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Prairie Guest House

The Prairie Guest House sync online inventory and save time with Little Hotelier’s all­-in­-one reservation system

The Prairie Guest House sits on a farm­-like setting of two acres in Hamilton County, Indiana. The inn features beautiful gardens, large native Indiana trees, a rustic barn, and an on­-site yoga studio.

Guests rest in a mid­-1800’s Gothic farmhouse with 10 large rooms, and across the Courtyard, they enjoy a fabulous home­-cooked breakfast and cozy sunroom in an early 1900’s cottage.

As the Owner­-Innkeepers of The Prairie Guest House, John and Karen Newton wear multiple hats. They manage housekeeping, food, the yoga studio, and events such as barn weddings, brunches, and teas.

John and Karen never had issues attracting guests to their property. However, they soon realized that they were struggling to manage their time because of their online booking process.

"Managing our online inventory is much easier now. Instead of checking on every reservation, I trust that it’s taken care of because it’s automated. It’s wonderful and it feels like it’s almost too good to be true!"

The Challenge

John and Karen’s channel manager did not integrate with some of the online booking sites they were using, meaning that they wasted a lot of time trying to keep their inventory up to date.

“We had to manually update our availability because our channel manager only worked with some of our online sales channels. 60% of our inventory was connected, but 40% of it wasn’t, so it was very high maintenance. Any time we received a reservation it took 10 minutes to update inventory everywhere.”

John and Karen receive roughly 50% of their bookings directly through their website, and the other 50% from OTAs, with 20% of all bookings being made on mobile devices. It was almost impossible to keep up with reservations, especially during popular days.

“It was cumbersome because I would have to double­check on every reservation. As a bed and breakfast, we don’t have a lot of rooms, and on busy weekends we would sometimes oversell our rooms by accident.”

While this didn’t result in unhappy guests, it did result in a smaller profit margin for John and Karen.

“Sometimes we would have to upgrade guests because we over­sold our cheapest room. That error made me uncomfortable, because it would be bad for our business.”

The Solution

John and Karen knew it was time to find a solution that would significantly reduce the chances of such errors occurring.

“We were tired of the maintenance that came with our previous channel manager. We knew that there had to be a better way to do it.”

The key requirements of their new reservation system were;

A more efficient channel manager that connected to more booking sites;

A more user­friendly reservations calendar interface;

The ability to collect more information on their booking form; and,

A better automated email function.

After carefully assessing their options, John and Karen settled on Little Hotelier.

“We searched extensively and looked at 20 different packages. Some were cost prohibitive, and some didn’t have the pieces we wanted. In the end, we selected Little Hotelier because it had what we were looking for at the right price.”

The Results

With Little Hotelier, The Prairie Guest House’s rooms are never double booked because theyknow that Little Hotelier’s channel manager is keeping their availability in sync.

“Managing our online inventory is much easier. Instead of checking on every reservation, I trust that it’s taken care of because it’s automated. It’s wonderful and it feels like it’s almost too good to be true!”

Little Hotelier has reduced the amount of time John and Karen spend on cumbersome administrative work.

“We estimate that Little Hotelier has saved us half about half an hour a day.”

In particular, John and Karen appreciate the automation of emails and reports.

“We like how Little Hotelier automatically generates emails and reports for us. While we did have reports with our previous reservation system, Little Hotelier’s reports are more integrated and better set up.”

John and Karen have also found working with Little Hotelier’s support team to be a positive experience.

“The help and support we receive is great. We get help immediately, there’s good follow-­up, and they’re always pleasant.”

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