How to build your direct bookings within your local community

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 472. In this podcast I'm going to be showing you a webinar that I did alongside Hospitable a few weeks ago. We take a look behind the paywall and discuss direct bookings as well as answering questions from the hospitable community.

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Here's the audio for this episode:


Here's the video for this episode:


Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Introduction
01:26 – Introduction from Angela at Hospitable
04:19 – Marks background with Hospitable
12:15 – What has the biggest pain point been for Hospitable pivoting to direct bookings?
16:32 – Providing your guest with a fantastic experience
23:08 – Building a guest database
33:34 – The most effective method to increase retention rate for customers
38:47 – Guest screening
47:39 – How to attract more corporate guests
55:19 – Running a business doesn’t have to be hard work

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] Mark: Welcome back to the Boostly podcast. The number one podcast in the world of hospitality and the only one that gives you actual tactics, tools, training, and advice on how to go and get more direct bookings. My name is Mark Simpson. I'm so excited for you to delve in today's episode, where we are going to be having a very special interview with hospitable.

[00:00:19] Mark: So a couple of weeks ago, I did a zoom webinar for them and their community, and they kindly shared it with me so I can share it with you taking it behind the paywall, so to speak. Um, this is about one hour long in this video, uh, podcast, whatever you're listening to audible video, however, you're doing this.

[00:00:38] Mark: We're gonna talk about Direct bookings. There's so many things that we cover. Some of the things that you may have heard me say before, but it's always good to get it from a different perspective because there's very much an open Q and a on this. It's a really good episode. I got tons from it. It was amazing being part of the hospitable crew and team, uh, for the evening.

[00:00:55] Mark: I hope you enjoy it, whatever you do, however you tuning in, please do leave your comments and your feedback, but most importantly, your questions below. And let me know if you are using hospitable and what your feedback is. So they used to be smart Airbnb. Now hospitable great crew behind them, and I'm really excited to see how our partnership with 'em was gonna grow over the years and to see what we can do on the website side of things until then, let me just quickly hand over to the Team hospitable and, uh, enjoy.

Introduction from Angela at Hospitable

[00:01:26] Angela – Hospitable: Thank you all for joining us for our inaugural hospitable masterclass led by mark. Hi mark. My name's Angela hospitable manager, and I'm super excited to welcome you all today to today's session for, I hand over to Matthew, our very own VP of customers, just a few bits of info. The masterclass is being recorded.

[00:01:48] Angela – Hospitable: And so we'll be made available to our community via hospitable YouTube channel. I know that some of you have already reached out to asking about it. Do not worry it'll be available there where you can share with other hosts or friends or connections that couldn't make it today. And after Mark's presentation, we will have a dedicated Q and a session where you can ask him all your burning questions.

[00:02:09] Mark: Matthew will be moderating that. So be sure to leave your questions in the Q and a section. There's a little box here in the zoom room and be sure to also use the upvote, to be able to let us know what are the questions that you want answered in preference. So we make sure we get to those. Lastly, if you don't yet follow hospitable on socials, I will put up the slide shortly so that you can have all our social handles and be able to keep up with all the latest hospitable news and events.

[00:02:35] Angela – Hospitable: Now that's enough for me, Matthew, to

[00:02:39] Matthew – Hospitable: you. Thank you. Thank you so much for that, Angela. We appreciate it. So as Angela said, my name's Matthew, I am the VP of customers here at hospitable today. I'm super thrilled to present to you to have on our, on our show, on our masterclass, uh, Mark Simpson of Boostly. So Mark's the founder of Boostly mark and his company.

[00:02:56] Matthew – Hospitable: There's, they're absolutely dedicated to getting you hosts more direct bookings. You know, they do that by building some beautiful websites. If I may say, um, they also have, you know, the boost Lee academy, they're helping host creates amazing content with their, their content side, uh, you know, to date, Mark's worked with thousands upon thousands of short term rental hosts.

[00:03:14] Matthew – Hospitable: We're getting closer to a million, I bet. Um, and help them just really skyrocket their direct bookings. You also just released a wonderful book. So go ahead, take a look at Amazon, the book direct playbook. There it is. That's amazing. Congratulations on that achievement. So if you like what you hear today, do yourself a favor, pick up that book and you know, really try to go ahead and, and take your business.

[00:03:34] Matthew – Hospitable: To the moon, as they'll say. Um, and one thing I gotta say, like, I, I follow a ton of content on social media, right? I'm all over the place when it comes to newsletters, et cetera, et cetera. Um, I love what this guy and his team laid down. It's, it's clever. It's always something different. It's not your run of the mill stuff.

[00:03:51] Matthew – Hospitable: And I, I must say every time I follow, I read, I watch a quick video from you, mark. It's it's always something that's impactful, always something that I can actually take away and I suggest it to all my hosts. So if you hear me talking about the avatars and things like that, I'm taking what I'm hearing from guys like this and making sure that we're pushing it, uh, to you all it's fresh, it's entertaining.

[00:04:10] Matthew – Hospitable: You know, you may even hear a quick rapper or two in there, which I, I absolutely love brother. So mark, you know, thank you so much for, for having us, uh, for, for being here today. We appreciate it, brother.

Marks background with Hospitable

How to build your direct bookings within your local community

[00:04:19] Mark: No, I, I, I absolutely love what you've created with hospitable, obviously smart B B now hospitable. And I just feel like.

[00:04:28] Mark: as soon as this was announced and the email blast went out, I've had so many people message me on Instagram saying, Hey, you're doing this. This is so cool. And I am just so excited to be part of this community. I really love what you guys have done. I, you know, I used to use the, the service even before I got to know you, Matthew.

[00:04:45] Mark: Um, back when I was with, um, a one-on-one, um, contract that I had out in Bali, we were using the service behind the scenes there, and it's just grown and evolved. And it's amazing to see how much your community in your business has grown and evolved. And I'm so looking forward now doing boosty, as we're doing boosty now we've websites to be able to work behind the scenes, to, to create those really cool websites and to make more hosts, more Dre bookings, which is what this is all about.

[00:05:09] Mark: This is a Dre booking masterclass. So yeah. Thank you so much for having me part of this. And I would just love everybody in here has dropped in where they are around the world, which, which is amazing. Well, the next thing I would like to ask, and again, my, when I come and do a zoom or when I do a webinar or I do a podcast, I love it to be interactive.

[00:05:26] Mark: So I don't want you to be sat in your hands. I want you to get your hands out, whether you're typing on your phone or you're typing on your laptop, I'm gonna be asking tons of questions. And I wanna have you to be able to engage because when we do this and you take time out your day, whether it is midnight, where Angela is or wherever, it's eight o'clock in the evening, where, where I am or whether it's your afternoon, if you're over in the states or wherever you may be, I wanna reward the action takers, the ones that tune up life.

[00:05:51] Mark: So if you have got a question, there's a, there's a Q and a box. Please drop your questions in whatever burning question that you have when it comes to direct marketing, direct bookings, please pop in. And if I can help you during this life, I will do, but I'm gonna give you tons and tons and tons of resources that you'll pack away.

[00:06:07] Mark: And you can put into your business straight away now, for those who don't know me, My name is Mark Simpson, and I've been in hospitality since the age of four. I grew up on a 200 acre farm day bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere in the United Kingdom. It was in between nestled nicely in between Scarborough and wipie.

[00:06:29] Mark: So if anybody's never been to Scarborough before, if you're trying to think of where it is, if you're based in America, remember about Simon and Garang Gar uncle song, do you go to Scarra fair. That's where it's about. right. And, um, the thing about Scarborough and wipie is that it is very touristy. Not, not a lot of people know this, but.

[00:06:49] Mark: It's after London. It's the second most touristed visited place in the United Kingdom, which is crazy. And growing up in that area, one in three businesses is pretty much a hospitality business, whether that is a hotel or guest house or a vacation rental. And from very early on, I was just so used to having strangers in my house all the time.

[00:07:09] Mark: cause we were 14 bedroom guest house. We had three holiday cottages. We grew and we had a tea rooms, a restaurant and a wedding business. And like I said, I grew up in this industry for my pocket money. I was changing bunk beds. I was serving breakfast, doing all of the things. And I was like any teenager in, in my little friend group, we wanted to escape our little village, our little town, hence where I did soccer coach and hence why I showed on America.

[00:07:29] Mark: But the thing about Scarborough, it's like a magnet. It just draws you back. and I, I came into the family business in 2011, 2012 with my wife and my. My eldest Alfie, who's now nine. I've got two other boys. I've got a three, a six and a nine year old for my sins. It's very loud in this house. If you hear noise coming from this general direction, it's because I've got three very loud boys who are going to become tearing down a star any minute.

[00:07:53] Mark: It's terrifying. So anyway, um, my job in the family business was to help get the, be the bed and breakfast, the holiday cottages online. And all I did was I learned everything there was out there at the time in 2011, 2012, about social media, about Google, about reviews, about everything. Now we are very lucky that we had 25 years of, um, offline word of mouth, 25 years of guests.

[00:08:22] Mark: So my job is a little bit easier because I could just take all of that offline word of mouth and put it online. So we took that online word of mouth. All of that. I had to list ourselves on I had to list ourselves on Expedia, but what I did. Is that I didn't put all of my eggs in one basket.

[00:08:40] Mark: I didn't build my house on their land. What I did is I went multichannel. I went everywhere and I made sure that we were never overlying on to bring in our revenue. And this is definitely what I wanna talk about today. Cause this is my worry. My worry is that people in this room right now, my worry is that you are overreliant on Airbnb or VRBO or for your bookings.

[00:09:04] Mark: And this is a question that I wanna ask. How many of your bookings over the last year, a percentage out of a hundred percent, how many of your bookings? It doesn't have to be accurate? A rough guest. How many bookings out of a hundred percent have come from an online travel agent, or VRBO. So gimme a percentage and there's no right or wrong answer here.

[00:09:24] Mark: Okay. So we've got a hundred percent, hundred percent, hundred percent, hundred percent, hundred percent. Okay. Now the good news is that if you're at any more than 80%. So if you're 80, 85, 90, or a hundred percent reliant on Airbnb, I'm gonna give you some tactics and tips that you can do right now. That could, if you follow 'em and you implement into your business tomorrow or next week, or next month, by the end of the next calendar year, if you can reduce that by 5% or 10%, that will have a four or five figure impact in your business.

[00:10:00] Mark: Now, if that sounds good, gimme your thumbs up or gimme a yes. In the chat. I can imagine it's gonna be a lot of yeses. I don't even need to look. It's gonna sound good. All right. So if that's what we're gonna do today, and what's most important is I need you to ask me questions because I could go off on tangent a and I could tell everybody in this room what I think they want to hear, but I need everybody in this room to tell me what you want to hear.

[00:10:26] Mark: Tell me the questions. Tell me the most burning aspects in, in your business. So for those of you that are 85% plus reliant, On Airbnb to bring in the bookings. Why is that? Why can't you take Dre bookings? Why do you feel that you can't take Dre bookings? So please do utilize the chat. Please do ask questions.

[00:10:42] Mark: And there's no bad question. There's no stupid question. There's no wrong question because I guarantee you the question that you ask somebody else, whether it's above you in the chat or down in the chat is also thinking those questions as well. Please. Don't put 'em in the chat, put it in the Q and a. So like Angela said, if you look down, you'll have a chat box and then you'll have a, a Q and a please pop 'em in there.

[00:11:04] Mark: And then we'll, we'll come to 'em. Now, Matthew, before we get started, is there anything that you wanna go over? Any questions that you wanna ask or is there anything that you wanna sort of touch on before we get.

[00:11:13] Matthew – Hospitable: No, I think, you know, we had a, a good idea here with some of those topics that, that you presented to us.

[00:11:18] Matthew – Hospitable: I mean, you know, I'm excited to hear what you have to lay down. I a quick little story about, you know, that's related to this, I remember going to my first short term rental event and, you know, I talked to somebody to a host there, this lovely woman from Alabama. And I asked, you know, Hey, so are you're on Airbnb?

[00:11:31] Matthew – Hospitable: I assume. And she started laughing and said, no, honey, I, I don't use any of those online channels. And I was mind blown. I had just gotten into the industry and everything was force fed down my throat, Airbnb, Airbnb's building everybody's business, et cetera, et cetera. And I asked, you know, so how do you do it?

[00:11:46] Matthew – Hospitable: And she just laughed at me and said, honey, we've been here long before the internet. Like we were doing it, taking bookings and putting 'em on whiteboards or whitening 'em on chalkboards even before. Um, so it's, it's amazing to see some people's mentalities where it's just like, Airbnb is just it. It's part of it.

[00:12:00] Matthew – Hospitable: And then you have other folks who, you know, will give you a laughing giggle when you ask 'em what the percentage of Airbnb bookings are because, Hey honey, we we've been here long before the internet. I absolutely love that. And got a huge kick outta that hospitality's been here. Well, well, before the internet, even further, right.

[00:12:14] Matthew – Hospitable: Mm-hmm ,

What has the biggest pain point been for Hospitable pivoting to direct bookings?

How to build your direct bookings within your local community

[00:12:15] Mark: mm-hmm massively. Okay. So, um, also as else, what else, what I would love to know is on the hospitable front, obviously over the last year from, from what I've seen from, from the outside in you're really sort of making a pivot towards Derek bookings. So what has been the biggest sort of pain point that you can see that your customers, your guests are asking when it is D bookings and what are you, what are you guys trying to do to sort of combat that and sort of help when it comes to Derrick

[00:12:43] Matthew – Hospitable: bookings?

[00:12:44] Matthew – Hospitable: Um, and that's a fantastic question. And I think what I see and what I've seen in some of the chat and some of these questions that are already coming through it's that, that initial barrier of entry, right? Like, all right, how do I get started? I wanna build a website. How do you build a website? There's so many people out there.

[00:12:57] Matthew – Hospitable: And then on top of that, Airbnb does 37 different things for me when they get that reservation, how do I manage that? So what we're trying to do at hospitable, we love to focus on those individual property owners, right? Those people who are just getting started, who are growing and scaling their business, we wanna make it as easy as you clicking four times and us taking your Airbnb data, us taking your Airbnb hosting fees, your charges, your nightly rates.

[00:13:22] Matthew – Hospitable: With those couple of clicks, building you a website, that's gonna do things like process your payments. It's gonna allow you to screen your guests to make sure that you're going through all of and taking all those boxes that you need to make sure that you're allowing the right people to stay in your house.

[00:13:35] Matthew – Hospitable: And then on top of that, being able to provide some insurance, you know, that sense of security that well, if something does go right, I'm not just completely on my own. I have a system in place. That's gonna go ahead and allow me to, you know, to rest a bit easier knowing that I don't need Airbnb to do that screening because a lot of them it's, it's that warm, fuzzy blanket, right?

[00:13:53] Matthew – Hospitable: Uh, Pierre loves throwing that comment out there, but it's that warm, fuzzy blanket that Airbnb's gonna take care of me. They're gonna, they do a good job, but at the end of the day, you know, they're just as liable, you know, to have an issue as you would, if you did have a direct booking guest. And I think it's difficult for people to, to really wrap their brains around that.

[00:14:10] Matthew – Hospitable: So with hospitable, we're just looking to make it as easy as possible for anybody with just a couple clicks, to build a direct booking website, be able to go ahead and process your own guests. Um, and, and, you know, really the focus is gonna be deliver. And while that guest experience, and then get them in that network, keep 'em within your web, utilize their network to funnel everybody back to your site.

[00:14:30] Matthew – Hospitable: And that's where we're gonna see that business grow and, and really skyrocket,

[00:14:34] Mark: um, I love that. And again, I see the questions and the comments and the chat coming in. And I, I think one of the main things that people are worried about is protection and vetting. These are words that you're gonna sort of see and, and hear a lot when it comes to Derek bookings.

[00:14:48] Mark: And one, one of the things I wanna stress to everybody is that when Airbnb talk about air cover, this is just really fancy marketing talk. They are obviously very good at marketing and, and I'm, I'm not for one minute wanting this to become a, an Airbnb bashing webinar because it's not. And I said, right at the very start, our family business would never have been as popular as it was.

[00:15:11] Mark: If it wasn't for the fact of, we needed their visibility. We needed their brand to be made more visible to international guests and people coming in from, from outta town. Okay. But at the same time, never at one point where we over 50% reliant on our bookers coming in from, from OTAs. So the reason why we, we were able to do that is that we were able to grow a direct booking part of our business.

[00:15:37] Mark: And this is what I wanna walk everybody through tonight. So the, the best place to get started, this is obviously the question, how do I get started? It's the first step. And I, I obviously understand you don't know what you don't know. So this is why it's really important. Get your pens and papers ready, make sure that you you've got someone to jot down.

[00:15:52] Mark: Obviously this is being recorded and it's gonna be on the YouTube channel so you can watch back. But the more that you can take on board mode, the more that you can make your little notes. Now, the more that it will help when you getting started tomorrow. So let's begin. So the first thing that I want everybody to do is you still get the ability on Airbnb VRBO.

[00:16:13] Mark: When that booking comes in, you still got the ability to have one thing. And that's the phone number of the guest. And yes, we don't get the, the email address maybe, or we get like this, this, um, this custom email address, obvious, um, this fake email address, as you might as might wanna call it. But the phone number is, is what we have one of the best places to get started.

Providing your guest with a fantastic experience

[00:16:32] Mark: Even if you are just beginning and beginning out, when it comes to, to direct bookings, it all begins and ends with your guest experience. Okay? If you give your guest a fantastic experience, then they will become your referral word of mouth marketing. And if you do this enough and you do this good enough and you continue to do it consistently, it'll get to a point where you don't even have to do your own marketing, your guests, whether it's your upcoming guests, your current guests, your previous guests will be doing all of the marketing for you.

[00:17:04] Mark: And the cool thing is, is that when you build these super fans, as I like to call 'em, then you never have to pay money to Google ads or Facebook ads again, which is lovely because they're literally doing it and it doesn't cost you any money. So, how do you begin? Number one, let's try and test this today or test this tomorrow.

[00:17:22] Mark: Now, can you answer me please? In the chat box? Not in the Q and a, but in the chat box. When was the last time you had a booking come in? Let's have a little bit of fun. When was the last time you had a booking come in? Was it today? Was it yesterday? Was it last week? Was it last month? Today? Yesterday.

[00:17:37] Mark: Brilliant. So for everybody two minutes ago, fantastic. Scott, you can try this straight away. What I want for you to do if you've had a booking come in over the last week, that means that your guest is booked and they're gonna be arriving maybe next week, maybe next month in the next few days. What I want for you to do, I want you to pick one book in, okay.

[00:17:58] Mark: And what I want you to do, pick up your phone. If you've got a fancy iPhone like this, or a Android or a Hawaii or whatever you got I, you to pick up the phone and call your guest. Now for a lot of you. Instantly, you may go. Oh, dunno about that. Dunno about speaking to people, but trust me, the whole goal of this is to make you feel comfortable about feeling uncomfortable.

[00:18:18] Mark: This is what we have to do as business owners. When it comes to marketing, we're gonna have to take ourself out of the comfort zone because when you step outside of the comfort zone, your business gets better. All right. Pick up the phone. And what you're gonna do is you're gonna ask your guest a couple of open-ended questions.

[00:18:32] Mark: So the way it may go, if Matthew were staying with me, I'd go, Hey Matt, thank you so much for booking with us at, at Mark's home. Um, really looking forward for you coming to stay with us. Hey, just a couple of questions. If you don't mind super quick, why are you coming to the area? What are you coming to the area for?

[00:18:48] Mark: Are you celebrating anything? And the guest will tell you number one, by simply picking up the phone and having a conversation with the guest guest experience has just gone for the roof because you are no longer just a number. You're no longer just a place as a voice behind it. And it's, and it's personalization.

[00:19:07] Mark: Okay, pick up the phone, have a conversation with your guests, find out why they're coming to the area. Now let's just set an example and I'm gonna tell you a story about why this is important. And this story is something that I've told many, many times before. If you know who I am and you've heard me speak, then you'll have heard me tell this story, but it's so powerful.

[00:19:27] Mark: And I guarantee it will make every single one of you pick up the phone and start frantically calling to people that have booked with you because it's so powerful. So there was a, a host that I was speaking to she's based in Canada. And she had got a couple of properties on her portfolio that was by a Lakeside, by a Riverside.

[00:19:46] Mark: And it was very famous for, for fishing. Okay. There was a booking that came in and in the little note of the booking, you know, guest comments as you call it, the little comment was we are really looking forward to coming and stay with you. It's our nine year old's birthday. And he really wanting to learn how to fish.

[00:20:04] Mark: Most hosts would just ignore that comment. Go on with their day. This host was a little bit different, so she offered the meet and greet. Okay. And on the way to meet the guests on arrival, she went by the local fish bait and tackle shop, whatever you wanna call it, bought a little fishing. Rod got a bucket, got some bait in there, cost 20 bucks max.

[00:20:25] Mark: She arrived at the property earlier than the guest. She left the fishing rod and the bucket and the bait on the, the deck of the porch and the arrival with a little note saying, um, let's just say the nine year olds called Jimmy. Dear Jimmy have an amazing birthday. Here's a little gift from us at insert brand name, hope you enjoy fishing.

[00:20:43] Mark: The guest arrives sees that instantly taking pictures for social media, taking pictures, spreading the word, sending on the WhatsApp group. So the telegram groups, the families and families and friends and whatnot say, look at this is amazing. Not only that the offset of that guests experience spread the roof instant five star review.

[00:21:02] Mark: Instant five star review. After that, that guest goes home, tells friends, family members about it, but not only that for the next three or four years, I think it's four years repeat guest repeat, visit, repeat, stay every single time. And guess what? That was direct. I wasn't via OT. That was direct booking.

[00:21:21] Mark: Now I'm not saying every single guest go and buy a fish and bit and tackle shop, but that investment was 20 bucks time out of her way. Five, 10 minutes. So minimal in cost, minimal time investment, the offset was repeat bookings for the next four or five years. She G guaranteed that people booked because of that friend's family coworkers or, or whatever.

[00:21:42] Mark: So it's it's how can you personalize your business? How can you personalize your guest experience? And it doesn't have to be a grand gesture. It may just be that you call a guest, you see a booking coming and you call, or even if you haven't got the time to call, you've got a member of staff who does. Say that it's a traveling healthcare worker, traveling nurse, and she's coming to stay at one of your properties, even if you can just find a way to make her life easy.

[00:22:15] Mark: Because when you're a traveling nurse, you've got work long hours, you are working very different hours. So for example, could it be that you could install some blackout blinds to make her life easy? So say that she's got the night shift to have to sleep through the day. You make her life easier with some blackout blinds.

[00:22:29] Mark: Maybe it is that you can get so load of takeaway vouchers, take away things and leave it for her. Those little experience and personalizations will go a long way for that word of mouth and those super fans. So first things first, how can you personalize your guest day? And again, it doesn't have to be a grand gesture.

[00:22:47] Mark: It doesn't have to be champagne and caviar. It could be just the little things that make your guest life easier. What little things can you do that will turn that guest into a raving fan? Number one, the second thing. You need to be doing. And the thing that everybody needs to be doing is you need to be building a guest database as soon as possible.

Building a guest database

[00:23:08] Mark: Now, when I mean guest database, what do you think? I mean, in the chat. So tell me when I say guest database, what do you think I'm imagine to us? What are you going to gonna create? Give a little, see, let's see when we're the first person to get it. Emails, emails, phone number, email. Brilliant. So there's a reason why Airbnb VR.

[00:23:26] Mark: They don't share the email address with you. The real email address it's because it's data. Okay. And data is one of the most valuable commodities that there is out there and Airbnb and don't wanna share their email because they want to email those people and make sure that they rebook via

[00:23:43] Mark: So what you need to do, you need to fight fire FA and get their email address. And there's loads of different ways you can do. So. Um, I could literally spend the next 45 minutes talking about it, but I, I don't wanna waste time on that instead. $10. Go pick up this book, the book there, playbook, I've gotta step by step way on how to collect your guest email addresses.

[00:24:03] Mark: But when you start to collect your guest email addresses and you start to build a list, there is a free email in Mac, in software provider out there called MailChimp quick, thumbs up in the chat box or quick. Yes. Do we have an email Chimp users in the audience? Yes. Yes. Yes. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

[00:24:20] Mark: Okay. So MailChimp is great because to get started, it's free. You only start paying when you start getting loads of email addresses on the system. But what this means is that when you start to build an email, a, an email list, you can send an offer a promotion. If you've got last minute availability or anything, you can start to send it to your email list.

[00:24:40] Mark: And the reason why email is king or queen, is that out of all the marketing channels that are out there, social media video, you name it. It's the only one where there's no noise. Now, what do I mean by that? When you put a post on Facebook, you are in competition with millions of other businesses and groups and posts that are trying to get the attention of the people that follow you.

[00:25:10] Mark: So there's lots of noise. When you have a listing on Airbnb, for example, say that you are lucky enough that somebody clicks on your listing out of all the other of a competition that around nearby, even when they click on your listing, Airbnb is still saying, how about this? How about that? How about this one?

[00:25:29] Mark: They're saying there's loads of noise, but with an email, as soon as the user, your future potential guest opens up that email. And as long as you've crafted a nicely put together, email is one on one communication. There's no noise. There's no interruption. The trick is to write a good email. Now this is what I said that I would.

[00:25:50] Mark: Make sure that I would pack everybody away with some free resources as Matthew, quite rightly, very kindly said. One of the main thing that I do for hosts is I give the tools, the tactics and the training and tools is a big part. So one of the things that I created free years ago was called Boly content creator.

[00:26:07] Mark: Boostly content creator. If we've got any team boosting members, actually in the audience, please do say team Boostly in the chat. I would love to see if there's any team Boostly members, book Boostly content creator. We create social media content posts for every host, and we also create email templates. So for everybody, if it's tuned in today, and this is only for the people that tuned in live, here's what you've got to do.

[00:26:27] Mark: What I want for you to do is to take a picture of the screen right now. So take a picture of Matthew's beautiful face and my ugly mug. Take a picture and go and post it on Instagram. It's a very, very important Instagram, post it on Instagram, whether it's a story or whether it's a post and tag in at boost Lee, UK.

[00:26:45] Mark: So if someone could put that in the chat at booster UK, and if you can't understand my British accent, it's B O O S T L Y UK tag me in and I will get a little notification. And as a thank you, I will send to you some email templates that you can put into practice right now. And cool thing about these email templates is it doesn't matter if you've got an email list of one, or if you've got an email list of 1000, you can use 'em because it's been created for every host.

[00:27:15] Mark: Doesn't matter where you are in the world. You can copy it, you can paste it, you can personalize it and you can send it. And the whole point of these email list and these email templates that we've created is that it's designed to turn a Looker into a Booker. So thank you, Matthew, put it into the chat.

[00:27:30] Mark: So what I want you to do any point during this chat that we are chatting right now and I'll try and stay still because when I ask people to do this, the complaint is stand, still, stop moving your hands around so much. So I will try and do sets for, for you. How about I do this. I'll give you all five seconds.

[00:27:44] Mark: I'll hold the book up as well. So 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. There you go. You've got your picture. Go pop onto Instagram, take a, uh, upload it as a story, upload it as a post. And it's at boost UK and I'll make sure you get those email templates. Now, the reason again, why email is important because you are able to have a direct communication with the person that you're speaking to.

[00:28:07] Mark: Now, the, the main tactic that I'm saying here is that these guests will have already stayed with you. So they know like love and trust you already. So when you're emailing somebody who's already stayed with, you has already given you money. It's so much easier than if they've never stayed with you before.

[00:28:22] Mark: Okay. And again, if you wanna have a guest come back and stay with you in the future. So say that you're in a destination, you're in a place where people repeat guest book back. What's the most important way to get in contact with them is to making sure that you are visible and at your top of mind, During the, the, when the first wave of the pandemic hit and everybody was sort of locked down and they couldn't really go anywhere.

[00:28:47] Mark: So many businesses just went offline. They shut down, especially hospitality. They just went offline. And in the hospitality community, Facebook group, which is my Facebook group that I created in 2016, please do come and check it out. If you're not part of it already, we were talking about the importance of being visible because in our industry, we do one thing.

[00:29:10] Mark: And one thing only, and that's create memories. Doesn't matter whether it's a leisure strip, doesn't matter if it's a business trip, we are creating memories. We've got properties that if you've got the right setup, you do the right job, that you are going to be the place that people and the friends and families are talking about for years and years to come.

[00:29:29] Mark: Okay. And so when everybody was locked down and everybody was in their homes, It was the host that were turning up every day on social media, whether it was an Instagram post or a little video or a live video talking about what was happening in the local area, keeping everybody abreast of the situation, letting everybody know when people could come and stay and book of them by simply showing up.

[00:29:50] Mark: And by being present online, when the restrictions lowered and people could travel again, they were the first ones to get the bookings it's called the billboard effect. Now, if anybody knows what the billboard effect is, it's a, it's a mark in term and it's, it's basically making sure that you are visible everywhere.

[00:30:08] Mark: So people know that you are visible and present on top of mind. Now, the reason why the big companies do that and the reason why big companies spend millions doing that, especially if you're talking about, um, Supermarket brands. So when I say supermarket brands, it's like that serial of your choice. If I, if I say cereal right now, you think about a brand of cereal that really stands out to you.

[00:30:29] Mark: If I say a laundry detergent, you think about a brand that stands out to you, and it's the same with small businesses. The reason why we post online, the reason why we send an email, the reason why we do anything is that when the guest is at that booking stage, that they think of you. And just because a guest books with you today arrives with you tomorrow, it doesn't mean that they're going to remember you in six months time, because life kicks in.

[00:30:57] Mark: So what you've got to do, everything in your power is to make sure that you are memorable, make sure that you are top of mind. We have recently come out in what normally was the busiest time for bookings January, normally in a normal year. And it's nothing normal anymore is when people wake up from their new year hangover.

[00:31:15] Mark: What they do is they go and make their booking for their 2022 vacation. Now that's that's changed. But the, the, one of the big tactics that I used to share with people would be to send your email out in January to basically say, Hey, we're still bookable. You can book your stay with us. And because it was simply timed in January, that would result in tons of bookings, but to begin and to end with, you've got to start to build that list.

[00:31:39] Mark: So even if you've just got one email address, please, please, please go to M I a M a I L C H I And it's free to get started with, and again, Go and get, pick up a copy of this book and I'll show you all the ways, how to, how to grow about list. It's the book there at playbook is available or Amazon, you can go grab it.

[00:32:00] Mark: Kindle. Audible is coming and, and print as well.

[00:32:03] Matthew – Hospitable: I, um, really quickly here. So one thing with hospitable that we love to recommend to our hosts is within your automated messages, right? Once you get that new reservation, Airbnb's gonna allow links. They're gonna allow them to share email addresses with you.

[00:32:15] Matthew – Hospitable: They're not gonna block it out. So once you get that reservation confirmation, one of the first things that I suggest that you ask, Hey, what's, you know, what's bringing to town, right? What's that email, what's the best phone number to reach you with hospitable. We'll actually scrape that email address for you.

[00:32:28] Matthew – Hospitable: Save it within that guest profile. If you're connected to MailChimp, we'll even take that email address and automatically put it over into your dedicated MailChimp mailing list. So there's not much that you have to do. Just go ahead, fire off that automated message. You can grab that email. I did see a couple people in the chat, so thank you so much for sharing that.

[00:32:45] Matthew – Hospitable: And we even have automated follow ups where if they didn't give you their email address, you can go ahead and send them a reminder. Hey, we didn't get that email. Could you go ahead and send it over to us? And then once they provide it, we'll automatically ship it over to that mailing list. We'll save it over in the metric sections that you can pull it from a CSV after the fact as well.

[00:33:02] Matthew – Hospitable: Um, so definitely some gold right there, mark.

[00:33:04] Mark: And this is why I love recommending you guys because of the ability, everything that I talk about and everything that I mentioned in just there, everybody in the back of their mind is thinking, oh, that feels like a lot of work. The beauty of what you've got with hospitable is that you can automate it to the point where you don't have to be always reminding yourself to do this.

[00:33:23] Mark: It's doing it for you and it's scraping the data in. So yeah, again, I just feel like it's a real nice marriage of, of the things that I'm talking about and the tools that hospitable give. So please again, make sure you're making full use of it. You've got. Tons of tutorial videos. You've got tons of things available.

[00:33:38] Mark: The, the, the reason why you see people saying, oh, it didn't work for me is cuz they never take full advantage of the tools that are available. So whatever you're doing, however, you're spending the next couple of days, a weeks, whatever you're doing, just please just dig into the back end of it and, and take full advantage of it because there are some absolute gold in there.

The most effective method to increase retention rate for customers

How to build your direct bookings within your local community

[00:33:54] Mark: So there's a question I've seen come in and I won't try and pronounce your name. I do apologize. Um, it says what's the most effective method to increase the retention rate for returning customers. So, you know, in simple terms is how do you get a guest to rebook with me in the future? And again, this is, this is something that is, is, is really important.

[00:34:16] Mark: If you are going to build a direct booking business, if you are gonna build a sustainable business, that's gonna be around for years and years and years are come and you're gonna have a, a really nice high rate of direct bookings coming in. You've got to make yourself memorable. Okay. Just because a guest comes in stage with you for a week in 2022, doesn't mean that when it gets 2023, they're going to remember you.

[00:34:36] Mark: If you're not doing anything to stay in touch, we have got a massive advantage of every other industry that's out there because we are creating those memories. People are going to lock back on our, stay with you. And as long as they've had a good time, which you know, I'm gonna go on the assumption that every single person who is in this room has got an epic business.

[00:34:56] Mark: You look after every guest, you make sure they have amazing stay. And you've got an awesome business behind you. As long as you do that, as long as you keep that, oh, it's gonna, your life is already so much easier than any other industry out there. Let's just take website design. For example, I, we create websites.

[00:35:11] Mark: That's literally a, we create websites and, you know, we create websites that work and everyone go, yeah, that's great. Well, if I don't do marketing, if I don't do brand awareness, if I don't keep in touch with people, then you know, I'm instantly forgettable. You are creating memories, which is, which is massive.

[00:35:26] Mark: What you've got to do is you've got to make sure that your business name and your business brand fixed and demanded a guest, even after they've left. How can you do that? Here's an easy one. And this is something that we did at our, at our family business. For years, we would spend, when we first started, we'd spend about less than $500 doing it.

[00:35:46] Mark: By the time we finished, we're spending close to four figures on it, but the return of investment was so huge. We kept on doing it time and time and time again. And it's so simple, you'll be kicking yourself and I tell you what it is, but it is so effective. And that is sending Christmas cards simple as that send in a Christmas card, they forgotten act of sending something in the post to somebody.

[00:36:09] Mark: So what we did at the point of booking when a guest arrived, and this doesn't matter, whether you do in person meet and greet, or if you do it, uh, virtually and automated, we would collect the postal address. What we did in November, every year, we would have a member of staff. It was me to start with, but then I had a member of staff help me cuz we get, we get loads and loads and loads of addresses.

[00:36:31] Mark: And the more that we did this, we've got more and more and more. We start writing these out in November, we start doing lovely little Christmas cards and posted them out in the Christmas card. We would put a limited time offer for a voucher off their stay with us in, in the next year. And they had to book it by the end of January.

[00:36:49] Mark: So we put a little bit of FOMO, fear of missing out behind it. And we put a, a little voucher in there. That's how we track the effectiveness of this card. Right. And what we did is that we timed it so that we sent it in the middle of November. So it was the first Christmas card that they received. When I say the middle, I mean like the 20th or the 21st of November.

[00:37:09] Mark: So it would arrive round about the first of the month when you're the first you get the attention by the 20th of December, it's too late. Because by then everybody's had their Christmas cards, they get it into post. They go, oh, never Christmas card. But by being the first you get that, wow, this is so cool.

[00:37:23] Mark: This is so nice. Oh, it's that place that I stayed with. Amazing. I know I'm not saying this isn't a virtual one. I know guarantee in the chat. Somebody's thinking I could do this virtually. Nah, don't do an email. Do it as the lost, ah, of sending something in the post. Because when you receive something in the post, it's not a bill, you get a lovely, warm, fuzzy feeling.

[00:37:42] Mark: And again, I hit the people at that time when they're maybe starting to think about their two, their next next year vacation. It's, it's a great way of getting those D bookings cuz your top of mind. Is there any, any chats coming in? I need a quick drink cause I've been speaking a lot. Is there anything else that's coming in?

[00:37:58] Mark: Anybody? What I would love to know in the chat is anybody who does that.

[00:38:03] Matthew – Hospitable: Yeah. And, and we do have a, you know, we do have a, a couple great questions here and, and there's something too that I wanna reach out to about. Um, but I see a lot about screening guests, right. And Scott, you know, Scott, we appreciate you sharing all that with us.

[00:38:13] Matthew – Hospitable: The first thing that Scott talks about is Airbnb screens, guests. So I don't have to. And how do we ensure that we screen guests? Um, and one thing to keep in mind with all this and something that, I mean, I talk to a lot of hosts regularly and I have unfortunately heard some horror stories. Sure. Airbnb does screen some guests, but we still hear of those issues with guests that are coming through.

[00:38:32] Matthew – Hospitable: It is a chance that you're gonna take. So whether it's Airbnb screening it, it's your third party service that's screening it or it's you picking up the phone and screening it. It's not, nothing is 100% guaranteed there. At the end of the day, you are gonna have to do some extra things. Even if Airbnb is screening those guests.

Guest screening

[00:38:47] Matthew – Hospitable: You still should be taking a few extra steps to make sure that you're getting the right guests at your property. Uh, so mark, do you have anything to, to, to speak to, without when it comes to guest screening and protecting there's

[00:38:57] Mark: two things, number one, uh, guest screening, there are amazing companies now that, uh, help making your life a whole lot easier.

[00:39:03] Mark: The first one that Springs to mind. Super ho I dunno if hospitable sink with them are all just yet or, or soon, soon, super ho S U P E R H Um, fantastic company that they are literally taking, scratching the itch and making it available to host. Secondly, the question is, how do I get a guest address without acting like a creep?

[00:39:25] Mark: It's literally gonna cost you $10 and it's go grab the book, get on the Kindle. You can find the section in the book where it tells you all about that. Go put it into practice. It's super simple. When, when you find out what it is, you'll kick yourself at it. It is so easy without looking like a creep as well.

[00:39:39] Mark: So. Super ho S U P E R H That's just one, there's tons of them. And again, I'm not affiliated to say that I'm not paid for 'em to say that I just love this company. I love what they're doing. And I feel like, um, if you were to utilize that it would help your business loads. Right? We've got 15 minutes, 15 minutes.

[00:39:58] Mark: Is anybody got a question? A burning question? Uh, I dunno, Matthew, if you've seen one angel, if you've seen one in the background, if we've got a really good question that we, that we could, that we could really dig into. So, I mean, if you're thinking, well, how do I get D bookings? I've already given you a great start.

[00:40:14] Mark: Let me give you another one, actually. And then we'll finish off with a question. People are thinking about how do I get D bookings? How do I get direct bookings? I don't know where to begin. And I've already talked about this already, which is your phone. And again, if you haven't got your camera out just yet, please take a picture, upload it to Instagram and you'll get those templates.

[00:40:32] Mark: Hospitable link is in there. Brucely UK. Excuse me. Link is in the chat. Go and tags in. So the power of this is unbelievable. And there's four little words that I'm going to give you. That's gonna change your hospitable business massively moving forward. And if you would like to hear those four little words, just gimme your thumbs up or a yes.

[00:40:52] Mark: In the chat. So I know that you're all still paying attention. Yes, yes, yes. Lovely, lovely. Daniel, Pamela alert, Jessica. Fantastic. Do you know anyone? Those four words are gonna change your business. Do you know anyone? Now, what you're gonna do is you're gonna get your phone and you're gonna open up your contacts.

[00:41:13] Mark: Start with your best friends, the friends that you chat to all the time, whether it's your social best friends or your offline best friends, and you're gonna send them a message. Do you know anyone who needs accommodation? Do you need, do you know anyone who needs a place to stay? I guarantee you 80% of the people that you know, Don't even know that you've got accommodation business.

[00:41:33] Mark: They don't even know what you do for a list living, which is crazy, but it just is, but it is text them. Do you know anyone that needs accommodation? Do you know anyone who needs a place to stay when they visit X start with your best friends? And if you can't send that message to people who love you the most, then you can't send it to anybody, your friends, your family members, whoever it may be.

[00:41:52] Mark: Then once you've exhausted that list, move on to anybody that follow yous on social media, to a coworker, to a, a parent that you're always chatting to on the score room, anything like that. Do you know anyone that needs accommodation by simply asking that question? And if they come back to you and say, oh yes, I do.

[00:42:13] Mark: Actually, somebody's coming into town and they need a place to stay. Here's their number and what you do. You contact that person either base up a group, chat on your WhatsApp group, Fred on an email or whatever you contact that person. And then guess what you set them up with accommodation. Say, by the way, do you know anyone who needs accommodation or a place to stay?

[00:42:31] Mark: It's a compound effect. You keep on going. You keep on going and you keep on spreading. Hasn't cost you a penny. All you gotta do is reach out and ask. And there's a saying that I always always say shy kids don't get sweets. So all you gotta do is put it into practice with your business. All you've got to do is step out of that comfort zone, pick up the phone and send a text.

[00:42:50] Mark: And I dare one person in this zoom right now to do that. Pick up your phone while we're chatting, send a message. Whoever does send me a message on Instagram. Once you've done it. And I'll send you a special piece of bonus training. You've gotta send proof, send me a screenshot to show me that you've sent it.

[00:43:07] Mark: And I'll send you a special proof, a special piece of training that I won't talk about today. The first person who does that will get that special bonus bonus training. So who's gonna be.

[00:43:16] Matthew – Hospitable: Mark. I see that a lot as people. And they ask me this all the time, when we're on these sales calls, how do I get more exposure?

[00:43:22] Matthew – Hospitable: Right. How do I use these social media channels to, to, you know, really promote our brand, promote our business, et cetera, et cetera. And I think people just overlook the simplicity of just that we're just a human being with a network of our own that we could tap into to at least get it started, you know, keep it stupid, simple, or keep it simple, stupid.

[00:43:40] Matthew – Hospitable: However you wanna say it out there. but yeah, just go ahead and, and utilize those resources that are available to get you started. And that's really a good place to start practicing. Right. And to start, I see a, there's a question in here. How do I get started? How do I do it? Just don't be afraid to fail because you're probably going to at some point, but just go ahead and throw it out there.

[00:43:57] Matthew – Hospitable: Try one of these tips and see what kind of return am I gonna get? What's the feedback that I get and then we grow from there. Right? We figure out what works, what doesn't work, and then we can start fine tuning that a bit more. Um, So one thing that I think is really important that a lot of hosts overlook and you know, when people are running their business, it's not something they focus on.

[00:44:16] Matthew – Hospitable: And something, again, I mentioned earlier that I've seen you about why do I need to focus on that customer avatar, right? What is that customer avatar and what value does that deliver to my business? Um, I think that's something that host could get a bit out of if you could

[00:44:28] Mark: speak to that. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:44:30] Mark: And if you dunno what customer avatar means, just think of your most ideal guest. So who would you love more than anybody else in the world to walk through your door tomorrow, vision, who that person is vision, what their needs and wants and likes are vision. You know who that may be now? Yeah. You're gonna get very, very specific here and yeah, you're gonna have to rule out a load of people, but guess what?

[00:44:52] Mark: You've only got limited availability when you've got limited amounts of heads and beds that you can fill throughout the next calendar year. And there's a saying in business that if you appeal to everybody, you appeal to nobody. I will caveat that by saying that we are in an industry like no other, we are in such an inand business.

[00:45:14] Mark: We're very fortunate that you could start a business today. You could upload a couple of pictures to one or two websites and be pretty much guaranteed to bring in bookings. That's how in demand we're in, but because it's so in demand and it's got the attention of loads of property investors and money that's coming in it, and there's no regulation, it's so easy to get started.

[00:45:37] Mark: So it was gonna be more and more people coming into the industry and the demand will outweigh the, the need and all of that lot. And at time it will become more saturated. Now, if you start doing this now you will never be affected. And what you've got to do is you've got to focus on who your customer avatar is, and it's so important.

[00:45:57] Mark: It's one of the first chapters in this book, I've literally opened up on the page here. It says. Customer avatar. It's a major part of the book. And it's one that I recommend everybody to check out and I've even got homework attached to it. When you do read the book, so please do go and check it out. But those of you that have a niche now you may have a customer avatar right now, and I would love and encourage everybody in the chat box.

[00:46:20] Mark: Let me know who your customer avatars, who is your ideal guest, who do you wanna stay at your property more than any other? If you can figure out who that is, your life becomes easier because when you've got a customer avatar, every social media post that you write, every email that you put together, every pitch of it, you take and you present on Airbnb and on your website makes your life so much easier because you're aiming and speaking to that person.

[00:46:47] Mark: And like I say, even if you feel that you're eliminating 90% of the people out there and you're focusing on that 10% good. Because those that blur yourself so far down and an niche, there's no room for anybody else. You will win coming out of this. You no longer can just throw spaghetti on a wall and hope it sticks, which is what we could do in 2019.

[00:47:05] Mark: But we can't do this now. That's why it's so super important. And I can see so many people have got their avatar nailed down to a T, which is fantastic.

[00:47:19] Matthew – Hospitable: Um, so looking here, like, let's go ahead. I'll I'll grab another, another question. Um, you know, how can we reach, I think a lot of that, why what's the furthest a needle? Um, yeah, there's, there's a couple, there's a couple good ones here, but. again, going back to that, the

[00:47:36] Mark: business traveler. I see that the business guest.

How to attract more corporate guests

[00:47:39] Mark: Now hands up in this chat for putting a chat comment business, just put the one word business. Would you like to know the most simplest way to attract more corporate guests to fill those Monday to Thursday slots? Yes. Yes. Yes. I fought. So, so, you know, weekends pretty much can take care of themselves.

[00:47:56] Mark: Right? Right. Weekends are ledger people or whatever that may be. But that Monday to Friday in January or February is so hard to fill. How do you fill 'em you fill 'em with business contractor, corporate guests. Now you may be thinking, well, how do I get these corporate or contractor or business guests?

[00:48:17] Mark: How do I start? Well, this is, this is again, this is really cool. And it's even easier than getting leisure guests. And this is a nice way we can fill out these next nine minutes now. Hands up in the chat. Give me a yes or a no. Have you ever had a business guest come and stay with you before? Yes or no. Oh, love it.

[00:48:39] Mark: So many yeses, so many yeses. Brilliant. Okay. For those of you that have got a yes, your life is so much easier for those of you. That is a no, I'll come back to you in a second. Okay. So if you wanna get more business guests and you have had a business guest come a stay of you before. And when I mean business, when I say corporate, I don't mean those that work at the likes of Amazon.

[00:49:01] Mark: You know, a corporate is for basically, if you look at the, the terminology corporate in the dictionary, it's for somebody who works at a company with more than 10 members of staff, that's it, that's what a corporate company has judged upon. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna go back on all of your bookings over the last couple of years.

[00:49:18] Mark: And what you're gonna do is you're gonna try and find anybody that has state of you in the past on business. When I talk about sending lumpy mail, whether it's a Christmas card or whatever, these are the best people to send them to, because what you're gonna do is you're gonna contact that guest. Now let's not go super creepy and go back three years in the past.

[00:49:39] Mark: Let's just go a year back. Okay. You're gonna call a guest email, the guest voice, note the guest on WhatsApp. And just basically ask the question. When you came to stay with us, did you book it yourself or was there a member of your team that booked it for you? Okay. Now, if they message you back and say, I booked it, then the follow up question is, can you guess, um, somebody who's really good in the chat.

[00:50:06] Mark: Can you guess what four little words you're going to ask if they said I booked this chat, what's the four little words. Come on. You all know it. Do you know anyone? So you're gonna say, do you know anyone else in your company that travels to the area. Yes. Brilliant. Can you please pass on the message about us?

[00:50:23] Mark: Can you please spread the word in your company about us? Do you have an extranet board? You know, those online things that happens on behind the scenes, do you have an extranet board? You can list our details on fantastic. If they came back to you and they said, well, actually we have an accommodation specialist, a PA fantastic.

[00:50:38] Mark: Who's that person, who's that person that's gonna become your new best friend. So what you do get their name. You'll get the details. They maybe give you their full name. They maybe give you their email address. What you're gonna do is gonna go find 'em on LinkedIn, super simple. And then what you're going to do is you're gonna drop a call in, and the reason why you do that because of me just called Collin and saying, Hey, it's mark from blah, blah, blah.

[00:50:59] Mark: You're gonna say, oh, Hey, uh, my name's mark. Um, I run a company called Mark's home. We had a member of your staff come and stay with us. Fantastic person called John. He, he mentioned I should get in contact with you. Um, am I speaking to the right person? And then what all you're going to do is you're gonna give that person your details and just say, listen, if anybody else from the company wants to.

[00:51:19] Mark: Please make sure you contact me directly. This is my, this is my cell phone number. This is my landline, whatever you wanna call it. We've got really good rates that we can work out together. When you book over is direct. That's all you're going to do. Hang up the phone, make a note of them on a, on a iPhone notes or a Google sheet, their name, the number who BI the LinkedIn profile.

[00:51:36] Mark: If you can get the address as well. Great. And go to another and go to another. And then what you're gonna do is you're gonna build up a little portfolio. And so if you do this correctly, and if you do this right, you'll have about five or 10 names, but you can literally call once a month. You can send out an invoice, they can invoice you directly, and they'll be able to book up in you and your apartments.

[00:51:55] Mark: And if you do this well, and if you do this right, even if you can't fill 'em in your property, and if you can do the other thing that I'm about to tell you and build up a local network of hosts, you'll be able to fill up your property and your local network of hosts as well. And every time you put a book in, into another host, you'll be able to take a little referral fee.

[00:52:14] Mark: So you're making more money, more profit, more revenue from simply becoming the go-to. And I know so many people who have applied this practice cause I've taught this practice to so many people and they've been able to bring in more revenue without having to do more work or admin on the side by simply becoming a go-to.

[00:52:33] Mark: Now I'll finish with given the example, if you don't know anybody. So if you've never had a business guest stay with them before in the past, there's a little institution, a worldwide institution, that's free little letters, BNI, There are BNI meetings all over the world as an international organization.

[00:52:51] Mark: And what you can start to do is every week start rocking up at these meetings. The cool thing about BNI and these local networking groups is that for most parties and for most places, there's a no competition clause. So what that means is that if you go as the hospitality person, there can't be any other hospitality person who goes to that meeting.

[00:53:11] Mark: So you literally have got full range in all of these businesses and these local business owners that are going to these meetings and all you need to do for three months, rock up every single week. You will be the hospitality person there. Stand up, introduce your business, get to know local business owners in and around the area.

[00:53:28] Mark: And the cool thing about the business world. It's very incestuous. Everybody knows everybody. So even if the, the gentleman who has got a shutters and blinds business in your local area, doesn't need accommodation or doesn't need accommodation for a staff, they may be going to a conference or an expo or meet somebody, but needs accommodation in your local area.

[00:53:48] Mark: And by you simply showing up, you become the go to you, become the top of mind and you'll become the place that is get recommended. So apply those practices. You can get business guests, Matthew. Angela. How was that? That was

[00:54:02] Matthew – Hospitable: amazing. You know, I, I really think that our hosts are gonna walk away here with, with some actionable, you know, steps that they can go ahead and take to, to start to really get this process rolling.

[00:54:12] Matthew – Hospitable: Now, one thing with direct bookings and, you know, it's, it's, it's not just set it and forget it by any means. It's not something that's just gonna happen just because of the luck of the draw or whatever it comes. There's gonna be some work that you need to take into it, but taking steps like this, and then using technology to your advantage.

[00:54:28] Matthew – Hospitable: So like we talked about right, delivering a great guest experience, getting that guest data, getting that network, their network, bringing it on into your own. You can use tools like hospitable, where you're collecting that data. And we focus on helping you deliver that grace guest experience, automated messages, targeting those messages to the right people who want that information.

[00:54:48] Matthew – Hospitable: You know, I, I know I've heard host tell stories about, Hey, just by putting a happy birthday in an automated message, because we knew it was their birthday and it was scheduled seven months in. You know, that really went and helped us stand out from the rest of the crowd and it made them wanna look back and come back with us.

[00:55:05] Matthew – Hospitable: Um, so no, I think that was absolutely fantastic, mark, you know, it's, it's definitely a bit more work that you need to put into, but using some of those technological tools that are out there today, you know, it's, it's, it's not like it was back in the day. Uh that's for darn sure. You know, using some of those things to your advantage

[00:55:19] Mark: here.

Running a business doesn’t have to be hard work

[00:55:19] Mark: What I will say to finish off with, if anybody thinks that this sounds like work right. Again, I say this with the smile on my face. We are so lucky in this industry. Cause it is so in, in demand for me as a website designer, there's not a website that I can go and list my business on. And be guaranteed to get in revenue.

[00:55:39] Mark: All right. When I'm talking about these tactical and tips, I have to brand my business. I have to come on webinars and zoom calls. I have to document on social media. I have to do all of this just to get the attention of anybody, to trust me enough, to, to give their time and effort to me. Okay. And that's what we have to do as business owners.

[00:55:54] Mark: That is just what it's called running a business. And yet it may seem like work, but if you can put this into practice now, and if you start documenting what you'll do now, documenting as in creating SOPs, as in documenting the process recorder room show, 'em how you do it. Then you can record this and hire somebody to do it for you.

[00:56:12] Mark: And it won't cost a lot of money. This is what's called outsourcing. Yeah. Okay. So you start off by doing the work. Now you document, and then you can bring someone else to help you do this. So then you can focus on growing and running your business. It's it may seem like a lot, but it isn't. All I ask is this one thing, pick one thing that I've talked to you tonight of this hour about and put it into practice.

[00:56:34] Mark: So, whether it is you text somebody that, you know, love. Do you know anyone, whether it is tomorrow, you go and register for the next BNI meeting, or maybe it is you're gonna go and buy this book on Amazon, the bug direct playbook, $10. That's all it is. Go and purchase it, go and read it and put into practice.

[00:56:50] Mark: One thing I guarantee you, if you're consistent and if you do that one thing, you'll drive revenue in and I guarantee you'll, you'll get the return of investment more of than a $10 book. That's all I ask. So my goal is to help 1 million hosts cut down on an overnight on the OTs, creating this book was a big part of it because the reason why I wanna help 1 million host is because I know Airbnb and VRBO don't think you can.

[00:57:16] Mark: they think that you just don't know what it is to do to get your own Dre bookings. And my goal is to prove I'm wrong. So if I can get 1 million host and reeducate, 1 million host to get more Dre bookings, and you in turn and educate your guests about the power of D bookings. So they don't go to Airbnb, then we're gonna get their attention.

[00:57:35] Mark: And I am so excited because when I asked at the start, what is your ratio of OTA bookings to direct bookings? Some of you were saying a hundred percent, 95%, 90%. If I can just cut that down by 10%, that is gonna have a four or five, or maybe even six figure benefit on your profit over the next year, which makes me really happy and excited.

[00:57:58] Mark: So please, please, please, whatever you do, don't just watch this and go, oh, that was nice. I hear a funny accent and then go onto the next webinar. Actually put summer into practice tomorrow and message me when you do it. Cuz that gives me the urge and the drive to keep doing more of these. So thank you very much for tuning in.

[00:58:13] Mark: Thank you very much for having me Matthew. And I

[00:58:16] Matthew – Hospitable: hope it. Yeah. And, you know, be on the lookout for more of these master classes coming up in the future. You know, we have a jampacked calendar this year podcast, master classes, we're even having some classes put on by actual everyday average Airbnb host, go ahead and share with you how they became super host telling you their stories so that we can go ahead and, and walk along with it and to those people who, Hey, how do I get started?

[00:58:38] Matthew – Hospitable: There's no answer. Just go ahead and do it, send that text message. Right. Go ahead and ask for that email and that next automated message or shoot our support team a question and ask them how to use that custom code so that you can send that follow up to make sure the email is, uh, is, is in your, your guest database there.

[00:58:52] Matthew – Hospitable: So mark absolute pleasure, man. We always appreciate, you know, everything that you're laying down here. You know, we thank you all so much and thank you all for, for attending. We appreciate having you here. Have a good night, have a good afternoon, have a good rest of your evening, whatever it may be. I'm off to bed.

[00:59:06] Matthew – Hospitable: That's for sure. Yeah. Thank you brother. Thank you so much, mark. Thank you everybody. Bye bye now.

[00:59:11] Mark: Thank you so much for checking out today's podcast episode now, before you head and go anywhere else before you click to the next episode, before you do that, do me one big favor and go check out boost Lee dot code UK slash trust IRA at a sponsors of all of the booster content and the reason why I work with them.

[00:59:28] Mark: And the reason why we spread the message of IRA is that when a host or a company is looking to get more into DRA bookings, the main question they have is around trust as in will a guest trust that I'm a true and real business will IRA take care of all of that. And they've got a special offer that is only available to boosty people, but to do that, you need to go to boost Lee, which is B O.

[00:59:52] Mark: TL Y dot code UK slash trust. You can find out all the information there. You can book in a demo book in a call, and then you'll get your super special offer that is only available to Boley peoples, thank you again for tuning in do go check out IRAK. We'll be back again very shortly with another podcast episode, but until then, we'll see you all very soon.

[01:00:12] Mark: Take care.

So Here are

10 Great Ways To Attract More Website Direct Bookings

1. Use an online booking system

If you don't have an online booking system for your website, you're missing out on a lot of potential customers. By using an online booking system, you make it easier for potential customers to book appointments or reservations directly through your website. This can help increase your bookings significantly.

2. Offer a discount

One great way to attract more website direct bookings is by offering a discount to those who book through your website. This can be a percentage off their total bill or a specific dollar amount. Either way, this is a great way to encourage people to book directly through your site.


3. Make booking easy

Don't make potential customers jump through hoops in order to book an appointment or reservation. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to actually do it. So, streamline your booking process and make it as simple as possible.


4. Use enticing language

The language you use on your website can make a big difference in whether or not people book directly through your site. Use persuasive language that makes people want to take advantage of your offer.

5. Highlight the benefits

Make sure potential customers know all the benefits of booking directly through your website. For example, if you offer a discount, be sure to mention that on your site. If you have a convenient online booking system, highlight that as well.

6. Use images

Images are worth a thousand words, so make sure you're using them to your advantage. Use high-quality images that show off your business in the best light possible. These can help convince people to book directly through your site.

7. Add testimonials

If you have happy customers, let them do the talking for you. Add testimonials to your website from satisfied customers. This can help build trust and encourage more people to book directly through your site.

8. Offer incentives

In addition to discounts, another great way to attract more website direct bookings is by offering incentives. For example, you could offer a free gift for those who book through your site. This is a great way to increase bookings and build customer loyalty.

9. Get listed in directories


There are many online directories that list businesses like yours. Make sure you're listed in as many of these as possible. This can help potential customers find your website and make a booking directly through it.

10. Promote your website


Last but not least, don't forget to promote your website. You can do this through traditional marketing channels like print ads or television commercials. But, you should also focus on digital marketing channels like search engine optimization and social media marketing. By promoting your website, you can increase the number of people who see it and the number of bookings you receive through it.


By following these tips, you can attract more website direct bookings and boost your business. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Podcast sponsor

I-PRAC - The Book Direct Show

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