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What are the key things you'd like to see on a website...
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: What are the key things you'd like to see on a website... Reply with quote

...for a self-catering property (or group of properties)?

(To any Americans reading this... self-catering = vacation rentals)

So far I'm thinking, the core things are...

- introduction
- info on the accommodation with lots of pics
- info on facilities
- rates
- information on local area and attractions
- map
- contact details

And possible extras might be...

- availability / online booking
- offers
- events in local area
- a blog
- a shop (eg. selling books/maps on local area, travel insurance, etc.)
- info specific to certain groups (families, couples, people with pets, etc.)
- info on local walks
- info on other niche interests (horse riding, golf, etc.)
- info on local restaurants, bars, shops, etc.
- guest comments/reviews (possibly even linking to Tripadvisor)
- awards (if applicable)
- press coverage
- mailing list
- competition
- foreign language versions
- webcam
- weather forecast
- ability to send pictures as e-postcards

Plus...

- a Facebook fan page
- a Twitter account

Any further input...?

Thanks.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good list, Paul.

If I was going on a self catering holiday, I'd find it incredibly useful to know what the kitchen was like and what kitchen equipment was available.

We rented a little house-boat in France a few years back and, despite it being tiny, the kitchen was very well equipped. (Yay for the French!).

We've been to self catering places elsewhere and apart from the sink and cooker, there's been just nothing. Sad I would like to know beforehand what to expect.
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, good point... so some kind of inventory then.

What equipment is in the property (partly covered by the photos and facilities info, I suppose) but also what items people can expect to find, whether it be dishwasher tablets, toilet rolls, towels or whatever...

I know one place I once stayed they had a basket of items that visitors might have forgotten (eg. toothbrush, etc.) that could be purchased on an 'honesty pot' basis. Quite a good idea, really.

I think there are huge differences in terms of what is provided from one cottage to the next so it would be helpful if it was clear from the onset. The self-catering villa I stayed in in Crete last month came with a fridge/freezer full of provisions for the week; that's usually unheard of in self-catering circles.
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking further, maybe an FAQ would be helpful. I have been involved in a self-catering business before and you always used to get the same questions recurring again and again.

eg. what time do you have to vacate the cottage on the day of departure? when is the balance due? what time can you arrive at the beginning of your stay? can you arrange for flowers/Champagne to be in the cottage on arrival? etc.
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gowriter
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Price.

I'll be honest. I look at prices first and then sort them from cheapest to most expensive.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Average temperature and rainfall throughout the year (if I'm an American booking a place in England a few months in advance)?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Links to sites such as Eventful, BriteKite, etc.
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gowriter wrote:
Price.

I'll be honest. I look at prices first and then sort them from cheapest to most expensive.


That was covered by 'rates' in my initial list. You imply that you base your holidays purely on price but many people look for other things in a holiday besides just cost.

Techboy wrote:
Average temperature and rainfall throughout the year (if I'm an American booking a place in England a few months in advance)?


Good point. Weather forecast alone is not enough as it's only giving short term weather info (useful to those who are just about to stay), rather than info for the entire year (useful to those who are considering making a booking).

Techboy wrote:
Links to sites such as Eventful, BriteKite, etc.


Rather than linking to eventful, I'd sooner provide events from within my own site, covered by 'events in local area' in the list in the original post.

BriteKite I've not heard of and can't seem to find... can you tell me more?

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I got the spelling wrong, they do actually spell it correctly: brightkite.com

See brightkite.com/learn_more
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... does anyone use this? I searched for my town in the UK and it returned just 3 (all US) results. How might a vacation rental site use this, do you think?
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has some activity in Milton Keynes, more in London. I guess it's just not that popular yet.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, you gave me an idea for a Not Delia blog posting and I got so into the subject that I had to make two postings out of it. Laughing

I would accept that I'm probably atypical in how and what I cook, but my postings might give you some ideas.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll send you an invoice for my consultancy Laughing

I look forward to reading the posts!
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paul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the posts, I think Kay meant this Paul... off to have a fuller read now. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol, oh yeah. Too confusing Smile
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