Widen your internet presence for free – with Last Minute Deals
All members of the B&B Owners Association have the ability to set up last minute deals and special offers. The new booking system will also automate this process by discounting any rooms that are not sold as the arrival date approaches. How will this help you get more business?
Very simple really – we provide additional promotion for any member that has set up a last minute deal or special offer. Most of our websites highlight these at the top of the page – here’s a sample page from our website Book a B&B…..
Additionally we have a number of websites branded “Red Dot Deals” heres an example from www.reddotdeals.com……..
New Room Rate & Booking System
In addition to the new website designs for Full Members, we have been working on making our room availability module work for ALL members both Full and Associate.
- Displays Availability of every room in your B&B / Guesthouse
- Rooms can be displayed by number or name eg. Room 3 or The Lilac Room
- Rooms can be added or removed with a few clicks
- Bookings from 3rd parties are easily added by clicking on the calendar allowing your website to display true availability
- Your daily guests arrivals & departures are displayed and those with STRIPE can collect payment with one click
- Bookings can be confirmed either automatically or manually (single click) as is the current practice
- Last Minute Deals: Any bednight can be discounted by a fixed amount or % and will be displayed as a Last Minute Deal if not sold 15 days before arrival date – additionally all rooms can be discounted if not sold 15 days before arrival date
- Special Offers: Can be displayed for multiple night stay or Special Events or Occasions (e.g. multiple nights can be discounted or for Events rates increased)
- Last Minute Deals & Special Offers are syndicated to all our websites and our Red Dot Deals website
- Minimum Nights Stay: All rooms can be allocated a minimum night stay
- Website shows changes to availability instantly and automatically
- Double, Triple or Family rooms can be offered with under occupancy rate e.g. Single Occupancy
- Advance the Calendar by Day, Week, Month and Year to view overall occupancy
- List all Current Bookings
To use the facility on your webpage or website click on Website Option at the top of your “My B&B” admin panel, select ‘Room Allocation” – then log out and log back in – click “Rooms & Rates” and you’ll see the Calendar inviting you to add your first room – click the ‘+’ sign to add more rooms.
STRIPE Payment Gateway – How is it?
The Stripe payments system has be installed for 3 years now and we’re very keen to hear feed back from our members on its good points and bad points.
Please add your comments to this post either negative or positive on how you find using it.
Also for those that have not added the STRIPE Payment Gateway to the admin panel, we welcome any questions on the benefits of STRIPE and how easy it is to use.
It costs nothing to apply and there are no monthly charges – don’t use it and it costs you nothing.
The single benefit that members have stated in feedback is how transparent it is in use – allowing them to take full amount, deposit or balance with just one click.
The virtual terminal is also a favourite, allowing all members to take payment by credit card without the need for a merchant account or PCI compliance.
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 email@example.com
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Are We Mobile Friendly?
A number of members have asked ARE WE MOBILE FRIENDLY ?
This means can our members B&Bs be FOUND, SEEN and BOOKINGS made by mobile phone users. The simple answer is YES
Some months ago we introduced http://m.book-a-bnb.com – this site is compatible with all mobile devices tablets and smartphones.
If anyone using these devices lands on any one of our websites or websites of our full members, they are automatically diverted to the mobile site above where every member full or associate has a booking page. This is a mobile friendly site designed for specifically for tablet & mobile phone users
Additionally, we are working on a free upgrade to our full members websites a truly responsive website design for members that will display and work on all devices.
This will be available next month hopefully and you will be given the option to upgrade free of charge – we normally upgrade our members websites every 3 or 4 years to keep pace with changes in technology.
For Associate members that want a mobile friendly web site to replace their existing websites – You will be able to upgrade to full membership and benefit from a mobile friendly website – plus the added bonus of commission free bookings.
MEMBERS SUPPORT: Please use the email email@example.com if you wish to communicate with us – some members are wondering why we don’t respond when they are using our old email addresses.
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