Welcome to the show notes of the Boostly Podcast Season 8 Episode 3. This is a recap of my interview with Scott Weir of Pillow Partners where we talked about how to be stronger together during the Coronavirus crisis.
Here’s the link to the video:
Here’s the link to the audio:
3:00 About Scott Weir
06:00 The current state of the service accommodation world
08:20 Specific actions that Scott’s team did to be creative with marketing
18:10 How to start the conversation
35:40 Additional tips from Scott
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 of this episode with Scott Weir
Scott hopes to share some nuggets on some opportunities that are going to come out of this crisis. Scott has been in property as long as he can remember. He bought his first property when he was 17.
He was 8000 miles away in the Falklands and back then it was a landline, no internet, no mobile. He voted to play a business that would serve that market better. He set up his own lighting agency called Home Show and it went on for a good decade and the residential Latins market. He had been doing service accommodation for years.
The current state of the service accommodation world
Scott said there are two different types of properties – the classic holiday and the classic serviced accommodation that might be the short term between a couple of days a week. As everyone would expect, there’s been mass cancellations. His team have been pretty amazing – they’ve been on the phones and they just changed that approach to marketing His team have changed a strategy and have the proactive work of contacting people.
Specific actions that Scott’s team did to be creative with marketing
When they train their new regional property managers, they have two types of ones that they can train in a building. They have regional property managers scattered all over the UK and when they come up to do the training, the very first thing they do is when it comes to getting bookings and managing properties. They have lots of document.
Scott suggests to take this nugget and write it down, make a Word document. At the top of that document, it basically says, imagine there are no online travel agents. How would you get bookings? So there’s no internet, how would you get bookings? They don’t want to rely on booking portals, so they need to get creative. So from day one, all the property managers who have come through the training actually do 20 things in each area as different so they come up with creative things that work.
Some of the things Scott would do is to get into the mind of your target demographic, random example if you are going to get a doctor in your property, you won’t be contacting doctors in London even though that’s the power centre, you’re going to be contacting the person in Glasgow that books their accommodation. That can be HR departments, personal assistants. It’s the main to the person that’s doing the booking, not actually the person that stays in your property.
How to start the conversation
Make sure to speak to people that knew the word on the other end of the decision-makers. People are very negative about profiting. You need to do it from an ethical point of view.
But those days are gone. The days have been too shy to call, they’re gone. It’s a new world for the time being, and you need to go and you need to make it happen.
The next thing is if you can provide a service and how you package your properties up depending on where you are. If it’s done in such a way that you go and you spend extra time on the cleaning, leave it empty two days because that’s the time to try and kill the virus but you’re providing a safe, clean, sterile environment that is ready for someone to go into.
We need to create stellar environments. It could be not even hospitals but your contact and companies that say that it’s an alternative to a hotel. Your cleaners gonna be on every day. They have upped the budget for the cleaners so they’re getting double the time. Give hand sanitizer if you can and make sure everything is clean and leave time between the previous guests for the virus to naturally die off.
Lots of different things you can do but again look at it as solving problems. Scott says they are not profiting from this but since they have businesses with empty units and those people have a need.
Scott said that this hashtag relates back to get direct bookings. It makes sense for them to market when they have banks.
It came from a hive thing like bees, bees all walk together for a common purpose to build something amazing. And if you think of honey-like money, and beehive as well as your network and your business operation that generates that money then we know stronger together. It’s called a network effect.
The more properties you manage, the more guests you’ll get because you get the big corporates, you can advertise more property. We’re all stronger together. And the more people in your network, the higher the occupancy.
Additional tips from Scott
Scott talks about opportunities that will come out of the corona.
As soon as the quarantines finished off, are you there? You need to be efficient staycations and you need to have your branding in place for us.
You can find more about Scott Weir at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/scottweirproperty