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Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne

 
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Happy Days



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
Posts: 39
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne Reply with quote

I have been reading this website for weeks as we are preparing to open a bed & breakfast.
This year we will have 1 large ensuite available. What is the best method of low cost advertising, will I need a website. The season is short, I have read a lot of places only offer 2 night stays, this would be great but as we are beginning I feel this might be difficult to achieve. How far ahead do people book B&B accommodation?
Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
Most accommodation in our area is self-cathering.
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 802
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and welcome to LMH! We were in a similar boat 3 years ago when we opened, albeit in an area with both a long summer and winter season.

There are a number of small, reasonably priced sites that you can try - we're on chambres-hotes.fr and chambresdotes.com - which bring in a reasonable number of guests, but I have to say, we weren't anywhere near full during peak times until we signed up with bookingdotcom. It appears we just weren't visible enough, as non bc bookings went up after we joined as well. The genuine guest reviews (assuming they're good!) help, too. Bc don't charge up front - its a 15% commission on bookings which could help you keep costs down, and thanks for French legislation, bc can't insist on best price guarantee, so you can add 15% to your usual room price on the site

You should have a website, as, even if you don't get many direct bookings from it, it's a reassurance to potential guests that you exist.

Ignoring the ski season, when people are keen to secure rooms well in advance, we've found that most of our b&b is booked within 3 weeks of arrival. August tends to book up more in advance, but in contrast, the majority of July is very last minute, with a significant amount of same day bookings. It's up to you if you think a 2 night minimum stay would work for your area - it's certainly less work, but perhaps in your first year, it would be better to try and get any custom going. We thought about changing to a 2 night minimum stay, but for us it would cut out a lot of our custom, so we only do it during the peak competition weekends (there are a lot of marathons/ultra trails here) when a one-nighter will likely stop us filling the room with a longer stayer.

One final thing - I see you only have one room. Is it the intention to have more in the future? Running a chambre d'hotes is a lot of work... you are tied to the property a lot of the time (breakfast/check in and check out times, etc.), not to mention the cleaning and maintenance of your property and grounds. It certainly feels more worthwhile if you're renting out more rooms. However, there are plenty of chambres d'hotes with only 1 room, but if you're not already considering it, I would suggest that you price yourself at the higher end, to make the hassle worthwhile.

Good luck with your new venture!
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4125
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree that Booking brings in the customers. However look at the T&Cs they issue to ensure they suit you. For example;

Quote:
its a 15% commission on bookings which could help you keep costs down, and thanks for French legislation, bc can't insist on best price guarantee, so you can add 15% to your usual room price on the site

Commission is quoted on your rates including the taxes (like VAT). They charge VAT on top too. In reality it works out nearer 20%.
The best prices law is European not French. Speaking personally if I had found out you wanted to charge more then in a review It would be mentioned. Booking still say they will price match, what that means to you (sanctions in your listing, removal from the website?) we have no idea.
There are some new regulations that have just been issued. I am surprised there has not been any thread about them as they will not suit everyone.
If your area has a licensing system then usually Booking requires the number too.
Goodluck
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Happy Days



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
Posts: 39
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for you advice,and you welcome. I have looked at booking.com for this area and it looks as though places are selling out fast. The commission is extremely high in my view.
I have read here about Promote my place website, any views on it?. This year being our first it will be trial and error.
I would love to deal direct and not have inflated prices because of all the hype marketing.
We will probably go with chambre D'Hote websites.
With the larger websites,how do you get paid, before or after the customer arrives?
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4125
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The commission is extremely high in my view.
You pay for what you get.
Purchase a Chevrolet Spark or purchase a Ford Mondeo Vignale. The choice is yours.
Loads has been written about PMP websites. They can be a bit generic.
http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14387
http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24540
support is said to be good.
https://promotemyplace.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

There are other drag and drops for you to build a website.
https://www.weebly.com/
https://webflow.com/
https://www.silex.me/
https://www.websitebuilder.com/
https://site.pro/For-Hostings/Features/
The problem is for any website is to build up that audience on the search engines.
Just look in the area you are based for accommodation in #### See what turns up. All of the listings sites like Booking etc as they have huge budgets for adverts.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1020
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy to send you a referral code for PMP. This will give you £10 off this year.

Fantastic template, very user friendly and can be managed by someone with no previous experience
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Sanchisimo



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 134
Location: Andalucía, Spain

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I managed to create a site on PMP in an afternoon and I'm very happy with it. I've also found it easy to use and logical given that it designed for the holiday market. I've been adding to it now and then and I think it can build into a good shop window into our properties. I had tried using Weebly but gave up becase I found it too challenging for me.

I've yet to see any direct bookings yet but it is early days and I wanted it to put on business cards and hand to people staying who have booked through one of the usual HA/HL/ABB route who want to return - they can easily see if it is available when having an idle moment of the internet. So far, a three week height of season and a booking for next year.

It's also been useful to add onto googlemaps as they now come up with photos and link when anyone searches the area.
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vacancesthezan



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 272
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne Reply with quote

Happy Days wrote:
I have been reading this website for weeks as we are preparing to open a bed & breakfast.
This year we will have 1 large ensuite available. What is the best method of low cost advertising, will I need a website. The season is short, I have read a lot of places only offer 2 night stays, this would be great but as we are beginning I feel this might be difficult to achieve. How far ahead do people book B&B accommodation?
Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
Most accommodation in our area is self-catering.


As part of starting up your B&B you will have to register with your Mairie - whether or not it is "professional".


http://www.entreprises.gouv.fr/tourisme/chambres-d-hotes

We find our Mairie great for help and we also get referrals from them from the village for weddings, baptisms, family get togethers etc. Even if you only have 1 room there is a good market for "overflow" from your village all year if you wish.

All of this marketing is totally free!!
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 802
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne Reply with quote

vacancesthezan wrote:


All of this marketing is totally free!!


It depends where you are... where we are it's the tourist board who refer properties, and that requires an annual subscription. Still good to register, though.
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 426
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne Reply with quote

Happy Days wrote:
This year we will have 1 large ensuite available. What is the best method of low cost advertising, will I need a website. The season is short, I have read a lot of places only offer 2 night stays, this would be great but as we are beginning I feel this might be difficult to achieve. How far ahead do people book B&B accommodation?
Any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.
Most accommodation in our area is self-cathering.

We have recently started, like you, to offer an ensuite room in a small extension to our house on the limit of Gironde & Dordogne as B&B.
We used to rent out the whole house for about 16 weeks in the summer and move out to a campsite but decided to stop due to the hassle and try B&B all year round to bring in a little income.
As a start we are trying Airbnb and offer minimum one night and we accept pets which many places don't. We also offer use of the swimming pool during the summer. Airbnb commission is reasonable. So far during the winter bookings have come in on average 2 weeks ahead, with one exception, we already have a booking for the end of July.
We don't yet have a website to keep down overheads but may consider it in the future.
To make it more attractive to people wanting to stay more than one night, we have created some basic kitchen facilities in a passage leading to the bedroom (cooking plate, microwave, fridge etc).
Hope this helps.
PS: are you by any chance at St Méard?
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Happy Days



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
Posts: 39
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many Thanks for some great advice in you replies.
I have made an appointment with the Mairie for next week and will also visit the Tourist Office which is Bergerac we are not at St Mead. At present I am sorting out photos as I think they can make a difference.
I have met some Gite owners and they recommend Free listing on some website, not sure on this.
Would appreciate the code for promote your place website.
How many photos can you use on this.
The only problem I find is that pricing varies so much.
One other question, will running a B&B with just 1 room increase my fonciere tax ?
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Dotty



Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 741
Location: Pyrenees Orientales, France

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My PMP referral code is 396405.
You are welcome to use it if you wish.....also for anyone else to use it who wishes.
The number of photos on PMP is unlimited. Also you can have lots of pages - not sure if there is a limit, but I have loads of pages and subpages and also various language versions all on the basic price. Can also add videos, extra html, booking etc to the standard templates with a little bit of html knowledge
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 802
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Days wrote:

One other question, will running a B&B with just 1 room increase my fonciere tax ?


Don't take my word for this as we've only just found this out ourselves and haven't got all the information yet, but a friend who runs a holiday let, and lives in the same building, told us that we should be exempt from Taxe Fonciere... and that any rebate can be backdated for 3 years. The only other thing I can remember is that you have to be 'classified', but my whom, I have yet to find out. I also don't know if it is only gites, or all holiday rental. If I find out more (our friend is sending us the details soon), I'll let you know... or perhaps other LMHers know more about this?
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4125
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to serve food you should take a hygiene course The other point you should read about is Food Allergens . That is case you have someone staying with you who has allergic reactions to certain food.
Reactions to some foods and the ingredients there in can sometimes cause serious illness and death.
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