The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! And we are now in Season 6. And we are currently on the tenth episode of season six! For this episode of Boost Hospitality Podcast, we will be talking about How to Stand Out From a Sea of Accommodation Businesses. And we have Adam Rana to talk about it on this episode.
Adam is based in Birmingham, he’s got a nice little service accommodation portfolio that stands out.
And the reason why I wanted to get him on this podcast is that his customer service experience is second to none.
In this episode, we talk about his free 60 model.
We talked about how he collects reviews, and how he gets instant guest feedback by going the extra mile.
There are some fantastic tactics and tips and tools that he uses that you can put into your hospitality business straight away.
I was very very fortunate to meet him a couple of months ago.
I went down to Birmingham, stayed in one of his apartments in the city centre got to the meetup event.
And it was a really good chat really good meetup.
And I found out so much about service accommodation, it was on the back of me and Adam that I had the idea to do this podcast series.
First of all, it’s a pleasure to be on the podcast and then we’ll go into that you got on the world.
I originally got into hospitality about the end of 2017 so I’m experienced but not so experienced.
But my main background is which got me led into this was my interest in traveling and staying staying around the world have traveled 35 countries stayed in different hostels.
The different type of service accommodation that Adam has in Birmingham that stands out
So we have an avatar for the contractor base or a family base, or a business corporate people.
I have a split of property which attracts a different type of market and just about consumers.
We have I have three houses, which are based in just outskirts of Birmingham, which we attract a lot of long-term direct bookings, or rather repeat bookings in my case.
From contractors and referral, we run a referral scheme.
So that’s one avatar that I used to attract to my semi-detached house or three-bedroom house around the outskirts of the city, then I have a property base, which one of them you stayed in, which are more.
I say, on the luxury side on the upper end of the market, which attract the international crowd.
So I’ve had a lot of from China, Saudi Arabia, we have a lot of families with kids and nationally in the summer holidays such as now.
To attract that I’m mixed up with business people as well, I would say business, banking, corporate, there’s a lot of corporate clients in Birmingham.
And then I’ll have the higher end higher like the highest end of luxury, which you just attract the lucky lucky areas pipe and again mixes with the business corporate target.
Some people who are directors or managers, senior managers and have a big blue-chip company would like to stay in an fancy pad rather than a stain open, or Marissa.
So there are different types of consumer based targets.
What has been one of your favourite failures that you’ve made about standing out in the service accommodation industry?
And I’ve always had that. So when I started, I had one or two properties a year and a half.
Now we have a portfolio around 16, which is managed and owned properties of service accommodations.
So one of the biggest mistakes I think I made early on, which has not helped me so much.
But he has is one of them was when people there were guests, were asking for extras or extra extra extra items, extra things.
I can use an example of families coming from abroad, asking for a travelling cut.
That’s just an example and give it so they would ask you accidentally something I never provided.
I never thought of not having kids. I never thought up there will be people looking for trouble.
We used to say no, well, I said we I used to say no. Then I said oh look, unfortunately, we don’t provide that service.
And that resulted in like the just the mindset of a guest I was not a healthy guess even though we supplied everything else.
And we were happy on on-hand help with everything.
It was just that one little thing, which was not advertised, but they still they wanted us to help them because they’re not from the city.
There’s not any country and we couldn’t do it because I just never thought it was it was a cost to me.
What is the business plan?
And there’s something we didn’t do, and we just said no.
Took a month back and I reflected about six months back we reflected on, you know, a lot of people ask me.
What can we do? One thing I learned was never to say it’s always saying yes, never say no.
But tell them this is what it will cost, this is a charge for service.
And in fact, the cost didn’t really matter in the end, because the service cause we said yes, a lot of people 90% of people actually said yes.
Say, yeah, we will pay for this service that we understand it will not advertise.
But secondly, we’ve never been in Denver with negative feedback, because the service was wearable for them.
And they got a good thing in their minds services.
What about creating an experience for the customer and expand was available, but it’s their choice the balls in their court if they want the service or not.
But we all we have a rule in our company with me employing people now is we always say yes, and then we come up with a solution.
So in summarize that one of them that was one of the biggest barriers with may have cost me some money and cost me some reviews.
I would say from the world. But now because we offer that is it’s not necessarily we make extra money.
It’s just that we provide the service and the people happy and leave the choice in the customer. That’s how you stand out in the service accommodation industry.
How did you work your referral program?
And we trialled different ways of running around through referral scheme.
Where we were giving Amazon cards or gift cards for different retail or whatever.
But what we ultimately decided was to give a percentage of booking our cashback to the to the customer.
So what they do, if they’ve enjoyed this day, they would recommend us to their friends, family, or anyone they know and they will get an 8% return on booking.
They create a successful booking degree, they get an 8% return.
And this is something we implemented about three months ago.
And it results of people what the gives it interest in gives them a reason, not just because of the experience that we’ve given them.
There’s a monetization of them bringing someone to so there was a lot of people literally refer their families.
So yeah, this is a process of giving money back.
What made you think that this was the right time to grow?
I’m not sure I can put into word but I’m really excited and it has been one of my goals and vision not hospitality business in the UK.
It was to give create a team before by creating a team I can we can serve more people and help more people.
And make sure customers are happier rather than just running a business with one person.
So it’s really important when you hire someone when I hired someone to outsource some site excited.
But it’s creating the same values and principles that have got me to this successful level.
Have a decent-sized portfolio of good customer feedback, good reviews on customers from a different culture.
To make sure we continue that what I do is I have a set of values and principles and a mission statement.
So I have a mission statement that was I floated down to that one employees and Operations Manager runs my guest management.
Handling issue management, essentially what underground day to day business he wants, he’s a customer facing personnel.
He needs to have the same value so this is very important to all the listeners out there.
Vision and goals for your business
Make sure why you started your business, it’s very easy to get lost, hiring people and getting excited.
But if you don’t write those values down and stick them up in a bedroom.
That would do I want to be up to meetings in a basement in the house.
So it’s my belief for this gentleman, but he can see this day that these are the principles.
And these are values one of them being customer first, in a big, big role, but bold writing customer.
Customer-first always is a couple of heads, though yes, having set values a vision.
And making sure your top-level employees are even filtered down to your day to day employees.
Which are doing the cleaning or or or the maintenance, understand what your vision is.
On a firm believer, they align with your vision and your goals, I think they will perform better.
They will understand why you’re doing something and why you want the standards.
And so to have certain standards, certain audits in cleaning started a bit into the platform.
Scaling and having a contractor team or a permanent full-time employee.