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Guests arrival times

 First time poster.

I have a one room boutique space so don't have a front desk to greet guests. My problem is if guests don't let me know their arrival time I can be waiting around from our 2pm check in time until late in the evening. When I could be doing other things. It says on our listing to let us know and I ask in the confirmation email. 

I suspect people don't read the request. I sometimes ring but if its a landline in another country I cant keep making expensive calls. Sometimes texts work, but not always.

How do others deal with this issue? 

Ronda

 

 

 

47 Replies

6
michael beeston

Difficult sometimes.The guests are usually on Holiday Mode and are late/stop for a coffee/Lunch/wrong directions/late plane.....whatever..out of 20 guests maybe 2 or 3 are either late or delayed.what can we do ???? I just wait until they ring or I try ringing after 1 hour waiting...difficult...BUT it has happened to Rita and I ??

6 months ago
1
Ronda Turk

Thank you Michael, Mosts guests do have a good reason for being late, like late ferry sailings etc. I do believe most would let me know if they knew the inconvenience of waiting for hours. The bonus for guests who keep us informed, is they get a lovely warm fire to greet them in cooler weather.

6 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hi Ronda.Yes agree most guests try to get there on time or many times ring to see if they can arrive early..if the property is available I have no problems..welcome...and I also have a small Fireplace(although not used very much in Surfers)

6 months ago
1
Kaiwalsh

I have a check in time that suits me. 6-10pm. Then if I can’t be there I make sure someone is. I also send confirmation e mail and text and WhatsApp, if I see that, as it’s free, as soon as I see they’ve booked so I can catch them hopefully still on line, requesting a text from them when on way or an eta, so I can ensure somebody is at the property to give them access, and this wording usually makes them more attentive! Although of course there are times when guests cannot be contacted but you’ve covered yourself if somebody’s available during times you’ve stated.

6 months ago
1
Ronda Turk

Thank you Kaiwalsh, I'll check out the WhatsApp. I think I'll push my check in time out to 3pm with earlier check in by arrangement. Oh, I like your "so somebody can give them access" phrase too, very clever.

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi Ronda and welcome to the forum. Ten days before arrival I send guests an arrival letter asking them for their arrival time and if they have any special request.... They usually answer. On arrival day I am stand by in case something goes wrong. I wait for them and if they are late after an hour I call them asking if they have any trouble with location.

6 months ago
1
Gerda Bierebeeck

Often guest do not respond to my question regarding arrival time. If the guest spreak a language i can speak than there is no problem, i call them. However i dont understand guests from Eastern Europe, calling them us useless. Wath do others do in this case?

6 months ago
1
Kaiwalsh

Try to stick to written contact, so I can use google translation, otherwise I call Booking.com and they usually can assist, as many of their people are bilingual and can reach out to the guests even more than we can, also if they can’t get anywhere they will advise you on what to do to cover yourself. They are very helpful, and there to assist us, as when we are successful they benefit, vice versa!

6 months ago
2
Wayne Cahoon

What I do is push their emailed reservations to my phone so I have their contact info handy, but with foreign visitors it's been very difficult to get in contact with them. I've found the sooner I get in touch with a guest the better chance I get a response. In 11 years of running our B&B we've had only one guest sitting on the bench waiting for us to arrive.

Booking.com is very insensitive to the little guys that don't have a front desk manned 24/7. As best as I can tell they don't make ANY provision to ask the guests specific questions at the time of booking. In fact they prefer to ask as few questions as possible as not to make the person booking feel like they are getting the third degree integration and possibly not book through them.

Here what I need to know from every guest.

  • Are there any food restrictions I should know about?
  • Approximately what time will you be arriving? We'll need to know when your arriving so that we can be here to show you the room as we don't have a front desk manned.
  • What is your home address State or Country? As Booking.com doesn't collect this info. I've found it a real pain in the butt having to look up their zip code or Country that is just another step we have to do when the booker can enter it in a second.

I've had pretty good results the faster I get this email sent to them as they are still in the booking mind set.

5 months ago
1
Ronda Turk

Thanks for the useful tips. Wayne Cahoon, In the booking settings you can make each guest fill in address details, and phone number. I have this set up. Booking .com prefer, as you say, least steps possible for guests to book. I found I was getting bogus bookings or people not even sure if they would make it this far but book anyway.( I have a very generous cancelation policy.) By getting guests to fill in address details I've not had anmore bogus bookings so far.

5 months ago
2
Wayne Cahoon

Ronda,

Booking.com isn't chasing after someone to pay or the get the correct information so I request it up front or no booking is accepted.

This is what I receive from Booking.com.

  • Name
  • Phone #
  • Street address
  • City
  • Zip - Some times

No State or true country. I say TRUE country as I've had it list a country based on the zip code, but if the zip code is entered in wrong then it's not usable. I NEED the other info listed on a previous posting to exclude the riff raff and give me the info I need to run my place.

I don't know if it's changed, but in the past I would receive C/C's without a 3 digit code. I've learned to demand a code and then I pre-autherize it before I accept it or it'll be rejected IF it didn't come in the original booking.

Some lessons have been hard learned.

Wayne TGH B&B Owner

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi Ronda-Turk useful info you gave us. Where exactly in booking settings you can make each guest fill in address details. How do you set up this? Having contact with guests from the very moment they make reservation helps reducing cancellations and getting to knowing your guests better.

Thank you Ronda for the input and have a nice evening.

5 months ago
1
Ronda Turk

M Adamopoulou, In your booking.com page. go to 'Property' at the top. From the pull down menu select 'Policies' Scroll down the page to 'Guest information' here you can edit your preferences.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Ronda Turk thank you very much for instructions.
Take care....

5 months ago
2
Wayne Cahoon

Rhonda,

In the Property > Policies > Guest Requirements > Edit > "Do you want guests to enter their home address when booking" question DOESN'T work fully as the Town information is not reported to me when I get a booking. Also see Guest Information, there is a question there that asks "Can guests book without providing address details?" but as I said before, NO, NONE, NADA city information is relayed to me when a booking comes in.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hi everyone..I have just attached booking from booking.com and it shows ALL information I require............Rhonda/Wayne..does this help ???

1. The booking from booking.com has all details that I need/Address/phone number/credit card details/name/amount of guests.

2. I have already taken the 30% deposit (immediately even though the booking is for 2019 !!) by my credit card machine and relayed the info to the client.

3.Since starting the 30% deposit we have negligible cancellations..............it works well as I believe the guest has already paid 30% deposit....SO why waste time chasing for a better deal ?? elsewhere.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

sideways..sorry ...anyway ti shows all details..hope this helps.........Michael.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

5 days before the guests arrive I charge the balance and when they arrive it is PAID. !!!.Cool.

5 months ago
7
pibomarco

Self check in for "late" arrivals. Works well :)

5 months ago
2
Alasma

Very useful tips from you guys.
We have just introduced self check in at our 2 locations. Once payment for rent and deposit is clear . We ask our guests to send us photo ID and then send them a details with locker code. Also some pictures and small video.
It's really help ful . It save time for waiting and paying out to staff.
As we don't have a main desk and our apartments are located in different locations. So can't be every where most of the time.
Booking.com staff try their best to call international guests to find out about check in time but mostly guests don't reply to incoming calls to avoid charges.
So we use self check in service and staff can meet them later on if required.
I find it helpful specially when guests book on the door step of apartment. We don't use this service for local bookings and group booking to avoid any incidents.

5 months ago
1
David Graham01

I have a keypad lock in front door
I send them the code
I also have my phone number on a plaque on the door beside the lock
No waiting at all

5 months ago
2
Jack Alty

Yes, they don't read. Sometimes they don't answer e-mails, telephone calls as well.
Bit of waiting for the keys to the property (at least couple of hours) teach them to read and answer e-mails.

5 months ago
1
Francoise

I always send them a message 2 days before their arrival date to request the arrival time. I also have a keybox and I give them the code a few hours before their arrival if they come late at night. When they arrive in the afternoon I ask them to text me when they are 10 minutes away from the apartment because I like to welcome them, I want to know who is in my apartment.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hello Francoise........Although we do not have a key box , I do a similar thing that you do....................and I very much like to see who the guests are that are staying at the property, and have a chat with them (its always good)

5 months ago
1
Kerrie Cox

I am also quite small and only have two rooms. I usually greet guests and provide a treat from our kitchen. If I know I will not be available all afternoon, I will normally send an email through Booking.com to ask them to let me know what time they may be arriving, so I can ensure that I am onsite to greet them. I then provide them with directions on how they can enter their accommodation. We have pin codes not he door so they can enter without keys which makes it so much easier. I will normally text guests the morning they are due to arrive to ask their expected time of arrival. Overseas guests, I need to rely on Booking.com email system and hope they check it prior to arriving. Generally these methods work. We live onsite and don't have a front desk, so I will send instructions if I know there is a chance that I will not be here at their expected arrival time.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hello Kerrie.......Thats the way.we are all different and if it works for you then that is even better....,,good news.

5 months ago
1
Carrawobitty R…

As we're situated on 100 acres, it's good to know a ruff time to expect guest so we're not away from the house.

5 months ago
1
Debbie

When the reservation is received, in the note section request a check in time and note. Check ins after

lets say 9pm will receive an email with self check in instructions. Please make sure you have access to your registered email.

If you can, place a realtor lock box on the door with key inside and room #. They can access thru the lock box and check in , in the am to sign paper work or what have you.

Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me and give then hours to call and # to contact....

always make sure you have a valid email address, place it back on them..Works great for us.....

5 months ago
2
Jack Alty

Sounds good - the only problem is they must read emails. And many of them do not read.

5 months ago
1
Debbie

You need to make them read. Guest checking in after hours will need a lock box code and or self check-in instructions should you not have them will result in early morning check-in. Guess must respond within a timely manner so check-in instructions can be sent to the email on file. Make them respond. Once they figure out that they can't check in anytime they choose to and keep you awake at all hours of the morning they'll stop doing it. Put it back on them like they would put it on you I know it sounds a little harsh but you give people a role for too many choices they will hang themselves. One choice this is how it is and it makes your life easier and less stressful

5 months ago
1
Soaustralian

HI Ronda,

Well Ronda, in my case, I rent out an apartment in the CBD and I leave the key for the guests to arrive and pick it up from there. I specify the exact check in times for example, 2pm till 6pm. This is written in my Booking.com policy page. If the guests arrive after this time they won't be able to get into the apartment and I wlll still get paid because this is my policy rules.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Soaustralian and welcome to the forum. Very interesting policy rules.
Have a Merry Christmas 🎄

5 months ago
1
Casadewow

We are a small, family-run B & B and we were having issues with the arrival times as well. What I did that has helped quite a bit.... in my auto welcome letter I state in there that we are not a large hotel and we need to have arrival times nailed down to the hour if possible because we want to ensure they are greeted warmly. most people have been great about it and some don't respond which can be frustrating. Communication is key. hope this helps!

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hi Casadewow.............This is always a problem, not with all the guests but some (very few I hope) treat arrival times (forget delays with planes and stuff) as in Holiday mood !!.we had a couple last week who were supposed to check in at 2.pm and decided to go to Lunch with a few beers.they arrived 4.30PM...and said we went for lunch and a drink !!!.Whats the problem, we pay our money !!

This ONLY happens a few times BUT is frustrating to say the least.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I am always in a Holiday mood so I really don't mind if my guests are late. I mostly worry if they have any trouble finding my property. If time passes I give them a call to make sure they are all right and it is highly appreciated by guests.

5 months ago
1
Sarah Heard

I am in the same situation - and appreciate all the comments and advice here. I usually send a personalised email to the guests - asking for a flight number too (then I can watch and see if they are delayed - perhaps if they were they wouldn´t be able to contact me and let me know if the phone is off because they are on the plane maybe). This really helped me this week because I saw that the client´s flight landed over 30 minutes early!!!! So they arrive an hour and half before they said they would - I was able to rush around and get my jobs done before they arrived.

I also make it clear that they need to call when they are on the way from the airport/30 minutes away so that I can "go to the apartment to meet them"

There are still some people who call me when they arrive, but I am not there so they have to wait for me, luckily this is Spain and there´s always a bar open!!

I have considered a key safe option but I think the personal welcome is better.

5 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hello Sarah..............I like your message and have to agree........I have thought of a key safe BUT I also very much enjoy the personal meet and greet and get to see the guest who are checking in.

I only live 5 minutes away from the apartment so it is easy BUT in some of the cases on the Forum I also understand the key safe idea, everyone is different and has many options...Thanks for the info......Michael.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Meet and greet with a big smile is the best welcome for me. If that is not possible due to distance a key safe will have to do but you can add on the key a welcome note. Hosting makes us creative....
Cheers!!!

5 months ago
1
TT

Get an electronic door lock so they can Self-Check In.

Give them a code

Change the code for each guest.


I like this Schlage see photo

5 months ago
2
Jack Alty

Yes, you can give them a code when they stay in touch with you. Or you will send them a code - and they will not respond...

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

TT I like your electric door lock. I am thinking of getting one. Can you please inform me how much does it cost...

5 months ago
1
Info

Hi

I have had this problem in the past and now send an email as soon as the booking has been taken:

I have this as a template and delete details where applicable:

Delighted you are coming to stay with us.

I am pleased to confirm I have reserved a room for you for 2 nights beginning 22nd June 2019.

1 x twin/double with en suite toilet & basin and use of 2 communal bathrooms

Please provide me with a mobile number in case I need to contact you.

Can you please confirm if you would like the room made as a twin or double bed and give an indication of your arrival time.

Check in times are after 3pm and before 7pm, but could you give me an indication of your arrival time so I am home to greet you,

I shall make sure I am home between 2-3pm, if you are going to be earlier or later than this, please ensure you call me (as soon as possible), otherwise I may not be home for your arrival.

5 months ago
1
Reservations: …

Make certain your property information is updated on booking.com, we usually send a message after the booking letting guests know we do not have a 24 hour reception and request they message/contact us with their estimated arrival time. Once we hear back and we know they are going to be after hours, we send them a message with the after hours procedures. If we hear nothing back and we send a reminder and on the day of arrival we call.

5 months ago