Small Motel, Hotel, And B&B Operators

Cut The OTA Cord

Some small motel, hotel, and B&B operators are using one or more of the on-line travel agents (OTAs) to help fill their property.

Some properties use the OTAs reluctantly, but some count on them as their primary source of leads. This may be fine if you are just starting out as a owner/operator of a property, but I say it’s not an arrangement you want to live with forever.

Why?  Getting a substantial percentage of your bookings through OTAs limits your upside potential.  You, the IRS, and the OTAs are all in business together and only one of those three has your best interest at heart.

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Regain Control Of Your Property

Wouldn’t you like to keep more of that money in your pocket?  Let’s talk about how to get those guests to book directly with you in the future.

No matter what the arrangement is with the OTA, you are obligated to them for units and price.  This is fine for a large property that has dozens or rooms, turning over a portion of their inventory to the OTAs doesn’t hurt.  For a small motel, hotel, or B&B that has less than a couple of dozen units this turns a disproportionate slice of your inventory over to the OTA. If the guest books through an OTA but calls you directly to change dates you can’t help them!

On top of that, many properties keep separate booking calendars and accounting records; one for the OTAs and one for the units that the property books. This is a dangerous practice that can result in double bookings.

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What A Hassle!

When the guest arrives you take over and are responsible for the guest experience even though you are receiving less for that room as compared to a room booked directly with you.  When the guest leaves you are responsible for cleaning the room, the utilities, and any damage that may have occurred during that guest’s stay.  None of your overhead is discounted because that guest booked through an OTA.  The OTA simply makes the booking and collects their commission.

Add 15%-35% To Your Profit

Granted, the OTAs do drive traffic, but you can eventually wean your property’s dependence off of the OTAs and keep that money for yourself.  You can get your guests to book directly with you.  You can convert the 15%-35% you’re paying to the OTAs in commission directly to your bottom line.

Let’s not forget that the guests that booked through the OTAs booked on the Internet.  The guest booked via the Internet through the OTA because it was relatively easy and they could book at their convenience.  You must make it just as easy to book with you—on line.

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The Plan…

First, you must have a strong Internet presence including:

1. A good search engine optimized website that has a blog.  This is not as difficult as it may sound.
~ http://ezbooksuite.com/best-marketing-tool-small-motel-can/

2. At least a cursory presence in the social media primarily Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin, and Twitter.

3. A web based reservation booking system.
~ http://ezbooksuite.com/

4. A data base of email addresses of former guests with which to conduct ongoing email updates and promotions.
~  This is a standard feature of a web based reservation booking system.
http://ezbooksuite.com/

Contact us NOW for special no cash out of pocket offer.

The Biggest Missed Opportunity…

And finally, number 5 is one of the biggest missed opportunities for the small motel, hotel, and B&B–in-room promotional items.

In-room promotional items serve at least three purposes:
~  They enhance the guest experience
~  They present the opportunity for you to get ANOTHER booking from that guest before he leaves
~  They provide something for the guest to physically take home to provide an ongoing reminder of the good times had at your property.

This is one of the best marketing opportunities in the industry and the easiest to start.

Below is a small list of the most popular items being used.  Keep in mind that these items all have your property’s contact information emblazoned on them and some will also offer promotional rate booking opportunities. These should not be considered an expense but rather an opportunity to gain a booking.

Think about it.  Would you rather the OTA get the 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, or 35% commission or would you rather offer your guest 10% off their next stay, make the booking your self, and keep the 5%, 10%, of 15% difference?

5. Customized in-room promotional items (suggestions)
~  Lip balm
~  Paper coasters
~  Bug spray (individual applicators)
~  Anti bacterial spray (individual applicators)
~  Pens
~  Refrigerator magnet
~  Post card coaster*
~  LCD thermometer
~  3×4 post-it notes
~  First aid kit
~  Sewing kit
~  Sunscreen (individual applicators)

* This is my favorite.  Contact me at ceo@accommodationssolutions.com to find out why.

In-room promotional items not only help increase your repeat bookings, they will help increase your new bookings.

More information on how to use these items effectively coming soon!

Please email me at ceo@accommodationssolutions.com for more information and ideas on how to use promotional items effectively.

Contact us NOW for special no cash out of pocket offer.

Let’s Book!

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EZ BOOK! is a Trip Advisor/TripConnect Partner

TripAdvisor

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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.