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Do you bother to refer guests to other inns?

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Do you bother to refer guests to other inns when you know there is nothing in it for you and they are not willing to stay with you for whatever reason (and you have rooms available)?
 

Copperhead

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I do sometimes, depends on the 'reason' they won't stay with me. If I am too far away from where they need to be, then yes. If they have a pet, then yes. If they want a jet tub for 2 in their room, then NO. I have a hot tub in a secluded spot on the property, if that does not do it for them, they are on their own.
 

Morticia

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JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Do you bother to refer guests to other inns when you know there is nothing in it for you and they are not willing to stay with you for whatever reason (and you have rooms available)?
All the time, even if the reason they don't want to stay here is price or some other thing I'm not willing to change. And there's always something in it for me, even if they don't tell the other place where they got the referral. It's 'reservation karma'.
 

happykeeper

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This is a great Question.
For us, it goes back to the philosophy we started with. We were determined to build a collaborative business relationship with anyone we could, including other bed and breakfasts. We got off to a slow start, because the nearest property was not doing very well and getting bad reviews. So we started putting it out there to the universe that we wanted some other properties in the area that we could refer to and that we wanted to build some partnerships within a fragmented B&B association.
It's been about a year since we stated down that path and we now have four partner inns that we do around the island packages with (which is quite popular) and we have a couple of other partnerships in the works. We have developed some partnerships which have allowed us to barter or exchange, some that have given us mutually beneficial exposure, and some that give everyone involved the potential to be display their niche.
Quite honestly, we can't imagine having to compete with these inns. Instead we all work to highlight what we do best and readily encourage guests to consider our partners if our geographics or style doesn't work for them. With everyone doing the same (we are very grateful for the many referrals we get from other inns) it works well for all.
Lastly, we now have an inn near us that has joined our association and a ranch that rents cottages that we can readily refer guests to if they have different needs or budgets. It's a great feeeling to know that we are helping someone in our community.
In the end, we have a lot less stress collaborating than we would competing, and our business has improved in every way. Now we get our perfect guests and our partners get theirs.
Whew!
 

gillumhouse

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I always have and hope I always will. I have been known to spend 10 minutes or morte giving phone numbers and names of other MABB members when I could not for some reason take them - or if I found what they wanted (or where) was closer to another inn. I have several inn-to-inn packages available and will partner with anyone that has somethng to partner with.
I frequently look up (since I can never remember it) the number of the local motel that workers in the area need - did it this morning even for an electrician working on our new hospital. They have construction worker rates. It is my hope that being helpful will eventually come back as special occaision business. Even if it does not, I feel better about it personally. There is a new B & B across the mountain from me and I often tell people about her place because she is different from what I have. And I figure if they do not really want to stay with me, I really do not want them.
 

NW BB

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Because the other B&Bs in our area don't have the amenities we have (double jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces), I refer them to our state association's website. That way, they can choose for themselves and I don't play favorites, yet I'm supporting our association inns.
 

EmptyNest

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I referred to my friends and to those who referred to me. THat is it. I feel no need to help those who never helped me.
 

egoodell

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Yes we do. And I can only assume the others do, I don't know.
There are two reasons I do - we are in the higher price range and I don't want to push people who don't have the budget for our rooms to book. Like Bree says I beleive in "booking karma"
Then again, we are in a heavily traveled area so it's easier for us to fill our rooms.
Also, there is another marketing reason - they often want to book our wine tours, so if they can't afford our suite and wine tour package, I want to get them booked in town in a nice affordable place filling what their needs are, and booking my wine tour.
In sales I always try to sell to the need. I believe it comes back to us in good referrals.
Riki
 

The Tipsy Butler

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All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure..
The Tipsy Butler said:
All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure.
See that is the issue right there for me. Not having many B&B's in this area - I mean I am actually directing people outside this immediate area if I offer another B&B, then I get the list of questions about THAT B&B, and...lastly I cannot recommend a place where I would not stay. There are a couple B&B's that are lovely in the mountains with min stays and very 'out there' it is not what someone is looking for when they call here. Long dark winding roads for 30 minutes to reach these places. Although I think they are great B&B's.
Another place has a horrific website and no online rez system - you email your dates then are contacted to pay fully in advance via paypal. I do not condone that sort of innkeeping. Sounds odd, but it puts me off.
 

Samster

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I do because we have several other B&Bs here that were here long before we opened. They're a different experience though, as we are smaller & owner operated totally. We're all just a bit different. I'm trying to carve out a niche here as a "traditional" B&B with more service, amenities, and attention to the small things that people might be looking for.
 

greyswan

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I'm happy to give names of the other inns in the area hoping that they are doing the same for me. I can't be all things to all people.
 

happyjacks

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Absolutely. I try to refer them first to B&B's in my association, then B&B's in the general area, then other accommodations (even hotels/motels) in the area. I want to keep them coming to this region, even if they can't stay with me, because if they like it they'll be back or refer their friends. And they'll spend their money here supporting my local economy. A high tide rises all boats, as they say. Plus, I'm another firm believer in 'reservation karma'. :)
 

Morticia

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All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure..
The Tipsy Butler said:
All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure.
See that is the issue right there for me. Not having many B&B's in this area - I mean I am actually directing people outside this immediate area if I offer another B&B, then I get the list of questions about THAT B&B, and...lastly I cannot recommend a place where I would not stay. There are a couple B&B's that are lovely in the mountains with min stays and very 'out there' it is not what someone is looking for when they call here. Long dark winding roads for 30 minutes to reach these places. Although I think they are great B&B's.
Another place has a horrific website and no online rez system - you email your dates then are contacted to pay fully in advance via paypal. I do not condone that sort of innkeeping. Sounds odd, but it puts me off.
.
In cases where guests start to grill me about the places I am suggesting ('Would YOU stay there?' Why do they have rooms if you don't?' etc) I refer the guests to TA for reviews. Many guest will ask me WHERE the B&B is located and I'll tell them how far it is from the center of town.
I see your problem in that there are no other really local B&B's and I have 10 other places to refer to.
But I also refer to places in different states if guests let it be known they are doing the New England circuit. I also keep the B&B guide by the phone and will give callers the phone numbers of places listed in there with the caveat that I know nothing about them but they are listed in the state guide.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure..
The Tipsy Butler said:
All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure.
See that is the issue right there for me. Not having many B&B's in this area - I mean I am actually directing people outside this immediate area if I offer another B&B, then I get the list of questions about THAT B&B, and...lastly I cannot recommend a place where I would not stay. There are a couple B&B's that are lovely in the mountains with min stays and very 'out there' it is not what someone is looking for when they call here. Long dark winding roads for 30 minutes to reach these places. Although I think they are great B&B's.
Another place has a horrific website and no online rez system - you email your dates then are contacted to pay fully in advance via paypal. I do not condone that sort of innkeeping. Sounds odd, but it puts me off.
.
In cases where guests start to grill me about the places I am suggesting ('Would YOU stay there?' Why do they have rooms if you don't?' etc) I refer the guests to TA for reviews. Many guest will ask me WHERE the B&B is located and I'll tell them how far it is from the center of town.
I see your problem in that there are no other really local B&B's and I have 10 other places to refer to.
But I also refer to places in different states if guests let it be known they are doing the New England circuit. I also keep the B&B guide by the phone and will give callers the phone numbers of places listed in there with the caveat that I know nothing about them but they are listed in the state guide.
.
Bree said:
In cases where guests start to grill me about the places I am suggesting ('Would YOU stay there?' Why do they have rooms if you don't?' etc) I refer the guests to TA for reviews. Many guest will ask me WHERE the B&B is located and I'll tell them how far it is from the center of town.
I see your problem in that there are no other really local B&B's and I have 10 other places to refer to.
But I also refer to places in different states if guests let it be known they are doing the New England circuit. I also keep the B&B guide by the phone and will give callers the phone numbers of places listed in there with the caveat that I know nothing about them but they are listed in the state guide.
I refer to ALL OF YOUS all the time! If conversation leads to your area or even passing through.
Yes, I HATE that question "Would you stay there?" I feel like a trapped animal on that one.
 

Samster

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All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure..
The Tipsy Butler said:
All the time and without hesitation. The missing word is "recommendation". We always say that the beauty of B&Bs is that they are all different and being able to recommend other places is a real pleasure.
See that is the issue right there for me. Not having many B&B's in this area - I mean I am actually directing people outside this immediate area if I offer another B&B, then I get the list of questions about THAT B&B, and...lastly I cannot recommend a place where I would not stay. There are a couple B&B's that are lovely in the mountains with min stays and very 'out there' it is not what someone is looking for when they call here. Long dark winding roads for 30 minutes to reach these places. Although I think they are great B&B's.
Another place has a horrific website and no online rez system - you email your dates then are contacted to pay fully in advance via paypal. I do not condone that sort of innkeeping. Sounds odd, but it puts me off.
.
In cases where guests start to grill me about the places I am suggesting ('Would YOU stay there?' Why do they have rooms if you don't?' etc) I refer the guests to TA for reviews. Many guest will ask me WHERE the B&B is located and I'll tell them how far it is from the center of town.
I see your problem in that there are no other really local B&B's and I have 10 other places to refer to.
But I also refer to places in different states if guests let it be known they are doing the New England circuit. I also keep the B&B guide by the phone and will give callers the phone numbers of places listed in there with the caveat that I know nothing about them but they are listed in the state guide.
.
Bree said:
In cases where guests start to grill me about the places I am suggesting ('Would YOU stay there?' Why do they have rooms if you don't?' etc) I refer the guests to TA for reviews. Many guest will ask me WHERE the B&B is located and I'll tell them how far it is from the center of town.
I see your problem in that there are no other really local B&B's and I have 10 other places to refer to.
But I also refer to places in different states if guests let it be known they are doing the New England circuit. I also keep the B&B guide by the phone and will give callers the phone numbers of places listed in there with the caveat that I know nothing about them but they are listed in the state guide.
I refer to ALL OF YOUS all the time! If conversation leads to your area or even passing through.
Yes, I HATE that question "Would you stay there?" I feel like a trapped animal on that one.
.
I also refer to places that I've stayed as a B&B traveler and some folks here on the forum that I know are awesome!
If I'm just not sure, I'll send them to TA reviews if they ask me about a specific place or area...it's the best I can do. I mean, I haven't traveled everywhere! haha...
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I also recommend that we visit other inns, any and all we can so we can see how others do things.
Some times I read things on this forum and I really cannot picture it, but in person I say AHHHH! I get it now. Innkeepers do things their way for a reason, sometimes there are some really cool ways to do things we have not really thought of yet! But seeing it online makes no sense to me. You all know what I mean. Walking a day in that innkeepers shoes you think, okay, this works well here.
 

Morticia

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I also recommend that we visit other inns, any and all we can so we can see how others do things.
Some times I read things on this forum and I really cannot picture it, but in person I say AHHHH! I get it now. Innkeepers do things their way for a reason, sometimes there are some really cool ways to do things we have not really thought of yet! But seeing it online makes no sense to me. You all know what I mean. Walking a day in that innkeepers shoes you think, okay, this works well here..
And it's also an eyeopener on where we wouldn't send guests at all. I know I've been lucky in my referrals to sites unseen because guests have thanked me and said they had a great time. But, I've booked based on TA reviews and have been stunned to find that the 2 bad reviews (out of 30 total) were the REAL scoop.
 

gillumhouse

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I referred to my friends and to those who referred to me. THat is it. I feel no need to help those who never helped me..
Please do not take this as a slam, not meant to be, just a statement. I never looked at it as helping only those who helped me because I have no way of knowing who helped me. I have gotten help (discovered MUCH later) from sources I would never have thought of.
That is why I try to help all adn the reason I only recommend MABB member B & Bs is that they are the only ones I know about. I they are going to other states, I definitely refer to Forum inns - again because I know about them.
 

egoodell

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I also recommend that we visit other inns, any and all we can so we can see how others do things.
Some times I read things on this forum and I really cannot picture it, but in person I say AHHHH! I get it now. Innkeepers do things their way for a reason, sometimes there are some really cool ways to do things we have not really thought of yet! But seeing it online makes no sense to me. You all know what I mean. Walking a day in that innkeepers shoes you think, okay, this works well here..
And it's also an eyeopener on where we wouldn't send guests at all. I know I've been lucky in my referrals to sites unseen because guests have thanked me and said they had a great time. But, I've booked based on TA reviews and have been stunned to find that the 2 bad reviews (out of 30 total) were the REAL scoop.
.
And I was just reading some glowing evals on a couple of Charlottesville inns on TripAdvisor. One of the reviews stated how they love the inn and that they were visiting from California, where there is nothing as sincere and attentive as the inn they stayed at - and the signature listed the person as being from Charlottesville. I suppose they were so impressed they moved here before they put up the review.....
Riki
 

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