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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.
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.
I agree fully with the comment regarding untruthful and vindictive comments from a guest. Last week, my clerk called me and I could hear a woman screaming at her in the background and telling her to give her back her money. After I asked to speak with the guest, the guest, still screaming, said to just keep the money and left. I spoke with my clerk at length and determined that she had followed all protocol with the following explanation. After walking in to the room - was immediately back in the office saying she didn't like the room and was offered 2 others which she immediately rejected with no reason. The review they wrote said everything was a dump, dirty, staff was rude. All of the above statements were completely untrue and now I cannot even get that particular review at the bottom of the multitude of good reviews. We need to be able to responsibly deal with those kind of guests, which all of us have at some time, and not allow dishonesty and attempted manipulation to cause us a loss of revenue.
As this is our "down" season I have found that using discounted rates as a promotion only hurts our profit margin so dropping our rates as I see the trend, tends to put "heads on beds" much better and covers our daily costs to maintain stability until our high season begins in January. We receive primarily excellent reviews barring the "can't be satisfied" guest that we all get and do take the high road when responding. We are very strong on the cleanliness of our rooms and property and go beyond with staff to provide excellent - professionally friendly - customer service.
I am always interested in seeing what others are doing to promote bookings and do some interaction with our very active Convention and Visitor Bureau Event Planning Committee. Helps to give me more of a heads-up when special events are coming to town so I can change rates and perhaps reach out to market our facility.