Lemonade innkeepers in a lemon economy

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wendydk

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By the ever-wise Sandy Soule
Recent BedandBreakfast.com surveys are making it clear that while some innkeepers are having a hard time, others are breaking records for occupancy and revenue. In the worst recession in decades, what are the “lemonade” innkeepers doing right? Here are some ideas to consider:
I especially like the part about online reviews...and know for a fact that it's all true.
 

Skamokawa

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Thanks for posting this. Good reminders to market all the 'free' stuff we offer.

-KathleenM
 

JBloggs

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I wanted to discuss the free stuff. I saw the example, and when I see that on a website my mind says "state the obvious" or STRETCH IT BABY! Like they are trying to post every single thing they have down to the light sockets. Do you ever get that feeling? Should we not have some surprises, or things that are just part of the inn or experience without marketing it? I know it is about trying to improve revenues. Just wonderin...
 

happykeeper

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I wanted to discuss the free stuff. I saw the example, and when I see that on a website my mind says "state the obvious" or STRETCH IT BABY! Like they are trying to post every single thing they have down to the light sockets. Do you ever get that feeling? Should we not have some surprises, or things that are just part of the inn or experience without marketing it? I know it is about trying to improve revenues. Just wonderin....
If your light sockets are special, turn `em on!
 

Samster

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I wanted to discuss the free stuff. I saw the example, and when I see that on a website my mind says "state the obvious" or STRETCH IT BABY! Like they are trying to post every single thing they have down to the light sockets. Do you ever get that feeling? Should we not have some surprises, or things that are just part of the inn or experience without marketing it? I know it is about trying to improve revenues. Just wonderin....
I have to say that when I see the super long list of "freebies" that includes things that should be found in any nicer lodging property, it is a turn off to me. Is that what you mean? I mean, all places should have nice towels and Kleenex, right? :)
 

happykeeper

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I wanted to discuss the free stuff. I saw the example, and when I see that on a website my mind says "state the obvious" or STRETCH IT BABY! Like they are trying to post every single thing they have down to the light sockets. Do you ever get that feeling? Should we not have some surprises, or things that are just part of the inn or experience without marketing it? I know it is about trying to improve revenues. Just wonderin....
I have to say that when I see the super long list of "freebies" that includes things that should be found in any nicer lodging property, it is a turn off to me. Is that what you mean? I mean, all places should have nice towels and Kleenex, right? :)
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Free TP? Free Sheets? Too funny - but not quite what I meant.

 

happykeeper

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I wanted to discuss the free stuff. I saw the example, and when I see that on a website my mind says "state the obvious" or STRETCH IT BABY! Like they are trying to post every single thing they have down to the light sockets. Do you ever get that feeling? Should we not have some surprises, or things that are just part of the inn or experience without marketing it? I know it is about trying to improve revenues. Just wonderin....
I have to say that when I see the super long list of "freebies" that includes things that should be found in any nicer lodging property, it is a turn off to me. Is that what you mean? I mean, all places should have nice towels and Kleenex, right? :)
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I would suggest- and this is my crazy little notion- that bed and breakfasts have a serious risk factor for many many people. The fear of the unknown keeps many of them in resorts and hotels that they don't really think are all that great- but they ARE a known factor. if you stayed at one, you stayed at `em all. That is how they get people to book with them. That is how they have built their entire business model- uniformity.
So, while some people may get turned off by a list of what is included- NOT WHAT IS FREE- the majority absolutely want to know and need to know what they are getting before they will book. Why else would pictures be SOOO important. A list of services and amenities can reassure guests that you include things in the price that they want or would expect. By itself it may be of limited value, but don't think that after they see your great pictures and read your great reviews that they won't want to go double check to make sure you have free wi-fi or that you have added values like a cookie jar or high thread count sheets.
So if your inn has antique light fixtures that were restored by Babe Ruth's granddaughter, find a place for it. A tasteful, appropriate place. I am not suggesting overselling your inn- there will be plenty of things for guests to discover about you and inn that would never make onto your website- but underselling means less sales.
 

JBloggs

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The only problem is the more you add the less they read.
I am the king of content, I add and add and add some more...but the main pages need to be kept the main pages, easy to navigate and sort through information to book your room. So if there is a place for it, then add it. But to open a rooms page and find all this other stuff listed, like thread counts, type of soap...seems to be a stretch for me.
I feel the same when there is a photo and the inn describes the room "A soft purple room with a comfortable bed..." stating the obv and a waste of valuable text, imo.
That is all I am saying.
Before we bought here, we looked at a place that was turnkey and on the list of amenities was "Owners knowledge of the area" Okay, that bugged me. Sure it is true, but add stuff to your website and people will "get" that.
 

JBloggs

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If anyone is interested - please post what you feel is a tasteful list of what to expect.
I think this is great on a rooms page in one succinct spot if possible. Then you can have other pages that describe more about the inn itself.
This is a great discussion, I go back and forth and add things, and take things away from time to time. Some tell me such and such should be on there, and others don't like it on there.
WI FI, CABLE TV's. CENTRAL A/C AND HEAT, PRIVATE BATHS, MODERN AMENITIES, LUXURIOUS BATH SALTS (if you have tubs you promote), QUALITY LINENS, ...
 

EmptyNest

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If anyone is interested - please post what you feel is a tasteful list of what to expect.
I think this is great on a rooms page in one succinct spot if possible. Then you can have other pages that describe more about the inn itself.
This is a great discussion, I go back and forth and add things, and take things away from time to time. Some tell me such and such should be on there, and others don't like it on there.
WI FI, CABLE TV's. CENTRAL A/C AND HEAT, PRIVATE BATHS, MODERN AMENITIES, LUXURIOUS BATH SALTS (if you have tubs you promote), QUALITY LINENS, ....
Yeah..I am with you on this...who cares what kind of TP you have etc. You want the info out there, but in the right place and easy to read. I don't want to read through paragraph after paragraph. Give them the bullet list and be done with it. I know folks are putting in all this "text" in hopes of better SEO...doing it for search engines.
 

Don Draper

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Size of bed
Location/privacy of bathroom
TV if there is one
Wifi if it is there
That's what I look for.
 
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