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5 months 3 weeks ago #47462 by Reg Hann
I am new to Jomres. I have an IT background and 20 years in travel.
I want to build a site that sells accommodation/hotels/activities.
I do not have my own products so want to see as a middle man and take a commission.


How easy / expensive is this to set up and get running?

I have some good domain names and a reasonable amount of experience with WordPress.

Many thanks

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47463 by Vince Wooll
Replied by Vince Wooll on topic Using Channel Partners
Hi,

It looks like you need option 3 on this page

www.jomres.net/manual/site-managers-guid...anel/payment-methods

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5 months 3 weeks ago - 5 months 3 weeks ago #47466 by donnacha
Replied by donnacha on topic Using Channel Partners

Reg Hann wrote: I am new to Jomres. I have an IT background and 20 years in travel.
I want to build a site that sells accommodation/hotels/activities.


That is exactly what Jomres is designed for. Over 160+ plugins give you the flexibility to put together almost anything booking-related, from tours to hourly rentals to cleaning schedules. I have tried pretty much everything else, but there is no other self-hosted option that is a well put together, and the various hosted / Software-as-service options are simply not geared towards what you are trying to build: booking portals.

I do not have my own products so want to see as a middle man and take a commission.


As you mentioned channels in your post title, you will be interested to know that Jomres has a plugin that allows you to integrate your sites with Beds24, allowing the property managers who sign up with your sites to simultaneously list their properties via up to 75 channels.

How easy / expensive is this to set up and get running?


As with any powerful application, there is a learning curve, but the design is well thought out and documentation is excellent. Unlike most of the other booking applications out there, Jomres has been around for something like 14 years, with real users running real businesses on it from the start. As you probably know from having been involved in IT for so long, there is a shocking amount of software out there that does not come close to doing what it claims to. I will not waste time on software unless I can see real examples of users already successfully doing what I want it to do.

In all those years, there has been one main guy behind Jomres, Vince, so, again, unlike the other options, I am confident it will continue to be developed and supported for many years to come. I am just a happy user, by the way, I don't work for Jomres.

It costs €10 per month if you just want access to all 160+ Jomres plugins without support on an unlimited number of sites OR €14 per month if you also want to be able to submit support tickets. Vince encourages people to start out on the €14 level if they think they might need support, but then switch to the €10 level when they feel they have got the hang of it. The vast majority of users do not need support once they have figured out their first site.

Someone with your experience probably won't need much support anyway, just give yourself the time to read the Getting Started documentation and to understand how it all works. There is a 30-day free trial, that is definitely enough time to get a few sites up-and-running. If it does not deliver what you had hoped for, simply cancel before the end of the 30 days.

I have some good domain names and a reasonable amount of experience with WordPress.


Yeah, my situation is similar. You will find that Jomres works differently from other WordPress plugins because, in order to do what it does, it is essentially a separate application within WordPress, using the same login details but with a separate dashboard and its own plugin framework. Your WordPress experience will be useful for optimizing other parts of the site, such as the content, and you will soon get to grips with the Jomres parts of your sites.

Good luck Reg!
Last edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by donnacha.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47467 by Reg Hann
Replied by Reg Hann on topic Using Channel Partners
Hi donnacha
Thank you for such a comprehensive reply.
As I mentioned I am completely new to setting this type of thing up.
I have built systems in South Africa in asp.net but that was still manually operated data etc.

So any help you can give me making a start would be amazing.
I hope you don't mind me asking more questions and if I become a pain, just say so. I wont take offense.

So this is how I understand it.

1. I build a basic website in Wordpress.
2. I install the basic Jomres plugin (This is free)
3. I register an account for ± €14 per month.

Now at this point its a bit grey. I do not own my own properties. So I want to pull through properties, airlines, activities etc from other suppliers.
These could be Booking.com, Expedia, Bed24 and whoever else offers those services.

Problem is, how to display this data and search boxes on my site in a practical way.
Also, if I am pulling availability from say booking.com and Expedia, can they be displayed on the same page. I presume you cant really merge the data. I don't want to higher developers to write code to do it as I am starting off with limited funds.

I assume that I have to contact those companies direct and register accounts with them.

Do you have to pay for all these plugin services or does it work on a commission basis?
I am going to sit down and first read through the setup guide.

These are the links I have.
1: www.jomres.net/manual/
2: www.jomres.net/manual/installation-and-upgrading
3: www.jomres.net/manual/installation-and-u...ckstart-installation

Would you suggest any other info I can download and read?

Best regards

Reg Hann

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5 months 3 weeks ago - 5 months 3 weeks ago #47468 by donnacha
Replied by donnacha on topic Using Channel Partners
Don't overthink it Reg. While Jomres does have a learning curve, it is not that bad, just jump in and, then, refer to documentation and videos as necessary.

Before I outline the best way to jump into Jomres, I should make sure you are aware of a possible way to achieve what you want without Jomres. If all you want to do is list existing properties on Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda etc, it might be simpler to just sign up for their affiliate schemes. They will provide you with a spreadsheet document containing every bookable property the region your site covers. That enables you to crank out, for each property, a WordPress post containing photos, description and a Book Now button that will take your visitor to their site to complete the booking.

That will get you an affiliate fee of 4 or 5% of the entire booking value, and you have no responsibility for the booking, your visitor is now their customer. Your job is to design your site, create appropriate content, and do your best to rise in the search engine rankings. Obviously, as it is pretty easy to create simple affiliate travel sites, there is a lot of competition.

The advantage of using Jomres is that you are providing a platform for property owners to sign up and list their properties. The search engines recognize this as "unique content", more than just another cookie-cutter affiliate site and, consequently, it becomes somewhat easier to rank. The hard part is attracting the first few properties. Beds24 makes it somewhat easier to persuade property owners to join because it enables them, for a small monthly fee to Beds24, to use your portal as one place to manage their bookings and availability on all the other channels they want to be listed on. When you approach hotels or property owners, channels are the first thing they will ask you about, it is handy to be able to point to the 75 channels supported by Beds24 , including all the big names, means the conversation does not end right there.

Unfortunately, Jomres does not yet allow you to do exactly what you described, which is referred to in the industry as "distribution". Distribution is when you pull in hundreds of existing listings, belonging to property owners you have had no contact with, and list them on your sites, receiving a markup that you set, usually around 10 or 15%. The main advantage of distribution is that you can populate your portal with just about every existing short-term rental property in the city or region your site covers. Having stock you can sell means you can make money from day one, and makes your efforts to generate traffic massively more worthwhile.

At the moment, there is no self-hosted booking application that allows you to do distribution. For now, it is the realm of larger companies who have their own software engineers and have created their own custom applications. There is a good chance that Jomres will be the first self-hosted application to enable distribution but nothing is ever certain. As it stands today, you have to kickstart your Jomres portal by attracting your first few listings and hope it will grow organically over time.

Luckily, setting up your first Jomres site is relatively easy. You can jump in by signing up for the 30-day trial and download the "WordPress Portal Quickstart". Upload the Quickstart file to your hosting space and follow the installation process. You will need to supply database details. This process will unpack the Quickstart file and install WordPress with Jomres already installed and fitted out with the standard theme and the most common plugins.

You should end up with an exact replica of the WordPress Portal demo, including the logo error, you will just need to fix that yourself: http://wordpress-portal.jomres.net/http://wordpress-portal.jomres.net/

Then, following the documentation and videos, it is easy enough to edit that site to change the name, swap the photos and enter your own text. Your goal is to create an attractive portal that property owners will want to sign up to.

When you sign-up to the 30-day trial, you provide a credit card but it is not charged. Without paying a penny, you can create fully-functional booking sites and know, for sure, whether or not you are going to be able to base a business on Jomres. Mark the end of the free trial period in your calendar and, if it turns out that Jomres is not for you, simply cancel your trial before that date.

If I were you, I would spend about a week getting to grips with the system on some random subdomain that no-one else will come across. Polish the design and, once you have figured out what plugins/features you like and how you want your sites to look, create a Quickstart based on that. Then, crank out a bunch of sites based on that Quickstart and spend the remaining 3 weeks drumming up momentum.

If it turns out that you are not able to generate interest, no problem, simply cancel the trial and chalk it up to experience. Again, you will not be charged a penny if you cancel the trial before the end of the 30 days. Once you cancel, your sites will become non-operational. If you do not cancel, your site remain operational and you get charged €14 as your subscription for the next month. Then, another €14 every month going forward until you cancel.

As it stands today, establishing a portal site is not easy but it can be a great business if you do. Hundreds of Jomres users make their living in this way. A terrific bonus for technical guys, however, is that, unusually, the Jomres license places no limit at all on the number of booking sites you can create. This means that you can make a good living creating sites for other people, ranging from independent hotels, to guest houses, to tour agencies, to car rental companies etc. This is referred to as being a Jomres integrator and the license absolutely allows you to do this.

There are a huge number of businesses in every country who are handling their bookings by hand, or using expensive, horrifically-designed systems. If you spend a month trying to do this stuff for yourself, at the very least you walk away with a valuable skillset, applicable to any business that involves bookings. That enables you to charge far more than you could for generic Web stuff and, typically, Jomres integrators also charge an ongoing monthly maintenance fee or service contract. You can build that into a substantial and steady income.
Last edit: 5 months 3 weeks ago by donnacha.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47469 by Reg Hann
Replied by Reg Hann on topic Using Channel Partners
Thank you thank you thank you.
I am out of the house and my office for a few days but I would like to respond to you in a few days. You have been so amazing and generous with your info. I would like to give you my background and some info about myself so you understand where I am coming from.
Chat soon.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47470 by Vince Wooll
Replied by Vince Wooll on topic Using Channel Partners
Donnacha, if I could afford to,, I'd hire you as my salesman in a flash :D

Follow me on twitter
Do not send me PMs, if you need to contact me use the ticket system.
Read this before you customise Jomres files
The following user(s) said Thank You: donnacha

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47471 by Reg Hann
Replied by Reg Hann on topic Using Channel Partners
Hi again. I have a quick gap.

I have an Electrical Engineering background. I ran my own little IT company for a while...fixing, repairing, upgrading and selling computers.
My wife was in travel so we started one of the first online travel agencies in South Africa back in 1997. We did very well because the internet was very new to SA.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, she took in partners which went sour.
We pulled out and started again.
After some years of building up again we were doing quite well but then she developed cancer. I nursed her for many years and the business suffered because of it. She passed away in 2006.

I had a choice to make. I had used all my financial reserves in paying for her treatment etc. But I am determined so started again from scratch.
I was starting to build the business when I realized I had to throw a lot of money into web development if I was going to keep up with the times.
So I took in a financial partner...and that was my downfall.
He bankrupted me and I eventually sold the business to clear my debt in 2015 and left SA to live in the UK.
I now work for a large municipality as their data manager and web analyst. But, my salary is pathetic and I long to run my own business again.

I dived into WordPress and set up my own Business Hosting account with GoDaddy. Currently I help out small businesses who need web sites or just general help. It doesn't pay me anything.

That is why I want to try build a brand that earns me a residual income.

I dont think there is a great opportunity for me to go out and find clients to sign up onto my website. Building a website and pulling through availability from large suppliers might be an opportunity. I am also realistic about how much effort it might take to be found online.

After all, why book a holiday, accommodation or activity / car hire with me who is an unknown entity when it is so easy to go direct to Booking.com / Beds24 etc.
That's the dilemma I face.
I don't have a lot of money to though at this so I effectively need to build it all myself and then...if money starts coming in, I will plow it back into the business.

I don't mind the cost of Jomres per month...but what other costs will there be? Do I have to pay for any further plugins or are there connection charges to these various channel?

I have a domain that I was trying to sell, but have decided to rather use it for Jomress. uktravelservices.com

Regards
Reg

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5 months 3 weeks ago #47472 by Vince Wooll
Replied by Vince Wooll on topic Using Channel Partners
Thanks for sharing Reg, it's always interesting to learn the backgrounds of my users.

Reg Hann wrote:
After all, why book a holiday, accommodation or activity / car hire with me who is an unknown entity when it is so easy to go direct to Booking.com / Beds24 etc.
That's the dilemma I face.
I don't have a lot of money to though at this so I effectively need to build it all myself and then...if money starts coming in, I will plow it back into the business.

I don't mind the cost of Jomres per month...but what other costs will there be? Do I have to pay for any further plugins or are there connection charges to these various channel?


All Jomres Core plugins are free, however third party plugins usually are a separate cost but they're usually one-off or just occasional purchases.

If you intend to use Beds24 remember that it's your property managers who'll be incurring costs if they're listed on your site. Typically because they are already listed on other channels (OTAs) as well as your own.

The stage you're at now, the hardest parts are in three areas : Install and configure your site, build up your SEO through significant blog posts and articles for the areas you cover, and (the hardest part) get yourself and your site known to property managers.

I would recommend that you read this www.jomres.net/manual/site-managers-guid...anel/payment-methods

It discusses the options you have for how you monitise your installation. In your case I would recommend option 3 because it's your property managers who are providing bookings, you're simply providing the platform to achieve that on.

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ABOUT US

vince picDeveloped and maintained by Vince Wooll, Jomres was initially conceived in early 2005 as a Mambo based solution to a client’s hotel management needs. While it wasn't originally expected to be an online booking system it quickly morphed into one as users requested more and more features.

As the number of feature requests grew Vince knew that he would need to dedicate more time to the project and in July 2005 Jomres was formally released as a commercial project. Since then, Jomres has become one of Mambo’s, and now Joomla’s, longest running projects. It has survived various versions of Mambo, then Joomla 1.0, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.5 and 3.

Aladar joined the project in 2010 after using Jomres for his own projects. He was active on the forum, helping other members of the community and eventually Vince invited him to join the team. Between 2010 and 2018 he was an integral part of the project and made many significant contributions.

Whilst not formally part of the Jomres project, Rodrigo Rocco and Vince have become firm friends. Rod is a freelancer who specialises in doing custom work for Jomres users and developing custom plugins for the system that take advantage of it's modular design. He has built many useful extensions including his fabulous Valentina Template Override Package.

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