B&B Owners New Year Bookings
A Happy New Year to all members of the B&B Owners Association from your support team Michael, John, Owen and Peter.
The last few weeks have been pretty quiet for bookings. However, things always change dramatically in the New Year so don’t forget to check your admin panel for incoming bookings https://my-bnb.com.
There will be one or two announcements in the next 2 months – after many requests we are close to the launch a version of “My B&B” for smartphone users – this will allow you to manage your incoming bookings ‘on the go’ wherever you are.
Those members that have websites designed and hosted by us are now entitled to a FREE upgrade to a fully responsive website that works on all devices from desktop to smart phones. These websites now capture business from the growing market of smartphone users (now up to 23% of bookings). If you haven’t upgraded yet – just send us some good quality photos that can be adapted to the new design – Members that don’t host with us currently can also upgrade there websites to this new design for a small fee (Just reply to this email for details).
We hope that you will all encourage your guests to use https://book-a-bnb.com to keep your costs down and profits maximised.
Do a search for ‘Book a B&B’ on Google you’ll find us there at the top.
Have a good New Year everyone and we wish you a prosperous 2017.
Michael and the B&B Owners Team
Free Website Upgrade for Full Members
As part of our continuous improvement programme, we upgrade our full members websites FREE OF CHARGE every 3 or 4 years.
We are now ready to upgrade full members to what are known as fully responsive websites. These work with smartphones, tablets (iPads) and desktop computers Plus the added advantage of a free SSL Certificate to make sure your website is secure. Here are some of the benefits of the upgrade:-
- It costs you nothing – it is a free upgrade – A brand new design
- Bookings are totally Commission Free (For those paying the annual fee)
- This year nearly 30% of bookings were made on mobile devices
- The secure certificate is also free and gives you a https:// in front of your domain name – Favoured in Google indexing
- Automatically shows your best reviews
- Work with or without the room availability – which ever you prefer.
- Listed in all our worldwide directories, portals and regional websites.
All we ask is that our members provide us with new photographs and the upgrade will be completed within a few days. Make sure you’re ready for next season.
https, security and members websites
All full members that have websites as part of their membership, will now enjoy the following features:-
- Secure encrypted website at no extra cost – normally a certified SSL website would cost $100 or more annually
- Full diversion to a mobile version to allow smartphone users to book on smaller screens.
Additionally we are working on a fully responsive design for members websites that will display in any device from desktop PC to small smartphones – this will be available as a free upgrade sometime next month.
These changes are very important as our main site ( https://book-a-bnb.com ) becomes more popular with desktop and mobile users alike – try a search on Google for “Book a B&B” on your PC or phone.
Reminder: Comments or Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
B&B Owners Support
Our support system is monitored constantly throughout the day and we normally respond to or fix problems within a short period.
TO GET SUPPORT QUICKLY use the facility in your admin panel (Email symbol bottom left of your screen) or email : email@example.com
Some members are still expecting a response when using our older (not checked as regularly) or discarded email addresses.
This is also true when replying to blogs, Facebook or other online fora – don’t expect a response to requests – please use the above email
Securing Payments for “No Shows”
For some reason there have been an increased number of “No Shows” this year.
This may not affect you normally but can be very frustrating if it happens out of the blue.
In most reported cases B&B Owners have been able to recover the costs using STRIPE (who store the credit card details of all guests booking through our directories, portals, regional and members websites).
It takes just 2 mins to register for a STRIPE account via your admin panel (https://my-bnb.com) and costs nothing if you don’t use it.
Register for STRIPE in your admin panel today – have your bank details available and don’t get caught out with No Shows or guests that leave without paying.
NOTE: If a guest makes a booking with a card that is subsequently renewed or replace you will have to ask the guest for their card and use the Virtual terminal to accept payment.
Mobile Friendly Websites
Further to the last news post there have been many questions about mobile friendly booking websites.
Both full and associate members of the B&B Owners Association have a page that is mobile friendly.
Full members that have a website hosted by us are diverted to a mobile friendly page automatically.
We have seen a steady increase in smart phone usage for accessing our websites but they have such tiny screens they cannot always navigate the site.
Those members that have their own websites may may find they are not mobile friendly and guests cannot book or make enquiries.
You can test your website for mobile friendliness here :- https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
If your website fails that test or your website is old we can provide a little bit of code that will divert your guests to the mobile friendly page on Book a B&B.
Hope this answers your questions
Michael – B&B Owners Association
Apology – Ignoring Bookings
To all B&B Owners Association Members
I must offer a sincere apology about the last news item. It was not meant as personal criticism of any of our members and I’m so sorry if you were offended by the tone of the newsletter.
There are B&Bs that consistently ignore bookings and these members will removed from our service over time, particularly if we get complaints from guests.
We work very hard to deliver bookings at a minimal cost to our members and from time to time we get a little frustrated when bookings are ignored.
We also realise that emails are not always the best form of communication and we introduced SMS texting some time ago advise of bookings directly to you mobile phones – if you currently do not avail of their service and would like to, please advise us.
Since the introduction of our mobile site we have seen a 20% increase in bookings and it may mean that members that had little or no bookings from us in the past have suddenly found a new audience – http://m.book-a-bnb.com – Every member has a mobile page with full booking facilities and we hope you will all direct your guests to the Book a B&B website to allow guests that book by mobile phone to have access to your B&B.
Here’s an example of a members mobile page http://m.book-a-bnb.com/harbour-inn-bnb-larne.html
Find your own mobile URL on http://m.book-a-bnb.com and promote it yourself – don’t miss out on mobile bookings.
Thanks for reading this
Michael – B&B Owners Association
Book a B&B on Smartphones
Book-a-BnB.com has now gone mobile after a number of months of testing. Every B&B, Guesthouse or Inn that is a member of the B&B Owners Association now has a mobile site and bookings can be made easily from a smartphone or tablet with touch technology.
Additionally, for those members that have a website hosted with us, guests will automatically be diverted from your website to the mobile page if the guest is using a tablet or smartphone.
This is part of our ongoing programme to keep pace with technology and user trends – this is all part of your membership and we hope it will provide you with more direct bookings.
Credit Card Payments
Sometime ago we integrated the STRIPE payments system as precursor to the ever increasing security requirements required by the Payment Cards Industry (PCI).
We believed this to be the best way to provide members of the B&B Owners Association with online payment capture and minimise fraud.
As of today STRIPE is the ONLY way that members can take online payment as we are now required to stop the practice of providing credit card information to B&B Owners.
It is well proven now that most credit card fraud is due to the lack of security on desktop PCs mostly in the for of malware, trojans or viruses.
For members that have relied on accessing credit card data via their admin panels we would suggest that you sign up for STRIPE in the appropriate section of your my-bnb.com admin panel – simply click the “Connect with Stripe” button to register – You will need your Bank Account Number.
It takes 2-3 mins to obtain an account – there are no registration fees and it cost nothing if you don’t use it. Once you register, STRIPE inform us and your virtual terminal will appear next time you login.
Most of the following functions are one or two clicks
- Collection of Full Amount on Confirmation
- Collection of a defined % Deposit upon Confirmation
- Collection of Full Amount or Deposit on Departure
- Virtual Terminal for entering credit card payments
- Virtual Terminal can also be used by typing or pasting in a Booking Reference Number – this will not display credit card details but will automatically debit the guest associated with that Ref. No.
- Collection of Cancellation and No Show Fees
All money is transferred to your bank account 7 days after transaction at no extra charge.
The Benefit of Banner Advertising
All of our 50+ websites carry banner advertising that promotes our members and provides a clickable link to their webpage or website. See Ashville Guesthouse left. This provides additional visitors to your website directly. Typically each banner gets up to 1 million views a year and if the message is right can produce 5 -10 thousand additional visitors to your website annually. Because we represent B&B Owners the cost of these banners is kept to a bare minimum so that the advertising costs are quickly paid for by the additional business.
We also incorporate button ads into our pages (see left arrow in the graphic) and promote special offers totally free (see properties in the centre) – you can add these in your admin panel.
● Banner ads are £200 a year or £60 – 3 months
● Button ads are £60 a year or £35 – 6 months
● The promotion of your Special Offers is FREE
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org