Written by Fern
As a property owner, you probably are known to different kind of OTA’s (online travel agencies). Some hoteliers see OTA’s as a nightmare, but you simply cannot do without them. They are amazingly good marketing tools that expand your reach immensely. But what a lot of hoteliers do not know is that it is possible to be in control of your channels. Having to keep track of your rates and availability in separate windows is asking for trouble so a Channel Manager would come in handy.
Channel Managers connect room types based on price types meaning you can singlehandedly make changes to separate rooms. With this way of connection, you can also decide on which channel you want to communicate different room availability. So, let’s say that the summer is just around the corner and you have noticed you are almost fully booked. If you want you can choose to close the check-in within the Channel Manager on your OTA platforms making it so that you only take direct bookings via the own website. This saves you commission and gets you more direct customers while staying visible on external channels. If you end up having a few rooms left open, you can always decide last minute to open availability on these channels once again. As easy as one, two, three! Taking back control has never been as simple.
A Channel Manager is more than just a tool to control your rates and availability; it is a daily job, so why not make it as easy as possible?
Being small doesn’t mean being silent
You as a hotelier can do more than you think. The feeling of ‘’I can never win from Booking.com’’ is completely understandable, but try chancing the mind-set to ‘’ I am different than Booking.com’’. Because in actual fact, you are! Booking directly does not only bring you as a hotelier benefits, but also the guests. The problem is that they usually do not realise that direct bookings are better for both sides. Communication is key, personal touches and good vibes. Within the first few seconds the potential guests visits a website, he or she decides if they want to spend money on this place. The look and feel, pictures, text and style is very important for a person to choose to spend money on the website directly instead of going via Booking.com. You can promote yourself, your package deals and other extra’s as long as you make yourself exclusive. A good website is wildly important to guests in the decision to book. Choose your words wisely and don’t overdo it with the information. Give your guests your best options; something that makes you look special. When you overdo it however guests can get lost.
Creating another booking platform
Some people might not know, but creating a Facebook page for your accommodation is easier then boiling an egg. What some people also might not know is that you can create a button on your Facebook page, making it possible to connect your booking engine to this button and look, you just created another direct booking platform! Once your page is up and running please treat your Facebook page as a website, give it a good dose of TLC. People are able to communicate with other guests, share experiences but also level with you as a hotelier. When your Facebook page is successful, it will appear at the far top in Google so why not give it a try.
So now you have gotten a few tips to generate more direct bookings by using your tools to the fullest. Go ahead and explore the possibilities!