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Gingerbread Latte

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I realize in the 'big picture' we are in competition, but how important is it to compare ourselves to them in our marketing? If a potential guest has already googled B&Bs in our area, aren't they already in that mindset? I'm thinking that our web space is so limited and the attention span is so short that it might not be efficient.
Some travelers will never consider B&Bs. Either they don't know what they are, have old misconceptions about the classic myths or just assume they are too expensive to begin with. I will never reach that market because they don't visit my site or give me a chance.
Better way to stay is tackling that, should we attempt it on a small scale? I live in a small town, there are more B&Bs than hotels (not more rooms, just more establishments)
Just wondering!
 

Alibi Ike

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Do you mean using valuable real estate on your site to highlight how you're different/similar? I think it might be easily done with 'complimentary' in front of your list of of amenities. Sometimes you need to hit the guest over the head and actually say, 'these amenities are free here, you will be required to pay for these at the hotel whether you use them or not.'
 

Don Draper

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I wouldn't waste any time comparing yourself to a hotel on your site, but you can use more hotel-type language for your site SEO (lodging, stay, accommodation, even hotel if you want).
 

Joey Camb

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We sell it as we have all the advantages of a hotel and non of the disadvantages plus these things we do for free that you would be charged for otherwise.
The market in the UK is slightly different to the US but we have similar issues to fight against ie "i don't want to share a bathroom, be in by 10, surrounded by doilies, deal with grumpy old ladies with curlers etc" I spend my life educating the public on "the Better Way to Stay!" I work with a trade association who also fights for the same thing. We are called Accommodation Harrogate which covers all our weird and wonderful permutations.
It is part of the HUGE debate about star rating which is raging in the UK at the moment it is a tear between online reviews which give a travelers point of view of what they got and paying a company to come in and say what you have. Due to the wide variation of us all we don't respond to standardisation well. Plus they don't mark you on things like, we are spending £26 thousand pounds on UPVC double glazing to help with heat, sound and long term maintenance we wont get any credit for that.
We also got marked down for not having hooks in some of the bathrooms in case people want to hang up their clothes in the bathroom. I didn't like to say it but I find most guests just chuck all their clothes on the floor.
If they want us to have industry standards they have to be world wide and sensible.
 

Joey Camb

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Also this is a case in point what happened to me yesterday.
Upper middle class lady about 80 walking badly with a stick knocks on my door at 6pm tells me she is booked in next door. (being new you wouldn't know this but I have a dump next door no star hotel called the Azealia feel free to read its trip adviser for your personal entertainment) she was obviously not the right customer for this place. But I know the owner and she will charge without blinking so I called her and she sent a member of staff round to help her. Not sure if they didn't have the reservation but know for certain the intercom to call for assistnce in the lobby was broken. I made sure she had a card as I had a feeling she would be back. She was going to a concert. Any how 10pm door bell rings it was her "please can I stay with you I don't feel safe there as there is no staff (there never is) all the doors are left unlocked etc) I thought she was going to have a heart attack on the step. Got her settled and this morning she called me a treasure and has taken a million cards to give all her friends. Her daughter had booked her in there as it was the nearest hotel to the Royal Hall where she was going. There are 8 nice B&B's she would have been much better off in but her daughter never even considered us. I hope they now know different.
I am not denying it is an uphill struggle but every one person we convert makes a difference as we hope they will spread the word. I just worry about programs such as 3 in a bed as they have a tendancy to make us look like crazy people.
So yes it is a battle and an international one but unless you have met a Yorkshire Person you do not know the definition of Stubborn and I for one will fight it to the bitter end. Don't get me wrong some days I do want to tear my hair out but I figure to a certain extent on the strength of our collective personalities we may lure members of the public into taking that first chance which will change their view of accommodation providers for ever it just takes one small step.
For example we had big hotel fire last May which meant all their guests had to be relocated which meant as it was a really busy conference time they had to take what they could get and we made a lot of converts of people who would not have gone B&B before (not that I suggest we set any hotels on fire I might add though it may cross some of our minds from time to time). Hearts and minds people, hearts and minds!
 

Breakfast Diva

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I wouldn't waste any time comparing yourself to a hotel on your site, but you can use more hotel-type language for your site SEO (lodging, stay, accommodation, even hotel if you want)..
Don Draper said:
I wouldn't waste any time comparing yourself to a hotel on your site, but you can use more hotel-type language for your site SEO (lodging, stay, accommodation, even hotel if you want).
I agree...we have a significant amount of seo focusing on hotel/accommodations/lodging. Our attempt has been to capture those looking for a hotel and don't automatically do searches for b&b, but they've considered a b&b before. We've been pretty successful at it, but it does mean we get more first timers who arrive looking like deer in the headlights. I always try to ask on check-in if they've ever stayed at a b&b before so I can alleviate any misconceptions they have.
 

Alibi Ike

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We sell it as we have all the advantages of a hotel and non of the disadvantages plus these things we do for free that you would be charged for otherwise.
The market in the UK is slightly different to the US but we have similar issues to fight against ie "i don't want to share a bathroom, be in by 10, surrounded by doilies, deal with grumpy old ladies with curlers etc" I spend my life educating the public on "the Better Way to Stay!" I work with a trade association who also fights for the same thing. We are called Accommodation Harrogate which covers all our weird and wonderful permutations.
It is part of the HUGE debate about star rating which is raging in the UK at the moment it is a tear between online reviews which give a travelers point of view of what they got and paying a company to come in and say what you have. Due to the wide variation of us all we don't respond to standardisation well. Plus they don't mark you on things like, we are spending £26 thousand pounds on UPVC double glazing to help with heat, sound and long term maintenance we wont get any credit for that.
We also got marked down for not having hooks in some of the bathrooms in case people want to hang up their clothes in the bathroom. I didn't like to say it but I find most guests just chuck all their clothes on the floor.
If they want us to have industry standards they have to be world wide and sensible..
I'm surprised that the windows that deaden the street sound wouldn't give you + in the ratings. That's a big deal. It's a question we get asked quite a lot- about the noise. But, I don't think it is a tick box for the inspector here, either. However, I would point it out to her anyway!
 

bbinnsitters

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Also this is a case in point what happened to me yesterday.
Upper middle class lady about 80 walking badly with a stick knocks on my door at 6pm tells me she is booked in next door. (being new you wouldn't know this but I have a dump next door no star hotel called the Azealia feel free to read its trip adviser for your personal entertainment) she was obviously not the right customer for this place. But I know the owner and she will charge without blinking so I called her and she sent a member of staff round to help her. Not sure if they didn't have the reservation but know for certain the intercom to call for assistnce in the lobby was broken. I made sure she had a card as I had a feeling she would be back. She was going to a concert. Any how 10pm door bell rings it was her "please can I stay with you I don't feel safe there as there is no staff (there never is) all the doors are left unlocked etc) I thought she was going to have a heart attack on the step. Got her settled and this morning she called me a treasure and has taken a million cards to give all her friends. Her daughter had booked her in there as it was the nearest hotel to the Royal Hall where she was going. There are 8 nice B&B's she would have been much better off in but her daughter never even considered us. I hope they now know different.
I am not denying it is an uphill struggle but every one person we convert makes a difference as we hope they will spread the word. I just worry about programs such as 3 in a bed as they have a tendancy to make us look like crazy people.
So yes it is a battle and an international one but unless you have met a Yorkshire Person you do not know the definition of Stubborn and I for one will fight it to the bitter end. Don't get me wrong some days I do want to tear my hair out but I figure to a certain extent on the strength of our collective personalities we may lure members of the public into taking that first chance which will change their view of accommodation providers for ever it just takes one small step.
For example we had big hotel fire last May which meant all their guests had to be relocated which meant as it was a really busy conference time they had to take what they could get and we made a lot of converts of people who would not have gone B&B before (not that I suggest we set any hotels on fire I might add though it may cross some of our minds from time to time). Hearts and minds people, hearts and minds!.
Camberley, I love reading your posts-you always have fun stories! I am so glad you took care of that little woman. One guest at a time I guess!
 

Joey Camb

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It's cos i live in a loony bin! didn't tell you the next part of the story! the owner then popped round this morning to tell me "that woman disappeared in the night you know!" and Ive got her sat in the lounge! so Im torn two ways saying "gosh oh dear!" or telling the truth! told the truth but softened it a bit just said she was frightened there on her own with the phone not working and I was worried she was going to have a heart attack on the step! which is true.
 

Joey Camb

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Also (I am on my soap box today) why should we have to sort of pretend to be hotels? why can we not be proud of what we are and people should get that!! grrr i myself run my marketing in a combination of B&B/Guest House/Guest Accommodation/small hotel hybrid in order to cover all the bases.
My complaint is we should all be respected for exactly what we are!!!
 

Alibi Ike

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Oh yeah, the curlers was a good one!
 

JBloggs

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We sell it as we have all the advantages of a hotel and non of the disadvantages plus these things we do for free that you would be charged for otherwise.
The market in the UK is slightly different to the US but we have similar issues to fight against ie "i don't want to share a bathroom, be in by 10, surrounded by doilies, deal with grumpy old ladies with curlers etc" I spend my life educating the public on "the Better Way to Stay!" I work with a trade association who also fights for the same thing. We are called Accommodation Harrogate which covers all our weird and wonderful permutations.
It is part of the HUGE debate about star rating which is raging in the UK at the moment it is a tear between online reviews which give a travelers point of view of what they got and paying a company to come in and say what you have. Due to the wide variation of us all we don't respond to standardisation well. Plus they don't mark you on things like, we are spending £26 thousand pounds on UPVC double glazing to help with heat, sound and long term maintenance we wont get any credit for that.
We also got marked down for not having hooks in some of the bathrooms in case people want to hang up their clothes in the bathroom. I didn't like to say it but I find most guests just chuck all their clothes on the floor.
If they want us to have industry standards they have to be world wide and sensible..
Cambs may I quote you? You gave me a great visual on the curlers.
Permission has been granted.
Here is the article on this subject. Please, as always spread the love around...Facebook, twitter, forums, etc. GRACIAS.
http://innteractiveinns.blogspot.com/
 

Gingerbread Latte

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I guess it's like anything else that has evolved over time. The old ideas/myths are out there & people don't take the time to update their thinking.
Do you think marketing yourself as an INN with complementary breakfast would make a difference. Same thing, different name, perception is reality.
 

Joey Camb

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Perhapse but we don't have the Bed & Breakfast Inn concept here like in the US the only thing similar would be a pub with accommodation (ie from the old coaching inn's) there are quite a few of these in existance and a lot of them are very nice but they do tend to be more in a rural setting.
How it tends to be in accommodation in the UK is
B&B - small more like the US homestay usually 6 rooms or less.
Guest House - more than 6 but as big as you like run by a family but on a more professional basis than B&B and usually has staff as well to help. May have a alcohol liscense and may serve evening meals
Small Hotel - up to 20 bedrooms but must have an alcohol liscence and a restaurant and 24 hour reception
Large hotel - all of the above but bigger
Budget hotel - they can't have stars but provide all the basics and are clean (ie Travel Lodge, Travel INN, Premier INN etc)
Guest Accommodation - pretty much anything if you don't want to call yourself any of the above.
restaurant with accommodation - self explanitory
Pub with accommodation - etc
Self Catering - like a holiday rental has its own kitchen and everything except food is not provided. can be flats, cottages, houses.
Farm stay - B&B on a farm.
Confused you will be. Then on top of this there is star rating 1-5 for each type and they change what you need to have for each type ie you can be 5 star B&B which is very different from 5 Star hotel we have a nightmare with 4 star guest accommodation not being anything like 4 star hotel. My friend has a small hotel but cannot achieve more than 3 star hotel but could be 4 star guest accommodation without changing anything and it would sound better.
Bedlum (which is up the road from here ironically) you bet ya.
 

Alibi Ike

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I guess it's like anything else that has evolved over time. The old ideas/myths are out there & people don't take the time to update their thinking.
Do you think marketing yourself as an INN with complementary breakfast would make a difference. Same thing, different name, perception is reality..
Gingerbread Latte said:
I guess it's like anything else that has evolved over time. The old ideas/myths are out there & people don't take the time to update their thinking.
Do you think marketing yourself as an INN with complementary breakfast would make a difference. Same thing, different name, perception is reality.
'Inn' implies more than breakfast. Usually, inns do a dinner as well. However, Bed & Breakfast Inn might work.
 

gillumhouse

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We sell it as we have all the advantages of a hotel and non of the disadvantages plus these things we do for free that you would be charged for otherwise.
The market in the UK is slightly different to the US but we have similar issues to fight against ie "i don't want to share a bathroom, be in by 10, surrounded by doilies, deal with grumpy old ladies with curlers etc" I spend my life educating the public on "the Better Way to Stay!" I work with a trade association who also fights for the same thing. We are called Accommodation Harrogate which covers all our weird and wonderful permutations.
It is part of the HUGE debate about star rating which is raging in the UK at the moment it is a tear between online reviews which give a travelers point of view of what they got and paying a company to come in and say what you have. Due to the wide variation of us all we don't respond to standardisation well. Plus they don't mark you on things like, we are spending £26 thousand pounds on UPVC double glazing to help with heat, sound and long term maintenance we wont get any credit for that.
We also got marked down for not having hooks in some of the bathrooms in case people want to hang up their clothes in the bathroom. I didn't like to say it but I find most guests just chuck all their clothes on the floor.
If they want us to have industry standards they have to be world wide and sensible..
Cambs may I quote you? You gave me a great visual on the curlers.
Permission has been granted.
Here is the article on this subject. Please, as always spread the love around...Facebook, twitter, forums, etc. GRACIAS.
http://innteractiveinns.blogspot.com/
.
Very Nice as always, JB!!
 

Samster

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Also this is a case in point what happened to me yesterday.
Upper middle class lady about 80 walking badly with a stick knocks on my door at 6pm tells me she is booked in next door. (being new you wouldn't know this but I have a dump next door no star hotel called the Azealia feel free to read its trip adviser for your personal entertainment) she was obviously not the right customer for this place. But I know the owner and she will charge without blinking so I called her and she sent a member of staff round to help her. Not sure if they didn't have the reservation but know for certain the intercom to call for assistnce in the lobby was broken. I made sure she had a card as I had a feeling she would be back. She was going to a concert. Any how 10pm door bell rings it was her "please can I stay with you I don't feel safe there as there is no staff (there never is) all the doors are left unlocked etc) I thought she was going to have a heart attack on the step. Got her settled and this morning she called me a treasure and has taken a million cards to give all her friends. Her daughter had booked her in there as it was the nearest hotel to the Royal Hall where she was going. There are 8 nice B&B's she would have been much better off in but her daughter never even considered us. I hope they now know different.
I am not denying it is an uphill struggle but every one person we convert makes a difference as we hope they will spread the word. I just worry about programs such as 3 in a bed as they have a tendancy to make us look like crazy people.
So yes it is a battle and an international one but unless you have met a Yorkshire Person you do not know the definition of Stubborn and I for one will fight it to the bitter end. Don't get me wrong some days I do want to tear my hair out but I figure to a certain extent on the strength of our collective personalities we may lure members of the public into taking that first chance which will change their view of accommodation providers for ever it just takes one small step.
For example we had big hotel fire last May which meant all their guests had to be relocated which meant as it was a really busy conference time they had to take what they could get and we made a lot of converts of people who would not have gone B&B before (not that I suggest we set any hotels on fire I might add though it may cross some of our minds from time to time). Hearts and minds people, hearts and minds!.
"....unless you have met a Yorkshire Person you do not know the definition of Stubborn..." I had to chuckle when I read this in your post because I had a gentleman that I met at the farmers' market in York tell me this exact thing! Yorkshire people are lovely!
 

Samster

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I think that to be successful in many markets, B&Bs can't ignore that a guest may have a lot of lodging options to choose from. Copperhead brings up really good advice about marketing to folks that might not have considered a B&B as an alternative to hotels. You have to be aware of other price points and what they're offering in terms of amenities. How does what you have to offer fit in?
Attracting business guests is one of the ways that you can focus marketing. There are lots of business guests that aren't aware of just how much of a "better way to stay" is offered at B&Bs. There are still some myths to be busted there.
I just discovered that a B&B that I absolutely love has raised their prices to the point that I just can't stay there anymore and it looks like they've cut back on some of their amenities. Makes me sad.....
 
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