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Your 'insult' point?

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MooseTrax

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Do you have an 'insult point'? The point at which you feel the guest is insulting your product with the small amount of money they are willing to pay for it? Yesterday was the worst day so far this summer for that. Walk-ins, which we get a lot of, are willing to pay 2005 prices and I'm still stuck with 2009 bills. Without getting into a specific dollar amount because we as a group are all over the charts with what we charge based on our locations, do you have a point at which you just show the guest the door and wish them well in their search? (I do give them the names of places in the price point they want to pay and I'm sure they dicker with them as well.)
 

Proud Texan

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My way of thinking is that if they don't book it at MY price, someone else will. AND if you're not hurting for bookings, then that should be yours as well. Some people are just cheap and want something for nothing.
However, from a consumer standpoint, they have to ask. We are bombarded daily with William Shatner touting the benefits of Priceline.com and Travelocity's promises of bigger and better for less. I guess most people equate us for the big hotel chains that can afford to do that because of volume.
 

MooseTrax

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My way of thinking is that if they don't book it at MY price, someone else will. AND if you're not hurting for bookings, then that should be yours as well. Some people are just cheap and want something for nothing.
However, from a consumer standpoint, they have to ask. We are bombarded daily with William Shatner touting the benefits of Priceline.com and Travelocity's promises of bigger and better for less. I guess most people equate us for the big hotel chains that can afford to do that because of volume..
We are hurting for bookings. My problem is pride. That's why I called it an 'insult' point. And the question really becomes- Am I stupid to turn away whatever the guest wants to pay just to be sure I have enough cash for the slow season?
 

wendydk

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I don't get requests for discounts...almost ever. Of course, we are the smallest and most affordable Inn in our region for what we offer.
If I WAS getting constant requests for discounts, and had rooms going unrented, I think I would put my pride on a back burner and put some research into my current rates.
Fair market rates are not what the Innkeeper WANTS to get, it's what the market will bear for what is offered. Of course, if you're perfectly happy with your current occupancy rate and revenues, then you can ignore me.
 

gillumhouse

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I do indeed have an insult point. I will offer a "deal" to a family for a second room in the off-season or on a weeknight for the 2 shared bath rooms. but I will not dicker be low a 10% discount. Most times I am not dickered - they either accept my price or say I will check with my spouse/friend which is a polite "You want HOW MUCH?" never to hear from them again.
And I also sweat the slow season with low income and high utilities, taxes, and insurance all dues at the same time.
 

EmptyNest

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My way of thinking is that if they don't book it at MY price, someone else will. AND if you're not hurting for bookings, then that should be yours as well. Some people are just cheap and want something for nothing.
However, from a consumer standpoint, they have to ask. We are bombarded daily with William Shatner touting the benefits of Priceline.com and Travelocity's promises of bigger and better for less. I guess most people equate us for the big hotel chains that can afford to do that because of volume..
We are hurting for bookings. My problem is pride. That's why I called it an 'insult' point. And the question really becomes- Am I stupid to turn away whatever the guest wants to pay just to be sure I have enough cash for the slow season?
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What is your time and hard work worth to you? If you go so low just to get a head in the bed, you are going to resent it and not be a good host. I know you have a mortgage to pay, but sometimes, is it really worth it when you do take those kind of hagglers and they end up being one of the worst PITA's you have had????
We never discounted..they either took it or left. Of course, we didn't take walk ins either...But I do understand your situtation. BIlls do need paid, but at what price?
 

gillumhouse

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I don't get requests for discounts...almost ever. Of course, we are the smallest and most affordable Inn in our region for what we offer.
If I WAS getting constant requests for discounts, and had rooms going unrented, I think I would put my pride on a back burner and put some research into my current rates.
Fair market rates are not what the Innkeeper WANTS to get, it's what the market will bear for what is offered. Of course, if you're perfectly happy with your current occupancy rate and revenues, then you can ignore me..
But if you are current with the rates of the area and they are just playing the how chep can I screw them down to game - it is better that they walk. Would you really want word of mouth advertising that you can be beat down in your price?
It also translates to preception of value. If an inn is willing to "take whatever is offered" the perception is that they are not a place of value - a "nice" place. The owners are so desparate for guests they will take whatever is offered. And if what is offered is not enough to sustain the business - there is no business.
While some rates make me gulp - their tax bill makes me gulp, cringe, and go into a fetal position and their insurance rates would send me to the "rubber room". And we all know from experience, sometimes the way to INCREASE occupancy is to RAISE rates. Otherwise you have the "what is wrong with it" factor. We walk a fine line in many ways.
 

oldcharm

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Maybe you could think about an absolute bottom price... whether it be based on cost required to sell the room or based on pride... and then you don't go below that price. No matter what.
I really don't have that problem here (not too many walk-ins and I am close to the cheapest in town) but people do argue with me for deals on extended stays. Some people want to go as low at $25! Crazy! So I set my lowest price and won't go below that. That way I feel confident if I have to say, 'no, sorry.'
 

Breakfast Diva

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I think it's kind of like pornography...you just know it when you see it.
This is my attitude which has served me well over the years and is still valid in this economy. "This is what/who we are, my prices reflect the amenities and services we give". The attitude is not arrogance, but confidence. When people call and ask for a special or deal, I tell them these are our already reduced rates and no, unless it's a day or two before the weekend, I can't rent the room for just 1 night on a Sat. Most of the time they will either still book, or they hang up...think about it...then call back to book. If people don't book because of $10, then so be it.
Of course every property is different, but in my case we don't have any other lodging in our area that provides the room amenities we do. Our "competition" is if they are ocean view/front. It's not really competition, because most people have their priorities. If they are set on seeing the ocean from their room, then they won't want to be at my inn and no matter what amenities I offer, they won't be happy.
 

MooseTrax

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I don't get requests for discounts...almost ever. Of course, we are the smallest and most affordable Inn in our region for what we offer.
If I WAS getting constant requests for discounts, and had rooms going unrented, I think I would put my pride on a back burner and put some research into my current rates.
Fair market rates are not what the Innkeeper WANTS to get, it's what the market will bear for what is offered. Of course, if you're perfectly happy with your current occupancy rate and revenues, then you can ignore me..
An experiment I have conducted this week involves me telling the guest the real rate and offering a discount for 'walk-ins' when they balk at the price. The other side of this is offering a really cut rate price right off the bat without even mentioning the real price. Everyone wants a bigger discount. I would prefer to start with the real rate and work down from there rather than starting with what I am willing to drop to and then being negotiated with further. I guess I'm just not willing to knock off $50. A $50 discount is substantial based on my rates.
My rates are lower than a lot of B&B's where I am (I just checked published rates). However, the places offering rooms for $50 less than mine are also not full every night. If I could look across the street and see the very low price place was full every night I would consider lowering the rates permanently. But lower pricing is not working for them either. So I might as well try for more!
I realize it is perception all around but hotels a block away are charging $100 more than I am and they are full.
I'm just wondering if being prideful is a bad thing or if I should accept an offer of $50 less than what the online bookers have paid?
 

JBloggs

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As PT mentioned on another thread "TRENDS." We shoot ideas off each other here - on this invaluable resource called Innspiring, and many of these ideas would not work in OUR location at OUR inn. But some times it is worth giving it a shot, as it MAY work at our location unbeknownst to us. If it is something not too painful to do.
Gotta go with the flow sometimes, the flow meaning the cash flow as the end result.
I remember my humble beginnings on this forum being told I am crazy to discount, crazy to not have two night min's on every weekend...but for this location right here, I have to do what works for me. I don't get icky guests because I offer an online discount. I was told I would get the motel mob. Contrary to that, I get really great guests - but then this is not a tourist 'destination' where people can be aggressive and do what they want and treat your place like a motel.
So it all comes out in the wash. If it is me, and i have bills to pay I take bookings, I don't get major sticker dickering however as I get virtually no walk ins here. Haven't had one for a year.
 

Proud Texan

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I don't get requests for discounts...almost ever. Of course, we are the smallest and most affordable Inn in our region for what we offer.
If I WAS getting constant requests for discounts, and had rooms going unrented, I think I would put my pride on a back burner and put some research into my current rates.
Fair market rates are not what the Innkeeper WANTS to get, it's what the market will bear for what is offered. Of course, if you're perfectly happy with your current occupancy rate and revenues, then you can ignore me..
An experiment I have conducted this week involves me telling the guest the real rate and offering a discount for 'walk-ins' when they balk at the price. The other side of this is offering a really cut rate price right off the bat without even mentioning the real price. Everyone wants a bigger discount. I would prefer to start with the real rate and work down from there rather than starting with what I am willing to drop to and then being negotiated with further. I guess I'm just not willing to knock off $50. A $50 discount is substantial based on my rates.
My rates are lower than a lot of B&B's where I am (I just checked published rates). However, the places offering rooms for $50 less than mine are also not full every night. If I could look across the street and see the very low price place was full every night I would consider lowering the rates permanently. But lower pricing is not working for them either. So I might as well try for more!
I realize it is perception all around but hotels a block away are charging $100 more than I am and they are full.
I'm just wondering if being prideful is a bad thing or if I should accept an offer of $50 less than what the online bookers have paid?
.
MooseTrax said:
I would prefer to start with the real rate and work down from there rather than starting with what I am willing to drop to and then being negotiated with further.
This is called "haggling." You NEVER start out with your lowest price. NEVER. You're wanting to get as close to your original rate as possible so you have to start there.
 

JBloggs

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Maybe we need a poll re how many here have a heavy walk in trade, or minimal or none at all? It seems there areonly a couple here who get them? Those are the ones who should be answering...but of course we all do, every time, we are compulsive, and it really doesn't help since we are apples and oranges.
 

SweetiePie

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Sort of reminds me of a song
Code:
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Taken by the recession every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Turned into penny pinchers every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Gone to discounters every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Gone into unemployment every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Gone into bankruptcy every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
 

gillumhouse

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Thanks to GPS I am getting more "walk-ins" - and I call a call from the road for tonight as a walk-in here.
Edited to add I have not had any balk at my rate.
 

Samster

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I don't get requests for discounts...almost ever. Of course, we are the smallest and most affordable Inn in our region for what we offer.
If I WAS getting constant requests for discounts, and had rooms going unrented, I think I would put my pride on a back burner and put some research into my current rates.
Fair market rates are not what the Innkeeper WANTS to get, it's what the market will bear for what is offered. Of course, if you're perfectly happy with your current occupancy rate and revenues, then you can ignore me..
An experiment I have conducted this week involves me telling the guest the real rate and offering a discount for 'walk-ins' when they balk at the price. The other side of this is offering a really cut rate price right off the bat without even mentioning the real price. Everyone wants a bigger discount. I would prefer to start with the real rate and work down from there rather than starting with what I am willing to drop to and then being negotiated with further. I guess I'm just not willing to knock off $50. A $50 discount is substantial based on my rates.
My rates are lower than a lot of B&B's where I am (I just checked published rates). However, the places offering rooms for $50 less than mine are also not full every night. If I could look across the street and see the very low price place was full every night I would consider lowering the rates permanently. But lower pricing is not working for them either. So I might as well try for more!
I realize it is perception all around but hotels a block away are charging $100 more than I am and they are full.
I'm just wondering if being prideful is a bad thing or if I should accept an offer of $50 less than what the online bookers have paid?
.
How do you know that what the "hotels are charging" is what they are actually getting? We all know that there can be a huge difference between the rack rate and what the room may actually sell for. Gillum House will back me up on this since she worked for a hotel. Same thing with other B&Bs/Inns. Everyone is hurting right now. There's a B&B near me and their rooms start at $195/night on their availability calendar. Is that what they let them go for? Uh, no.... They will sell them for for $100 to a walk-in right now. Same thing with their very large rooms that are over $300. They'll also get the people that want to pack them in for that price and they will pack them in because the innkeeper isn't there all the time.
Here's some questions that really matter: What is the lowest that you are willing to let the room go for to make some money, or at least cover your mortgage, etc? Are you willing to strictly enforce your policies to the potential morons that you might get at that price? Will you begrudge the fact that you sold the room at that price point or will you be happy that you sold the room? I think you have to come up with that lowest price and that's it. People will haggle, but you have to know what your product is really worth among the rest of the competition, not what you think you can sell it for, and that is what you stick with. End of discussion. They either book or walk away.
Only you know the bottom line at the end of the month. Best of luck...this is a tough one!
 

Samster

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No, I don't have an "insult point". I know the absolutely lowest rate that I will go for what we offer here. I am not insulted if someone isn't willing to pay it. I just refer them to the Convention & Visitors Bureau to find an economy motel. Would I personally recommend one of those choices or stay there? Nope...and that's why I throw it back to the people who do it for a living :)
I am insulted when people think that we're the kind of place where they can cram a bunch of people into a room though!!! Whew...that little rant is over...
And then I'm happy, when I hear people say things like what I overheard today when I was out weeding the gardens (days and days of thunderstorms took their toll). "I really like this house. It's the kind of house that you imagine when you think of a Southern house with porches, wicker furniture, and ferns swaying in the breeze." Okay, people! Tell your friends to stay here. haha!
I need a shower now.....
Hang in there!
 

Samster

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Sort of reminds me of a song
Code:
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Taken by the recession every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Turned into penny pinchers every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Gone to discounters every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the good guests gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the good guests gone?
Gone into unemployment every one
When will they ever return?
When will they ever return?
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the B&Bs gone?
Gone into bankruptcy every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
.
Haha! SP, you have a wicked sense of humor sometimes! :)
 

seashanty

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my insult point was below $100 in summer (busy season) ... i don't think you ever went as low as $100, did you? sometimes i would get real upset, feeling like people did not value what i was offering. i did not want to even offer the $100 rate ... but then i'd see them walk across the road and take the $100 room including breakfast and i knew i could've used that money. we were really hurting. for the guest, it wasn't seeing value, it was simply paying the least they could.
it was helpful when my son reminded me relentlessly ... 'it's just business - don't take it personal' because it FELT so very, very personal. they are not trying to insult you, they are trying to get the most they can for the money and it's fashionable to ask for a 'better deal'. he is the one who would show up to repair something and i wouldn't be able to pay him and he'd say ... 'you have to give those $100 rooms so you can pay me' and i knew it was true. and if i couldn't pay him in a timely manner, it hurt him and it was unfair. NO other handyman would have come in at a moment's notice and fixed things for me and waited for the money.
your best defense is to try to separate your emotions from the situation. if $100 (or whatever the lowest price you can accept) is going to pay for the water heater repair or for your groceries, you take it as graciously as you can ... focus on what that is going to pay for. it's a head game i played with myself.
sometimes i would say, i can take $100 plus tax ($107) CASH for the room right now (eliminating the card costs) and i felt a little better because i could pay my son and then walk across the road and buy myself a piece of pizza or something. small pleasures.
 
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