What the B&B owners are not telling you: Yahoo feature 7/7/10

July 7, 2010

Yikes, I hadn’t thought about the scary parts of the online advertising associated with this industry.

I was aware of the whole photography thing, where one could misrepresent space, since my daughter told me about an online room that had looked lovely and large online, but when she got there, it was terrible and tiny. And both daughters and I had a similar experience when we booked a room a few years ago. When we arrived, the main door was a bar, (a not very attractive one), and the whole place smelled like stale smoke. Not good. We tried to make a go of it, but after a look around, we found it impossible to stay there. When we asked for our money back, (since our daughter was pregnant at the time and the odor was making her even more nauseous, they refused. The pictures and the descriptions had been perfect, but it was anything but! I didn’t know about Tripadvisor then. I wish I had, since I could’ve helped to prevent bad experiences for other guests.)

So….I think you have to go to a place and see for yourself. Nothing beats that, and it doesn’t cost one cent to go through a front door and check things out. Does it smell good? Is it clean? Does it fit you? What appeals to one will not be the next person’s cup of tea, and that’s OK, but some things are standard (the cleanliness, etc). I always try to give our prospective guests choices during our chats on the phone, by asking what they are looking for, then I point them in another direction if our 2 guest rooms don’t fill their bill. If the guest wants waterfront, for instance, he wouldn’t be happy here, and that’s what we tell them.

I recently told one guest that our Tripadvisor reviews act as our quality assurance ratings, since they act as “inspections.” (I never thought about having “fake” ones written by family members. That was a little naive, huh?) We do offer a 10% discount for a subsequent stay for guests who write a Tripadvisor review, so that is an incentive for them to do that, and we’d love it if each guest did! But I only mention this to guests as an option, since I don’t want them feeling like they have to do “homework” after they leave. We have received many accolades from our guests during their stays, but let’s face it, they’re here for a break and a rest, which is the point, so we don’t want them burdened down with another item on their To Do lists after they leave! And similarly, as mentioned in the article featured on Yahoo, as a new B&B, with only 2 rooms, we didn’t want to add the high fees associated with paid inspections either.

The local Health Dept. representative inspects periodically with unannounced visits being part of our licensing requirements, which also underscores the importance of daily top-notch readiness. (Local licenses must be “prominently displayed, and our’s is in our Butler Pantry…..OK, which might not be exactly in a prominent place, but it works.)

Bottom line: come any time! We’d love to have you!

Comments

Comments

  1. Kalee says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing. 🙂

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