How to convince your guest to book direct

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Season 11 Episode 60. This is a recap of my interview with Hostfully where I talked about how to convince your guest to book direct.

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Transcript from the Episode

People tend to trust the otas. How do I build that trust, and this is, this is really important. And the reason why the public, the general public think that it is safer, and better to book via an ota. And not only much the general public, but hosts as well, is the marketing message that these otas promote. If you want the best examples, just look at the podcast episode that Brian Chesky did with sway I believe the the podcast was called, you can go and check it out. It was it was on LinkedIn. . And it was the question that she asked, she asked directly to Brian chesky. Are you concerned that hosts are now doing the book direct and she mentioned the book direct movement which was fantastic. And his kickback to that was no, because that when a guest books via us, you get that protection, you get cancellation policy, you get that you know, you get you get a protection on both side.

Now everybody in here right now, who is watching this, you know that the guest is as much protected by booking directly as it is on any of the otas. The problem is, is that the otas spend millions and millions and they've got teams upon teams coming up with this marketing PR campaign. And they've spreaded it and they've worded it really well.

What hosts can do

Now what we need to do is we need to fight fire with fire. And we need to explain explicitly, but when a guest books with you irectly, you get all of the same benefits and you get more benefits, and you get the same protection as you would do on an OTA. Now the problem is, is that Brian Chesky is talking about this left, right and center, they spread the message you're not.

Build your guests' trust through your website

So what can you do right now to amplify that trust, the easiest place to start is on your website. And you can very clearly on your homepage, talk about the key reasons why someone should book with you and what happens when a guest books with you. The problem is when we look at our website, we try and turn it into a sales page or a glossy magazine. And we try and have flashing buttons. And we tried to have these spinning images and we tried to have drone video for shots are know that when really at the end of the day, all the guest needs to find out is who you are, why they should book with you and how they can book with you in the most simplistic terms. And that's what you need to do.

We're very lucky now in 2021 that there are softwares and tools and services that can help bring that trust in. The number one that stands to mind is i-Prac and you can just google them and the company will come out and it's all about that trust. And again, I know the founder of i-Prac and you can just google his story about how he created this is literally all around witnessing a guest that got stood up by a fake Airbnb listing Way back in 2013-14. So if you can combine it, and I know I've seen a couple of people in the audience who use i-PRAC, that is a great way because that you can put that trust certificate on your website. And it builds up trust.

The main thing is, even without all the services and tools, just talk about it, so please, please do start talking about it, because that's the way how you will start to build that trust, the software kicks in from Super hog. And it gets the guest to take a selfie, to get facial recognition, to basically say who they say they are. And when they do that, you as the host are then covered up to 1 million pounds worth of damages. And the cool thing is, is that you don't have to pay for this service. The guest does. So they just pay a free pound service charge. And it looks just like a service charge a service charges. You know, anytime you use a credit card or you buy an event ticket or anything like this, they just add the service charge on so it's a minimal service charge you as the host, I believe you actually get 25% No, you get 25 p per time it happens. So it's like an incentive for you to use it and it gives you about coverage. I have not investigated it on a deep, deep, deep level. I've seen it on a surface level. But that's the one to me that stands out most and I've I know the guys who run it really good guys who run it. And I think the way that they are bringing this out I think is really exciting. That's just one.

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