Lodging Update March 31st 2017
By Wm. May
Published: 03/31/17 Topics: Comments: -
What have we done for you lately?
Bill Russell the famous basketball player and coach says he received non-stop calls from players who had been cut from other teams. They always said the same thing, "Well two years ago I averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds:
Coach Russell always said the same thing, "You are a great player, but what are you scoring now? What can you do for me now?"
It’s a fair question for any lodging manager. Of course doing everything well is the entire job in a nut shell. But this is a nutty business and sitting on our laurels is not enough.
So this letter outlines a few of the things we have done, are doing and are working on. There are bigger corporate type managers who want to tell you the have the inside track. But they do not.
No one moves with the quality, speed and intensity that we do.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WHAT WE HAVE DONE FOR YOU LATELY.
PENALTIES: Did you know that some website such as VRBO.com, AirBnB.com penalize managers who do not respond to inquiries VERY quickly? We have always been open long hours, but our staff monitor online bookings, posts and inquiries 24/7. So we turn a higher percentage of inquires into bookings. Even the corporate size management don't match this.
PHONE CALLS: The big ad websites are now insisting on instant-bookings. But after every online bookings, we telephone guests to verify their identity, see if they are qualified, and to politely inform them of the rules, all while we sell them on each home's features. Of course, we don't call them during the grave-yard shift, thinking they are not expecting a phone call at that hour. This personal service increases bookings and guest satisfaction.
PAYMENT PLANS: For years, most rental managers have required non-cancellable bookings because, unlike hotels, the chance of replacing a last-minute booking is low. After all, no one drives up the front door of a rental and asks to rent that night. (Like a hotel.)
But, when thing were crazy weird early in the recession, we rebuilt our systems to offer payment plans. Of course, it is essential for guests to pay before arrival. But if they book far far in advance, our online booking software (and phone crew) invite guests to pay some now and some later. If your manager avoids this extra work, they are losing you money.
Our websites even explain to guests how much they are paying "Per Night" (including taxes, cleaning etc.) and "Per Person" per night. When guests see a large total price, sometimes they abort booking. In our system they are comforted by the much smaller cost per night, and affordable per person. Thats a bargain compared to hotels.
Oddly, we have never seen this feature on any other website and thanks to Salman, our ace programming engineer, it works flawlessly, attracts more guests, and means more money for owners.
OCCUPANCY CONTROL: Good managers watch carefully to guard against over occupancy. Emphasizing limits on websites, in contracts, in instructions and on the phone helps. But our per-person-pricing (PPP) system improves compliance.
We advertise set prices for "Normal" occupancy for the base rate, such as $300 per night for 4 people but every home is different. We then set a "Sleeps" cap such as 6 people, along with a "Maximum" occupancy such as 7. This helps answer the persistent questions of "but can I bring a toddler or a youngster" who sleeps in a crib or on the floor.
Then the guest pays PPP charges for anyone over Normal. Guests often call to add or subtract occupants, which increases or decreases charges. That proves they understand limits and subliminally reveals we are watching occupancy at all times. Strangely, most others managers fail to use this system that works so well.
These are just a few of the things we have done for you lately. If your manager doesn't do all of these things, and hasn't mastered them, please give us a call for a free market comparison. Sounds like you need a new manager.
Author: Wm. May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0544 – 03/31/17
Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies, in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. – VortexManagers.com
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