For further information, please contact:

Dave Upton
Accommodation Guru
Office:
+61 2 9437-3347
Fax:     +61 2 9437 1232
Skype: daveupton99
Email

FAQ's

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. How long does it take to populate the web site?

 A. It takes approximately 20 - 30 minutes to add each property so 100 listings will take about 50 hours.

Q. How long does it take to visit the property owners?

 A. This can vary but if you allow approximately 4 weeks per 100 listings.

Q. Do I need to have a high level of computer skills?

 A.   No, just basic level of computer skills. Our online training videos & training manual will take you through every step of the way.

Q. How long does it take to be operational?

 A. This will depend on how much time you devote to developing the business. If you are proactive, you should have the website operational in 6 weeks or so but this depends greatly on you.

Q. How many hours a week is required to maintain and manage the website?

 A. Once you have populated the website and visited the properties, you will only need to dedicate approximately 2 - 3 hours per week to maintain and manage the business.

Q. What is the minimum number of listings I can have on my website?

A. 40 to 150 listings is recommended. 

Q. Can I place advertisers on my website?

 A. Yes, definitely as approved by Accommodation Guru. Advertising examples are car hire, restaurants, museums, art galleries etc

Q. Do I have to spend much time with the property owner to demonstrate the backend of the system?

 A. In some cases you may be required to provide a short demonstration but in general many properties will have an understanding of the system and they will be provided with access to our online video demonstrations & training manual on how to use the program.

Q. Can I have the website in different languages?

 A. Yes, definitely.

Q. As an example, if I view an American website from Spain, what language will the booking engine be in?

 A.    Whatever your browser default is (eg. Spanish, French), most of the navigation & information labels will be in that language.
Also if the content is in one language (eg English), this can easily be translated by the 'Google Translate' function at the top of most pages.

Q. How does the software know that when a booking is made on our site that the room will be available at the hotel?

 A.  Emails are automatically sent by the system as soon as a transaction has occurred.

Q. What is the commission fee I am allowed to charge?

 A. You are able to negotiate the best commission that you can with the hotel. As many of the large booking systems charge between 20 – 25% you will have a good competitive advantage. It is suggested to charge between 10% -15%.

Q. Is my website linked to other AccommodationGuru.com sites?

 A. Yes, your website will be linked to AccommodationGuru.com main site as well as other subsidiary sites.

Q. Do I have to pay for my website hosting?

 A. No, AccommodationGuru.com provides this for Free.

Q. Do I have to develop my own website?

 A. No,  AccommodationGuru.com provides you with commercial website templates that you can choose from for Free.

Q. Do I own the website?

 No. However, you have the right to use the website, have access with personal logon and access passwords, make changes to the content and use the software and systems incorporated into the website under your licence agreement.

Q. Do I pay a monthly Management and Service Fee?

 A. Yes, and this contributes to the upkeep of the system and developments.

Q. Do I have to pay the licence fee every year?

A. No, the licence fee is a single one off payment only.

Q. How long has AccommodationGuru.com been operating?

 A.    AccommodationGuru.com is part of the ITbyus group of companies that have been operating since 2001.  AccommodationGuru.com has been developed over the last 3 years. Over the last 12 months the live beta testing has successfully been implemented with a number of Australian sites.

Q. Can I speak to an AccommodationGuru.com Licensee?

 A. Due to the large number of enquiries that come into AccommodationGuru.com each day we have asked our licensees if they would mind creating an online video testimonial. This saves them answering several phone calls a week. Please visit our licensee testimonials at www.accommodationguru.com/licenseetestimonials

Q. If I select a business model with 150 property listings how can I expand my website with additional listings?

 A. This is easy. Once you are comfortable with how your website is operating and the revenues that are being generated you can simply add additional properties to your site within your territory. As you reach each new multiple of 10 new property listings you will be required to pay the relevant additional licence fee which will be proportionate to your original 150 property listings. This allows you to obtain controlled growth at the speed that your business is growing.

Q. Can I expand my territory?

 A. Yes, it is possible to expand your licence into other available territories.

Q. What is the main focus of the website, business or holiday makers?

 A. Both, but your location will dictate this in some areas but generally speaking there can be a mix of travelers using your site.

Q. How do I promote my website so that customers will visit it?

 A. This can be done in a number of ways. We provide you with a number of optimization tips and tools to assist in this area and they are included in the license package. You can also outsource this for a reasonable cost if you do not wish to do it yourself.

Niche sites are easer to optimize than generalist sites.

Q. What advantage do I have over the large online booking engines?

 A. One of your advantages is your ability to have a strong local focus. The information of your specific site will assist with your Google rankings and you will have the ability to provide good local information on the site as well as form strong relationships with local sites that will also assist with your ability to generate strong traffic.

Q. What type of properties can I list on my website?

 A. Because our system is locally focused it is possible to list a broad range of accommodation styles. Unlike the standard hotel booking sites you can list hotels, apartments, rooms, villas, chateaus, B&B, pensions and camping grounds.

Q. Do you provide any marketing tools?

 A. Yes, you are provided with an online email marketing hosting package that will allow you to provide various information and special offerings to your customers on a regular basis.

Q. Does the property being listed have to sign an agreement?

 A. Yes, we provide you with a standard and acceptable agreement. As there is no cost involved, many properties are happy to just proceed without signing agreements as they only pay commission on sales made.

Q. Who pays the credit card commission?

 A. As you are the merchant, you pay the credit card charge. That is why we suggest your final commission is around 10%+ if you charge between 12.5 – 15% commissions to the properties owners.

Q. Who receives the payment from the customer?

 A. You receive all payments directly through the secure online payment system that is incorporated into your website. AccommodationGuru.com is not an accounting system.

That said, AccommodationGuru.com has a sophisticated transaction reporting system with filters that can be run at any time. Reports can either be printed to the screen or exported to a CSV/Excel file. This can then be imported into your accounting system.

Q. Do I need a special bank account to receive the secure online payments?

 A. All you need to do is establish an account with your bank. This is a simple process. The merchant server can transfer funds directly into your account.

Q. How does the hotel or property owner know when a booking has been made for their property?

 A.   Instant Bookings - Confirmation email gets simultaneously sent to property, guest & administrator. 
(Inventory is automatically decremented)

Request Bookings: Request is emailed to property (with copies going to guest & administrator). On this email is a button with the option for the property to Accept or Decline the request.
The confirmation/decline is then sent to guest with copies going to property & administrator.

To speed this process a text/SMS message is sent at the same time to the properties mobile/cell phone. The property owner/manager/reservations department has the ability to respond Yes/No on their mobile/cell.This will automatically process the booking and the system always accepts the first response.

Establishments with a small number of rooms love this facility as they are able to sell their property online without commiting inventory.

 

 

Q. How does the property owner know when a cancellation has been made?

 A..  Properties receive a cancellation email. 

Q. How does a customer make a cancellation?

 A.  They can either contact the administrator or the property. Either way refunds less cancellation fees are made outside the system.

Q. What happens if there is a cancellation, how are the cancellation fees paid and remitted and by who?

 A.  Cancellations can be made by the administrator within the AccommodationGuru.com program.  The program automatically sends emails to the relevant parties.

All refunds of money less any cancellation fees have to be dealt with outside the system.

Q. Does AccommodationGuru.com provide training?

 A. Yes, apart from the online training videos you are provided with one on one personal online training for configuration setup as well as loading a few example establishments. Our Training Manual is also provided for future reference.

Q. Does AccommodationGuru.com assist with the development of the website?

 A. Yes, AccommodationGuru.com will assist in adding the first properties with you so that you have a full understanding of the easy to use software.

Q. Does AccommodationGuru.com provide assistance if there are any problems when I am developing the site?

 A. Yes, online support is provided.

Q. Do you provide manuals?

 A. Yes, AccommodationGuru.com will provide you with an extensive set of Manuals and Online Videos.

Q. How long is the licence agreement for?

 A.    The Single Territory Licence agreement is ongoing subject to any breaches occurring as set out in the Licence Agreement.

Q. Should I do my own market research before I commence with Accommodation Guru?

A. If you know any property owners in your area or have associates that you can trust their judgement, then it does not hurt to make an enquiry to gain some initial response.

However, we do not recommend “cold calling” property owners. In general, people today don’t favour this somewhat aggressive approach—and may not be receptive to what you have to say. This is especially the case if you do not have a full understanding of the business at this early stage of your enquiry.

In the training manual, we outline in more detail the strategies for making initial contact with potential suppliers as well as some key selling points of the AccommodationGuru.com system.