found, personally, those who book online are the best guests by far.
I know many think they need to be tied to the reservation taking process, but it is like Christmas morning each and every time the bookings roll into my email (as you said) and frees up time, valuable time that belongs to me! Gosh the time, of the precious time spent listening to some person drone on and on over the phone like you have nothing else to do in a day...15-30 minutes per call was not unusual.
Best thing I ever did.
.
You are so right! Its like having a full time helping hand around taking your reservations for you.
 

Madeleine

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Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
 

OnTheShore

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Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
As has been said up thread, dateblocker.com or google calendar are two easy free ways of providing an availability calendar on your website, for free, the caveat being that you do have to keep them updated yourself, manually (as it were)
 

egoodell

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Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
 

Silverspoon

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Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
As has been said up thread, dateblocker.com or google calendar are two easy free ways of providing an availability calendar on your website, for free, the caveat being that you do have to keep them updated yourself, manually (as it were)
.
Thanks, Harborfields, for answering my question.
 

Madeleine

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Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
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0
Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
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0
Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
.
Madeleine said:
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
When I update the calendar manually as I receive reservations, the system will not let anyone request the room so there is no possibility of double booking. I don't want real time as I have to check if Chris is building on the wing that day or if the wine tours are available as they almost always book that package.
I believe you can set it up for real time. It may require that you get a management system that works with Availability. Then the calendar will be updated automatically. I just do it manaually
RIki
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
.
Madeleine said:
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
When I update the calendar manually as I receive reservations, the system will not let anyone request the room so there is no possibility of double booking. I don't want real time as I have to check if Chris is building on the wing that day or if the wine tours are available as they almost always book that package.
I believe you can set it up for real time. It may require that you get a management system that works with Availability. Then the calendar will be updated automatically. I just do it manaually
RIki
.
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
.
Madeleine said:
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
When I update the calendar manually as I receive reservations, the system will not let anyone request the room so there is no possibility of double booking. I don't want real time as I have to check if Chris is building on the wing that day or if the wine tours are available as they almost always book that package.
I believe you can set it up for real time. It may require that you get a management system that works with Availability. Then the calendar will be updated automatically. I just do it manaually
RIki
.
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
.
Madeleine said:
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
If they don't want it to be automatic then they should do something like Availability and manually update the calendar as each reservation comes in which is what I do. That way, if you want to recommend them, you just go online like to mine here at
http://www.availabilityonline.com/availtable.php?un=egoodell
You can see the room availabilty as those that do not have an X.
The only difference with me and real time is that you dont' get your confirmation when you book, you get a copy of your reservation request stating that it is only a request and the confirmation will be coming. I check several times a day so usually the calendar is updated within hours of the reservation.
Only once in a blue moon do I get two reservations at the same time for a room. I confirm whoever books first and tell the other the system is not real time and the room was just booked before their request was submitted. Hardly ever happens.
All this reminds me that I have to mark off the new rooms until they are ready - opps will do that right now!
RIki
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
.
Madeleine said:
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
When I update the calendar manually as I receive reservations, the system will not let anyone request the room so there is no possibility of double booking. I don't want real time as I have to check if Chris is building on the wing that day or if the wine tours are available as they almost always book that package.
I believe you can set it up for real time. It may require that you get a management system that works with Availability. Then the calendar will be updated automatically. I just do it manaually
RIki
.
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
.
Madeleine said:
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
If they don't want it to be automatic then they should do something like Availability and manually update the calendar as each reservation comes in which is what I do. That way, if you want to recommend them, you just go online like to mine here at
http://www.availabilityonline.com/availtable.php?un=egoodell
You can see the room availabilty as those that do not have an X.
The only difference with me and real time is that you dont' get your confirmation when you book, you get a copy of your reservation request stating that it is only a request and the confirmation will be coming. I check several times a day so usually the calendar is updated within hours of the reservation.
Only once in a blue moon do I get two reservations at the same time for a room. I confirm whoever books first and tell the other the system is not real time and the room was just booked before their request was submitted. Hardly ever happens.
All this reminds me that I have to mark off the new rooms until they are ready - opps will do that right now!
RIki
.
The difference is they have 7 rooms. I could have a traveler on the phone asking and it LOOKS like they have one room open but it was booked yesterday and they didn't update the online portion.
My booking system takes the room out of inventory as soon as a guest books it. Even if it's another 12 hours before I even know I have a rez for that room. Next guest at 2 AM has 1 less room to pick from. No worries. I could decline the rez 12 hours later and the rooms would go back into inventory at that time, but at least that next 2 AM guest booking is for a room that is really open.
 

gillumhouse

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Silverspoon you response brings me to another question. If you don't want to use online res system, and the cost involved, that is another issue to the mix as well, but consider this (if you will give me a moment): Could it be possible the quality of the guests could or would change should you offer online bookings? Just think about this for a moment. I pretty much get your set up there I think, and can visualize the clientele for the most part. But would you like more overseas visitors? Just thinking about who books online vs calls, for us, those who call are usually the pitas. Now in your instance, there is no difference, as they all need to email or call.
Just food for thought on your working harder vs working smarter thoughts. I concur and think that is the best method..
Since most of our guests tend to be in the 50-60 year-old range, I don't think the technology part is as crucial as it would be if we wanted to attract a younger crowd. We like a more mature guest who is looking for a B+B experience, not just a "hotel" to use and abuse. In general the mature crowd is calmer, wiser and does not dirty as much linen!
Of course, those who are mature PITAs have been practicing their whole life...but fortunately we don't get too many in any one year. We do get some foreign guests, mostly from England and Germany, and, although it would be nice to have more bookings from Europe it is not worth the hassle or expense of converting our systems at this point. If we were going to go full tilt another 5 years I'd say OK and bite the bullet to upgrade. But in 5 years we hope to be renting the cottage only on a weekly basis, no breakfast or housekeeping...just enough to pay a few bills and allow us to maintain the place.
I really appreciate all the time and input you all have given on this issue and have no doubt that you are all correct about our losing business opportunities because we will not get with the technology program. Our challange is to be professional innkeepers in every other way, but to be a bit old fashioned (like us
) in our reservations.
.
Silverspoon, I can certainly understand if you're adamant about not adding online reservations.
But for any aspirings out there that are reading this I have to say that I also think you're making a very huge generalization about your favored age group.

Yep, I'm in there too and I love technology! I'm your worst travel nightmare - the guest that will immediately click off your site because you don't have online reservations. I have no patience for that in the year 2012. My quiet time is late at night and that's when I plan trips. I don't want to wait to have to call, I don't want to take the time to get caught up in a phone conversation, I want to book NOW! Also, no good photos of the rooms? Common areas? I'm outta there...
But it sounds like you are actually winding down your business rather than trying to garner higher occupancy, so you might be on the right track there.

.
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
.
Silverspoon said:
Samster, you have stated my situation well. And I know that potential guests of ALL ages want to make their reservations on line.(We do all the time!) My experience, however, tells me that enough people will e-mail or call for availabilty and reservations to fill us up when the season is on. So, do I spend the $$ and time to set up a whole new system for reservations for a few years worth of business? We will not try to sell as a B+B and we currently have a captive customer base because of our location. We have great reviews, Fodor's, Frommers, TA yadda, yadda....an outstanding location and 22 years of repeat customers. Nope....not going to do it.
You will have to believe me that this is not an easy decision for me to make! That "Go Get'em" energy that seems to be built into innkeepers has not passed me by. But my rational head says....not worth it. For me. At this stage of the innkeeping business. But for anyone starting out or who wants to build a business in today's world....Absolutely. Go for it!
All you need is Availability Online. Manage the bookings as you always do. First year the $175 fee is half if you are member of Paii. But for a measly $175 to have online booking is SO worth not having to spend time on the phone. You are right that the big booking/management ones are expensive - around $80 a month. So just go to Availaiblity or Reservation Key to just get the calendar and the booking side of it - don't bother with the management side.
You will waste more time trying to put a calendar up on your own. They will do it for you.
Riki
.
Riki- I have friends using AO and the way they have it set up you have to choose multiple rooms because making an online reservation does NOT take the room out of inventory, so they want your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Do they have it set up wrong?
I am always trying to send people to them but I never know if the calendar is up to date.
What they have told me is that they have to accept the rez for the calendar to update.
.
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
I just tried BnBmanager which was okay and does autmatically update the calendar, but they charge the tax on everything and I need it only on the rooms, not my packages, so I'm still looking for a management system which will connect with Availability and automatically update the calendar and run my reports. I may try Inn Kontrol as I have heard it is good and it works with Availability.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
.
Madeleine said:
egoodell said:
No they are correct. The way I have it set up they can ask for their first and second choice of rooms (I only have two rooms right now). It is only an online booking system, not a management system.
Riki
If it doesn't update what the next guest sees then it is not real time, is it? If you have to accept the rez for the rooms to be blocked it can mean double bookings.
When I update the calendar manually as I receive reservations, the system will not let anyone request the room so there is no possibility of double booking. I don't want real time as I have to check if Chris is building on the wing that day or if the wine tours are available as they almost always book that package.
I believe you can set it up for real time. It may require that you get a management system that works with Availability. Then the calendar will be updated automatically. I just do it manaually
RIki
.
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
.
Madeleine said:
OK, I understand. It's just hard with their 7 rooms to know if they have an opening when someone is asking me where else they should call. I know they don't want it to be automatic, they want it manual. They walk around with a big notebook all the time. I have no idea why they think this is good in a place where there are 30 other B&B's and guests will just move on.
If they don't want it to be automatic then they should do something like Availability and manually update the calendar as each reservation comes in which is what I do. That way, if you want to recommend them, you just go online like to mine here at
http://www.availabilityonline.com/availtable.php?un=egoodell
You can see the room availabilty as those that do not have an X.
The only difference with me and real time is that you dont' get your confirmation when you book, you get a copy of your reservation request stating that it is only a request and the confirmation will be coming. I check several times a day so usually the calendar is updated within hours of the reservation.
Only once in a blue moon do I get two reservations at the same time for a room. I confirm whoever books first and tell the other the system is not real time and the room was just booked before their request was submitted. Hardly ever happens.
All this reminds me that I have to mark off the new rooms until they are ready - opps will do that right now!
RIki
.
The difference is they have 7 rooms. I could have a traveler on the phone asking and it LOOKS like they have one room open but it was booked yesterday and they didn't update the online portion.
My booking system takes the room out of inventory as soon as a guest books it. Even if it's another 12 hours before I even know I have a rez for that room. Next guest at 2 AM has 1 less room to pick from. No worries. I could decline the rez 12 hours later and the rooms would go back into inventory at that time, but at least that next 2 AM guest booking is for a room that is really open.
.
That is why I like ReservationKey. It is real time and even though with mine I have to confirm it or deny, it is out of inventory until I do.
 
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