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We do have a pet policy. It is stated on our web site and posted on the reception desk. It is also in the registration document they sign at check-in. We do only allow dogs, 50 lbs or under (sometimes I waive the weight restriction) No pet left alone in the room at any time unless the guest is in the room, always leashed on the property, no aggressive breeds. There is a $20+tax fee/night. But, sometimes I moderate that to a lesser amount of days if - I know the people and their pet, or they are staying 5-7 days. That does seem to somewhat alleviate both miscommunication and a destroyed room. For the most part, we do not allow dogs on the second floor. We make the guests aware that there is a $150 automatic charge if a dog is not disclosed. Of course, you cannot deny or charge for a service dog. Legally we can only ask them what service their dog provides. No requests for papers or the service dog vest is legal. That does seem to somewhat alleviate both miscommunication and a destroyed room. Not perfect but better than if we just allowed everyone to show up with their pet/pets.
I do use Facebook to promote our motel. The biggest advantage is being able to post upcoming events, both big ones and the everyday theater presentations, walks, parades, etc. I also use it, when necessary, to post for jobs and get a decent amount of response. I don't pay for "sponsoring" so there is no cost to our budget.
Since I do not apply the "boost" option to my event or job postings, I do not know the answers. I do know that I receive responses/viewings and applications without spending any money.
Interesting input from all. We are a small - 37 unit motel. We do have a policy for late check-in. Our closing hours are 10 pm weekdays and 11 pm on weekends. Policy is to call guests that have not arrived by 8:30 to determine when they will be arriving. If it is after closing, we let them know we will be closing our books at 9:30 (WD) and 10:30 (WE) and we will be running their card. They are given the secure location where their key will be left with their name and Room # on it. If, we cannot reach them, we do run their cards for the stay. If the card is good, we then leave their key in a secure location - there is a posted number where they can call - and, after determining they are the valid guest, I will tell them where their key is and ask them to come by the office to sign their documentation in the morning. If the card is declined, they will be marked as a no-show. This has proven to be a workable system for us.
I do find it a productive tool in several aspects. I make sure to post upcoming events in town as well as upgrades to the property. I also use it when I need to advertise for a new staff member. I have received a significant amount of candidates without spending any dollars. The following is increasing as I make sure to stay current with even little theater or local concert events.
It also saves a lot of wear and tear on the front desk staff. Unfortunately, as I'm sure we have all experienced, people seem to not read the profile policies and try to manipulate with a variety of reasons/excuses. But when the word gets around, it tends to moderate the amount of lost revenue, at least in our case.
We should all get together and publish a book with "Fake Cancellation Policies I Have Heard". Only trouble is that there isn't enough paper to support the text we all would provide. Oh well, part of the venue. Pretty sure I won't be adding a deposit anytime soon except for large blocks of rooms, particularly by a promoter for an event.
It is always a challenge to determine "truth from fiction". Fortunately we all seem to get a good sense when a true cancellation reason is offered. Unfortunately, the invalid credit card thing is still in full swing, particularly with damage charges. We are a 37 unit motel with a great location so I have bumped up our cancellation policy to reflect the time of year, length of stay, etc. Seems to be working but we still have a fair amount of cancellations particularly if people watch the weather report and determine they don't think they can get their boats out on the lake. Usually we are able to fill most of those rooms with travelers or contractors. I do maintain flexibility, particularly when it comes to repeat guests. For any substantial room blocks, I do charge a non-refundable deposit 2 months before the event to prevent any huge loss of revenue. Last minute or No-Show free cancellations are definitely not an option.