Booking Engines

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Greetings everyone. We just discovered Innspiring this morning while searching "booking engine reviews". I do hope that this forum can give us some direction. Our 20-room inn (small independent boutique hotel actually) has used RoomMaster 2000 since 2001. Local server PC. No online reservations - just toll-free call ins. Well, times have changed. We got called from several marketing companies and have used Buuteeq for several months to "test the waters" of website updating and an online booking engine (albeit manually managed for now). My bottom line question - with the numerous engines now out there, how is a property to figure out the best ROI/effectiveness of these? We're reviewing RezKey, RezNexus, and InnKeepers Advantage. We have 11 years worth a guest data embedded in RoomMaster. We cannot lose this data in the switchover. Seems like figuring out which way to go is as bad as buying a new car or going into an ice cream parlor featuring 150 flavors.
We are planning to move our website to 1and1 shortly since we are not convinced that reservation increases are impacted by supposed razzle-dazzle back-end "digital marketing" as much as they are by well-crafted images/content, a mobile app, and ease of online booking.
What's important to us? Ease of use, being able to see names of incoming guests on a grid, applying discount rates at will, marketing capability for follow-up/special promos/newsletter etc. Certainly cost is important too, but several hundred dollars per MONTH is a tough pill to swallow and any outcomes offered to "prove" the "digital marketing" benefits are still spurious at best given the freebie analytics out there.
So - who uses what booking engine, why, and what are the booking engines perceived to be less robust or desirable nowadays?
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,487
Reaction score
31
RezKey is the greatest with the best ROI. I do not think any of them integrate old data. From what I have heard, if you can convert your data to a spreadsheet, that is the way to do it to retain the info. Good luck and Welcome.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
I also do not think any of them transfer your data out in order for you to go elsewhere. Nor do I think the new company will transfer your data in if you have it laid out in a database. It's one reason I haven't switched after 8 years.
It is hard to figure out as I haven't seen a chart showing what each company provides and what they charge for it.
Given what you have as your 'must haves' I think RezKey offers all of that. (Not sure about the incoming guest names in a grid, someone else will have to chime in on that.)
When you finally decide, let us know how you came to the conclusion. It will help others who are in the same bind. (Me!)
If you're a PAII member, see if someone has done a study and has the info available on the PAII site. It would be an interesting project for a state association to hand off to a summer intern, too!
 

OnTheShore

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
1,274
Reaction score
3
RezKey will transfer your old data if YOU can get into the format they need -- see http://v2.reservationkey.com/p/faq/?s=33
Yes, guest names are shown on the availability grid (the backend that you see).
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
Moved from Web ervations to ResKey and it is the BEST thing going, IMHO. As Harbor mentioned they can add your data as long as it is placed in the right format (see link on their post).
You will be VERY happy having online reservations!!!
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Take a look at RES KEY. I thing they will suit all your needs. I don't know who is hosting your site now, but make sure you have support for moving it to the new hosting company. If you don't know what you are doing..you will need help.
 

Madeleine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
7,990
Reaction score
0
RezKey will transfer your old data if YOU can get into the format they need -- see http://v2.reservationkey.com/p/faq/?s=33
Yes, guest names are shown on the availability grid (the backend that you see)..
Thanks for that info. It was losing the guest data that was making me hesitate.
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service
 

OnTheShore

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
1,274
Reaction score
3
Actually, ResKey will import old reservation data not just guest data, again as long as you can format the data appropriately, see http://v2.reservationkey.com/p/faq/?s=32
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Welcome. You are from my neck of the woods. I used to live in London OH. I don't remember your place. If you are only 5 min. from Clifton Mill...oh I do miss that place!
So it must be fairly new. You are hotel right ...not a B & B? But Res Key would still work for you I am sure. You are spending way more than you need to with current bu tq .
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,487
Reaction score
31
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service.
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
 

Proud Texan

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
2,685
Reaction score
0
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service.
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
.
gillumhouse said:
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
The subject is online reservation booking engines, not web hosting companies.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,487
Reaction score
31
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service.
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
.
gillumhouse said:
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
The subject is online reservation booking engines, not web hosting companies.
.
It was in response to Cambs weebly being similar to 1and1 that I mentioned that I use it and the cost.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service.
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
.
gillumhouse said:
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
The subject is online reservation booking engines, not web hosting companies.
.
It was in response to Cambs weebly being similar to 1and1 that I mentioned that I use it and the cost.
.
Well I will add to the sidetrack. This from a programmer support geek I know well who was commenting to someone about the slowness of their site loading.
"Blue ....host, 1+.....1, Go.....Da....ddy, all these types of hosts are cheap for a reason - they bundle a huge amount of sites on an ip and server - my guess is that you have a 1/15000th share of the server resources. On one occasion after a user was complaining about the speed of their site, we went and analyzed how many sites were on the server at their host - 17459! Unbelievable!"
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,487
Reaction score
31
I would also look at weebly for your web site - it is virtually identicle to 1and1 but is a google product and you know how they like it when you play with their toys - costs us about $80 a year for the pro service.
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
.
gillumhouse said:
1and1 is my hosting company - it costs me about $60 per year.
The subject is online reservation booking engines, not web hosting companies.
.
It was in response to Cambs weebly being similar to 1and1 that I mentioned that I use it and the cost.
.
Well I will add to the sidetrack. This from a programmer support geek I know well who was commenting to someone about the slowness of their site loading.
"Blue ....host, 1+.....1, Go.....Da....ddy, all these types of hosts are cheap for a reason - they bundle a huge amount of sites on an ip and server - my guess is that you have a 1/15000th share of the server resources. On one occasion after a user was complaining about the speed of their site, we went and analyzed how many sites were on the server at their host - 17459! Unbelievable!"
.
Guilty as charged. If I have to settle for a little slow to save a lot of bucks - I will. I do appreciate (and I do mean truly) the explanation of why it is sometimes slow. No complaints from now on. Got the quote on the roof - gazebo went into some day and the roof is going to be a scramble.
Heads up to newbies - THIS is why we say have a cushion and then double it. I took a roofer at his word when I went for a loan - and now his lowball matches my back account but not the quote from someone who is actually answering my phone calls.
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the input thus far, everyone. Keep it coming. I am at this point going to hold onto my 1and1 web host plan as my transitional BU TQ website has been virtually "cloned" in content - and almost in appearance. We are a small country inn, designed and built in 2001. We have that B&B "feel" coupled with standard hotel amenities.
I really want to get this booking engine decision finalized this week. We need the capability to integrate our GIFT SHOP into the mix. This is both for online purchases as well as for off-the-street sales. Right now we have a "Desk Folio" capability in our system which enables us to track various account/vendor sales (consignments). So....the booking engine we choose needs to have a decent property management component to account for the Gift Shop and our "Direct Billing" business accounts. Marketing capability is a nice add-on, bit this can be added using a Constant Contact type of service. I do prefer seamless marketing integration however. Keep the thoughts coming. If possible, you can send any specific recommendations...or caveats....to me off-forum. Forums have a bit of a limitation balancing free-speech with propriety..... :)
 

Hillbilly

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
926
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the input thus far, everyone. Keep it coming. I am at this point going to hold onto my 1and1 web host plan as my transitional BU TQ website has been virtually "cloned" in content - and almost in appearance. We are a small country inn, designed and built in 2001. We have that B&B "feel" coupled with standard hotel amenities.
I really want to get this booking engine decision finalized this week. We need the capability to integrate our GIFT SHOP into the mix. This is both for online purchases as well as for off-the-street sales. Right now we have a "Desk Folio" capability in our system which enables us to track various account/vendor sales (consignments). So....the booking engine we choose needs to have a decent property management component to account for the Gift Shop and our "Direct Billing" business accounts. Marketing capability is a nice add-on, bit this can be added using a Constant Contact type of service. I do prefer seamless marketing integration however. Keep the thoughts coming. If possible, you can send any specific recommendations...or caveats....to me off-forum. Forums have a bit of a limitation balancing free-speech with propriety..... :).
Hello and welcome! I would call John at res key. If you have something you really need in your booking software he will probably just build it. He is the best in the industry for listening to his customers and building what they need. He also has 7 day a week customer service. He is a really nice guy to talk to and will listen to what you have to say.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Thanks for the input thus far, everyone. Keep it coming. I am at this point going to hold onto my 1and1 web host plan as my transitional BU TQ website has been virtually "cloned" in content - and almost in appearance. We are a small country inn, designed and built in 2001. We have that B&B "feel" coupled with standard hotel amenities.
I really want to get this booking engine decision finalized this week. We need the capability to integrate our GIFT SHOP into the mix. This is both for online purchases as well as for off-the-street sales. Right now we have a "Desk Folio" capability in our system which enables us to track various account/vendor sales (consignments). So....the booking engine we choose needs to have a decent property management component to account for the Gift Shop and our "Direct Billing" business accounts. Marketing capability is a nice add-on, bit this can be added using a Constant Contact type of service. I do prefer seamless marketing integration however. Keep the thoughts coming. If possible, you can send any specific recommendations...or caveats....to me off-forum. Forums have a bit of a limitation balancing free-speech with propriety..... :).
Hello and welcome! I would call John at res key. If you have something you really need in your booking software he will probably just build it. He is the best in the industry for listening to his customers and building what they need. He also has 7 day a week customer service. He is a really nice guy to talk to and will listen to what you have to say.
.
The personal touch in customer service counts for so much!!!!
 

Buckeye

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2013
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
No decisions yet here on our selecting a booking engine. (BTW, Empty Nest - we are an independent country inn, built in 2001, so if you lived around these parts prior to that (you said London, OH), that might explain why you don't recall us (?).
We we aren't an actual "B&B" - we're sort of a hybrid inn. For the first 10 years our website operated on a first-gen HTML platform that I created in 2000 (yeah....I remember that "new millennium" stuff like it was last year....time sure flies....). Goo gle was embrionic. SEO was neanderthal compared to today. So, back in Nov of 2012 when we were cold called by BUT TEEQ with a no-obligation offer, then month-to-month after that, I went for it...just to see.
We have used their manually-managed booking engine for the last 3 months. It's certainly nice seeing reservations come in that way - but alas we DO miss the phone calls (Except for those 2am ones.....).
I am in process of shooting new photos (as soon a spring REALLY arrives and landscaping needs are finished off).
Anyway, our BUT TEEQ-hosted site is here
My newly-created 1&1 mirror sight is here (A WHOLE lot cheaper than BUT TEEQ)
It's the new site that will get the booking engine, then the site will become the primary with the other one a redirect.
Any comments on our new website will be appreciated! I have no designer to argue with.....it's me.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
No decisions yet here on our selecting a booking engine. (BTW, Empty Nest - we are an independent country inn, built in 2001, so if you lived around these parts prior to that (you said London, OH), that might explain why you don't recall us (?).
We we aren't an actual "B&B" - we're sort of a hybrid inn. For the first 10 years our website operated on a first-gen HTML platform that I created in 2000 (yeah....I remember that "new millennium" stuff like it was last year....time sure flies....). Goo gle was embrionic. SEO was neanderthal compared to today. So, back in Nov of 2012 when we were cold called by BUT TEEQ with a no-obligation offer, then month-to-month after that, I went for it...just to see.
We have used their manually-managed booking engine for the last 3 months. It's certainly nice seeing reservations come in that way - but alas we DO miss the phone calls (Except for those 2am ones.....).
I am in process of shooting new photos (as soon a spring REALLY arrives and landscaping needs are finished off).
Anyway, our BUT TEEQ-hosted site is here
My newly-created 1&1 mirror sight is here (A WHOLE lot cheaper than BUT TEEQ)
It's the new site that will get the booking engine, then the site will become the primary with the other one a redirect.
Any comments on our new website will be appreciated! I have no designer to argue with.....it's me..
Hey Heartstone!
A few comments.
I just clicked your new page and saw your header doesn't fit your page? That is a big #1.
Also bold AND italicize? One of the other.
Your home page has alot of text, and it is very small. I don't wear glasses and it is too small for me.
I love all your sites of interest and things to see and do, well done!
You will get flack from Anthony on Hotel Impossible for the floral bedspreads, I wouldn't want a huge photo of the rooms if you use those, if you ever consider duvets, it would be an inncredible improvement!
 
Top