Feature Online booking and availability on your website. Attract more guests to your property and maintain your live availability on VisitScotland™ all with our easy to use software package.
Private House Stays™ ranks extremely well on search engines giving you maximum exposure without the work.
You can also maintain your availability on the Visit Scotland™ website, potentially exposing you to an
additional 14 million visitors a year.
Your listing includes photography and descriptions of your property, its facilities and room configuration. Your property gets displayed on the Private House Stays website where guests can plan their itineraries with reference to local attractions and Private House Stays recommendations.
An optional online calendar allows visitors to check availability instantly. Bookings can be made online 24 hours a day using secure payment methods.
Use our daily dashboard system to stay informed on the day's check-ins and check-outs, manually accept,
reject and alter bookings, as well as access your guest's details.
You can edit, at any time, anything about your listing without reference to Private House Stays, including full control over your pricing, setting up "seasons" with minimum night conditions and discount structures.
You can watch this short video, demonstrating just how easy it is to update your availability calendar with the Private House Stays™ online property management system. Once a member of Private House Stays you will receive full training on how to use our software.
All bookings made through the Private House Stays booking form are checked for credit card validity by being charged a £1.50 booking fee (charged to the guest staying). You are informed should the credit card authorisation fail, so that you can decide to subsequently reject the booking if you desire. Private House Stays will then re-charge the credit card on your behalf should the booking result in a "no-show", late cancellation or damage to your property. This amount will be sent to your bank account via Private House Stays on line banking or cheque if you prefer.
Listed below are examples of an accommodation request and accommodation confirmation,rejection. Dependent on which option you use there is a note on each booking request which lists whether the booking is commissionable or generated through your own marketing.
Less than half (48%) of the 573 guest houses and only 38% of the 1,448 Bed & Breakfast providers on www.visitscotland.com are benefiting from offering online booking systems, according to recent figures from VisitScotland.
This means that a large part of Scotland's independently run accommodation providers may be missing out on a slice of over £3 million* worth of bookings originating on the website to competitors who offer fast and easy online booking.
Although online booking has grown in popularity in recent years, Cassie Bouverie, owner of Private House Stays, one of the booking partners working with VisitScotland, believes there are a number of concerns and misconceptions that may deter providers from taking the 'online' plunge.
"We know that people like to be able to book online quickly. But often accommodation providers think that if they offer this service they will lose control and people will turn up on their doorstep unexpectedly and unannounced. This is true of some systems, but not all, so it's worth looking for a 'non-live' system. This means that a booking can be made online, but it has to be physically accepted by the provider before it's confirmed.
"We specialise in supporting smaller or privately-owned providers, who are usually offering accommodation in their own homes, so we know that having this option is important to them."
And with people spending on average 31 hours every month on their laptop or PC and 66% of people using a smart phone**, Cassie believes that providers who don't go online are likely to miss out.
"Fears about using a computer, or not having the necessary software skills are also holding back many providers," says Cassie, who ran a B&B in Edinburgh with her husband, Archie, for 12 years before setting up Private House Stays. "But an online booking system is aimed at saving time and money so, crucially, it needs to be simple to operate and maintain, with no hidden costs."
Specifically suited to smaller, privately-owned accommodation providers, Private House Stays aims to help run their business either as a main or secondary income, in a way that suits their lives.
The set-up fee for a property on Private House Stays is £35.00. There are 3 categories of charging: A full, standard and static listing. Full and Standard listing clients get the added benefit of a live availability calendar integration with the Visit Scotland™ room finder service that gives priority to those properties that maintain the PHS™ calendar. Invoices will be sent to you after the guest has stayed. Private House Stays™ is not registered for VAT
I heard of Private House Stays through my friend who runs a successful B&B. Archie and Cassie have had years of experience in running a B&B themselves and I found that very reassuring. The set up of my website was simple and quick. The on-line booking system is user friendly. I find them very helpful. Every time I contact them I get that one to one attention unlike larger organisations. This is my first year with Private House Stays and already I have had a good number of bookings for this year. This is far beyond what I expected so early in the season. I recommend anyone to join Private House Stay as they give an excellent service!April 2015 Glascorrie House, Ballater, Aberdeenshire. Jan and Neil Williams
So why did we chose Private House Stays? At least 85% of our customers are from overseas and they wanted a safe, secure and user friendly way to give their card details to pay their deposit. We wanted someone who we had confidence in. The Private House Stays system does this. Running a busy hotel is very time consuming and by guests being able to go on line and book saves us time rather than taking their details over the telephone. The Calendar is quick and easy to use and we up-date this on a daily basis without any fuss. Also, the entry we have on the Private House Stays site has brought in many enquiries. Several persons have asked us who we use for our on-line bookings and we have had no hesitation whatsoever in recommending PHS to them. We note that they too are now using the PHS system. Monthly commission accounts are easily received and if there are any questions with either the system, us wishing to add pictures or news etc. then Archie and Cassie are on hand to advise. We have no hesitation in recommending PHS to those who are still deciding which on-line booking system to use.October 2014 Culdearn House, Grantown on Spey Sonia and William Marshall
I have been really happy with the on-line booking system Private House Stays offer, since the first day I started using it in 2011. Having previously experimented with a generic system run by a very large company I was wary about hidden costs – they were taking up to 20% of the whole booking value in commissions. You do not get charged anything extra for bookings made direct from your own website and the majority of my bookings are now made on-line. In my experience on-line booking is now an essential part of an accommodation providers website, with more guests year on year choosing this method of booking. Availability is easy to use and update - I only have to do it once, as the system is integrated with Visit Scotland’s website and linked to my website – a real plus at height of season. Having Private House Stays taking bookings means I do not need a whole e-commerce section embedded in my website. When availability is on view and up to date it saves a lot of time dealing with enquiries for availability you do not have. More and more guests are travelling with smart phones & tablets, they prefer to view availability rather than phoning around. Any problems – the solution is an email or phone call away with the very personal service Archie & Cassie offer. And I love the way the users of PHS can request ways of improving the service they offer – very dynamic.November 2014 Aurora Bed and Breakfast, Shieldaig, Wester Ross Ann Barton
We were contacted in September 2011 when we were thinking of installing an online booking system on our website by Cassie from Private House Stays. She explained in detail how their system worked. I was impressed with how professional and knowledgeable Cassie was and instantly liked the PHS website. We proceeded with their software the following month. Being able to reject as well as accept each booking is of particular interest to us, as we have bookings coming in from other areas so this was a real bonus. Cassie is always on hand to help out with the simplest of requests which is so important to a novice like myself. Both Cassie and Archie are always looking to improve the site and make it even better - a very pro-active team. With their past experience of running a successful Bed and Breakfast in Edinburgh it gives them invaluable knowledge of how the industry works.September 2014 Pitcullen Guest House, Perth Jan & John Bradley Pitcullen
I really needed to get an online booking system on my website following the demise of the old Visit Scotland system. I was, initially full of enthusiasm as I began researching options online. My enthusiasm soon turned to despair, as I rejected system after system. I needed a system that was clear and user friendly, one which gave flexibility for my flexible accommodation options, one that looked good and which worked with ease! I was beginning to think that I would never find such a system, when Cassie called me out of the blue and she was heaven sent! She answered all my questions, she talked me through the setting up process clearly, got back to me immediately. The PHS system was clear, transparent and actually looked good! Since joining PHS, bookings have definitely increased and I am able to manage my diary with ease, it is more organized than it has ever been. I can only say a big thank you to Cassie and Archie, and thank them for the thought and detail they have put into creating an effective system, and for the high level of friendly, personal support they provide to their clients. I think because they know the business so well from having their own Bed and Breakfast, they know what is required in a good booking system - and that makes all the difference. It is a great pleasure being part of the PHS group! Thank you both!May 2014 Schoolhouse, Ballater Cathy and Allan Low, Aberdeenshire
Private House Stays™ is a simple,
user-friendly website which helps find and book privately-owned and occupied holiday or business
accommodation throughout Scotland, 24 hours a day.
The one thing every property has in common is that they're all privately-owned and occupied. We've purposely avoided listing large hotel chains because, as Bed & Breakfast owners ourselves for over 12 years, we believe that the best way to enjoy Scotland is by staying with local people in their own properties. We have designed our booking software around our own experience of running our award winning Bed & Breakfast based in Scotland Street, Edinburgh. This way you can benefit from a truly personal service.
No fuss, no surcharges.
The annual fee covers your listing, the online booking software and the promotion of the Private House Stays™ website. We are currently on page 1 of Google when searching for B&Bs and other privately-owned accommodation in Scotland. We also use social media, Facebook and blogging. The annual fee is invoiced once a year in April.
Yes, but only if they're generated through the Private House Stays™ or the Visit Scotland™ websites. You will always be sent an accommodation request. Bookings can be accepted or rejected, so the most important thing is keeping your calendar up-to-date. You will be invoiced in the month after the guest has stayed, so if the guest cancels, you can login to cancel the booking. Any commissionable bookings will be invoiced at the end of each month, payment may be made by BACS or cheque.
The set up is easy. Once we've received payment and agreement of our Terms and Conditions, all we need are your property descriptions and photography and we set up the listing. After it's set up you can edit it as you wish.
Yes, this is covered in the Full listing package. In this case, we would speak to your webmaster to advise them where to place your online booking and availability tabs. We also ask that you feature the Private House Stays™ logo on your website with a hyperlink to the map-view which features your property. This helps drive website traffic to your area of Scotland and helps your property be found on Google.
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