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Hello all!

Who do you use for advertising/obtaining bookings? I'm currently using Expedia and AirBnB, but I'm seeing others starting to come on the market. This is the second time Expedia has messed up my bookings over the 4th of July, so I'm looking for other alternatives.

TIA!

Erin Tawney
 

Morticia

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Are you able to directly link to the booking services through your own reservation software? If so, that might be something to check—see what platforms your reservation software works with.

Something else to get set up on us Google Hotel. When someone does a search your prices will show up just like the hotels with a link back to your reservation software.

Exped routinely overbooks or does not free up your rooms after a cancellation through them. If your reservation software links directly with them it may help with that issue.
 

gillumhouse

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I post on Instagram/FB/Twitter, have my website, have links on my State B & B Association, my City website,, list on a Directory for a few more weeks before I pull the plug on it for lack of production. I have ReservationKey for direct booking on my website and on the Directory site of a B & B group in the UK. I am not going to get screwed over by any OTA and would not touch AIR with a barge pole.
 

MoosewoodInn

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Hello,

We use booking(.com) and I hate it. I’m interested to look in to the other alternatives I’m seeing posted about. Does anyone else here use booking?

We are very new, so we do not get access to certain things like credit card information. This means we cannot enforce our three day cancellation policy, and if a guest doesn’t show up I think we may be SoL! We also don’t always get accurate contact information. Such as incorrect phone numbers.

They also work with their sister site, Agoda. So they could give me Agoda reservations which do not include the guest contact information (lists the address and phone number as Bangkok, the site of their headquarters). But wow, does booking get us a lot of reservations. If we could access credit card information to enforce our 3 day cancellation policy it would feel a lot more comfortable, but you have to get a certain number of reservations and reviews. We started with them in March, and still haven’t qualified despite five great reviews and many successful bookings. Not to mention we pay them commission, and have paid on time each month since utilizing their services.

It has great potential, but is a frustrating process. Sorry if my information is somehow inaccurate, or I am not answering this question properly. I am so new to this! Learning curve :)

- Kelly
 

gillumhouse

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Do you have an online reservation system on your website? There are several excellent ones. I use reservationKey and some here use ThinkReservations. Bookingdotcon is a sewer that will dictate to YOU how to run YOUR business. Work on getting direct bookings.
 

JimBoone

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@MoosewoodInn We use Reservation Key as our online reservation system, reasonable and does all that we need. I feel I'm blessed to have began years ago before OTA's were the "thing". I am a member of several local Chamber of Commerce and our local tourism group. We have ranked decently on Google and TA and I use Trip Connect where we pay for clicks to our website, it is slower, but feel I benefit more by not submitting to the control and paying the high commissions. I look at it like I can do 25% less business and earn the same profit without the hassle. Because of PCI requirements you really do not want to hold/store credit card information. By using Reservation Key and Authorize guests enter their card information, I don't have or hold that information but I have a "token" and can make a charge against the card through Authorize. Feel free to message or email me if desired.
 

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Do a good bit of research. Use the system you may have inherited from the previous owners for a while, but if you quickly decide it's not what you need check them all out before deciding. We inherited a system that I think is no more called RezOvations. We changed to ResNexus, which was a Cadillac of a system and great, but after a couple of years, we realized we were paying for a little more than what we needed. Currently with ThinkReservations and quite happy with them.
 

MoosewoodInn

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Do you have an online reservation system on your website? There are several excellent ones. I use reservationKey and some here use ThinkReservations. Bookingdotcon is a sewer that will dictate to YOU how to run YOUR business. Work on getting direct bookings.
No we do not. We only ever knew about booking and Expedia! I really want to eliminate the control it feels these third party sites have over my policies. My husband and I are probably going to add one of these recommendations to the mix! Thank you so much!
 

Morticia

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No we do not. We only ever knew about booking and Expedia! I really want to eliminate the control it feels these third party sites have over my policies. My husband and I are probably going to add one of these recommendations to the mix! Thank you so much!
Definitely look at getting your own reservation system! You’ll be amazed! Ask questions here, there are a lot of good systems out there that do not cost an arm and a leg. We used ReservationKey. For our size b&b (7 rooms) it was $35/month. There are a few add ons that cost additional, but can connect you with any of the OTA’s if you want them.
 

Momma Smurf

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There is no need to use OTAs now that Google is featuring B&Bs again in their Local box. None. Use Trip Advisor's Trip Connect and good SEO and all of your bookings will come directly to you. No third party taking your dollars or controlling your guests. Reservation Key all the way!
 
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OK, I am an Airbnb member. Had my problems ,to be sure. What are OTA's, doesn't trip advisor require isnstant booking? I like to screen my booking, and since I do all the work in a large space, sometimes there isn't time for back to back bookings. How do you do it?
 

Morticia

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OK, I am an Airbnb member. Had my problems ,to be sure. What are OTA's, doesn't trip advisor require isnstant booking? I like to screen my booking, and since I do all the work in a large space, sometimes there isn't time for back to back bookings. How do you do it?
OTA is Online Travel Agent. To use tripconnect you have to have your own reservation system, not just Airbnb listing.

I think most people on here have between 3 and 20+ rooms they operate everyday. No downtime allowed!😉 However, we all operate how we’re comfortable.
 

gillumhouse

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How do we do it? We hustle our stumps, skip breakfast (and often lunch), start the laundry while we do other things like dishes, cleaning, sleep a little when we can (sometimes 5 hours at a time!). I only have 3 rooms and am not flat out like some here usually - but I have had a run of back-to-back. trips tp the ER with friends who are actually older than me, and the other things I said I would do like Chapel vigil, band ,rehearsal, watering the Community Garden, watering the flower urns in town, city Council meetings. This in the midst of getting guest ready, it was helping to arrange a reschedule of an Independence event - that only required: rescheduling sound system, lighting (for band), about 70 band members, vendors, notifying the Public, cancelling a performance of Twelfth Night on the rescheduled Concert night, AND rescheduling Fireworks. As City Clerk I am part of the team that did that in one day. Another reason I only have 3 rooms - I CAN do it solo (I DO miss my dishwasher, he saved me hours)

It is now 12:20; today I served breakfast, did the checkout stuff, stripped the room, got the sheets & towels in the washer while I watered the Community Garden (2 hours of using 1 gallon jugs and 2 rain barrels), and the sheets are on the clothes line for the 4th day in a row. My hat is off to the rest of you who do this 100 days in a row. I know it is the other stuff that is killing me, but how do you tell a frail woman in her 80s to call the meat wagon to go to ER when she needs someone to hold her hand as much as anything. Going to force myself to say no to any calls from the road for the next 3 days. I am too darn old for this!

Markrose House, this is just to show what we do - I am not the only one who drops everything when there is a need, we all do it, flip rooms, and keep moving. We each do what needs to be done so we can pay for all the wonderful things the Rules & Regs of our cities and States require of us as registered businesses (MUCH higher real estate taxes than as a residence), licensed, inspected, and insured.
 

Momma Smurf

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doesn't trip advisor require isnstant booking?
Do not use Trip Connect Instant Booking. Use their CPC model that links directly to your reservation page so you are in control. My sales from TC are ridiculously high with less than a 1% cost. Plus Trip Connect now shows your pricing and availability in both Google and Bing Local boxes.
 

JimBoone

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OK, I am an Airbnb member. Had my problems ,to be sure. What are OTA's, doesn't trip advisor require isnstant booking? I like to screen my booking, and since I do all the work in a large space, sometimes there isn't time for back to back bookings. How do you do it?
Our Reservation Key software added a feature this year that allows for automatic blocking of up to several days before and after the guest reservation, I find the feature convenient to be sure I have the room ready for the next guest
 

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