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IronGate

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I'm an aspiring, and new to this board, although I think I've read every post. I have some technical questions for those of you who use online reservations systems such as SuperInn or webervations.
  • How is the innkeeper notified that a reservation has been made or modified? I would presume an email alert, or do you have to log into your account to see the status?
  • Do you check just before your normal check-in time to see what is scheduled? Have you ever been caught unaware that someone was coming because the reservation was made after you checked the system? Is there a deadline built in such that reservations for "today" must be handled personally? (I saw something to that effect on someone's site, but I didn't know if it was a standard feature.)
  • I've seen several references on the board about certain people being moved to the "do not book" list. Can you do that with an online system?
Thanks in advance!
 

gillumhouse

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Welcome to the Forum!
I have Webervations. You can set whether you want if to notify you that someone wants a reservation (what I have) or enter the credit card number, card verifed and charged, confirmation delivered and you get an e-mail telling you the reservation is booked (I do not want involved with anyone's cc number online - personal preference).
As with anything, there are ways for something to go wrong (double book) because of a phone rez as an online is happening - but I would say it is VERY rare. I also think having an online rez is a must!
I get an e-mail telling me Joe Schmo has requested what room for what days and has read and agreed to my policies (very handy in case of disputes) and sometimes even write things in the comments bok that help with the reservation as in dietary needs or why they are coming to the area. I then call them to get the credit card numbers and sometimes can pick up info about why they are coming/special needs/special event reasons during the conversation - things they forgot to mention, although you still get zingers on arrival from time to time.
Hope this helps.
 

Copperhead

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Hi IG - Welcome to the forum. Of course you know that each system is unique, some with more fexibility than others in tweeking it to your preferences. In general:
1. You will receive an email telling you of the reservation or reservation request. Most allow you the option of having guests book in real time or as a request. To get all the facts of the reservation or request you must log in to the system. Mine does not allow the guest to modify their reservation online, they must call or email the request for change.
2. I keep a print out of what is reserved and keep it updated. You will find the plan that best fits with you. You must keep an eye on the site - as you do not want to be suprised by a unexpected guest appearing at your door. Most systems have a 'cut off' time (you choose) which the date is blocked to future reservations. I have ours blocked 24 hours in advance and have a note for last minute reservation Please Call!
3. The 'do not book' list is NOT a paper or PC list of PITA's we were happy they left and would prefer they choose another property when they return. It is not and can not be attached to your Res. system. (but wouldn't that be nice)
Some of theses systems give you a trial period to test them so you are not out of pocket and find it is not right for you or your business.
 

muirford

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I use webervations and have upgraded to the new version.
  • email alert for new reservations and I usually keep Webervations up on my computer when I'm at my desk - the activity page also shows new reservations.
  • I have my online booking set up to stop taking today's reservations at 8:00 a.m. and bookers get a note to call to make the reservation. This is available in the old and new versions, although I think you can 'fine-tune' it more in the new version. This is as late as I want to find out about an online booking. The webervations activity screen shows all arrivals for the day, along with any special packages scheduled.
  • I am not aware of the ability to block certain reservations in the system, but there is room for notes which can be flagged as priority. Our online reservations are requests and you can reject a reservation if you cannot take it for whatever reason.
 

Morticia

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What I do...
Start the system up first thing in the morning, leave on. Turn off when I go to bed. If you book after I go to bed for the same night, too bad.
I get an email notification, but I have the system up anyway, so I sometimes see the booking before the email comes in.
The DNB (do not book) is not an automatic thing (OK, what online system programmer is reading this!) you have to go and cancel the reservation when you receive it.
 

Samster

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As others have said, there are different alert settings for different rez systems.
I use SuperInn & it sends me an email that I have an online booking. The main menu also has an a yellow alert that will come up "Pending Reservation". And the availability calendar will block the date with a yellow "pend" until you accept the reservation.
I have a note on my availability calendar that any bookings within 24 hours need to call the innkeeper. I had some folks book online at the C&VB for the same day & then showed up on our porch an hour before check-in! That's when I put that message on the system. I'm a one person operation, so it's not really easy for me to accommodate true walk-ins.
When I power up my laptop first thing in the morning, I log into the rez system & emails. Stays up all day & I check it at least every hour. Not only do I not want to miss a reservation, I want to be prompt in my response to an online booking.
Just look at some different systems & try to see what will suit you!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Never turn your pc off. The bookings come in via email, or if they come in via phone you still need your pc on to check availability and block it off when you take their rez.
First thing in the am, last thing at night. Same day bookings will need to call for a room.
 

trishany

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What I do...
Start the system up first thing in the morning, leave on. Turn off when I go to bed. If you book after I go to bed for the same night, too bad.
I get an email notification, but I have the system up anyway, so I sometimes see the booking before the email comes in.
The DNB (do not book) is not an automatic thing (OK, what online system programmer is reading this!) you have to go and cancel the reservation when you receive it..
We have webervations. I guess cause we're new, I never heard of DNB.
I think this is a great feature to have, but like you said, is the "brass" really reading this or paying attention?
But who cares.
When a guest books with us, we process the credit card for their one night OR five night stay (the first night, plus taxes for ALL nights). If it doesn't go through, you call the number they have listed on their "webervations" reservations.
We are on 173 couples (Quickbooks) since opening last Memorial Day Wknd and have never had a problem with credit cards. Not Once. I think this is due to the webervations program.
Wkend.
 

IronGate

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I use superinn and I am loving it..
jason said:
I use superinn and I am loving it.
That is the one I'm leaning toward. I like its user interface the best of what I've seen. How long have you been using it? What do you love about it? Hate about it? Does it generate reports telling you who is checking in and checking out on a given day? Any other useful information generated by it?
 

Samster

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I use superinn and I am loving it..
jason said:
I use superinn and I am loving it.
That is the one I'm leaning toward. I like its user interface the best of what I've seen. How long have you been using it? What do you love about it? Hate about it? Does it generate reports telling you who is checking in and checking out on a given day? Any other useful information generated by it?
.
We've been in business for almost 5 months & use SI. It's a powerful tool. I haven't scratched the surface of all the reporting functions. It has a daily guest list report, housekeeping report, along with many others. The revenue report by date works very well for me to do my taxes. It's easy to update room descriptions photos, change prices, etc.
The biggest plus for us is that it's web based & on another server other than our own. You can check it from any location when you travel.
I don't like that you can't automatically set it up to stop accepting reservations at a certain time which I believe you can do in Webervations.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I don't like that you can't automatically set it up to stop accepting reservations at a certain time which I believe you can do in Webervations.
There has GOT TO BE a button to select for this. Even hotels.com and those make the guest call ON THE DAY. Weberv defaults to allow same day bookings, but you can set it to not allow within 1 day of the day booked.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I use superinn and I am loving it..
jason said:
I use superinn and I am loving it.
That is the one I'm leaning toward. I like its user interface the best of what I've seen. How long have you been using it? What do you love about it? Hate about it? Does it generate reports telling you who is checking in and checking out on a given day? Any other useful information generated by it?
.
IronGate said:
jason said:
I use superinn and I am loving it.
That is the one I'm leaning toward. I like its user interface the best of what I've seen. How long have you been using it? What do you love about it? Hate about it? Does it generate reports telling you who is checking in and checking out on a given day? Any other useful information generated by it?
Before choosing one, have a look at the main B&B directories and see which online rez pgrms they promote on their website.
ie if you go to BnBfinder.com for my listing you will be able to check availability via our website with webervations. They might not have SuperINN. Maybe they do, I am not sure.
Some interface with the directories so guests can book straight from your directory listing. I think this is valuable. We prefer them to book from our website, but this is FROM our website, since we have webervations on our website.
 

Copperhead

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One of the reasons I was sold on Webervations was the number of other sites that will interface with it. Just quickly I think of both my state and local CVB sites and BBonline. I am sure there are more but this was a selling tool for me.
It also has reporting tools for taxes etc. and is web based so I can log in anywhere.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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One of the reasons I was sold on Webervations was the number of other sites that will interface with it. Just quickly I think of both my state and local CVB sites and BBonline. I am sure there are more but this was a selling tool for me.
It also has reporting tools for taxes etc. and is web based so I can log in anywhere..
Copperhead said:
One of the reasons I was sold on Webervations was the number of other sites that will interface with it. Just quickly I think of both my state and local CVB sites and BBonline. I am sure there are more but this was a selling tool for me.
It also has reporting tools for taxes etc. and is web based so I can log in anywhere.
Yes you can book directly from BBONLINE and BnBFinder using webervations!
Maybe others can let us know if they interface with superinn as well. I know BandB.com has it own system it is trying to sell...another lengthy thread on this forum a month or so ago.
 

swirt

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I use SuperInn and am quite happy with it. It is a full guest management system in terms of tracking guests as well as reservations (where Webervations by itself is just a booking engine)
Sadly it does not aggregate booking data with group sites the way webervations does/can so there is an advantage to using webervations if you your B&B association uses it. It can be combined with a few other guest managment systems like Rezovation.
I also do recommend looking closely at RezovationGT. It has a lot of power to combine guest management, an online booking engine, full credit card processing and many other things. It costs a bit more but can save you a lot of repeat entry of information. if I had it to do over again now, that would be my choice.
 
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