| Hats Off to the Chicago Bed and Breakfast Association!|
In February 2015, the Cook County Assessor began mailing notices to the owners of so-called "Bed and Breakfast" properties in Cook County (including the Chicago-area) indicating they would be re-classified from residential to commercial…resulting in a doubling or more of their property taxes. The Chicago Bed & Breakfast Association immediately hired an attorney and filed an appeal. The results? Effectively immediately, all changes of classification to commercial were rescinded for 2015, and within the next forty-five (45) days, the Assessor will convene a meeting of the interested parties to discuss appropriate valuation methodologies. Kudos to Kapra Fleming (House of Two Urns) for leading the charge!
This re-classification effort has occurred previously and no doubt will continue to occur as municipalities look for increased tax revenue … we will keep you apprised, and synthesize the information for reference.
Are B&Bs & Inns newsworthy? After all, they’ve existed for centuries and aren’t a novelty. How do you, as a “legitimate” (and you know what we mean) B&B or Inn get good press? Take a tip from Staples (the office supply folks) and have an “easy button” – also known as a Media Kit. Reporters & travel writers often have short turn-around times for their stories, and you will increase your chance of being featured if you have copy / photos available. By having your Media Kit posted on your website, you’ll also help your SEO. Let your state or regional B&B association know of your Media Kit – they are routinely contacted by the media for interesting twists or the latest trend at B&Bs. (Read more in “Developing a Media Kit for Your Bed & Breakfast”)
Webinar Wednesdays … check out the schedule of webinars below – pets, marketing, Google, reservations – I’m clearing my calendar to attend! And, if your schedule doesn’t permit you to attend the webinar ‘live’, you can view them anytime in the archive of the PAII website: http://www.innkeeping.org
What’s the difference between customer care and customer service? It’s that emotional connection with the guest … and nobody does that better than innkeepers! However, have we taken this to the next level: fostering guest loyalty and awareness of our brand? Hoteliers are deeply analyzing this process – read more in “A Deeper State of Loyalty”.
And, we at PAII appreciate your loyalty! Thanks to all of you who sent in comments / topics for discussion at this week’s Board of Directors’ meeting. We’ll be looking back at what has worked well (and not so well) and using these experiences to look forward and shape your PAII 2015, 2016 … and beyond.
Thanks for reading –
Kris Ullmer PAII Executive Director
News You Can Use:
Key 2015 Twitter Trends Every Marketer Needs
Developing a Media Kit for your Bed and Breakfast
Tourism group calls for action to regulate 'illegal hotels' http://news.wbfo.org/post/
A Deeper State of Loyalty: Creating real loyalty requires building an emotional connection with the guest. Here’s what some of the biggest industry players think about this topic
Social Media & SEO Changes Innkeepers Should be aware of:
Facebook News Feed Changes
Featured Past PAII Webinar from our Archives
Brand Identity And Managing Your Inn
From the Olympic Peninsula Bed and Breakfast Association http://www.opbba.com/
Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Sauce from the kitchen of Miller Tree Inn (second recipe down)
Upcoming Webinars (more dates and topics coming soon!)
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Google Local - Only The Top 3 Remain!
Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have recently changed yet again!
Yes - it's a known fact that Google changes all the time - but their most recent change for "Bed and Breakfast" and "Lodging" phrases has minimized the Local playing field down to the top 3 contenders. Local Listings 4-7 have dropped away. If youused to be in the 7 pack, you may not be ranking locally at all now. If you are not aware of the difference between Local and Organic (FREE) placement, and haven't recognized this latest change and its effect on your placement, we welcome you to come to this webinar to learn more about Local vs. Organic, and what role your Website does and doesn't play in the Google Search Result Pages. It's a must know for all Innkeepers and Property Owners!
Pros & Cons of offering Pet Friendly Rooms
Before you open or convert your property to being pet friendly, you must first decide if you are willing to make your property accommodate the needs, wants and potential issues as well as the potential profits that pets and their owners can bring to your property. Learn about the pros and cons of offering pet friendly rooms, where and how to advertise and how to make sure your property is covered for liability.
-Forfeng Designs/Forfeng Media
The 5 Greatest Marketing Challenges
In a recent survey, over 400 innkeepers let us know their biggest marketing challenges. We will present practical solutions for the top five: planning your social media strategy, tracking return on investment, working with OTAs, understanding SEO, and perfecting your photos.
Understanding the Guest Experience, presented by Liz Day
Ever wondered what your guests experience during the entire booking process? Join Liz Day from RezStream as she helpsyou market your property better by understanding how guests find your website on the search engines, what they want when they arrive on your website, and how to guide them through the booking process. Don’t forget about the analytical reporting review as she helps you understand what you need to look at and how to process that information.
Benefits of RezStream Cloud, presented by Josh Wise
Thinking of upgrading your reservation software? See why many hoteliers are talking about the RezStream Cloud. No longer do you need to be in the office to see what’s happening at the property, simply login to your account on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Learn about the benefits of the property management software and the features that helps you run your business better.
Don’t forget, We have set up an e-mail address questions@PAII.org for you to ask questions and make comments directly to your board.