With the advance of Shared Economy, nowadays any person can offer private rooms or dorms to rent. The owners of hotels, hostels, guest-houses, eco-villages, etc. are looking for different ways of increasing their bookings and improving their occupancy rates as much as they can.
However, increasing bookings isn’t always an easy task. It requires strategic planning and investment in marketing, in addition to other administrative details and your own staff’s structure. With that in mind, we divided this article in 3 steps for you to identify the problem, develop successful solutions and measure the results. Come with us:
IDENTIFY THE SCENARIO
The best way of determining the current scenario is by carrying out a benchmarking research, that is, to analyze the competition and draw a baseline for your business. How do your competitors generate bookings nowadays and how did they do it before: what changed? How do they promote their property: do they promote it online or offline? Do they announce it on Facebook or hand-out flyers on the streets? What are they investing in at the moment?
Your competitor’s strategy may not be the same one you will adopt, but it sure is important to know how to identify it in order to assess the pros and cons of the Hospitality Industry and, why not, of your specific sector. Only this way will you be able to plan accurate actions to increase your bookings and reservations. Be it with investment in Digital Marketing, Offline Media or partnerships with local services, the idea is to think of ways to reach the intended audience through unforgettable experiences.
DEVELOP SUCCESSFUL SOLUTIONS
As soon as you’ve outlined your scenario and verified what your competition has been doing, you’ll have to start to devise successful solutions. To do so, think out of the box. What’s your business’ vibe? Is it a family environment? Or is it a party place? Maybe you wish to provide a more calm and romantic spot for couples? Think about the audience you want to reach and how, when and where you’ll reach them. This is essential in order to direct your efforts in the right direction.
As we said before, your guests' experience while they're at your place is the main factor to generate more bookings. Yes, that’s true. Providing unforgettable experiences will increase the number of reservations because people will take photos, check-in in Apps and tell their friends all about the amazing place they were hosted at. Be it a special dinner or a celebration party, making people feel well received and attended to makes all the difference.
HOW TO MEASURE IF IT'S WORKING?
After all the planning and testing to measure the receptivity of your target audience, it’s time to reap the harvest. But, how to find out if all these tactics to increase bookings are being effective? It’s simple: reviews and recommendations on your online booking platforms and on your social media. Start analyzing the number of interactions in your social media channels and search all the reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Apart from constantly checking the increase in your positive reviews, compare them to your competitors’ and always try to correct those little details in order to make your guests' experience even more rich and memorable. But always remember to have in mind a specific audience so that you can reach them in a more accurate way.
If you have a quiet place and receive guests that are looking for big parties, you have to find ways to align their expectations. You need to have a very well defined audience and the environment in order not to attract people that will feel uncomfortable at your place and write negative reviews.
In conclusion, to stand out in your sector you need a clear audience-reaching strategy and you need to make sure your guests have epic moments in your place to increase your bookings. :)