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Locals don't not have a clue

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sandynn

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Had a call from a local (who has a great job) needing two rooms for three nights. He has family coming in. I told him I would give him the best room I could for the least priced room. He ask how much and when I told him he wanted to know if that was per night? I could tell he was shocked. I know the locals think we charge maybe $35 per night or the most $50. This happens when ever a local calls. This is why I never market to locals. Of course he said he would call back. I am sure I will not hear from him.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I had a call last week to get 4 adults in one room and shocked at the discounted price I gave them for two rooms. Same thing, and to be honest I can tell you right now the locals who call and are shocked have never left their town or county in their life or they would have a clue. If they travelled AT ALL they would see the price you offered was beyond fair!
 

Morticia

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Locals here who are shocked by my prices are appalled by what the hotels charge. When they say to me, 'Oh, that's more than I wanted to spend,' I refer them to the hotels. (Now, in season that works, right now, not so much as the hotels are generally waaaaay below $100/night at this time of year.)
 

hawley

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I had donated a night and the catholic school bought a night to sell at their fund raiser. A grqndpa of kids in school bought the certificate. They came to stay last weekend. It was the first locals I have had since opening. It was interesting because I don't think they have ever stayed in a bnb before. But we had a lot in common. He was a manager for a local food coop and we belong to the coop and know alot of the same people that supply them.
The coop is moving soon to new larger quarters. He told me last time they had people in they paid more for a room than I charge, so they must have put them up in the higher end hotels. Anyway, he said he was going to pass on the info about us to them as he thought they would be more comfortable there.
Otherwise, the only marketing I do local is I have lettering on our van.
Won't give away a night but will do a BOGO. That way at least I can recoup my cost of food and utility.
 

sandynn

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I had a call last week to get 4 adults in one room and shocked at the discounted price I gave them for two rooms. Same thing, and to be honest I can tell you right now the locals who call and are shocked have never left their town or county in their life or they would have a clue. If they travelled AT ALL they would see the price you offered was beyond fair!.
Believe it or not I had a lady ask the price (a local). When I told her resesponse was, that per week. I said oh no that is per night and she was just dumfounded. Like I said not a clue.
I never will again give a night away for a donation. People don't have a clue. I had one that re booked twice and the third time I told him that he just lost his gc.
 

Copperhead

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"I know the locals think we charge maybe $35 per night or the most $50."
When you say locals they are Most People and generally speaking they are really clueless on the costs of running a business - whether home based or not! And they think that we innkeepers just decided one day to make a few dollars on that spare room so throw up a sign outside and that is that.
Same goes for a lot of those 'dreamers' out there that sit at your breakfast table and say 'I have been thinking on opening a B&B when I retire'. Once I start to tell them the regulations and additional insurance requirements they usually are overwelmed and I say that is just the tip of the iceberg.
We need to be out there educating these locals as your locals are my potential guests and vice versa. This cluelessness also prevents new B&B's to open. When we started with our permiting process, most of our neighbors were thinking we were going to draw undesirables, those looking for cheap lodging and were going to fight our permit. Our local councilman told us we should send out a flyer to the neighbors providing facts. Once they were educated, we eased through the process without conflict. Yes, we have a couple of neighbors that wish we were not open but most are happy, even rent rooms for visiting family and friends.
 

sandynn

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"I know the locals think we charge maybe $35 per night or the most $50."
When you say locals they are Most People and generally speaking they are really clueless on the costs of running a business - whether home based or not! And they think that we innkeepers just decided one day to make a few dollars on that spare room so throw up a sign outside and that is that.
Same goes for a lot of those 'dreamers' out there that sit at your breakfast table and say 'I have been thinking on opening a B&B when I retire'. Once I start to tell them the regulations and additional insurance requirements they usually are overwelmed and I say that is just the tip of the iceberg.
We need to be out there educating these locals as your locals are my potential guests and vice versa. This cluelessness also prevents new B&B's to open. When we started with our permiting process, most of our neighbors were thinking we were going to draw undesirables, those looking for cheap lodging and were going to fight our permit. Our local councilman told us we should send out a flyer to the neighbors providing facts. Once they were educated, we eased through the process without conflict. Yes, we have a couple of neighbors that wish we were not open but most are happy, even rent rooms for visiting family and friends..
Our neighbors were great but would not use us. Our town and county are both backward. We are thankful we live just over the line of the next county and it is one of the 25 fastest growing counties in the US. Also it is one of the top desireable places to live in the nation. We get buisness from their locals.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I just went to the bank. Drive up window. The clerk said "Is the Sherwood House B&B still a B&B?" Puzzled (but I get these sorts of questions often) I replied "I sure hope so otherwise I don't know why I am fixing breakfast for strangers!"
She still didn't get it and said "I thought it was no longer a B&B?" I said "Well the big sign out front and the big sign out back say it is still a B&B" and then I drove away.
DUNCE! Locals do not pay my bills, locals send their people to stinky gross dirty hotels for nearly the same amount $ - but they can pack 4 adults to a room. GOOD ON YA!
 

gillumhouse

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I just went to the bank. Drive up window. The clerk said "Is the Sherwood House B&B still a B&B?" Puzzled (but I get these sorts of questions often) I replied "I sure hope so otherwise I don't know why I am fixing breakfast for strangers!"
She still didn't get it and said "I thought it was no longer a B&B?" I said "Well the big sign out front and the big sign out back say it is still a B&B" and then I drove away.
DUNCE! Locals do not pay my bills, locals send their people to stinky gross dirty hotels for nearly the same amount $ - but they can pack 4 adults to a room. GOOD ON YA!.
I have the cashiers at the grocery telling people about us. And I have not even offered payola!
 

swirt

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I agree. In many locations (probably the more touristy the location, the more this is true) true locals (within your town) are not going to be your best source of guests. Advertising to them is usually a bit of a waste of money. We found this in our area. Locals won't pay our rates. If the choice is between spending $300 to advertise to locals vs spending $300 to advertise in a city that feeds the source of visitors to the area, go for the source.
Though that doesn't mean you shouldn't make yourself known to others in the tourism industry in your area. (often times restaurants don't realise they are in the tourism industry). Do what you can to make yourself known in that regard.
It is important to keep in mind though that some B&B's primary focus is in providing lodging to people coming in to visit with locals (family or whatever). Again it all depends on location and the type of place you are trying to be.
We chose not to market to locals for the added reason that we didn't necessarily want friends of locals staying here. We didn't want to run the risk of friends of locals staying here and then inviting all their local friends to join them on our beach. That happens a lot to the places that rent cottages or trailer spots on the lake here. One person rents a spot and then everyone else decends like locusts. We wanted to avoid that.
 

Morticia

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I agree. In many locations (probably the more touristy the location, the more this is true) true locals (within your town) are not going to be your best source of guests. Advertising to them is usually a bit of a waste of money. We found this in our area. Locals won't pay our rates. If the choice is between spending $300 to advertise to locals vs spending $300 to advertise in a city that feeds the source of visitors to the area, go for the source.
Though that doesn't mean you shouldn't make yourself known to others in the tourism industry in your area. (often times restaurants don't realise they are in the tourism industry). Do what you can to make yourself known in that regard.
It is important to keep in mind though that some B&B's primary focus is in providing lodging to people coming in to visit with locals (family or whatever). Again it all depends on location and the type of place you are trying to be.
We chose not to market to locals for the added reason that we didn't necessarily want friends of locals staying here. We didn't want to run the risk of friends of locals staying here and then inviting all their local friends to join them on our beach. That happens a lot to the places that rent cottages or trailer spots on the lake here. One person rents a spot and then everyone else decends like locusts. We wanted to avoid that..
We were having dinner out and heard a family at the next table ask the waiter would he recommend a place to stay. He said, 'Yeah, there's a (chain hotel) right around the corner.'
OK, here's the tough one...the guy who turned my place into the B&B originally is a chef at that restaurant. When the waiter came to our table I said, 'We have a B&B right up the street from here. Here's our card if you ever get anyone looking for a place to stay.'
He said, 'Do you want me to give this to those folks?' I told him it was ok as we were not going home right away so the guests should probably go to the hotel (3 small kids). Just wanted to let him know there are alternatives.
It's something this town goes thru every single year...'Let's get everyone together and teach them what's here in town.' Then this store won't let their staff off to go on the tour bus and that store thinks it's a waste of time because they're not in the lodging business. (Yes, lodging owners HAVE said, 'I'm not in retail, but I know what your store stocks and what your hours are.') Stores don't care. Tourists are going to see them when they walk around.
It's the whole 'You need us, we don't need you' mentality. Tourists would still come in droves if there were no places to stay. (They haul them in by the busload here.) What retail doesn't get is if they tell the tourist a nice place to stay (or, if that is too much effort, hand them a map and say, 'Here are the accommodations.'), that tourist may just be shopping again tomorrow. If they don't stay overnight, they definitely are NOT going to be shopping in that store, or any store in this town, tomorrow.
That can be part of the local mentality. Then again, most of the staff in the stores are kids and they don't live here.
 

gillumhouse

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I had a walk-in tonight - ME, a true walk-in! Two ladies here on business had a vehicle breakdown and the billiard parlor 1 block over told them about the motel and us. (I gathered that they called the motel and were told the hourly rate and she said she would walk over to the B & B.)
Turns out her parents have a B & B near Rochester, NY. I did give her a deal because of the breakdown but it was locals that told her we were here!
Anyone from St Ann's Parish knows about us. A couple who stayed here made a donation to the Chapel and sent a letter with it about how they chose this B & B for a getaway and attended Mass and visited the Chapel. They were very impressed with everything and she said so in a letter to Father Karl. He attached a copy of that letter to the church program last Sunday and 2 ladies in town called to tell me about it.
 

Morticia

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I had a walk-in tonight - ME, a true walk-in! Two ladies here on business had a vehicle breakdown and the billiard parlor 1 block over told them about the motel and us. (I gathered that they called the motel and were told the hourly rate and she said she would walk over to the B & B.)
Turns out her parents have a B & B near Rochester, NY. I did give her a deal because of the breakdown but it was locals that told her we were here!
Anyone from St Ann's Parish knows about us. A couple who stayed here made a donation to the Chapel and sent a letter with it about how they chose this B & B for a getaway and attended Mass and visited the Chapel. They were very impressed with everything and she said so in a letter to Father Karl. He attached a copy of that letter to the church program last Sunday and 2 ladies in town called to tell me about it..
So which B&B?
 

gillumhouse

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I had a walk-in tonight - ME, a true walk-in! Two ladies here on business had a vehicle breakdown and the billiard parlor 1 block over told them about the motel and us. (I gathered that they called the motel and were told the hourly rate and she said she would walk over to the B & B.)
Turns out her parents have a B & B near Rochester, NY. I did give her a deal because of the breakdown but it was locals that told her we were here!
Anyone from St Ann's Parish knows about us. A couple who stayed here made a donation to the Chapel and sent a letter with it about how they chose this B & B for a getaway and attended Mass and visited the Chapel. They were very impressed with everything and she said so in a letter to Father Karl. He attached a copy of that letter to the church program last Sunday and 2 ladies in town called to tell me about it..
So which B&B?
.
Me of course! What it really did was to show people that the B & B brings people into town who will make donations to the church. My lady from Texas sends donations to the Chapel and to the Lord's Pantry - very generous donations. They also know I do the vigil. Christmas Eve I go over at Midnight so the Catholic on vigil can go to Midnight Mass. The only Christmas Eve I did not was the one that the Catholic had already gotten a replacement. It is MY random act of kindness.......
Edited to add that tonight at the Blueprint Team meeting (a revitalization group) a professor from WVU said he thought it was time we acted on something Kathleen has been saying. I grabbed my chair because there have been so many things I was afraid of what was coming. He said it was time we worked at finding someone to open another B & B in town. YES!!!!
 

Samster

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I gets worse than that...
The people that are doing the local marketing, don't have a clue. Just ask JBJ about her town!
I was at a function this evening and someone from the State visitors' bureau off the Interstate was telling me how I should go about marketing through them. I told them that 98% of my reservations are online. Shocked!! Then I told them about how more & more folks are using iPhones and similar devices with Web browsing capability to just search for lodging. SUPER shocked! Come on, people, get with the technology age! I asked if they had computers there for people to look online or free WiFi at least. Nope...but I could bring my rack cards to sit there.
That was followed by a phone call from a local who first asked for our cheapest room for Christmas Day. Then, what about a discount. Then, did we take pets for that price? But we had dogs on our website! Give me strength....
The locals that are really interested in staying here (or having family stay here for some kind of event) are savvy about lodging choices and prices and are specifically looking for a small B&B experience. The others want that, but don't want to pay for it.
 

Morticia

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I had a walk-in tonight - ME, a true walk-in! Two ladies here on business had a vehicle breakdown and the billiard parlor 1 block over told them about the motel and us. (I gathered that they called the motel and were told the hourly rate and she said she would walk over to the B & B.)
Turns out her parents have a B & B near Rochester, NY. I did give her a deal because of the breakdown but it was locals that told her we were here!
Anyone from St Ann's Parish knows about us. A couple who stayed here made a donation to the Chapel and sent a letter with it about how they chose this B & B for a getaway and attended Mass and visited the Chapel. They were very impressed with everything and she said so in a letter to Father Karl. He attached a copy of that letter to the church program last Sunday and 2 ladies in town called to tell me about it..
So which B&B?
.
Me of course! What it really did was to show people that the B & B brings people into town who will make donations to the church. My lady from Texas sends donations to the Chapel and to the Lord's Pantry - very generous donations. They also know I do the vigil. Christmas Eve I go over at Midnight so the Catholic on vigil can go to Midnight Mass. The only Christmas Eve I did not was the one that the Catholic had already gotten a replacement. It is MY random act of kindness.......
Edited to add that tonight at the Blueprint Team meeting (a revitalization group) a professor from WVU said he thought it was time we acted on something Kathleen has been saying. I grabbed my chair because there have been so many things I was afraid of what was coming. He said it was time we worked at finding someone to open another B & B in town. YES!!!!
.
Which B&B in Rochester, not which B&B in Shinniston!
 

Copperhead

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I just want to repeat what I said before. We need to educate our locals to the extent we can. Not all people will be B&B people, we can not make them and we don't want to. But:
All of our locals are potential guests for the rest of us when they travel - we need to remember that when we are marketing our own property, in a lot of respects we are marketing everyone because so many people out there are clueless as to what a B&B experience is all about. If I am remembering correctly, banb dot com has some stats that only 4% (?) of travelers look for a B&B... the potential market of what now are clueless is enormous and a % of those are YOUR locals!!
 

Morticia

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I just want to repeat what I said before. We need to educate our locals to the extent we can. Not all people will be B&B people, we can not make them and we don't want to. But:
All of our locals are potential guests for the rest of us when they travel - we need to remember that when we are marketing our own property, in a lot of respects we are marketing everyone because so many people out there are clueless as to what a B&B experience is all about. If I am remembering correctly, banb dot com has some stats that only 4% (?) of travelers look for a B&B... the potential market of what now are clueless is enormous and a % of those are YOUR locals!!.
That's a good point that you make about MY locals being YOUR tourists! It's one reason I try to put the show on for locals and tourists alike. I do it because I want tourists to think Maine is a friendly, welcoming place to go on vacation, even if they are not staying here. For the locals, to show that I'm not someone they need to regret moved to their state/town.
But, it does spread the happiness around if locals get to thinking B&B for VACATION because the B&B owners they run into daily are friendly and good neighbors.
 

Copperhead

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I gets worse than that...
The people that are doing the local marketing, don't have a clue. Just ask JBJ about her town!
I was at a function this evening and someone from the State visitors' bureau off the Interstate was telling me how I should go about marketing through them. I told them that 98% of my reservations are online. Shocked!! Then I told them about how more & more folks are using iPhones and similar devices with Web browsing capability to just search for lodging. SUPER shocked! Come on, people, get with the technology age! I asked if they had computers there for people to look online or free WiFi at least. Nope...but I could bring my rack cards to sit there.
That was followed by a phone call from a local who first asked for our cheapest room for Christmas Day. Then, what about a discount. Then, did we take pets for that price? But we had dogs on our website! Give me strength....
The locals that are really interested in staying here (or having family stay here for some kind of event) are savvy about lodging choices and prices and are specifically looking for a small B&B experience. The others want that, but don't want to pay for it..
Samster said:
I gets worse than that...
The people that are doing the local marketing, don't have a clue. Just ask JBJ about her town!
I was at a function this evening and someone from the State visitors' bureau off the Interstate was telling me how I should go about marketing through them. I told them that 98% of my reservations are online. Shocked!! Then I told them about how more & more folks are using iPhones and similar devices with Web browsing capability to just search for lodging. SUPER shocked! Come on, people, get with the technology age! I asked if they had computers there for people to look online or free WiFi at least. Nope...but I could bring my rack cards to sit there.
Regarding State 'Welcome Centers' (well I am assuming this is what you are talking about). If you are interested in filling your rooms 'last minute' this is a good place to be. I know you are not that far from one of these centers in your state and so the possiblities are there for you. If you are not wanting to take walk-ins or last minute reservations, I do not think this is the place for your cards.
The Welcome Center near us (5 miles) is one of the busiest in the country with visitors totalling up to 100,000 during peak months and over 30,000 during the slowest months. They have filled our empty rooms for us on many occasions. Again, you are most likely not going to get your dedicated hotel type guest - unless they are all full but there are a lot of travelers that enjoy a B&B that did not plan their travels and are very pleased when they find us through the center. If I have openings that I really want to fill, I will fax a availability sheet with our rate to the center and they let interested travelers know how close we are. It is important for the center to know your property and we host a afternoon social for the center's employees every so often and show off our property.
While I think having computer to search would be nice and is a good idea for the future but due to the fact that there are still so many people not computer savy I think it would become a huge burden for the staff making it not cost effective (and of course they worry about miss use of tax dollars). The State Centers also (well at least my state) make sure that all of the recommended lodgings have all the appropriate licenses and insurance, something a computer search would not limit unless the only site the visitor could search was a state tourism site, thus eliminating the need for rack cards or as many employees - sure see this in the future! My 2 cents!
 

gillumhouse

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I had a walk-in tonight - ME, a true walk-in! Two ladies here on business had a vehicle breakdown and the billiard parlor 1 block over told them about the motel and us. (I gathered that they called the motel and were told the hourly rate and she said she would walk over to the B & B.)
Turns out her parents have a B & B near Rochester, NY. I did give her a deal because of the breakdown but it was locals that told her we were here!
Anyone from St Ann's Parish knows about us. A couple who stayed here made a donation to the Chapel and sent a letter with it about how they chose this B & B for a getaway and attended Mass and visited the Chapel. They were very impressed with everything and she said so in a letter to Father Karl. He attached a copy of that letter to the church program last Sunday and 2 ladies in town called to tell me about it..
So which B&B?
.
Me of course! What it really did was to show people that the B & B brings people into town who will make donations to the church. My lady from Texas sends donations to the Chapel and to the Lord's Pantry - very generous donations. They also know I do the vigil. Christmas Eve I go over at Midnight so the Catholic on vigil can go to Midnight Mass. The only Christmas Eve I did not was the one that the Catholic had already gotten a replacement. It is MY random act of kindness.......
Edited to add that tonight at the Blueprint Team meeting (a revitalization group) a professor from WVU said he thought it was time we acted on something Kathleen has been saying. I grabbed my chair because there have been so many things I was afraid of what was coming. He said it was time we worked at finding someone to open another B & B in town. YES!!!!
.
Which B&B in Rochester, not which B&B in Shinniston!
.
The Canal B & B I think she said in Palmyra, NY.
 
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