Welcome, my name is Steve Driver and above you can see me living the dream in France, rebuilding the two old houses my wife and I purchased.
My wife and I started our Bed and Breakfast in Farnham 14 years ago and during that period have seen the change from organic marketing practicies to the advent of booking.com and the internet giants.
In order to control our business we looked at and reviewed many channel management systems. The fact is they all do an amazing job and all do pretty much all do the same thing, without them we would all be tied in knots and have double bookings almost every week.
For those who don't know, channel managers embed an online diary on to the accommodation owners website and connect that accommodation owner to all the channels/OTAs, we happened to chose Beds24, but the likes of Freetobook, evivio, little hotelier Qbook, etc all offer excellent services.
Again if you dont know a 'Channel' or 'Online Travel Agent' is a company like b.com, trip advisor, laterooms, expedia and Airbnb, you know the companies that have taken over the internet and charge the property owners 15% commission.
For Property Owners
At first we are inviting users of Beds24* to sign up for FREE. As a Beds24 user your booking engine can simply be connected to stayin.town. Any bookings you receive through the portal will also be FREE of commission.
You will therefore ask 'are there any fees?'
Of course there are some fees, but we would like you to think of it more as a long term investment.
We are asking every property owner who becomes a 'Member' to contribute a small amount towards the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of stayin.town.
Many of you cannot afford SEO on your own websites as typically you need to spend at least $300 - $500 a month to make it worthwhile).
So my BIG IDEA was if we all group together in one portals then the SEO can not inly be afforded it will be very effective.
We will report our SEO spend to all our members and show the results as we go forward, no tricks we aim to be open and transparent.
Please note 20% of that SEO contibution will go towards the running and management of stayin.town and paying back some of the investment we have made in the software to date.
This is not going to give an instant return, but given time, effort and your support I believe it will make a difference
For the travellers
Tourists and Business Travellers alike will be able to see real time availability on every client listed on stayin.town and book accommodation with the knowledge that all the money charged will be passed directly onto the property owner.
They also not be charged any booking fees.
This is my BIG IDEA, after 14 years of watching others take away our market and make us pay commission for products we never really wanted, it's time to get our market back.
To make this BIG idea work I need your help and support.
I look forward to working with you all over the coming weeks and months
*In time we will look to connect to many other channel management systems, next on the list is WuBook. Click Here and tell us who you use, so we can prioritise the connectivity.