How Will You Get Your Hotel Booked Solid?
- Are you guaranteed your regulars will return?
- What if they want a new experience?
- Do you have a village?
Before we step into high-season, consider these four assets you already have, that will get you more room-nights booked in 2018.
I work with independent hoteliers and vacation property managers to help them increase their room night bookings. Consistently I find that small, independent hotels make similar, costly mistakes and miss out on countless bookings as a result.
It’s like they are grasping at reeds as they sink into a pond –
hoping anything will help them breathe.
It’s Loony Tunes.
I also see opportunities for more bookings that don’t require spending paid advertising or giving away your profit to OTA’s. They’re about redirecting focus on assets you already have in your possession.
1. Use Your Existing Guests
You have a list of previous guests.
Whether you’ve recently cashed in your IRA and bought your hotel/retirement plan, or you’ve been in business for seven years or more, you’ve got a list of previous guests. But do you use it?
It is common knowledge that it’s far more expensive to attract new guests than it is bring back previous guests.
So why they hell do so many hoteliers spend so much money on paid online ads with the hopes that just the right person will stumble across your hotel at just the right time?
Your list of previous guests is a gold mine!
These are people who’ve already trusted you enough to give you their money once. Don’t you buy the same coffee most of the time? Get out your list of previous guests and get in touch with them.
Write an email, a social media connection, snail mail, or even a phone call.
- Invite them back.
- Create a special.
- Let them know they are wanted.
- Let them know they want you.
- Ask them to invite their friends.
2. Welcome Guests, Effortlessly
The single most opened marketing email letter is the Welcome email.
Additionally, no email is more coveted than an upcoming vacation notification. When a hotel reservation is booked, we anxiously await our confirmation email… creating a new folder in Outlook or Apple Mail called, **Vacation, while we wait.
Your incoming guests want to hear from you.
This is your opportunity to create a relationship with your guests before they arrive.
- What welcoming advice can you email your incoming guests before they arrive?
- What do guests commonly need but forget to bring?
- Could you share a short story about yourself?
- Even a snapshot of a beach sunset can set a welcoming tone.
3. Create a Vacation Experience
A vacation is an experience.
You can visit the most beautiful resort in the world then pick the wrong restaurants, and have an “average” vacation. That average rating will reflect on your hotel.
You do not sell rooms.
You sell a vacation experience.
It’s your job to make your guests feel welcome and to be their guide to the local area.
Right now, you probably include Local Area Guides in your rooms. These make decent toilet reading, but guests know they are mostly paid ads.
They want advice from someone who knows the area, knows the restaurants, knows the best adventures.
That someone is you.
- They want you to show them a great vacation experience.
- They'll ask you for the best restaurant
- They want to know what locals know
Read the reviews for the highest TripAdvisor rated hotel in St. Pete Beach. The Gulf Tides Inn.
Their 5 star reviews revolve around the hotel owners friendliness and recommendations.
Here’s part of a recent review.
“Dave and Adele are fabulous! They treat you like family and have great suggestions for the best places to eat and see.“ There are many more like this.How can you enhance the vacation experience for your guests?
4. Meet Your Neighbors
There are plenty of businesses around your hotel that are just dying to help you out.
Restaurants, jet ski rentals, shopping, attractions, museums, all want to help your hotel provide a great vacation experience.
Even if your hotel is in the middle of the desert, well, the desert even has Burning Man…
Getting to know your neighbors is a win-win.
Start a relationship with businesses near you that you would recommend sending your guests.
- Find activities you would recommend
- Meet the business owners
- Ask for discounts or coupons
- Offer these to your guests
Begin your Damn Smart Hotel Marketing now.
- Love your guests
- Love your neighbors
- Love your hotel