How to make sure your guest never books via an OTA again

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Season 11 Episode 55. This is a recap of my Facebook live where I talked about how to make sure your guest never books via an OTA again.

Here's the audio for this episode:

Here's the video for this episode:

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Audio – Boostly Podcast





00:00 Start
02:10 Another book direct tip
03:45 Reach out to your guests
05:35 What can you do?

Transcript from the Episode

Today we're talking about direct bookings. And I'm going to give you another tip on how you can convert an OTA booking to a direct booking so they never ever book with an OTA again. So I've always said this, that if you are a host, and you get a booking through an OTA and they come and they stay with you and they leave. And if they ever come back and stay with you again, in a book via an OTA, you have failed. The otas are very aware of the fact that as soon as they step foot on your property, you can be doing everything in your power to try and get their details etc. So you can mark it to a but not naive, you know, I've been doing this game for long enough. I've got to know people that Airbnb and quite well. And you know, I've mentioned this to them. And, you know, they're not naive to the fact they're fully aware of this. But the problem is, is that we don't, we don't keep in contact. We don't email we don't reach out. We don't, you know, do everything that the big hotels and the big chains are doing. My whole career in hospitality when I've come back. And you know, since 2011, going back into like a full-time basis in it. I've always been looking at these angles. And what I do for my research is I always go and look at what the big boys are doing success leaves clues at the end of the day. And the tip that I mentioned yesterday, obviously was focused around the Hilton's and Marriott's and whatnot. But we can be doing these. It's just a slight change of mindset, a slight change of word and, and a bit of systems and structures and whatnot. But it's if we can do this.

Reach out to your guests

So the main thing that what I want to say to you is that I want to ensure that you never have a guest rebook via an OTA. And the easiest way to do that is via email, and text message simply that is there are really, really cool and really effective and really cheap automation software's that will do this job for you, for example, on your email triggers that you have with your PMS provider, you can have one for where it's three months and six months after they've booked with you. And you can send them a little quick email just saying, Hey, how you doing? Well. If you want to rebook at any point, you know where we are, please do keep in touch, etc, etc. And again, these emails are automated, real conversation-driven, not pushy, pushy sales. It's just keeping in contact with them. And these emails always go down really well and you'll get a response. Now you can also have reminders and systems and setups in place for where you can maybe even drop a call or a WhatsApp message. You can even go a step further now and as more CRM so customer relationship management software platforms that have been built for Hospitality businesses that have just been, you know, exclusive for the big Hotels in the past, but now they're being made more readily available to smaller businesses that will again help with this. So you can collect your guests' date of birth, you can maybe collect important date information like anniversaries and whatnot, load into the CRM. And then you can have triggers sent out, say when it's a month before somebody's birthday, or a month before an anniversary or a month before whatever they will get an email to say, if you need somewhere to get away for your special day, you know where we are, give us a call. Here's a little coupon, something like that there's experienced as personalized that can go straight into the inbox via email is really powerful.

What can you do?

So have a little look, have a little look around. What can you do? What have you already got set up, if you haven't got anything set up? totally free, it can deal with a lot of these things that I'm talking about. If you can't even do MailChimp, text message super simple. You've got things like WhatsApp and telegram that make it really easy to do nowadays, you can contact anybody for free. And just keep in touch with your guests as hosts our biggest problem, not just host business owners in general, we're always chasing new money, new customers new money, when really the big profit. The big bookings are the ones that have already stayed with you, the people that already know like and trust you. And if you can keep in contact with them and if you can make them feel like a million bucks, they will not only be your best guests, there'll be your biggest superfans for the rest of your career. So focus on that.

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