TIPS FOR A NEWBIE: What would you have liked to have known when you began?

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Komentarze: 27

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    pibomarco

    All online travel agencies are basicly the same. 
    I know that Booking.com is one of a leading OTA's, I am registered on 10 different OTA's and booking.com covers more then half almost 3/4 of all my bookings. Next one is AirBnB, Expedia,...

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    Blagoje Supic

    Regarding booking.com I would suggest to activate payments by booking.com.

     

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    Jkangarloo

    I disagree with Blagoj, and suggest taking your own payments. It's much better to be in control of your own finances.

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    Blagoje Supic

    In what way I am not in control by using payments by booking.com?!

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    pibomarco

    Sure Jkangarloo.. Get back to us when you won't be able to charge late cancelations & no-shows or when you will be receiving fraudalent bookings.  

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    Jkangarloo

    I charge a non-refundable deposit at booking, so I always have a validated credit card to charge in case of no-shows, and fraudulent bookings are detected immediately. When I've used booking.com payments I had issues with them refunding guests who should not have been refunded, refusing to refund guests when we were willing...if it works for you great, but I much prefer to handle payments myself.

     

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    pibomarco

    You wanted to refund the guest, but booking.com didn't allow that? That was the only problem?:)

    As I mentioned few times. I was handling payments by myself too. Got quite a few cases when I charged the card for a late cancelation or a no-show, the guest reported this transaction as unauthorized to their card provider, and MasterCard or Visa etc.. refunded them, and our account was charged, and you can not do nothing about it if you are charging cards on the distance (not phisicly). More and more guests awares that and are exploiting this. 
     

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    Zoinks

    Can't agree more with Blagoje Supic  and I'm happy to see that pibomarco (with his years of experience) also agrees that payments by booking.com are the way to go. I remember being called ' unprofessional'  by one partner because, she said, I am not in control of my finances. I have no idea what she meant and trying to ask her proved fruitless. The bestest thing with this payment method is that when a guest arrives he does not hand me money or a credit card. I have enough trouble collecting a damage deposit in cash (that is one reason I'm talking to my bank to see if this can be done via a credit card). Sorry for going off at a tangent but does anybody else get guests who arrive and when you ask them for the cash deposit they tell you they have no cash? Who travels with no cash at all? This is something which happens all the time to me but since there is an ATM a few metres away I point them to it..Any charges they incur are their fault since it is clearly printed that I take a security deposit in cash and an automated email goes out after each booking to remind them of this.

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    Pam and Mark Tipping

    My recommendation to someone just starting is not related to payment but more to making sure you have a day off now and again to rest.  It is all to easy to just take booking after booking and before you know it you realise you have worked solidly for 2 months.  Whenever you get a chance block off a day or 2 so that you have a life :-).

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    Zoinks

    Pam and Mark Tipping  Can't agree more. Since starting with BDC in February I have not been on a brief holiday. I will add that if you live in the place where you work (like living in your own b and b) It is important to get out. I've booked a 4 day 'escape' for next week. 

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    Torrdarach

    I know the following may sound a little negative but I always tell the truth. I often say things that other people are thinking and who are too scared to say.

    I would have liked to have known just how little respect guests have for other peoples property!

    I would have liked to have known how much people eat at breakfast times so that they don't need to buy lunch!

    I would have liked to have known how cheap some people can be!

    I would like to have known how disgusting some people are, like *** in the shower that we experience at least twice a year!

    If I would have known then what I know now then I would have invested a lot less in to the property and instead of 4 star "Gold" I would have aimed at a maximum of 3 star!

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people that I have become friends with and we have a lot of returning guests. There are some people that book, turn up, pay and leave again which is also fine. It is the handful of nasty people that really gets to me.

    Who else is willing to speak the truth! :-)

     

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    fluff

    You will always get the odd guest here or there that is a total nightmare. So far no excrement in the shower!

    Huge piles of vomit, yes. Wrapped up inside the sheets for house keeping to find.

    Copious other body fluids, yes.

    We do provide makeup removal wipes BUT never get used, makeup stained towels instead (slap-own-face).

    Hair dye on towels, yes.

    Jump from the balcony into the pool, yes and thrown out.

    Foul mouthed, verbally abusive, miserable, trouble making liars, yes.

     

    Thankfully, few and far between, the majority being quite normal or even a delight to have around. Unfortunately these bad experiences tend to stick in your mind.

    Break wise I try to nip off once every 3 months for long weekend if possible. The recharge is needed before you turn into a Basil Fawlty!

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    Silvia Black

    I am astounded, disgusted and very disillusioned at how little respect some guests have for the property they rent. 

    If a cleaning fee is charged some guests believe they have to make it worth their while and leave the property as dirty as they possible can.

    Luckily these cases are the minority, but it would be very help if Booking.com could add a sentence or two regarding the basic respect the property of others are due and how guests can ensure that owners will be willing to have them a guests again.  A blacklist facility so that the same people do not go on and on misbehaving without any consequences will be helpful too.

     

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    Zoinks

    As regards guests doing atrocious things in the room ( as in breaking, stealing, and generally making it filthy), that is why in an another thread I disagreed with hosts who do not go into the rooms every day. I make it clear to guests that I do so but is is part of the checking that is involved. Of course I have problems with this for many of one my night stays as when they stay for a few hours I cannot go into the room while they are there but yet BDC allows them to leave reviews about facilities etc. I have many 10/10 reviews from people who usually stay for more than one night but I've just had the lowest score ever from a man who wrote that he was ' entitled to his late checkout'. Because I did not give it to him ( I had guests arriving right after him and one hour is needed to clean up a messy room) he left me the worst review I have ever got - starting it with this sentence "The host refused my entitlement to a late checkout". What I would have liked to know before I started out with BDC was how they let people who think that they are experts write atrocious lies and we have to fight, often with no result to get the lies deleted.

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    Zoinks

    fluff - I am curious - when you say that you get guests thrown out (for very valid reasons). How do you go about it? Do you do it yourself? Do you call the police? What about payment?

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    Zoinks

    Silvia Black  there is actually a website which I found here on the partner forum as it was recommended by another host. It is https://www.guestchek.com/ and if you register (free of of charge) you can look up guests and also make reports which are available to others hosts. Something which booking.com does not allow us to do,

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    Zoinks

    Like Pixelmxr I have only been in the bed and breakfast business for less than a year but before that I used to have long term guests involving a very different system. I find that most guests are decent people and unlike some of the things that I've read in the forum I've never really had anything like guests vomiting in the sheets and so on. In the previous system the guests also left feedback - but I got to see it and the company was so efficient that they would call and ask to speak to the guest privately and ask whether everything was OK while he was still with me. That way guests could not do as some guests do with feedback on BDC - either use it to blackmail you or leave negative feedback after they leave on really trivial things which they never tell you about about while they were here. 

  • Avatar
    fluff

    Joey

    We have had to "eject" customers on just two occasions.
    They were told, by me, that their behaviour was both unacceptable to our policies and sufficient for police attention if we so wished. They are in breach of contract so therefore no refund. Any fuss and the police would be called.
    Even a moron knows when they are that far out of order so they give in at that point.
    Repercussion reviews, one gave us a good slagging off so received a curt and fact correcting reply.
    The other gave us a top review and openly apologised for their behaviour!

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    Katerinka12

    "I've never really had anything like guests vomiting in the sheets and so on"

    Don't worry, it will come! :)

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    Zoinks

    Katerinka12 Thanks for the encouragement :-)

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    fluff

    A song for you Joey...

    You ain't seen nothin' yet
    B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet
    Here's something, here's something your never gonna forget
    baby, you know, you know, you know you just ain't seen nothin' yet

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    Katerinka12

    .... And soon to come....very soon, you will open your eyes.... And see the truth....when you are in trouble... Just look for us...Katerinka12 and Fluff

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    cassid

    Get glass covers for all your furniture, otherwise it will be destroyed.

    Keep a tin of wall paint accessible, as you will need to repaint patches all the time.

    Nail down anything valuable, random items go "missing"

    Nail down your furniture because it will be moved even just for a night, beds moved, chair moved, bathroom items moved around, I have stayed in many locations around the world and I have never moved furniture of belongs of hosts/hotel

    I supply make up removal wipes, cotton pads and cleanser, and when you are doing the tour, the guest is saying, that's brilliant, then you see the pillows covered  in make-up, I can't do anymore apart of cleaning their faces before they go to bed!!

    I have had guests literally filling up bags from breakfast to keep them going all day. In the past 2 weeks I have had a few locusts, they are eating other guests portion as well, disgusting and selfish behavior. Me, myself and I culture is just thriving, it's not a specific culture, its passes the race border. I had 2 guests this week and they had a huge amount of luggage, and they wiped out everything from the breakfast room except the plates, containers for cerael. I reckon they were touring the world, robbing food out of every property hence all the luggage.

    I had a couple last week and it took me 6 hours to clean up after them, they stayed one night, were lovely people but utter slobs, I had to wash the beds down, there was all sorts wiped in the wood. I leave a box of tissues beside the bed. Then on leaving, " we will be back, we had a fab time" of course as I waved them off, little did I know about the sn** and p** all over the bathroom and the most disgusting room which was perfect when they booked in. The only good thing is that you can block them from booking you again. 

    I rang booking as, I wanted to put a policy in place so can charge for cleaning that is beyond normal, but they policies are pre-formatted. It's not the staff's fault but a structure issue that needs changing. 

    The last 3 weeks, my patience is wearing thin, way too many one nighters which is hard work when you do all the cleaning yourself . I am fed up with selfish guests who want 5 star accommodation for 1 star prices. I am in the 9's and I wish I was lower, I may need to look at decreasing my standards just to get more normal people in.

    When you get a run of not nice guests, you forget the really nice ones who were just a pleasure to meet, and I hate that you end of focusing on the bad guests when you get run of them.

    An issue I have is that there is no come back if guests destroy your property, they are let to continue booking and still part of the genius , no deterrent and they are permitted to cause chaos in another property. 

    If you have reddit, there is a thread called" tales from the front desk", you can see the refund, review driven guests and their bizarre requests, I worry in case this culture in grains itself more into our future guests. 

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    Lucky Pete

    We have a set of house rules that guests must sign before we check them in. This seems to help.

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    Weigelt

    My suggestion is to prepare a notebook for each room.  Provide a brief description of yourselves, information about the area, and rules, if you have any.  This will minimize having to say the same thing a thousand times to new guests.  Hope you enjoy the experience as much as we have.

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    Katerinka12

    Providing House Rules and making the guests sign sounds to me as a great idea as people just do not read the full description of the listing.

    "I am fed up with selfish guests who want 5 star accommodation for 1 star prices."
    How true. And that's another mistake of a newbie (I made such mistake) to think you can attract more guests if yoy put low price. Wrong.

    And forget about having the same lifestyle as you had before. You will be constantly on the phone communicating with guests and checking the bookings. Adventures as to go to vacation whenever you want will not happen. You will need to plan all your vacations (if any :)) in advance. Also you can't relax and reply late. You must reply to guests requests and bookings almost immediately. Many people find it difficult to do. And be prepared for long hours of no sleep as many guests would arrive late even they put in different time of check in. And some people think if they pay you money, you can wait for them 6 or 10 hours to arrive. They do not care about your plans and will not even apologize.

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    M Adamopoulou

    So far so good. Maybe I lucky but all of my guests leave my studio in the condition they found it. It helps perhaps that we live down stairs and they respect the house.

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