Recognizing There Is A Problem

smlogo  Starting something is very difficult. Whether it is a story, a project, a relationship, or a business, it is very difficult.

When I first conceived of the EZ BOOK! concept I was working at the Walt Disney Company in guest services. I keenly observed how Disney did things. What I took away from my observations was the fact that everything Disney does is done on-line. Whether you book an accommodation, dining, a fishing excursion, or Cirque Du Soleil, it’s all done via the internet.

That got me thinking about the rest of the hospitality industry and accommodations in particular. How does the little guy stand a chance against a highly automated Disney, Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, et. al?

Fortunately everybody doesn’t go to Disney or stay at Hilton, Marriott, or Starwood (Sheraton). The small operator is usually in a unique environment on or near a beach, the mountains, a recreational venue, or something else that draws a crowd. Nonetheless, there is still competition and some of that competition is going to have a web based reservation booking system.

From this I started to develop the EZ BOOK! concept specifically for the small to medium sized motel, hotel, and B&B operator.

Complacency – Your Worst Enemy

Getting my first client was the next challenge. Challenge is perhaps too diminutive a word for what was to lie ahead. I thought there would be a clamor for a such a product as I conceptualized and had under construction. No. Clamor is not the word. Nor even is interest.

I think the best word to describe the prevailing attitude was complacency. The folks had no idea what they are up against.

The First Client

What turned out to be my first client is my best example of what I consider to be my definition of a success story.

The Anna Maria Motel is a 9 unit motel on the very north end of Anna Maria Island, Florida. It was one of the first properties on the island and had the first in-ground swimming pool on the island. It was built back in the late 50’s or early 60’s in a residential neighborhood just a few steps from the Gulf of Mexico. A very unique location.

The then and still owners had owned the property for about 10 years. It wasn’t doing well as they were absentee owners who lived in Wisconsin. The property was for sale.

I made contact with the owners when they were visiting the property, I made my case for my EZ BOOK! user friendly, efficient, and affordable suite of services. They were convinced! They were convinced that they didn’t need it.

The Excuses

This is where I first heard the litany of excuses I was to hear over and over again.

We’re too small of a motel to need a system like this.” Well, the truth is the smaller the property the more they need it. Having an internet booking engine (IBE) is essential to their survival. Having your own IBE levels the playing field. 80% of all travel is booked on line. When folks are shopping on line they want to complete the transaction now, not tomorrow or whenever you can get to them. NOW! They are online to get something done. If they can’t make their reservation at your property when they are ready to do it, they will move on to a property that allows them to book on line.

Our guests wouldn’t use it.” False. Your guests will use it because they can book at your small motel when they want to, perhaps at three in the morning. Yes, they will use it.

I can’t afford it.” You can’t afford not to. Having an IBE will help you increase your bookings, your unit prices, your profit, and the value of your business. Licensing a small motel IBE is an investment, not an expense.

I don’t want to lose the personal touch.” Booking via your small motel IBE is a choice, not an obligation. The guests whom want to call you will still do so. If someone CHOOSES to book on line you could and should call them and thank them for booking at your property, that you are looking forward to their visit, and you are available by phone or email should they need anything prior to arrival. The personal touch extends beyond the booking process.

We don’t need a system because most of our business is repeat.”That’s true of every property, and that’s a good thing. But you can’t count on “repeats” to sustain your business. The repeats will diminish for a variety of reasons none the least of which is their ability to book elsewhere, on line. Having a small hotel IBE will increase your repeat business.

And perhaps the coup de gras – “We’re doing okay with out a system.” If just doing “okay” is in your business plan, well I guess it’s mission accomplished. If you want to build your business to great, wonderful, or extraordinary then go to http://ezbooksuite.com or call me (941) 915-7172 immediately because we need to talk. I don’t think Disney, Hilton, Marriott, or Starwood are satisfied with just doing okay—nor is your local competition.

Dedication To The Process

After many more visits to the Anna Maria Motel, some of which resulted in not so nice demands to leave the premises, I prevailed. The Anna Maria Motel began to use EZ BOOK! September 28, 2010. The results have astonished even me.

The Anna Maria Motel has increased its business in every category every year since. The first year’s gross increase was more than 20% and the Anna Maria Motel has consistently grown it’s business every year in every category.

PoolThey no longer think they are too small. Their guests love using the system. They haven’t lost the personal touch. They now have MORE repeat guests, consequently, the EZ BOOK! system has paid for its self many times over.

According to the property manager, Lori Calderone it’s not unusual to arrive in the morning and have reservations that were made by guests at 3:00 a.m.

What’s more, the average room rate when Anna Maria Motel started using EZ BOOK! was $138 a night. It’s now more than $180 a night, a more than 30 per cent increase in ADR. Having a small motel internet booking system can increase your cash flow and your business’s value.

Run With The Big Dogs Or Swim With The Sharks

Perhaps the only thing more difficult than starting a business is keeping one going successfully. Without an small motel internet booking engine the small accommodation owner/operator will not be able to survive…they will be eaten by the sharks.

Not having a web based reservation booking system puts your property at a distinct and growing disadvantage. 80% of all travel is booked on line and 60% of that is accommodations. 9 out of 10 Disney vacations are booked on line.

There is no time to waste and little to spare. Run with the big dogs…contact EZ BOOK! today and schedule a FREE, personalized, no obligation system demonstration.

There are visitors whom would book your property if they could book when they want to, not just when you are available.

Logo.mgrBy the way, the Anna Maria Motel is still for sale…but at a much higher price.

Contact Larry – (941) 915-7172 –
lbierman1@gmail.com
or click here for contact form.

EZ BOOK! is a Trip Advisor TripConnect Partner.

EZ BOOK! is now an agent for authorize.net as such we can assist with your credit card processing.* * *

Anna Maria Motel – http://annamariamotel.com/ – Lori, 941-778-1269

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Larry Bierman

CEO Accommodations Solutions Inc at EZ Book!
Larry Bierman has spent many years in the hospitality industry and understands the needs of motel and hotel owners. Accommodations Solutions, Inc's EZ Book! Suite, a motel reservation booking system, was designed by Larry especially for the mom and pop motel owners. Visit Larry on Google+ and LinkedIn.