Spotlight Series With Tom O'Brien

Choosing The Right Hospitality Website Provider

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 522. In this podcast episode I will be talking with Tom O'Brien the chief technical officer from Boostly.


Here's the video for this episode:



Timestamps (audio)

000:00 – Intro
01:19 – Tom Introduction
02:03 – Why should people listen to Boostly regarding the website?
06:41 – The first time i got a great professional website
12:03 – What's your day to day?
17:19 – Lets talk about the Book Direct Blueprints
30:13 – What would you say to someone who's never heard of Boostly?
36:55 – What would be your superpower?
40:40 – Outro 

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube 

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Liam: Okay, everybody, welcome along to the next episode of the Boostly Podcast. And today we've got a, uh, a special guest for you who I'm really excited to share his journey, hear a little bit more about his story. So my name is Liam Caroline. Thank you for tuning in. If you're tuning in on the actual podcast.

[00:00:17] We've gone live as well on Facebook. So if you are on Facebook at the moment, uh, and you recognize myself or my guests, just drop a little comment saying where you're watching from as uh, as we've just gone live. Uh, today's podcast is all about how you can set up your hospitality website for success. Our guest has the best in depth knowledge about this subject of anybody I know in the industry.

[00:00:41] And, uh, we're gonna be shining the spotlight on both the Book Direct Playbook as he is a co-author in the book Direct Playbook. So if you haven't heard of that, there is a new book from, uh, collated by Mark system Simpson called the Book Direct Blueprint. And that, um, is available if you go to [00:01:00], you can register as this do to come out in December. In any business, there's always unsung heroes, people who you never really get to see, but who are the absolute heart of the business and really are the backbone of it. And that's how I like to think of today's guest. Um, we have Boostly very own Tom O'Brien.

[00:01:22] He's the chief technical offer. Of chief Tech technical Officer, easy for me to say from Bruce Lee. And, uh, he's gonna be really sharing both some insights into the book, but as I say, some tips, actionable stuff on how you can get your website to perform for direct bookings and, and the sort of things you should be considering.

[00:01:40] So, Tom, welcome along.

[00:01:43] Tom: Thank you.

[00:01:43] Liam: Uh, that was a nice intro. Thank you so much. It's, uh, it's nice to see you actually on here instead of, um, obviously we get to see each other each, each meeting. So this is quite, uh, quite unusual, isn't it, to, to both go live. Um, so let's get really into the thick of it. Before I, I wanna know about your [00:02:00] story and how you got started with Brucely, but let's dive into the thick of it.

[00:02:03] Why should people listen to Boostly regarding website?

[00:02:07] Tom: Yeah, so, um, we've been building websites for the hospitality industry for I'd say over four years now. And the main thing about Boost Lee is that we only do web design for this industry. Um, funnily enough, somebody actually, I bumped into someone the other day and we got chat in and he said like, what do you do?

[00:02:26] And I set up, I design websites and he is like, oh, great. I need a website. And it's really nice to be able to say, well, actually, I don't do websites for everybody. We, we have a very specific niche, um, and we only do it for like the short term rental industry. So that cuts off so much, um, like work and it, it helps us to focus really on our avatar, our like ideal client.

[00:02:54] And it enables us to, um, give the best service [00:03:00] and product for that, for that ideal customer, for us. Um, yeah, go. One of

[00:03:05] Liam: the things which I always, uh, remember, one of the people I look up to saying is that when you get started, you should always niche down. And that inch should be, uh, inch wide, but a mile deep.

[00:03:16] And that's how I really feel. What, what Boost Lee's done? Cause like you say, there's loads of people who do websites, but not many people just specialize in hospitality. Not certainly to the level that there's,

[00:03:27] Tom: there's millions of web designers worldwide and. I feel they, rather than being like a jack of all trade, we are like very specialized in what we do.

[00:03:37] And I mean, if you, if you read the book, like I say, I, I've talked to over literally a thousand people in this industry who have either bought a website from us or like looking to build their next website with us. So I, I've heard literally every possible, um, need and requirement for this. And yeah, I think that's, that's why Bruce Lee is, uh, so focused on.[00:04:00]

[00:04:00] Um, specific niche.

[00:04:02] Liam: I mean, I'm, I'm lucky enough to see Bruce Lee from a host's point of view, as before I come and join the team. Brucely, I was actually a host who used the website and also who'd done the, the Marks Academy is training on team Bruce Lee. And one of the things which I would always wonder before knowing what I know now and what I imagine people listening and wondering is what me metrics do you track?

[00:04:24] How do you know what you are doing is working?

[00:04:28] Tom: Um, yeah, it's a good question. So, for the first few years it was very difficult and we, we will get this question a lot. And the technology that's kind of enabled us to do this recently is like the api. Um, we can now actually track. How many bookings and like how much revenue comes in through a boosty website.

[00:04:48] So, um, literally just starting this year a boost, like our Boosty websites, they're using api. They've taken over 3 million pound in direct bookings. Um, that's a huge [00:05:00] amount. And like, this is a, just a small portion of like the websites that we are building. So we are, we are really excited to, to track this even more so.

[00:05:08] Um, three, 3 million pound is like an enormous amount, but I can see this growing and growing as, as, uh, our client base grows as well. I

[00:05:18] Liam: kind of feel that it's the tip of the iceberg as well when it comes down to the number of people. I, I spoke to a host yesterday who said, ah, for the first time a guest, um, figured out how to go from the online travel agent of Find Us.

[00:05:31] And, you know, we're so thankful for, for that. And I said that I, I think guests are gonna get more and. Knowledge about the book direct movement. I mean, 20 years ago, people was used to trying to find individual bed breakfast owners or hosts and contact them direct. We're almost going full circle again, where people are coming back to trying to contact direct because they know they can get the best price.

[00:05:53] And at the end of the day, if they can get the best price and cut out that middle man and build a relationship, and if the host can build a relationship with [00:06:00] the guest,

[00:06:00] Tom: that's, that's wining. Yeah, so I, I mean, there's a, there's a buying circle when it comes to like booking. So, like you say, with Tip of the iceberg, even though that's a track amount of bookings, they're still through like a, a direct booking website.

[00:06:14] It might have generated so much more as well. So they might have been to an ota, they might have gone onto their direct booking platform, but they might have gone back and forth or like been in email or WhatsApp or something. So yeah, like. Tracking it is, is a very hard thing to, to, to get like a specific number.

[00:06:31] But, um, yeah, already we're seeing signs of like, great, uh, returns on this.

[00:06:36] Liam: I know. Um, you know, sort of one of, one of the things that you've just reminded me of is, is a host. I'm thinking the first time I got a great professional, uh, direct book and website. I was interested in just the guests who are coming to me, but because I do rental arbitrage renter essay, what I didn't realize was one of the side effects of having a professional website wasn't just what could be tracked, like what was booked there, but [00:07:00] actually I got more hosts get in touch with me saying, Hey, it's a great professional website.

[00:07:05] I got more landlords and real estate owners contact me to say, can I manage their property? Because. It's, it's the whole package, isn't it? It builds that trust, which is cool.

[00:07:14] Tom: So e even getting started in that space is, is kind of catch 22. So if people are like one to five properties, it's like, Should I focus on getting new properties or should I focus on direct bookings?

[00:07:26] But they go really hand in hand. So, um, if you can show that you've got properties, but also at the same time ask for properties, like if you don't ask, you don't get. So once people see that you've got both working at the same time, I think that kind of exponentially grows as well.

[00:07:42] Liam: I mean, your knowledge on this is, is amazing and we're definitely gonna dive more into some of the tips which are shared within the, the book.

[00:07:49] So, um, just for the people listening, but before we do that, I want to know more about Utah. And obviously I've, I've seen you on weekly meetings and stuff like that, but who were you before Bruce Lee? Take me way back. Who, [00:08:00] who were you, what did you do? And uh, then go up to the stage where you first, uh, come across Mark, I guess.

[00:08:06] Tom: Uh, so way before Bruce Lee, um, I obviously a DJ , so I spent most of my time in nightclubs. Uh, I was going back and forth between London and Abitha and yeah, like I either was DJing in a nightclub or managing a nightclub or working in some way with like events and uh, putting on nights. So this went on for probably like more than, I don't know, five plus years, like I said, back and forth between London and Bea.

[00:08:36] Um, and. This, I spent most of my twenties kind of doing this, and as I was touching onto my thirties, I was starting to, um, feel a need for, for change, feel a need for kind of breaking out of this. And this is when I actually came to, um, Bali. So once I came to Bali, I literally came with a backpack [00:09:00] on my laptop and I was like, right, I'm gonna change.

[00:09:04] Profession, I'm gonna change career. I'm gonna go in a different direction completely. Um, I'm gonna learn a skill. I'm gonna learn an industry, I'm gonna start a business around that. I had no idea what that would actually be. So, um, it was a bit of an adventure, , so it was kind of scary at times. I, I was pretty much flat broke and, and not really knowing which direction this would go in and, um, I kind of found myself in a beautiful resort in, in Bali.

[00:09:35] Um, and I started doing the web design and marketing for this resort. And this is kind of where I've learned my profession, learned my skill, learned everything like on the job kind of training, um, really working out like. What, what this business was struggling with and how to bring it into a modern kind of day and age using technology, using like, uh, what we, what [00:10:00] tools we can find, what, um, systems and structures we can change.

[00:10:04] Um, and then I bumped into Mark Simpson at the pool of this resort and. I mean, first of all, it was, uh, hearing another northern accent in the middle of Bali. Like, oh, where are you from? Um, then we got onto saying like, what, what are you doing right now? So, obviously I was saying what I'm doing for this resort.

[00:10:27] And Mark said, oh, that's such a coincidence. I, I do the same for, um, bed and breakfast in Scarborough . This is how the kind of conversation started. Um, And yeah, I mean the, the, the kind of friendship grew from there. We, we were both into, um, books and reading. I know we both got into Blinkist at the same time, and we kind of connected on accountability, like how can we, how can we push each other to like develop what we both aiming for and what we're trying to [00:11:00] achieve?

[00:11:01] Um, yeah, and then kind of lay them down the line. It's like, Hey, why, why don't we build websites for Bruce Lee? So like Bruce Lee was focused on the marketing then, so I kind of came in and joined Bruce Lee to build websites for his clients. Um, and yeah, it kind of, Grew from there.

[00:11:19] Liam: The rest of this history, I guess I can, I can picture it and you know, it's when, when worlds collide, you know, like, like say who expects to go on holiday and meet their future sort of, uh, business partner and, and you know, sort of, uh, somebody who's gonna be so important to, to them in life, just, just at the pool, which is amazing.

[00:11:37] Um,

[00:11:37] Tom: it was such a chance, um, meeting, I guess fate you would say . I

[00:11:43] Liam: like it. I like it. And especially what year was this? So how, how far back are we

[00:11:46] Tom: talking? This was about five years ago, um, just over five years ago. So, yeah.

[00:11:52] Liam: Nice, nice. So obviously you've then met, you've started the business. Um, just to give people an idea, I know, uh, [00:12:00] we, we talked about some of the metrics at the start, but what does the business look like now?

[00:12:03] What's your day to day sort of routine and how many staff work for Boostly?

[00:12:07] Tom: Yeah, good question. So like, if we take it back to five years ago, this was like me and Mark, mark would kind. Uh, because of the time difference, mark would say, Hey, I've got somebody interested in building a website, so I'd like, cool, okay, I'll do that.

[00:12:21] And it was just me and him back and forth, and we were probably doing like 1, 2, 3 websites a month. Um, fast forward to today where we are doing probably 30 to 50 websites a month, so, As you can imagine, the, um, business has changed so much over that time. Uh, it's gone from two people to, I think now over 40 people involved in loosely.

[00:12:45] So, uh, the, the business has just kind of scaled, like it's grown from, um, just me doing things like this is all based on the impact that Bruce Lee wants to do in the world, though I [00:13:00] remember Mark was saying like, I want to help 1 million hosts, so, That's a, it is great to have that goal, but to do that with two people is very difficult.

[00:13:09] So if you imagine Mark saying like, Hey, I've got three websites to build. Like, for me it was like, okay, I can do that. I can do one a week. And then it, it was slowly growing into like 10 websites and 20 websites. It's like, okay, I can't do this myself. I need help. So this is when we actually started hiring new people.

[00:13:27] Um, so we would get developers, we got project managers, we got, um, support. A whole host of people. So my day to day is kind of, um, managing and overseeing these people, helping these people, um, achieve their, like, task in the ro in the company. Mm-hmm. . Uh, but also I'm, I wanna drive the, the business forward as well when it comes to the tech and the tools and like how, how can we stay up to date with our technology and products and services.[00:14:00]

[00:14:00] Liam: That sounds so exciting. It sounds like the kindling was, was happening by that poolside and obviously now it's, it's a roaring fire of, of lots of staff. I think there was 40 staff isn't there now, or something like that, which is amazing. And how does it feel when you now look back versus that five years?

[00:14:16] How many, when you think of all the hosts and guests that you've helped, how does that

[00:14:22] Tom: feel? Yeah, it, it's pretty crazy. I mean, um, When I was working for the resort, it's like, how can I help this one resort? And then I think once you figure out how you, how to crack that, it's like, okay, how can we help two, two businesses?

[00:14:38] How can we help four businesses? And it's like, now we've helped over 1000, 2000 businesses. But like I say it, how many guests has that impacted as well? That's, that must be tens of thousands of guests. Um, And I mean the, the, the growth of this is going crazy, but I also feel like we're still just getting started.

[00:14:57] I, I still feel like this [00:15:00] can double, triple again in, in the next year. So, um, yeah, the impact I can see just continuously growing.

[00:15:08] Liam: I, I, I feel it, you know, as myself, as part of the reason I jumped on board with, with Bruce Lee is it kind of feels this is just at the start of the journey. And, and that's exciting, isn't it?

[00:15:17] And there's so many more people who, who can be helped. And there's so many more people who still don't know about the book Direct movement, you know, that is, it's amazing both hosts and guests alike. Um, so there's, there's such an opportunity to help them save money and help hosts have a. Income, better profit.

[00:15:35] Um, so one of the things you mentioned, I just wanna touch upon it as people like myself, I love picking up tips from, uh, you know, people like Self Tom, who's done amazing things. So you mentioned Blinkist, if, could you just let everybody know what that is and why you use it and how important books have been to your, your journey?

[00:15:54] Tom: Yeah, so Blinkist, um, it's book summaries kind of condensed into about a [00:16:00] 15 minute audio book. So, If you imagine reading an actual book, I, I'd like to read, but it takes me like weeks to actually finish a book. Uh, it takes hours and hours to sit down. So, um, I actually found that my preferred learning method was a bit more, um, like listening.

[00:16:18] I, I find it easier to absorb rather than reading. So, If you condense a whole book, kind of major points into 15 minute, um, like bite sized information, I, I just find I can get the gist of a book much quicker. Um, so yeah, like there's hundreds of books that I do want to read, but getting, getting the, the meat of it in such a small time, um, yeah, that kind of helped us grow.

[00:16:43] There's been some really pivotal books along our journey with Boost. Um, I would say one of my best ones is StoryBrand by Donald Miller. Uh, that was a game changer for us. Kind of really opened up my, uh, perception of what, what a website can do. [00:17:00] So, I mean, I, you can put a million things onto a website, but what's really important?

[00:17:05] Like what, what's, um, how can we keep this like short and sweet and, and get it to achieve what we really want it to do, rather than just rambling and sticking like everything on this.

[00:17:17] Liam: And that brings us nicely onto, as we're talking about books, let's talk about the book Direct blueprint as, uh, as part of the reason why we're here.

[00:17:23] So first of all, how did it come about that you're involved in the project? And also how did it feel writing your, your chapter?

[00:17:34] Tom: Um, I was very nervous to write a book chapter. Uh, but once I got going, um, actually a lie, I started writing. How I thought it should sound. And I spent a couple of days on it and I actually scrapped that version and I was like, no, I'm just gonna be as honest as I can,

[00:17:54] And I think that, uh, I tried to write as if I was talking just as like, I am to you [00:18:00] now. Like when my first approach was very formal and I thought like, okay, this is what should it should sound like in a book. Uh, but when I, when I thought like, okay, let's just be myself with this, I, I, I find it flowing much easier.

[00:18:11] So, Four years of experience talking to clients, talking to like hosts and things is like, let's just get this out as, as clear as I can. Um, yeah, so like I, I've been in the background of Brucely for, for most of the time, so some of our early clients might have, um, kind of interacted with me, but I, I've let Mark be like the face of everything.

[00:18:34] I said, look, I, I don't want, I don't wanna put my face out there. I don't want to be like seen. I'm happy just to heard in the background. Yeah. . But, uh, so yeah, mark kind of said like, Hey, how do you feel about writing a chapter for the book? Like, actually bring your name to, to something on this. So I was like, yeah, let, let's go for it.

[00:18:53] I think it's time.

[00:18:54] Liam: That's amazing. And I've been lucky enough to see a sneak peek. It's one of the benefits of, of the [00:19:00] job I suppose of, of reading through your chapter. And what I was really impressed with, well first of all is how it flows, but also the sheer amount of value that you're actually sharing.

[00:19:08] I mean, literally people can pick up this blueprint and I guess that's the whole idea behind it. Mark refers to you guys as the avengers of hospitality. Um, and like you mentioned there, everybody in the book has. Tens of thousands of hours of experience in their chosen subject. So they're not only in the top 1% of people with that knowledge of that particular subject in the world, they're actually in the top sort of.

[00:19:30] Not point, not 1% of the people in the world, which is amazing like yourself. Um, can you share some snippets? I don't want you to give away the secret source, but can you share some tit uh, tits, that's a new word. I'm gonna coin that. , um, snippets of tips within

[00:19:47] Tom: the book. Yeah. Cool. Okay. So, um, one little fact that I would say is that with a website you kind of reap what you sew.

[00:19:55] So, I really would encourage people to, um, to [00:20:00] put some effort into their website. Like the, the more you put into it, the more you're gonna get out of it. Um, one of the, the biggest pitfalls I see is just people like putting the bare bones, bare basics together and expecting it to do miracles. Um, this is often true with like, uh, the, the free website you normally get with like a channel manager.

[00:20:20] So it's very one size fits all. It's very vanilla. It gets the job done quickly, but I feel there's no personalization in it. There's no like, uh, character in it. And if, if I was looking at a hundred different websites and I saw like every single one of these exactly the same, nothing would, would jump out and say like, yeah, that's the one.

[00:20:42] So I think what, what we aim to help host do with our website, which I'm kind of gonna break down into three things, is get attention. Keep attention and convert attention. So, um, I'm very aware of like how [00:21:00] people interact with, um, their phone and laptops these days. Like if you imagine people scrolling through Instagram, They give their attention about less than a second to each post.

[00:21:13] So your, your window to capture attention is probably less than two seconds. So, I mean, I, I do it myself. Like even if I'm looking for a place to stay, I'll be like, okay, this is the general area I wanna stay. Here's a hundred listings. Let me go through a hundred listings as quick as I can. I'm gonna give each one about two seconds, and if it doesn't catch my attention, I'm gone.

[00:21:35] And once I'm gone, I'm gone forever. So you've got a very, very short window to capture this attention. Um, so yeah, let me, let me go for a couple of things. So the first thing I would say is, um, what we call above the fold. So the first thing I see when I land on your. Does it capture my attention? So we, we can go into quite a lot of stuff for this, [00:22:00] but like I say, you've got two, two seconds to do this.

[00:22:02] So, um, one, one thing I would say is don't put a photo of a bed and pillows because that shows me nothing. Like, it's pretty much given that you're gonna have a bed in the place. So, um, What, what can you show me that's gonna capture my attention and go, oh, that's nice. So is it the location, is it the exterior of the property?

[00:22:24] Is it something unique? What, what's your unique selling point? Um, I mean, this can go for like a single host or multi-host as well. If, if you're in a location, um, whatever that location is. Is it a beach town? Is it like a lake town? Um, Show me like something about that location. Uh, yeah, and, and this can be a single photo, it can be a slide of photos, it can be a video.

[00:22:49] Um, but the visual. Uh, attention grabber is gonna be the key to this. The next thing is actually, um, the headline. So something we [00:23:00] always talk about is who is your avatar? Who is your ideal client? Because you need to speak to them. If you appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody. So, uh, if you just put like two bedroom apartment, That appeals to nobody

[00:23:16] If, if you say, um, family friendly, uh, minutes away from the beach or something like this, like how can you give like more details to speak exactly to your target audience? Do you want families? Do you want retirees? Do you want like, um, 18 to 25? Who is your ideal customer and speak exactly to them because you'll capture the tension.

[00:23:41] If somebody lands on the page and they say, wow, I feel like this was written for me. I'm gonna book that. I'm not gonna book like the very vague one. Um, so what is next? Uh, I'm gonna quick look at my notes. Avoid being too wordy. Like a, a picture speaks a thousand words. So let's, let's do this in the [00:24:00] photo, um, collections as well.

[00:24:03] So, We've got some hosts that have got like 100, 200, 500 listings. Um, that is very overwhelming if you don't kind of categorize or collect that in any way. So, uh, which ones have barbecues, which ones have pools? Which ones are four bedroom family friendly? Which ones are like one bedroom? I deal for like a business client, so, Collecting these, um, categories is gonna make it much more digestible for people to, to, to view, so that that's how to get the attention.

[00:24:37] Like I say, you've got two seconds. Do it. If you don't do it, then gone. So it's very important. Um, the next section I would say is how to keep attention. Um, this is gonna be your content, but I would say one of the best ways to do this is explain about your local area so nobody knows your area as good as you.

[00:24:57] So even when we are building the website [00:25:00] for you, bear in mind we, we build websites with people worldwide, like in the states, in Australia, in uk, in Asia, like literally everywhere. We aren't experts on your location and your location is probably one of the key reasons people book with you. Um, something that came to my head just before this is like, uh, when, when you book a place to stay, the majority of your time, It's probably not gonna be in the property, you're probably gonna be outside out and about doing things for some reason or another.

[00:25:34] Um, so it kind of baffles me that nobody puts enough, um, information about the local area into their listing. So, like I say, you can say two bedroom apartment in London. Okay, great. What district am I, how far am I from the tube? Like, how far am I from things to do, things to see, uh, things to interact with.

[00:25:53] Like what, what is my reason to come to that location? And if you can do that, I [00:26:00] think you're gonna be streets ahead of like 90% of hosts because you're giving them that information that they need. If I have to go to Google and start finding. Information for myself. I've, I've left your page and, and you've lost me.

[00:26:14] So again, it, it's keeping that attention. Um, And then my final thing is how to convert that attention. So we've caught it, we've kept it longer than two seconds. Like if, if they're on your page longer than two seconds, you, you've got their attention. So how can we convert that as quickly as possible to either a lead or a booking?

[00:26:34] Um, This, this is something that really annoys me as well. So I'll give you an example. Uh, I was trying to book something recently for my wife's birthday, and I probably went through 20 different places and I didn't get a response from any of them within 24 hours. So I was at the point where I would take the first person's response who replied to me first, [00:27:00] so like, I had a specific question.

[00:27:04] Um, it was like a special occasion. It was my wife's birthday and I was thinking, can you help me get a cake? Can you help me kind of prepare some balloons and stuff to make this, uh, experience special? I don't wanna just book a place and, um, just turn up and be nothing there. I'd really like for somebody to kind of help me with this occasion.

[00:27:24] So literally the first person who helps me achieve this, I will book with you. Um, I, I started on an OTAs. I start, I went to direct booking platforms. I tried emails. I, I find emails such as snail mail, kind of like the slowest form of communication there is now. Um, I tried contacting people on Instagram. I tried WhatsApping people and I would get like business autoresponders and literally nobody replied to me within 24 hours, which I find shocking.

[00:27:54] So my, my biggest tip is how can you be more respons? [00:28:00] Um, on your website. So one of the, the key things that we aim to do now is, uh, we put WhatsApp chat on the bottom. So I, I know like WhatsApp is kind of, um, specific to whichever country you're in. Like, uh, in America you might not use WhatsApp, but you might use SMS or Messenger or something more, but give some kind of instant response, instant communication that somebody can contact you.

[00:28:27] Instant book is great. Like I, I think instant book is very important for this industry, but I think it's 50% of the thing, the other 50% is being able to respond to an inquiry, um, and doing that in a timely manner. Uh, and I've rambled quite along there, so ,

[00:28:42] Liam: no, no. Cool. I've, uh, I've, you know, just, I'm sure people are making notes at the end of the day, your knowledge is, is second to none in this area.

[00:28:49] One of the things which, uh, you touched upon there was obviously the direct messaging. And we had Chris, um, for Chris Morhan from, uh, IRA, who talks about trust. And the one thing for me that. I [00:29:00] love to see as if a host is contactable, if they've got a link to their social medias, if they're often put in updates on all their socials, if they've got that box where you can WhatsApp them or at least get in touch with them easily, then again, that just builds trust.

[00:29:14] I'm, I'm a lot more likely to spend more money and, and one of the things, um, is that it's not like we're spending 10 pounds or even a hundred, it's normally hundreds if not thousands on these websites. So it's so important to be, like you say, responsive. Often when people come to, to Boostly, I, I get to see this firsthand, is they've even used the the PMSs own website.

[00:29:35] Um, or they've tried to build their own and you know, there's, there's, first of all, they haven't, they can't leverage, uh, you, you've got years of experience and Boost Lee team. They've got years of experience, so you can save a lot of time if you're not having to build your own. Or they've used like a third party developer who builds a lot of different websites and we see this time and time again where those.

[00:29:55] Developers who may build websites for shops or for insurance companies, things like that. They [00:30:00] really don't understand the technical aspect and how important it is of a smooth booking process. And I know, uh, that Boost Lee has really solved that process through partnered PMSs and through through api.

[00:30:13] What would you say to somebody who has never heard of, of Boostly Pro and api, what important? Um, What important message would you like to say to people about how that works?

[00:30:26] Tom: Yeah, I mean, so even before I get into the api, like you were touching on, um, web developers that don't understand the kind of tools of this industry.

[00:30:35] Taking it back to when I was working for like this, uh, this resort, it, it literally took me months to understand their business as, as a newcomer. So like, what the hell is a channel manager? What is a property management software? Like, what are all these tools like actually, And the funny thing was the.

[00:30:53] They managed all these tools, probably like five plus tools, and none of it was connected. They were doing [00:31:00] literally pen and paper. I remember on their reception they had like, um, uh, a calendar, which was pen and paper, so it's like, oh, we got a booking on Airbnb. We're gonna put a line on this listing on the pen and paper, and we're gonna go to and we're gonna block this one off.

[00:31:14] There was so much manual. So me, even new to that industry at the time, I was like, this is crazy. Why can't you just connect these two things? Um, so that's, that's when we started kind of realizing, okay, this, the key to this hub is a channel manager, PMs. Um, and yeah, like one, one of the things when we were building websites is we, we would have a static web website, a static page, and we would kind of jump over.

[00:31:44] To the PMs and we were still doing a lot of manual things on the website. So we were, we were building listings manually. We were updating prices manually. We were updating availability manually. Um, and that's actually putting the work into doing these [00:32:00] things. I see a lot of websites that don't even have that information.

[00:32:03] They don't even show the availability. They don't show the rates. Um, so. For me, bringing all this technology together to, to synchronize it and to automate the process was, was really key. Uh, this, this, something came in for us like, um, about 18 months ago and the API was literally like, uh, game changer for us.

[00:32:24] It is like, okay, how can we connect the WordPress website to a channel manager to reduce all this manual work and give people. Kind of instant response of what they're asking. So how can I see rates? How can I see availability? How can I create a booking instantly if I do want to do that, like it's gonna do that straight into the channel manager, and there's nothing involved in between that process.

[00:32:48] Um, and the other key for this is, uh, When, when you've got a lot of listings, how can you reduce the amount of time that you spend, [00:33:00] like building things? So what the API does is pulls in those listings into your website automatically and syncs it and keeps it syncs up to date. Um, so yeah, that, that was really, really, uh, powerful tool that's changed loosely websites for us.

[00:33:17] Liam: I'm sure there's a lot of people who's listening to this and wants to, you know, check out some of the Brucely websites. So I'm just gonna dive in. I don't normally do this halfway through, but just to say if you want to go and check out some of the portfolio, you can go to um, and you'll be able to have a look on there.

[00:33:32] There's some examples, um, on a sort of moveable, looks like little computer on there and you can actually see websites, can't you, which is really cool. So just stepping slightly away from that, in terms of hospitality at the moment, what are you most excited about?

[00:33:48] Tom: Okay, so I would say the way the world is changing and it's, it seems to be doing this even faster after Covid, so, uh, [00:34:00] I just read a fact like recently, and it was one in four people are now working remotely.

[00:34:05] So for me, I'm really interested in the way that, um, the, the mix of working and travel is gonna blend together. So I think it's gonna be less about people in a way for like two weeks to sit by the pool and more about. How can I, how can I create this as a lifestyle? I mean, I, I'm a good example for this.

[00:34:28] So like, Bali is amazing for this. I, I see so many creative hubs. Um, and it's somewhere where you can, uh, go and stay for a month or longer and you will work there. You'll live there. You'll, um, kind of network. And yeah, I just find this really fascinating how the world is changing so fast. I just see, uh, now that people can work on their laptop, that the office is gonna be a thing of the past.

[00:34:56] And I, I see this, if it's one in, for now, I see this [00:35:00] being like 50% in the next kind of few years. So, Um, I, I find that amazing that people, it, it doesn't have to be international. Like I think even just being able to continue working and staying somewhere you'd like to go. Like, say, say you're in England, uh, I know Mark does this a lot.

[00:35:16] Like he, he will be, oh, I mean England now. Oh, now I'm in. Scotland or something. It's like you can take your work anywhere you go. So for hosts to kind of provide for that, I think that's gonna be, um, really interesting. Like I say, there, there's still a huge tourism, but I think the, the work, Haiti or however you wanna call it, is gonna be, uh, a big thing coming in the next few years.

[00:35:39] Liam: That's something, which another one of the authors in the book, Maddy Rafkin from, um, her, her service on there, that, that was amazing because hers Mount is the name of her service and she talks about how important it is for people to be able to work from our listings, you know, from the host listings and, and you.

[00:35:55] Absolutely. Um, right. That's an exciting prospect, isn't it? So, Tom, we [00:36:00] could dive so much more. I know you know this, this. Boostly can help anybody between one and sort of six properties is how Boost Lee can help people after their website's gone live and how you can market it. There's so much more. But guys, if you do want to hear more about that, then what you're gonna need to do is go and register for the book or go and buy the book.

[00:36:19] If you're listening to this after December, 2022, then you'll be able to purchase it on Amazon. But if you're listening before. You'll be able to go to to be able to register for the book. So Tom, as we reach towards the end of these, um, we'd love to just do a couple of fun quick fire questions just to find out a little bit more about you.

[00:36:39] So, um, we've already kind of covered some books that you mentioned earlier on. Uh, what I'd love to dive into is what skill or talent. Do you consider your superpower, or what superpower would you have if you was in, you know, we talked about the Avengers. What, what, what would be your superpower?

[00:36:57] Tom: Oh, good question.

[00:36:59] [00:37:00] Um, I would say trying, observing how things are done and looking for a better way to do it. Uh, I, I see what a lot of people do is they, they do things how they've always been. And sometimes I, I kind of see things, I'm like, that doesn't really look the best way to do it. There must be a better way to do that.

[00:37:23] Um, so I, I would, I'd like to say that's one of my skills, like to find a, a more efficient way of doing things. Yeah. Do

[00:37:31] Liam: you know, hearing that makes me think of a test called Wealth Dynamics Test and is one of these tests which give you like personality sort of spectrums and everybody's wired slightly differently, aren't they?

[00:37:42] Some people are more like, well, let's dissect how this works, unpack it and pack it together, you know, put it back together better than what it was, and, and that is, That's what I see you've kind of done with, with websites and, and hospitality, which is amazing. So one of the questions that I wanted to ask is, you live in Bali, so you can use this [00:38:00] as your answer, but where in the world should everyone see at least once, Bali b Thought that would be,

[00:38:08] Tom: I mean, to say that I moved here five years ago and never left.

[00:38:13] I literally haven't even been back to England since, kind of saves it all. Uh, I mean, The people are amazing. The culture is amazing. The, the, the weather is amazing, but also I find that there's a lot of, um, I'd like to say thought leaders or kind of leaders in industries, every industry as well, like crypto or anything like, there just seems to be a real buzz of people, um, who are game changers and, and they want to create change and they're doing it here while.

[00:38:45] While sitting at the pool, going to the beach and, and, but keeping the, the work momentum going as well. That sounds good

[00:38:51] Liam: to me. And that's definitely on my list bar is, so as we come to the end of these, what we love to do is ask a question, which really gets into the heart of, of who you are and, [00:39:00] and, uh, you know, how you live by really.

[00:39:01] So that question is, what mantra or motto do you like to live by or something which you really

[00:39:07] think

[00:39:07] Tom: rings true. Um, so I would say keep it simple and. It sounds such a simple thing as well, but I think it is how I break down everything. I, I try to, Um, see things that are too complicated, too complex, uh, and make it simple.

[00:39:27] Um, I, I think a lot of people overcomplicate things. They, they think it should be more complicated than it is. Uh, and I think simplicity will always win. Um, I mean, I love, I love things like apple design, how simple it is, how intuitive it is. Uh, so if I can apply that philosophy to everything I do, like to business, to life, to everything, like keep it simple, I think people will be a lot happier.

[00:39:53] Liam: I like that. I like that you kept the motto simple as well. You, you done what it says on the tin, which is cool. So, um, before we [00:40:00] go, I've gotta ask, how can people get in touch with both obviously Boostly and also how can they, if they want to speak to yourself, how can they get in touch with you more directly?

[00:40:09] Tom: So the best thing I would say is go to Uh, this is our main landing page for everything we do at Boost Lee. Uh, I, I feel like we've literally touched the very tip of the iceberg in, in what we do at Bruce Lee here. Like, uh, there's so much going on, so much more we can, um, help people with.

[00:40:28] So I, I would say that's the first part. Um, if you want to get in touch with me direct, my email is tom martin uk. Uh, and more than happy to. Chat with anybody who wants to.

[00:40:40] Liam: Awesome. Thank you so much, Tom. Um, and yeah, normally that's where I'll say how you can get in touch with with me, but it's the same way.

[00:40:46] It's boosty, isn't it? Which is amazing. So, uh, thank you so much. I like to say I feel we've covered, we've scratched the surface, but that is a good reason where if people wanna find out more, Hey, by the Book Direct Blueprint, at the end of the day, you're gonna get so much for your hospitality business [00:41:00] and, you know, we, we help people from one to, like you say, hundreds of properties, which, uh, which is amazing, and that's part of the reason why I came on board.

[00:41:07] I feel excited, uh, Tom, to know you, to know Mark, and hopefully people listening to this, uh, you know, can feel inspired too, certainly from what you've talked about today. Was there anything I missed or any final thoughts before we bring it to a close?

[00:41:21] Tom: I can't think of anything. I, I think, uh, we've covered a good.

[00:41:25] Liam: Thank you so much Tom and uh, yeah. Okay, so let's buy from Tom and let's buy from me too. We'll see you in the next front everyone. Bye bye. Cheer.

[00:41:34] Tom: Having a

[00:41:35] Liam: blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce

[00:41:36] Tom: Lee podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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