The Old Manor House was once an antique shop and has now been a B&B since 2007. Situated in a quite Kent village, it offers 2 rooms (1 double, 1 twin) with exposed wooden beams, en suite bathrooms, a 4-poster bed, and views across the village green.
Kerstin Olszowska, owner of The Old Manor House B&B in Brasted, Kent, knew something had to change when she saw business was getting slower and slower. But wary of the online world and with no IT-literate children at home to help, Kerstin had been reluctant to embrace online hotel bookings. The B&B had a website, but no way for potential guests to check availability or book a room online – a real problem when, as Kerstin realised, no one was picking up the phone anymore.
After meeting eviivo at a meeting of the local Sevenoaks District Accommodation Forum, Kerstin saw the benefits of online booking and took the plunge. eviivo connected The Old Manor House to the leading online travel agents, such as Booking.com and Expedia, without Kerstin having to do any more than click a button. There was no need to set up separate accounts with lots of websites, create rooms on each and upload the same descriptions and photos time and again. All the property information was entered once into eviivo suite’s channel manager and sent seamlessly to all the channels. The property was even connected in to the local Simply Sevenoaks website.
When setting up, Kerstin kept things simple, with a flat rate for her rooms throughout the year, and a 2-night restriction just at weekends. Staying in control of room rates and having full visibility on her bookings and payments was just what was needed.
After beginning to sell her rooms online with eviivo, bookings at the 2 bedroom B&B started rolling in, and her occupancy doubled in the first 12 months. It was a lot less complicated than Kerstin had expected. It was even possible to maintain the personal contact that Kerstin liked to have with her visitors, by sending them a ‘meet and greet’ guest email using the contact details she gets from the online bookings.
“It’s quite exciting really. Here I am in a 15th century cottage in a Kent village and people find me from all over the world. I wouldn’t have had a viable business if it wasn’t for going online.” – Kerstin Olszowska
Now The Old Manor House welcomes guests from all over the world, from as far away as Japan, China and Singapore. Kerstin has a new problem, however – having so many bookings means that Kerstin has been working 7 days a week! But luckily, with eviivo’s online booking diary software, from now on she will block out 2 days a week for herself.
“…I wouldn’t have had a viable business if it wasn’t for going online.”– Kerstin Olszowska