There are a lot of balls to be juggling at once, that is for sure.
However the relationships that are becoming more strained are those between you and the owners of the apartments or the hotel.
Yes, it is a financial relationship with high expectations on their part, so what do you do to build these connections and create happier day to day interactions with your owners?
The most pain is directly impacting on the owners bottom line, the Mum’s and Dads who own the units. This creates more tension and pressure for you to deliver better results in a progressively growing OTA dominated world. Some owners understand the current environment while others have no idea and book their own property through Booking.com
‘In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.’
- Albert Einstein
Few of the properties we work with have a complete ‘Book Direct’ Strategy or formula in place. Everyone is very aware of the problem and watching closely what everyone else is doing. Most are dropping rates to stay competitive and not paying much attention to the bigger picture or have a solid vision of what their focus is to grow their business.
Marketing budgets are always restricted as per size of the property and occupancy rates, so every dollar counts and needs to deliver results, we understand that and strive to deliver measurable results every day to fuel growth and satisfaction for all involved.
The profits are getting smaller as OTA’s drive prices down in general, then take increasing commissions. Then there is a marketing levy, cleaning fees, management fees, PMS fees, Credit Card fees, booking engine commissions and what is left is a small profit for the owner of the resort apartment. The poor Mum’s and Dad’s are loosing out big time.
It makes sense to minimise the commissions paid, increase direct bookings, expand on the product offering meeting niche market needs, and through increased profits be able to refurbish rooms, improve on the guest experience and focus your attention marketing in more niche areas relevant to your property.
Whether you love OTA’s or hate them, most people would say that the OTAs have become a dominant force in the industry because of their sheer size and because they have infinitely more resources at their disposal than a single hotel property can ever imagine.
Some may also say that OTAs have not helped increase the total volume of travel and therefore have become a totally unnecessary middleman. The sheer might of the attention they buy in mainstream channels makes it not viable to compete in the generalised market but there are always many niche markets wide open for hotels to explore.
Hotels have the ability to control their own destiny. They have the ability to build a cutting-edge website at lower costs than before. They can put their rates and inventory out for the world to see on hundreds of channels, they can invest in cost-effective and targeted advertising across the entire Internet, and they can build massive social followings and huge email databases. Best of all, they can track every penny they spend and figure out exactly what is working and cut the stuff that isn’t. The digital data also gives them incredible insights into their consumer needs, wants and behaviour.
Now is the perfect time to step up and be a hero for your owners and take control of your direct sales strategy and start putting more runs on the board. The long term value of your business will escalate when you come to sell and the owners will love you for bringing in more returns for them.
We are here to help if you have the courage to now go for it.
‘The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.’ - Amelia Earhart
At Pebble, we are passionate about wanting to help our clients succeed: helping you develop a direct strategy, and reduce your dependency on online travel agents. We look forward to chatting with you...
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