It is no news that people are on the constant lookout for getting their best value for money where it comes to accommodation spaces. This has created a space in the market where home owners have been given the opportunity to put their rooms or properties up for rent through one of the most surging sites, AirBnB.com.
Demand for such accommodation space has been surging and obviously enough, did not take much time before another player decided to become part of this game. Booking.com is now also giving the opportunity to homeowners, owners of villas and any other type of property that is not usually rented out through the traditional OTA, to put their availability up for sale.
What does this mean for hoteliers?
Hoteliers are no longer competing among themselves, but now also have to keep an eye out for the newcomers, home owners! A few pointers to take note of:
- Homeowners have the luxury of giving a very personal experience to their guests;
- They are able to generate concise yet precise content about their offering;
- Descriptions about their properties and rooms to be as accurate as they can get;
- They are able to set the right expectations to their guests much before they arrive allowing for higher satisfaction;
- They tend to make it right when it matters;
- Through positive experiences, guests are heavily encouraged to leave positive feedback across multiple sites (user generated content is of utmost importance)
What should you do?
- Keep your online presence in the top-most shape possible;
- Are you managing to keep up with all the OTAs? If not, start limiting presence to sites that promote you best and have yielded into the highest number of bookings;
- Like any other business, hotel operations evolve across time. Make sure that the descriptions you have on your website and other sites selling your property do reflect your current service proposal. Do not try to over-sell as this will end up biting you where it hurts most. Realistic yet searchable is the way to go;
- If an issue is encountered during service offering, make sure that any of your employees or even yourself make yourself available to your guest and MAKE IT RIGHT;
- Encourage online reviews. These testimonials sell more then whatever content you will be putting online yourself. Reason is that these reviews are completely unbiased;
- Photography…Did I ever mention that this is one of your most important investments? Make sure that your photos are current. If pictures are 5 years old, then it is time to start working on new ones.