How To Join MBBA
Why do so many outstanding B&Bs choose to belong?
1. Web marketing initiatives
What you pay buys more exposure and promotion of your inn that you get from anywhere else — at no additional cost.
2. Quality certification
MBBA’s high standards for safety, quality and comfort give guests a level of assurance that sets you apart.
MBBA represents your business interests when lawmakers or regulators start making changes.
4. Business development strategies
Attract more guests. Make more money. Manage the business. Stay on trend. MBBA helps.
Does your B&B qualify for membership?
Answer “yes” to these eight questions, and you can put MBBA to work for you.
- Are you a Michigan bed and breakfast?
- Do you offer at least two guest rooms?
- Do you provide a full or continental breakfast and include it in the room rate?
- Does the owner or innkeeper live on the premises? **
- Are guest rooms individually decorated? (Example below.)
- Are bathrooms either private or, if shared, limited to two guest rooms or five guests sharing a bath?
- Does your B&B meet the Quality Assurance Review standards? (Click here.)
- Will you accept MBBA gift cards as payment by guests? (They’re just like cash; you get full value.)
** Certain exceptions may be possible. Inquire.
Marketing benefits at a glance
All of the following are included in what you pay to belong, starting with hands-on, individualized assistance with your listing on laketolake.com. This includes assistance with writing, photo editing and data entry — whatever you need.
- Listing in up to three cities besides your own, up to 30 miles away.
- One-button click to your website
- One-button click to your online booking
- Google map
- At-a-glance info about rooms, innkeeper
- Up to 10 photos in top-of-page slider
- Add additional photos and video
- Option to add headlines, subheads and links in copy
- Unlimited Offers, with exposure on multiple pages, including Home page
- Unlimited amount of copy about your inn
- Additional copy about experiences you offer
- Inn can appear on 10 or more Experience pages with links to your listing
Social media and email marketing
- Facebook and Twitter too time-consuming? MBBA posts and/or tweets 16-20 times a month for members. You may add photos, comments and/or links.
- Members are urged to use our #MichBnB hashtag to improve their inns’ visibility in search.
- Monthly email marketing newsletter reaches subscribers who have opted in. Each new member inn is featured in an issue.
Commission-free gift certificates
MBBA sells more than $25,000 each year in gift certificates. Guests spend them like cash at member inns, and they’re like cash to you, the innkeeper. You pay no commission.
How much does membership cost?
Beyond a one-time $150 initial start-up fee, members’ support of MBBA has two parts: basic dues + room-night assessment.
How are funds used?
Membership dues pay for the basic operation of MBBA, one of America’s few staffed state B&B associations. Room assessments cover the innovative marketing initiatives that showcase member inns and make our website one of the few commission-free sources of bookings available today.
Part 1: $35 monthly
All members pay the same annual dues regardless of the size of their B&B. This funds the nuts and bolts and staffing for everything it takes to generate the benefits designed to clinch your business success. After an initial commitment to 12 months of membership, members may resign anytime with 30 days notice. (Bylaws address reinstatement options within 90 days and after.)
Part 2: Add $1 per guest room night
The room-assessment program is simple: Collect $1 per room night sold and remit the total each month, up to a cap of $1,500 per calendar year.
The room-assessment approach means that what an inn pays scales up or down according to the size of the operation, the number of days per year the B&B is open, and the success of the business in good years and in lean ones. Payments are on the honor system. Only the MBBA administrator knows how many guest room nights members are selling.
How do most innkeepers pay for the assessment?
They add a $1 per night association assessment fee to each guest’s invoice, pre-tax, and do not regard the dollars collected as their money.
This $1 per guest room night covers the bells and whistles that keep our marketing tools competitive with the commercial directories.
Why quality certification matters to you…and to guests
It’s always a plus when a trusted third party reassures guests your B&B is on the up and up. That’s the point of the MBBA Quality Assurance Review program.
Quality certification has never been more critical than today, when the good name of B&Bs is often abused by unregulated home shares calling themselves bed and breakfasts.
When your inn is quality-assured by our independent reviewers, you prove beyond question that your property stands apart.
Posting the MBBA logo prominently on your website tells those seeking quality that you have been inspected for meeting safety requirements and for adhering to best practices associated with cleanliness, food service and hospitality.
Because you’ve proven your high standards, the association guarantees your guests will “rest assured.”
Check the Quality Assurance Review Checklist to see if your inn will meet the standards.
How MBBA advocates for members
Think you can’t fight city hall? Sometimes you’re right. But when all our respected B&B innkeepers join forces across Michigan, we can work together and have an impact. That’s the beauty of an association and a primary function of MBBA.
When we collaborate with others who represent larger lodging and tourism businesses, we are an even more formidable force with which to be reckoned. What you bring to membership is clout in the form of your voice. What membership gives back is an entire orchestra of voices that affects legislative and regulatory activity that impacts our industry and your B&B business.
We go to Lansing because you don’t have time. We’ve worked collaboratively with organizations such as:
- Pure Michigan
- Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan
- Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association…
… To form a lobbying force that has accomplished and fought for:
- Post-Labor Day school start as state law
- Funding of the Pure Michigan campaign that brings so many visitors to Michigan
- Revised gift certificate laws that let you reap your rightful return
- Alerts to legal issues and how these will affect you
- Local and statewide strategies for addressing unregulated home stays.
We also work closely with national lodging organizations to:
- Understand the impact of new federal regulations affecting our business
- Develop and publicize initiatives to level the playing field across the country wherever unregulated home-sharing puts B&Bs at a disadvantage
MBBA is also involved at the national level in the effort to change practices by Google that treat lodging businesses differently than other kinds of businesses. Meanwhile, we attempt to educate the traveling public to #BookDirect. See video.
If you’ve been a B&B owner in Michigan, your business already has benefited from MBBA’s advocacy.
Now, we need your voice. Imagine if we had stayed silent.
Business development strategies and opportunities
For many innkeepers, owning a B&B is a second or third act.
They’ve experienced success in other careers.
They assume that learning by doing is the path to a successful B&B operation.
But does any innkeeper have time to learn all about —and stay current on — responsive website development, liability coverage, ADA regulations, taxation, food safety practices, online travel agencies, room design and breakfast trends, keyword research, search engine optimization, and social media?
How much more successful could a bed and breakfast become with a reliable and continuous flow of actionable information?
MBBA works with innkeepers to drive profits and return on investment by putting a wealth of business development strategies and opportunities at your fingertips, including:
- Annual educational conference in late October or early November
- Informative email newsletter in frequent, quick bytes
- Private Facebook forum where innkeepers share experience and tips
- Webinar series on topics ranging from hiring and training staff to email marketing to optimizing every page of your website for search engines
- Innsider Trading Over Coffee, a series of Zoom get-togethers for innkeepers January through May
- Discounts available only to MBBA inns on goods and services provided by Preferred Vendor members
- Participate in free inn-to-inn lodging exchange for last-minute getaways
- Free listing on our high-traffic Inns for Sale page when it comes time to sell