I had been with another channel manager for about 6 years but was concerned about the rising costs and the difficulty of getting hold of someone to speak to. I had been using a complicated method to process credit card payments and needed something more professional. With three B&B rooms I didn't want to pay a fortune or be tied me into a long contract. This is where SMART ticks all the boxes:
Diana Arnold, Havelock House, Hawke's Bay
As users of SMART for several years, we have found that this product is easy to use, reliable, and, most of importantly of all, well-supported by Mike of TrueNZ and his team.
As Gold Sponsors of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail, integrating the trail’s booking engine into the SMART system was quick and painless. Being able to "relax" re potential double-bookings is priceless, as until we subscribed to SMART, we sometimes found ourselves "caught out" with simultaneous bookings made on unconnected booking systems.
In the last 6 months, we have rapidly become the highest-ranking Guest Review Score property in the Waitaki district of Otago - and having a thoroughly-reliable booking engine such as SMART enables a faultless booking service for our guests.
Mike is unfailingly "there" to sort problems out when the occasional issue does arise, and having confidence that this is the case is reassuring.
We recommend the SMART system to potential new users.
Tri Phetmahesuan, Manageress, The Waitaki B&B, Ōamaru, Otago
For peace of mind and easy management of OTA's we have no hesitation in recommending SMART.
All booking processes are in one place from first contact with our guests to final payment. The user manual us easily followed if needed and response from Mike, when needed, is prompt and the best. We did not investigate other Channel Managers as, after Mike introduced us to SMART we felt we had the best.
Melva & Hilton Ward, B&B
Phone: +64 9 9460074
Cell: 022 626 7166
In 1999 our bookings mostly arrived by fax in the middle of the night. Fast forward 18 years and our decision to move to the SMART system was one of our “smartest” investments. We found ourselves having to quickly change from the system we had been using right at the time all our bookings were coming in.
We had met Mike at a B&B Conference and were suitably impressed with the simplicity of SMART so contacted him and everything just went so well for us. Such a helpful team and they really took charge to get us set up again in a short time. Any queries were quickly sorted with a phone call and being a bit nervous about it I set up a folder and printed all the instructions which I have not had to refer to often as it is all just there on the screen. Payments are simple, reminders helpful while getting used to it and the ongoing support wonderful, nothing seems too much trouble.
For a B&B with a few rooms when operators are doing it all themselves we have found SMART to save us so much time.
A big thankyou and we would recommend this system to anyone starting a new business.
Lorraine and Bill Muir, Kuaotunu Bay Lodge
I cannot remember how I got involved with True NZ but it was probably by an email from Mike. It has ended up being one of the best things we could have ever done especially once the SMART programme was in place. Particularly once we started having different OTA’s involved and we also make a number of direct bookings. In both situations I can be assured my calendar is correct.
It is so convenient to be able to make cancellations and reinstate rooms, change rates if necessary, add extra days if a guest stays longer than planned, organise payment of a deposit, the added bonus of being able to take payment by credit cards online and printout invoices.
All these services available to the owner make a small business run like a big business. We are very pleased we have SMART on our side.
Cindy Edwards, Terry and Cindy’s Bed and Breakfast
I was just a newbie to providing Bed and Breakfast accommodation and attended a seminar run by Mike in May 2017. I was hooked up with SMART in June. I was very grateful of Mike’s substantial input to assisting the set up and adjusting my website especially since I am a classic technophobe. What has astounded me since then is that my occupancy skyrocketed from an average of 30.5% the previous 6 month season to 74% over the current seasonal months and peaking at 96% occupancy for February 2018. I am sure this is largely due to my profile under the SMART system. I also priced other management systems and SMART is definitely the best value for money.
Last season I was really struggling and Mike convinced me to give it a try. I am so grateful to Mike and the team and have no hesitation in recommending SMART to others.
Liz Heenan, The Manor Estate
We knew Mike from our days owning Furneaux Lodge in the Marlborough sounds. We knew he was a good business operator so when he told us about his new venture we were pretty interested. I had recognised the need for a channel manager for a while as we had got caught out with a double booking and it was always a worry.
We liked the idea of a New Zealand based system due to being in our time zone.
It has been the best business decision we have made - it has worked well and reduced the stress of possible double bookings and giving us time to concentrate on other parts of the business and increased our occupancy rates.
We really like the SMART system - it’s simple and works well for us and has meant we could add other OTA’s and booking agents.
I would recommend TrueNZ and SMART to anyone setting up a bed and breakfast.
Sue and Stephen Western, Villa Russell B&B
Prior to opening our small B&B we realised we would need a Channel Manager. Being new to the industry we were not sure how to go about selecting one – so it was Google time. After talking to a couple of large off-shore companies we found TrueNZ / SMART – a local New Zealand based operation. We talked to Mike who was really helpful and gave us lots of advice and info before we even joined.
We did join TrueNZ / SMART and now 12 months on we are very pleased we did. We have found Mike’s help and assistance excellent – even when we ask silly questions or do something wrong. We are still learning and even though he is really busy, Mike treats you as if you are his only client.
We have also found the ability to process credit card payment through SMART invaluable.
If you are looking for a Channel Manger who knows and understands the New Zealand market, is keen to help you and your business and good to deal with, we would 100% recommend SMART.
If you would like to discuss our experience please feel free to give us a call (0274 778 571)
Trevor and Rosemary Newbrook, Rotorua B&B on Sumner
Well what can I say about the SMART reservation system? I have been operating our Bed & Breakfast for nearly 14 years and had used the one reservation system all that time – one that I could not fully understand how to use to the best of its capabilities as it kept updating itself constantly. I finally made the decision last season to change to SMART.
Best decision ever!
The system itself is very easy to use and I am just thrilled that it can allow me to process credit card payments on site. I was originally using the old manual zip zap machine which was costing a lot and was not very convenient – having to get the manual forms into a bank in a timely manner was not always possible. Now payment is made through a secure network and the funds are cleared and in your bank within three days.
Guests are pleased with the added security measures that this system offers and it really could not be easier.
Mike and Murray’s support along with their extremely knowledgeable monthly emails makes this whole system feel a lot more personal and user friendly. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone in the accommodation business.
Paula & Roger Thompson, Five Rivers Retreat B&B
One year on as a new owner of a Bed and Breakfast, I realised the time had come to get myself sorted with the technology relating to this business. Channel managers, booking engines, and even operating my own credit card system were all very new to me. How relieved I was when I attended my first Bed and Breakfast Association Conference and had the chance to meet with Mike from TrueNZ and hear him speak about the SMART system. It sounded exactly like what I was needing, all nicely tied together in one package and at a reasonable price.
After a bit of checking out of the competition, I signed up with TrueNZ and SMART. Several months down the track I am really happy with SMART and the support I receive from Mike and the team. It was easy to set up, the User Manual is excellent for a “non tech person” like me, and their support was there at the end of an email or on the phone to sort out any issues or questions in a really timely fashion. The ongoing support has been great and I find the regular newsletters and updates very helpful, and particularly like their ongoing upgrading and improvements to the system.
I have no hesitation in recommending SMART to potential new users.
Carol Blair, Taigh Na Mara B&B
We have been with True NZ Guides and SMART since their outset and have been absolutely delighted with all aspects.
The SMART system is indeed VERY smart, clear, concise and easy to follow but when I have had any queries (usually my problems not theirs!!) Mike & his team has always responded promptly, explaining all in an extremely knowledgeable, clear and patient manner.
The channel manager feature is just brilliant, avoiding those ghastly double-booking moments and being painless to convert to while the Booking and Guest Management features are excellent. We particularly like that the Invoicing and Credit card payment aspects which produce a very professional and polished experience for guests, which we consider most important, particularly in a small business.
Being one who is not naturally ‘computer savvy’ I was initially a little anxious and apprehensive with a new system to get familiar with, but have found SMART very user friendly and the user Manual is amazing (unlike many User Manuals!) insofar as it is clear and very easy to follow. Extremely thorough covering all scenarios and setting out clearly how to address a particular situation.
The monthly newsletters are something we look forward to – interesting, informative and demonstrating that TrueNZ is certainly up with the play in all aspects of the industry.
Thank you True NZ and SMART for the fantastic service, support and communication these past years and I strongly recommend to anyone, who is serious about their business, to get in touch with you smartly!!!
Wendy & Peter, 119 on Georges B&B, Napier.
In 2016 ,Blackwood House became affiliated with the SMART online reservation system.
Initially we were tentative about doing so, as we are just a small operation. We were feeling that accepting credit cards from guests would actually add credibility, but the ongoing monthly fees did concern. Yes you do pay fees with SMART, but you also get the added advantage of the online reservation system that works in partnership, to make your operation neat and efficient.
We are very pleased that we have elected to become part of SMART.
Bed & Breakfasts and other similar accommodation providers should seriously consider the advantages of the SMART online reservation system, Blackwood House, is pleased to have done so.
Allan & Margaret Fitzgerald, Blackwood House
As a small accommodation owner SMART has been one of the best investments we have made.
No longer am I scrabbling for the internet when out and about to ensure we don’t get double bookings but I can relax knowing SMART has it under control.
The SMART system is like having your own private secretary who has a finger on the button, from a great payment system to reminders of upcoming guests.
Mike has been a great "go to" guy and his knowledge and expertise in the accommodation business are an added bonus.
Thanks Mike and Murray. Well done on a great system.
Laureen Walker, Whangamata Vistas B&B
We find the SMART system to be very user friendly with clear instructions provided; the support given by Mike Rayner has been prompt and helpful even over the busy Christmas period! We definitely recommend SMART for peace of mind and ease of use.
Natalie & David Beamish, Ashcott Homestead