What I have learned as a Hotel Internet Marketing Consultant

In an age of ever-expanding digital interconnectivity, hotel digital marketing professionals must adapt to changing customer demands.

But the best in the business aren’t satisfied to just adapt. And they would rather lead than follow, by surprising and delighting clients with daring and imaginative initiatives.

The top hotel companies know how to shape customer preferences better than anyone, which helps to explain their immense success. Hotel managers and marketing experts everywhere can learn a lot from their example and must learn from their example if they expect to ride the digital wave to glory.

Best practices in hotel digital marketing are changing on the fly. And here are five you should be up to speed on, along with fascinating examples of how the world’s most prestigious hotel chains are putting them into action.

1. Embracing digital media with gusto.

Example: Marriot International’s Travel Brilliantly digital magazine.

Travel Brilliantly began as a website targeted at millennials. It has now evolved into a sleek digital magazine that caters to the desires of travelers seeking new adventures, new perspectives, and new vistas.

Diverse in long-form content, Marriot’s quarterly digital publication features interviews with prominent thinkers from various walks of life. It discusses emerging trends in travel, introduces specific hotel innovations, and offers fresh contributions from partner companies like the art/tech company VSCO and the media organization TED. Each issue is organized around a single theme that challenges travelers to rethink their old assumptions. And to also reimagine what is possible, in a world where new experiences are always just beyond the horizon.

Travel Brilliantly Marriot is marketing the entire travel experience to younger clients and anyone else looking to explore unchartered territories. In doing so Marriot is repositioning itself as a “smart travel” resource. It’s expanding the scope of its expertise and giving potential clients good reasons to return to their Travel Brilliantly site.

2. Letting the customer come to you (or at least letting them think they’re coming to you).

Example: Hyatt’s Google Lightbox Ad campaign.

In response to surveys that suggested problems reaching female business travelers, Hyatt launched an ambitious video advertising campaign. This took place across multiple digital platforms with the help of Google Lightbox Ads. When viewers hold their cursors over a Lightbox Ad for two seconds, it blooms to cover the full screen. It creates a memorable visual experience with a brand-specific message that entertains even as it informs.

So far Hyatt’s approach has proven wildly successful. And they’ve surpassed the industry average with a 2.8 percent engagement rate on their Lightbox video packages. Using this aggressive yet unobtrusive hotel digital marketing strategy, Hyatt has expanded its demographic reach as desired. They offer carefully customized content in an opt-in/opt-out format that puts the customer in the driver’s seat.

That feeling of autonomy and personal choice only strengthens the impact of well-crafted advertising. They have eliminated the normal resistance a customer might feel when confronted with obvious marketing tactics.

3. Marketing digital convenience in a package format.

Example: Hilton’s HHonors loyalty program plus complementary app.

If greater convenience is what hotel customers seek, why not give it to them in a fully streamlined package? That’s what the fine folks at Hilton Hotels & Resorts have done, with their HHonors customer loyalty program plus accompanying app.

To help spread the good word about its amazing benefits, Hilton supported the HHonors rollout in 2016 with a ‘Stop Clicking Around’ informational campaign. And this introduced travelers to the ease and convenience of direct booking. ‘What’s good for us is good for you’ was the message of this campaign, and as of early 2017 Hilton was snaring an average of one new enrollee every three seconds.

But the HHonors initiative was only part of Hilton’s plan to market a smoother customer experience. In conjunction with their HHonors enrollment, clients can download an associated app that lets them choose specific rooms, check-in, and check-out remotely and even open their hotel rooms with the app’s digital key.

Nothing offered in the Hilton HHonors program is overly exotic by modern industry standards. But they’ve gotten a jump on the competition by packaging digital benefits together, and that syncretic approach to customer service is one of the best ways to make an impression on the discriminating digital-age traveler.

4. Never forgetting that travelers prioritize the destination over the accommodation.

Example: Choice Hotel’s Travel Top 6 Guide for European tourists.

European travelers can explore the continent’s most popular and desirable destinations from the comfort of their own homes by visiting Choice Hotels’ Travel Top 6 online tourism hub.

To begin their adventures, Travel Top 6 visitors can simply click on a photograph of Rome, London, Frankfurt, Cannes, Vienna, Budapest or two dozen other well-known tourist meccas. Before their eyes, a menu of options will appear that will introduce them to the spectacular sights, sounds, tastes, smells and overall ambiance of their chosen location.

Direct booking options are readily available on each travel destination page, entirely appropriate since Choice has facilities in each city, village or region.

Choice Hotels’ centralized model for browsing is perfect for European vacationers. But it provides an ideal template for smart hotel marketers everywhere who want to market their locations in addition to their facilities. Choice is building brand loyalty by anticipating its customers’ traveling preferences and catering to them profusely, and there’s nothing to stop any other hotel from doing the same.

5. Never put limits on what the technology can do—and what you can do with it.

Example: InterContinental’s experiment in virtual reality.

Even the biggest hotel companies can’t offer accommodations everywhere in the world.

But InterContinental Hotels Group has found a way to work around that problem. Or more specifically, the technology to work around that problem: virtual reality. As a result, visitors to several InterContinental properties in China can now enjoy a fully immersive virtual reality experience. And this can be done in a special gaming and entertainment zone or from the privacy of their own rooms.

Hype and techno-wizardry aside, virtual tourism and entertainment will never be a substitute for the real thing. But as a three-dimensional supplement, it can bring unprecedented depth and breadth to the travel experience—and offer a ridiculous bounty of marketing opportunities to those smart enough (like InterContinental) to jump on the train before it hits full speed.

Virtual tourism in many ways is the final frontier, and InterContinental is boldly going where no one has gone before. This pilot project will break new ground in hotel digital marketing, and the sky is the limit on what InterContinental can accomplish as they blend and bend their best digital marketing strategies to accommodate the brave new virtual world.

Hotel Digital Marketing: Finding the Winning Edge

In each of our five examples, these hotel giants evaluated customer preferences and expectations. They then devised strategies not to meet them, but exceed them. Innovation means staying one step ahead of the game, and the best way to do that is to rewrite the rules as the game progresses.

In hotel marketing, being proactive and inventive always equals success. That formula can make a winner out of any marketing professional regardless of the size or reputation of the hotel that employs them.

What do hotels need to understand about content marketing?

The bare bones of content marketing is obviously about publishing and distributing content online to a targeted audience, but it gets much more complex than that. Major considerations have to be given to what type of content is used and for who, when and how often content is produced, as well as what results hotels can expect to see.

Ben believes content marketing is very much a patience game.

“The most important thing is to be realistic with your expectations. Content marketing will not drive any results for at least three months,” he says. “Secondly, hotels need someone who understands search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and the value of channel providers who know the industry and can create lasting relationships.”

“Hotels must also pay attention to the marketing metrics that content marketing provides. Every piece of content should be driving new customers to your hotel – if it doesn’t, then change it. If it does, keep doing it.”

Once established, a content marketing strategy can be very effective, although Ben stresses each hotel will be unique in how they approach it.

“There’s a number of strategies that can work very well,” he states. “But they depend on the hotel itself; its digital properties (including website, email relationships, strength of social media channels) and what exactly the hotel is trying to do. However, generally these techniques present a good repeatable path towards driving high-value customers. The greatest thing about content marketing is that it is low-cost, measurable, repeatable, and it builds upon itself. Once the foundation is in place, customers roll in at increasing rates.”

What is holding some hotels back from achieving optimal results?

Developing and maintaining a content marketing strategy can seem like hard work, too much at times for some hoteliers. Seemingly easier options to drive traffic and bookings may present themselves, but Ben remarks these may not be your best option.

“From our conversations in the industry, we assume that many independent hotel owners are resolved to ride the coattails of Groupon and other more established channel providers. We certainly respect the value and the reach of these providers, but we also look at the total margin that they take and we see a lot of hotels that are on what we call the ‘Groupon Treadmill’ – meaning their hotel continues to get by, but 

“When we start shifting the balance from 60% Groupon down to 45% Groupon and then eventually down to 20%, there’s a lot of cash flow hotels can then use to tackle capital improvements or upgrade the facility.”

Often it may also be a case of independent hoteliers lacking the knowledge to lure customers via a content marketing strategy, instead relying on providers such as Groupon. But there are simple ways to change that situation.

What are some useful content marketing recommendations for hoteliers?

Whether you’re just starting out or have been at it a while, concentrating on becoming very good at simple strategies is always a good option. For instance, maintaining a blog on on your hotel website is a no brainer. Ben agrees, saying it’s a great help in getting your hotel found via Google.

“If your hotel is in a popular tourist area (such as Palm Springs, California), it would make sense for you to post a blog on different restaurants to try in Palm Springs. We like to look at a website as a repository of all of the unanswered questions potential customers may have. Answer those questions accurately and often and you’ll start to see new customers coming in your door.”

There are various forms of content your hotel can use. High-quality images, videos, written copy, virtual reality, social media etc. all have value in engaging potential customers.

According to Ben, however, there is still one thing which trumps them all.

“Our research has shown that the most powerful path to new customers is to continue exploring new search terms for relevance and brand fit,” he advises. “Once we find these opportunities, we put the terms on our client’s website. This approach generates a lot more search traffic for the client. While there is awareness value in imagery and video – few things have surpassed the conversion performance of search marketing.”

This is why it’s so vital to be conscious of collecting and analysing customer and prospective guest data. For Ben, any modern business that isn’t utilising data is missing out.

“In some ways, customer data is the untapped economic potential of the 21st century,” he states. “It tells you who your customer is, why they are your customer, what they are looking for, and how you can stay connected with them in the future. Hotels that harness customer data to drive more-personal guest experiences are likely to have the most loyal customers and will see the new revenue streams.”

“The best method to achieve this is to build out a data management plan, which includes where and how customer data can be captured and utilised to drive more business results. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but getting started collecting, managing, and using data is a great journey for any business in the 21st century.”

There’s also merit in capitalising on user-generated content and making sure your hotel is marketing specifically to target segments.

“User-generated content has a tonne of potential,” says Ben. “Hotels should be looking at user-generated content through the same lens that they look at all marketing channels. First and foremost, what can we start doing with it today that can help us and secondly, what do we need to build holistically to use it more aggressively in the future?”

“As for demographics, content certainly engages different segments on different levels. Making sure that your message is being delivered to the right audience through the right channels is important. That said, the concepts of reaching an audience (regardless of their demographics) is very much the same – speak in their language and solve their problems. Do this consistently and you’ll be on a good path, whether you’re serving millennials or baby boomers,” he finishes.

How Promoting a Resort without booking.com

Hotels seeking to attract new guests to their property face the challenge of a crowded marketplace and a lot of competition. There are other hotels promoting their offerings, online travel agencies (OTAs) advertising cheap rates, and sharing-economy competitors like Airbnb offering unusual accommodations. Getting your hotel or resort to catch the eye of a prospective guest, let alone getting them to follow through with a booking, can seem like a serious challenge. In many cases, marketers are tempted to follow the OTA’s lead by competing on price, and promoting special packages or discount offers. While this can create a short-term boost in bookings, it does little to create loyal guests over the long run. Instead, marketers should consider these five impactful marketing strategies.

1. Embrace Emotion

While discounts and special offers appeal to your audience’s mind (and wallet), effective content marketing should speak to their heart. Create messaging that strikes viewers’ emotions, whether that’s aspirations for luxury experiences or a desire for rest and relaxation. A powerful tool to do that is virtual reality. In a recent study of viewers who took a virtual tour of a Carnival cruise ship, 66 percent of people who viewed the experience said it excited them, almost as many said it gave them a “sense of joy,” while 58 percent described it as “amazing.” These are tangible emotions generated by a VR experience–not something a typical online ad might be expected to elicit.

2. Tell a Story

In the same way, an effective campaign for your property will showcase its unique story. Images or videos of your luxurious offerings are a good way to catch viewers’ eyes, but to keep them interested, you need to put your property’s story front and center. What makes it unique? What sets it apart from similar hotels or resorts? It may be the friendly people who work there, the special experiences only your property provides, or the high level of hospitality visitors can expect. Whatever it is, put these offerings front and center.

The closer you can get the viewer to feeling like they’ve been to your property, the more likely they will want to experience the real thing.

3. Encourage Sharing

Truly powerful marketing messages, whether videos, stories, or interactive experiences, are ones that viewers will be eager to share with friends and followers. Use social media platforms to promote your messages and embed links that encourage viewers to share after they’ve seen it. Take advantage of Facebook’s shift to a “video-first” approach, as well as its 360-video tools to post video content on the site that’s more likely to get shared.

4. Offer Value

While you should avoid promoting the monetary value offered by your property, there are plenty kinds of other value that you can showcase in your promotions. These could be roundups of local attractions, practical guides for business travelers, or recipes of a popular dish your property is widely known for. If your promotion provides a clear takeaway for the viewer, they are more likely to remember it and connect positively with your marketing message.

5. Make it Immersive

Find ways to approximate the experience of visiting your property. Nothing is going to replicate the real thing, but the more you can do to evoke the sensory experience of what being at your hotel is like, the more it’s going to impact the prospective guest. In addition to images, consider video; instead of standard video, consider experimenting with 360-degree video; beyond 360-degree video, make the experience even more immersive through fully interactive virtual reality experiences. Whatever steps you take, the closer you can get the viewer to feeling like they’ve been to your property, the more likely they will want to experience the real thing.

Be bold – Be loud.

There’s a ton of competition out there. Perhaps not in your region, but in the world as a whole. Maybe your resort is undisputed as the #1 resort in the area. However, you are competing against destination locations across the country.

Find your competition and be louder than they are. Use better graphics. Offer a more attractive message. Boldness pays off in the world of marketing your business.

Give your visitors a great experience before they arrive

People hate disappointment.  The worst experiences in the world occur when we have great expectations for something, and are subsequently let down.  A savory food commercial that ends up being just an ordinary hamburger. Yuck.

Potential travelers, for some reason, are a little more idealistic. Their imaginations are sparked by a sense of adventure.

Does your website respond to this spark?  Post vibrant photos: cabin interiors, decorated rooms, food, people enjoying themselves, the resort surroundings – anything that will help paint a picture for your online visitor. Make it easy for them to see your rates and to book a stay. (This should go without saying, but make sure the links and pages in your website all promote the user’s experience, as well.)

Offer valuable seasonal sales

No one can resist a good sale. If there’s a slow month in your calendar and you’d like to draw in some new faces, offer a valuable seasonal sale.  Feature it prominently on your homepage, post it to social media, and put it in flyers.

Give it a catchy name (Romantic Getaway Package), make it worth their while (book a 3 night stay for two, get a $50 gift certificate for a steak dinner), and watch for the results.

Be on Social Media

Facebook remains the central hub for social media – do you have an active Facebook page? Do you use it and keep it updated? Facebook offers incredible opportunities for advertising and interacting with current and potential customers at an extremely low price.

Find a talented guru to help you build a successful social media strategy from the ground up.  With some nurturing, it can be one of the foundations for your online presence.

Respond quickly to your non-fans

Online reviews can make or break a booking at your resort. If a potential visitor is researching your services, and comes across 3 negative reviews – and no positive ones – it’s bad news for you.

For each negative review you get, make sure to publicly respond in the same area – and not with an “I told you so!” Respond with an apology (the customer is always right) and a wish of goodwill. Be sincere. It should be a sample of superior customer service. Remember, you are not posting this for the benefit of an unhappy customer, but for the benefit of potential customers.

On the flip side, encourage guests to leave reviews when they stay at your resort to amp up a more positive presence in these areas.

Kill them with kindness

Examine every step of your tourist’s journey, from the first Google search to their check-out stop at your main lodge.  Where can you enhance their experience?

Maybe you leave them with a complimentary chocolate. Maybe you team up with a nearby restaurant to offer a discounted meal.  Maybe you write a better confirmation email when they book a stay.  Whatever it is, killing them with kindness will keep your resort business alive and thriving.

Develop mailing lists.

Develop mailing lists of your best weekend customers and stay in contact with monthly emails listing midweek special offers and promotions.

Remind them that midweek is the best time to visit local shops and attractions; away from the weekend crowds. Mail them midweek discount vouchers too.

Use your imagination and create special one-day conferences, poetry readings, art shows, and other cultural events for during the week.

These are especially popular with people in their late 50s and early 60s and importantly these are the people who often have the most disposable income. Think about holding exhibitions of students’ work in conjunction with local schools and colleges.

Promote your space to local companies who could use it for meetings and social events.

Be clever and target companies that have branches or offices elsewhere so visiting delegates may need accommodation.

Create and promote special packages.

Packaging allows you to mask actual room rates with features, which add value to staying at your hotel. If your hotel offers additional services like fitness classes and spa treatments, package them together with accommodation for a really great deal that encourages guests to use services they may not have previously thought about.

Promote midweek weddings.

With more people working freelance or flexible hours, weddings during the week are becoming more popular; especially for second marriages or older couples who value the intimacy of a quieter occasion

Speed up Your Hotel Website

Slow site speeds can fracture your conversions rates. Research shows that up to 75% of people will leave for a competitor’s site to avoid dealing with delays.

When you’re looking to boost loading speed, wading through the technicalities can be tricky. 

Research shows that:

  • 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information and customer ratings 
  • Travelers are 150% more engaged with listings that have more than 20 photos than with properties that have only a few photos (TripAdvisor, 2013)

Images pack a huge emotional punch and can help turn casual visitors into guests. But that’s only if you’re using them correctly.

Be Benefit Driven

Don’t list your hotel’s features like this:

  • A great spa
  • A safe and fun play area
  • A spacious conference room

Instead, explain how these features translate into benefits for your potential guests and say:

  • We have a health spa and gym. That means you can let your hair down and unwind after a busy day
  • We have a kids’ play area, so you can indulge in quality time with your significant other
  • We have a spacious conference room, so you can hold meetings comfortably and communicate more effectively by using our boards and projectors.

The most successful Marketing Strategies in Tourism and Hospitality

1. Go live with a great website

Your website is the most important distribution for your business and the crux of any good online marketing strategy. No matter which hotel marketing tactic has directed a potential customer to your website, this is the place where people can learn more about your individual business and decide whether or not to book a stay with you. It’s also the only online distribution channel where you can generate direct online sales, so it’s crucial your website has a booking engine to handle self-service reservations. As more internet users rely solely on their smartphones and tablets, a mobile friendly website is necessity these days.

2. Follow the SEO staples

There’s no point in having a website if its difficult for potential customers to find via their preferred search engine. Make sure you’re following SEO (Search Engine Optimization) online marketing basics like ensuring your content is rich and relevant, with strong keywords and keyword combinations that give your website the best chance of being clicked upon. Consider likely search terms when planning your hotel marketing SEO campaigns and don’t forget to combine your main keywords with strong secondary ones like the name of your local neighbourhood or district.

3. Differentiate yourself from the rest

To really contend with the competition, your hotel needs to offer something unique and distinctly different to entice potential guests. Your hotel marketing campaign needs to be equally individual. Quality customer care needs to be at the core of everything in the hotel and hospitality industry. Going that extra mile for your guests can yield massive returns. Make sure you’re doing something different, from providing customers with a little treat at check-in, to nabbing local press and PR connections to shine a light on hotel marketing events.

4. Get recommended by real authority

One surefire way of securing new customers is to get your hotel listed with local tourist offices. Whether it’s a printed flyer in a bricks and mortar office, or a prominent link on a local tourism website, you’re guaranteed to take premier listing over many rival competitors. If you’re looking to appeal to the business traveller, nearby convention and exhibition centres are also a great place to promote your hotel. It’s also worth talking to local marketing and event companies in the region as many of these may only offer part-package deals to their own customers, meaning you can cover the accommodation needs and bolster your bookings in quieter seasons.

5. Promote yourself with online travel agencies

In the modern digital age, no hotel can secure regular business without capitalising on online travel agencies and travel brokers. A simple listing can generate thousands of bookings in the long-term, but it’s worth remembering that each time a booking is generated through such an agency, a commission will be applied. Never rely solely on online travel agencies when it comes to your hotel marketing efforts, ensuring such websites are used to generate additional sales, rather replace your direct sales efforts entirely.

6. Global Distribution Systems

A Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network that enables automated transactions between travel service providers (airlines, hotels, cruises and car rental) and travel agencies. When connecting your hotel to a GDS provider your hotel can be booked via hundreds of travel agencies worldwide. You can also use such systems to target specific travellers, including those venturing from home turf on business.

7. Appoint a sales rep and reap the rewards

When it comes to hotel marketing, you should always take best practice in hospitality out into the field when promoting your business. If a local business is regularly recommending you to potential customers, make sure you’re maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with strong incentives. Appointing a dedicated sales representative is definitely worth considering for hotel businesses looking to expand. Any good rep should be taking stock of potential companies in the area worth making a connection with, while ongoing procurement efforts to lock down new partnerships should be at the forefront of any hotel marketing effort.

8. Get savvy with social media

If you’re not utilizing social media in your online hotel marketing campaign, start now. It’s free to create accounts with the likes of FaceBook, Twitter, FourSquare, Instagram and YouTube and it’s never been easier to create dynamic social media pages in moments. However, there’s no point launching a social media presence if you don’t mean to maintain it. Make sure you’ve got at least one person appointed to keeping your hotel marketing social media message live and engaging. Fresh content is pivotal, so make sure you’ve got a content delivery schedule. If you’re strapped for time to create new content, consider launching a hotel blog you can link back to from your social pages regularly.

9. Keep an eye on reviews and recommendations

A great review can earn you a new customer. A poor review can cost you hundreds. Try to encourage better reviews and recommendations from previous guests by engaging them after checking out. Your hotel could feature dozens, if not hundreds of times on review websites, so you need to ensure that each page is loaded with positive reviews and complimentary content. Monitor reviews on the most popular sites, taking note of any bad reviews and engaging dissatisfied guests with helpful and constructive feedback. Neutralise negative feedback wherever you can.

Marketing Strategies in Tourism and Hospitality | Train in Switzerland

Hospitality Marketing Strategies

Since the technological revolution of the world nearly 20-years ago now, the nature of marketing and how we locate brands and services has changed entirely. What used to be “cold-calling” is now messaging on Instagram, direct messaging on Twitter or email marketing.

We’re cognizant of the ever-changing nature of hospitality and travel marketing strategies in our world today, which is why we offer a fusion of marketing solutions, digital marketing support, and social media marketing campaigns, catered perfectly to fit your brand.

Blogger Engagement

One of the most effective ways of getting content on your hotel or restaurant location out into the world is through blogging. Travel blogs are easily liked, commented, and shared on social media with thousands of readers in a matter of minutes. Not to mention, people use social media correctly to locate blogs today. Consumers want free information, and your blog is the place they’re going to find it. Our company offers high-scale blogging content curating, editing, and posting, with unique content that will improve your SEO rankings.

Custom Brand Campaigns

It’s no secret the competition is stiff out there today. To outshine your competitors, you need custom brand campaigns that are creative, original, and engaging. We design custom campaigns for a variety of social media and other blogging channels on your behalf. Our team formulates the campaign idea, develops it through graphic expression and copyediting, and pushes it out into the world on your behalf. We then measure the results and ensure the campaign is continually performing.

Influencer Engagement

Social media has given rise to an entirely new group of individuals with powerful marketing capabilities. Influencers can be everyday people that have mastered their niche on Instagram. Those with 100k, 1 million, and even 5 million followers can significantly affect consumer’s behavior and purchasing decisions. We collaborate with the industry’s leading travel influencers to give your brand greater exposure.

International Media Opportunities

The nature of the tourism industry means you need to get your hotel’s name out into the world, far away from your home location. One timelessly effective way to do that is through international PR opportunities. Quite simply, as your PR agency, we work on your behalf to develop press, pitch it to journalists, and secure your exposure in newspapers, blogs, websites, TV, radio, and the list goes on.

Local Partnership Opportunities

Every travel excursion is about more than the hotel, brand, or tour company. By partnering with other businesses around you like high-end restaurants, flower shops, luxury phtographers, and local vendors you’ll be able to offer your guests the whole package. We work to develop connections with you and valuable business owners that can provide something to your guests.

Marketing Partnership Strategies

Pairing up with other people in your niche industry and working together on marketing strategies is incredibly popular today. Many brands host co-giveaways to engage consumers for both of their operations. We research and recommend marketing partnership strategies that will be beneficial to your business in the long run.

Measurable Results

ROI matters, and we’re here to prove it to you. We provide measurable results regarding all of our marketing services, and take the time to go over the numbers, impressions, and clicks moving forward. We want to work with you to make sure the best possible strategies are being executed for your operation.

Media Networking

As a travel and hospitality public relations firm, media networking is one of our specialties. We’ve worked hard to accumulate a reputable list of reporters with big-time media outlets that can get your hotel or travel company the exposure it deserves. We are always building media lists and nurturing our contacts to ensure favorable coverage time and time again.

Strategic Consultancy

And of course, for everything else you desire from us, we provide strategic consultancy on everything related to hospitality and travel marketing strategies. Whether it’s campaign ideas for Live Video on Facebook, or chasing down a reporter at a newspaper halfway around the world, we’re here to provide 24-7 communication, support, and success for you and your operation.

7 Tips to Help You Run an Awesome Bed and Breakfast

run a bed and breakfast

The secret to running a successful bed and breakfast is cultivating the right environment to create the best experience for your guests and team members.

Living in a beautiful house and meeting new, interesting people on a daily basis sounds extremely appealing, especially if you compare it to some monotonous office jobs. Running your own bed and breakfast can help you achieve this dream while allowing you to do something you truly love.

Although managing a bed and breakfast is fun, there’s also a lot of work that happens behind the scenes. From cleaning bedrooms to carrying out regular maintenance, you have to stay on top of your home to give your guests an unforgettable experience.

Read on to find out how to run a bed and breakfast successfully and create an inviting atmosphere.

1. Know Your Audience

Although many managers choose a wider approach, you should try to create a distinct vision and run your bed and breakfast focusing on a specific demographic. Learn everything you can about your ideal customers and equip your bed and breakfast according to their preferences.

For instance, if you’re targeting young families with active lifestyles, offer outdoors activities that are suitable for people of all ages.

2. Prioritize TripAdvisor and Other Online Travel Agencies

TripAdvisor is a great tool that can help you gain the recognition your bed and breakfast deserves. Many people have a love-hate relationship with the platform, but we recommend putting your personal feelings aside and work on enhancing your TripAdvisor profile.

What’s more, there are dozens of new up-and-coming online travel agencies (OTAs) that provide a great alternative for B&Bs to reach their target audience. There are more than 4 billion active internet users, so it’s safe to assume that a good portion of your target is online at all times. On top of this, there are now specialized online platforms like AirBnB that specifically target consumers focusing on these accommodation options.

Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your B&B as well as spell-checking your listing will improve your chances of landing more guests.

3. Work Out How Much Your B&B Is Worth

Remember to match your price according to the quality of the accommodation you’re providing. If the bed and breakfast you run offers high-quality rooms and social areas, you can’t charge bargain-cheap prices.

In the US alone, travelers spent more than $1 billion in 2017, so it’s safe to say that consumers are willing to pay as long as they think it’s worth their money. It’s vital to be honest with yourself to avoid overcharging customers or leaving money on the table.

4. Create an Awesome First Impression

Guests love to be pampered and treated like royalty. You can improve their experience by going the extra mile and creating an awesome first impression. Welcoming guests with fresh treats, drinks, or simply helping them book meals and tours can help make their stay a bit more memorable.

5. Keep Spares

Even the most prepared travelers forget something every now and then. It’s important to keep extra accessories in case your guests forget anything. Common items include:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Phone charger
  • Socks
  • Tampons
  • Razor
  • Hand towel/handkerchief
  • Condoms
  • Nail clippers
  • Cufflinks
  • Local guidebooks

You may also want to get an ironing board and spare neckties in case the folks that stay at your inn need to borrow them.

6. Be Obsessive About the Chores

Nothing is perfect, but if you decide to run your own b&b, you should start to be obsessive about the small details, your guests will be more likely to overlook any issues that may arise.

Don’t fall for the “that’ll do” trap – put in the effort, and you’ll notice a big difference in your guests’ behavior.

7. Enjoy Yourself!

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, running a bed and breakfast should be fun – after all, you get to meet travelers on a daily basis. Creating a fun atmosphere is critical for both guests and staff members, so make sure you have a good time and create great memories for everyone in your B&B.

Setting Up Your Bed and Breakfast


What’s a Bed and Breakfast?

Also known as a B&B, a bed and breakfast can be defined as the perfect combination of a private home and a boutique hotel. Bed and breakfasts are characterized by extremely personalized service and a cozy, home-like atmosphere.

Financial Aspects to Look to Run a B&B

Remember that a B&B is primarily a business. You have to look at the financial aspects while setting up marketing, sales, customer service, and branding plans.

You should also look at the demand of the area where you want to open your inn. After all, the number of people that come to your B&B will make it or break it!

Lastly, keep in mind that most bed and breakfasts are small family businesses that don’t necessarily make a huge profit. You need to be persistent, flexible, and extremely sociable.  Evaluate your situation to make sure it’s what you want to do before making any big decisions.

Type of Ownership

Bed and breakfast managers often fall into one of three categories:

Owner – Many B&B managers actually own the property where the business is set up. If you own the house outright, then you get to keep a bigger portion of the profits right off the bat. Owners who have a mortgage will also start seeing more profits after it’s paid off, adding a nice incentive at the end of their payments. The only downside of owning an inn is that you have to take care of all the repairs yourself.

Renter – Renting a property means you don’t have to deal with maintenance. However, it also means that your renting agreement can be canceled, forcing you to find a new property to rent. Remember that you can take extra precautions, like establishing a long-term contract that allows you to rent the property for an extended period of time.

Hired Manager – By far the simplest scenario, hired managers work for the person that owns the B&B. This means that the actual owner doesn’t have to worry about any maintenance or chores. This is not the best choice if you’re looking to enjoy the experience of hosting yourself.

Living Arrangements

If you want to start a B&B on your property, you’ll also have to answer a few questions. First off, consider the living arrangements you’re most comfortable with. While sleeping in the same building as your guests is perfectly acceptable, you may want to seek more privacy and set up your room in a separate building.

The Destination

As we mentioned before, demand is the name of the game when it comes to running a successful bed and breakfast. Do your research and select a city that boasts of a regular, healthy flow of tourists. You’ll also want to find a destination that’s relatively affordable without sacrificing the quality of your inn.

Some of the up-and-coming cities and neighborhoods in Europe include:

  • Capucins in Bordeaux, France
  • Koukaki in Athens, Greece
  • Triana in Seville, Spain
  • Hammerbrook in Hamburg, Germany

Laws and Security Considerations

It’s important that you understand the laws and regulations governing the country where you run a bed and breakfast. This includes staying on top of the permits you need to obtain and sorting out all other paperwork to make sure your business complies with all the necessary laws.

At the same time, you need to establish a contingency plan in case of emergencies as well as review fire and food safety regulations periodically.

Running a Successful Bed and Breakfast


Creating a mantra that makes you and your guests happy is critical to the success of your B&B. This is one of the reasons why consumers choose bed and breakfasts instead of hotels or hostels – because they offer a unique feel that is both familiar and lavish.

You’ll also have to define the services you’re going to offer and decide if your B&B will be open seasonally or year-round. Moreover, consider the number of meals you’ll serve per day and make sure you’re offering enough food choices to cater to all eating habits.

Another great way to improve your guests’ experience is by offering them extras, even if they are simple. A basket to take to the park and other small accessories will make your guests feel appreciated and comfortable, even if they don’t actually take you up on the offer.

Branding, Sales, and Marketing

Remember that your B&B is a business, and you need to think about turning a profit off it at some point. To do this, you’ll also have to create a blueprint that outlines your plans from a marketing and financial perspective.

To boost your branding efforts, you can:

  • Set up a website
  • Contact the local chamber of commerce and your local tourism office
  • Attend local fairs and events
  • Create a listing on bed and breakfast sites and Airbnb
  • Create a listing on Craigslist
  • Create a newsletter and start building a reader base
  • Learn the basics of SEO
  • Update a blog on a regular basis
  • Set up partnership agreements with local businesses

Remember that creating a good reputation for your business takes a lot of time and effort, so you’ll have to develop a keen eye for detail and work on developing a positive brand image in the long run.

Benefiting from Online Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels have changed the face of advertising, and for good reason. Unlike traditional platforms, online advertising allows you to track the performance of your ads and make adjustments while they are still live.

Moreover, you can target specific audiences that have particular search patterns, increasing your chances of collecting quality leads that actually become guests.

There are different online channels you can take advantage of and use to market your bed and breakfast. Social media platforms, search engines, and display networks provide both organic and paid options that engage with your audience and create a lasting impression.

Start Your Bed and Breakfast on the Right Foot

You now have all the tips and know-how necessary to set up and run your bed & breakfast. If you’re interested in finding out more about our marketing services, contact us today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.

Get in touch with us!

6 of the Hottest Hotel Advertising Strategies


Are you in charge of advertising a hotel, but can’t seem to crack the top page on search results?

Do you need to be top of mind when it comes to travelers looking for accommodations?

If you’re struggling with putting your hotel on the map, you may need to take a look at your online strategy. Other than putting out ads on Google’s display ad network and sponsored posts on social media channels, your hotel’s website may be what’s dragging you down in the rankings. Your site may be overdue for some SEO magic.

So where do we start?

The answer is simple, really, but the execution may take a little more effort.

Actually, it’s going to take a lot of effort. And money.

1. Figure Out Your SEO Plays

Content and optimisation go hand-in-hand. Yes, you’ll need important, unique, and original content on your site, and you need to make sure your site is optimised for search engines. That means putting the right features in place for spiders—that’s the bots search engines like Google use in order to find content all over the web to list on their results— to crawl and find your site.

Make sure your content is not only unique to your business, but also keyword-dense (without overdoing it), and with outbound and inbound links. Post content regularly, pertaining not only to your hotel, but also about and links to attractions and things to do in your city or nearby areas. That would make your site informative and useful, which Google really likes… then it’ll do the rest.

2. Shape Your Hotel’s Brand

Nowadays, what works online – and especially on social media – are businesses that don’t sound and look like businesses. Coming off too traditional will likely force you to hard-sell your hotel and turn people off. Instead, try to humanise your social media strategy and digital presence in order to build connections and relationships with potential and existing customers.

You may have to consider a warmer, friendlier, and more familiar tone when it comes to online interaction, and a skilled team of social media managers may be able to provide this for you. The more you establish yourself as another person on the other end of the internet—the more you engage with the customer and capture their attention— and the better you can communicate and convey what your business has to offer.

3. Invest In Strategic Advertising & Paid Social Media Promotion

With so many people and businesses competing for the ordinary social media user’s attention online, you’ll have to find an effective advertising strategy so that your hotel can rise above the competition. When you put up a post on your hotel’s social media page, only a fraction of your followers in any platform will get to see your post organically. Fortunately, this is easily improved on when you promote a post on social media. Yes, you’ll have to pony up to do better online, but promoting ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google Ads is now relatively cheaper with better ROIs than other traditional forms of advertising, especially for hotels that may have the power of a marketing budget behind them.

If you don’t feel comfortable building an hotel advertising strategy by yourself, you might also do well to hire a digital media manager, who is familiar with the ins, outs, and best practices of all the advertising strategies across the web. Sometimes you’ll have to run a specific kind of advertisement on social media to get the best results, and a person who is specially trained to handle this may do better and bring more optimised results than a marketing manager who’s only familiar with traditional marketing strategies and tools. They can also propose more intricate and complex digital strategies to effectively advertise your business.

Need to get people to use your site’s online booking feature?

There’s a particular kind of Facebook post for that.

Need to spread the word about a promotion you’re running?

Be sure to select a page post ad boost to make the most of it. Don’t target everyone, target those who are most likely to book at your hotel, and keep retargeting customers who have already expressed interest or patronised your business. Your social media promotion and digital advertising can be made relentless.

If you’re not able to hire someone else to do this, it’s something you can easily learn as well and add to your skillset. This will likely be a trial and error thing for your business, but once you get the hang of it and find your groove, you’ll see your social media promotion—and your money—work hard for you.

4. Partner Up With Online Travel Sellers, Agencies & Other Businesses

Travel sites like Trivago, Expedia, Booking.com are far more likely to put your hotel on the radar thanks to the sheer number of people using them. They’ll also help you drive business as they can easily advertise any discounts or promotions you may be running, or come up with discounts for you to drive customers to your business. It may easily be the biggest step you could take for your business, especially if you’re a smaller establishment as opposed to a part of a bigger chain.

It may also be in your and your business’s best interest to partner up with specialised travel agencies as well. They can include accommodations at your hotel as part of a travel package for tourists, and it would mean a steady flow of customers who are visiting your area. If you can, you should also take this further by associating with retail or other tour businesses, allowing customers who stay at your hotel to avail themselves of special discounts and deals at these partner establishments. The more you link up your business, add more value to your deals and offers, and add yourself as another important part of a thriving local economic ecosystem, the more you’ll benefit and entice customers. If you establish a valuable partnership offline, make sure the travel agencies will also advertise it on their own website.

5. Design A Loyalty Rewards Programs

One way to retain your existing customers and draw in new ones is the institution of a loyalty rewards program. It’s an advertising strategy pretty easy to execute—come up with a card to give them, and put up a list of rewards they can avail when they have repeated stays at your hotel or accumulate points for each transaction. Such programs are also easy to advertise for the hotel on social media and generally online with minimal investment and effort. You can even use your hotel’s site as a landing point for them to check their loyalty points and the list of rewards, which would naturally mean an opportunity for them to check the rest of your site out and add to your hits.

6. Utilise The Power Of Social Media Influencers

You may have noticed that there are people on social media whose followers number well into the tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions. If you need a quick way to promote your hotel, business, or even city or town your business is in, you may want to consider partnering up with these social media influencers. They’ll normally just take a free stay in your hotel in exchange of their online advertising activity: primarily posting on social media photo and video. You’ll likely be just ponying up the cost of one or two persons’ stay at your hotel for the interest of their many followers in return.

Just be sure to vet the influencers you’re looking at properly—sometimes people will cheat the system, using “bot” followers to increase their follower count. As much as possible, you may want to hire someone who’s an actual celebrity, even if they’re not world-famous. Many people online try to call themselves influencers even though what they have is only a padded follower count.

Final Thoughts on the Hotel Advertising Strategies to Put in Place

So there you have it — digital advertising may sound daunting and intimidating, but once you have a strategy to follow, the possibilities are endless. If you haven’t already, or if your efforts on the digital side are still rudimentary and basic, now is the time to take full advantage of the media all your customers are already using.

Hotel online advertising and promotion is not just the future; it’s the present, and it’s waiting for you to start using it.

Invest a little time, effort, and money, and soon enough you’ll see bookings rise faster than you can imagine.

Can Airbnb Split payment increase the booking on your listing?

Airbnb split payment is simplifying guest’s experience without having to get involved in embarrassing payment conversation between friends.

Do you hesitate to ask your friend to go Dutch on a bill? Have you found yourself tongue-tied on a date while splitting the bill?

Airbnb has recently introduced a system that takes the awkwardness out of fun-lodging.

Now, you can book a room on Airbnb and have the total fee split among you travel buddies without having to put your foot in your mouth. By using the new split-payment system, you can book a listing on airbnb and have it equally paid by your travel partners.

It is as simple as a snap of a finger, all you need to do is book the listing that you like. Once you select a listing, Airbnb split payment grants you with 72 hours to settle the bill amongst your friends. At the end of three days, if all your travel partners including you, make the payment, your dates are locked. However, the maximum number of people that the payment can be divided into is 16.

Alternatively, if none of your partners pay, Airbnb split payment does not instantly cancel the booking but offers a maximum 24 hours stretch for you to pay the whole amount. So the crucial check-in dates are not lost and is still available if you choose to confirm the reservation.

Therefore, instead of you having to seek each buddy to pay for the reservation, Airbnb draws an invoice and split the cost equally.

Payments amount can be split equally or at a proportion of your choice

By default Airbnb split payment the total amount equally amongst the number of companions. However, it does offer an option to adjust the payment differently. For instance, if one of the couple decides to pay more in comparison to the other then such a partner may double their payment.
This happens for instance when you have an apartment with different rooms.

An alternative to third party booker

In order to cater to the gaping demand by corporate travelers, Airbnb also started to offer a different variation of payment option. Under this system, a designated person can book on behalf of someone else. Such person is called Booker within Airbnb platform.

A booker is the point of contact at the initial stages of a reservation namely; reservation request, introduction, and payment for the reservation. Once this is complete, the onus shifts to the person on whose behalf the listing has been reserved also known as a guest.

At this point, booker and guest join the message room with the host. Therefore creating a three-way communication channel.

Alternatively, if you’re a host, you’ll have the titles ‘booked by’ and ‘booked for’ differently appear in your chat interface linked to the concerned listing. This makes management of reservation by the corporation as easy as pie.

However, this option was stopped in some countries due to the fact that Airbnb claims its platform is based on trust and people booking on the behalf of someone else will break the trust circle.

On the other hand business travel it is still available, therefore, for instance, a manager assistant can book for his manager, paying with the company credit card.

Airbnb users have doubled since the launch of split payment settlement

Considering the stats, split payment option has been a successful move for Airbnb. At the beta stage, this payment settlement system drove new users to the platform. Out of the 30% of booking that used split payment, there were tens and hundreds of new users who joined the platform.

Being the consumer-centric brand Airbnb is, its founder Brian Chesky instantly incorporated the split-payment because of a tweet exchange he had with one of Airbnb user. In one of his super popular tweet dated December 26th 2016, Brian Chesky asked this question to his followers.

With only less than a year after this tweet, Airbnb launched split payment that made cost-sharing convenient and graceful.

What was the secret sauce in making split payment a reality in 11 months?

In order to speed up the developmental process of split payment, Airbnb made a major acquisition in February 2017. Tilt, a social payment start-up app that specialized in peer-to-peer money transfer, and it was acquired by Airbnb. Investors at Tilt were grateful and counted their blessings which came in the form of unexpectedly large-sum of acquisition money.

What further sweetened the deal was money because tens of millions of dollar were paid only to ensure employee retention. From the onset of this acquisition, it was clear that Airbnb split payment was headed for the kill. Like most acquisition where the team is replaced, existing team was retained. Departments were operational and functional as if it were before the acquisition.

In the end the strategy seems to have paid off.

What are the implication for hosts?

Basically, Airbnb hosts, who have to deal with this group buy system they have a booking left on hold for a longer period that the 24 hours, as it happens for singular booking. On the other hand it may bring many advantages to property owners who has big apartments or expensive one. To sum up this split payment on option on Airbnb can definitely increase the sum of the money exchanged in every transaction within the platform.

It seems Airbnb has tons of ace up its sleeve, let’s see what’s next?

Truly, Airbnb is a company that exploded into fast-track growth because of its aggressive drive. It turned over new leaves on its track, and also left no stones unturned when it came to innovation. This millennial focused start-up never failed to up the ante while causing disruption.

Short term rental revenues: how do you make your property more profitable?

This short-term rental secret is barely legal, now you can make massive money too

Did you know short-term rental can make you wealthy?

Many private-millionaire landlords have their property rented on short-term lease over long-term. Do you know why? Yes, you’re right. Because the bank-roll from short-term rental trumps long-term rental in virtually every locale.

Long-term rental locks your rental property for longer periods. Your tenants will normally extend their stay over 12 months. Terminating a contract before the contracted date may attract penalty that can strip you off your money if a jiffy.

Short-term rental is easy to hack and the fastest method to build a profitable business. A prominently located property will attract masses of tourist who wish to experience the city like a local. Unlike long-term rentals, where negotiations is complex and takes ages to complete.

As you read through this recently discovered fact that uncovers the truth of property rental business, you’ll be spellbound to know that you could make more money in less than half the lease period of a long-term rental system.

How do we know this? In an article posted by curbed.com from San Francisco area, there were startling revelation relating to rental cost. Prior to kick-off at Super-bowl at San Francisco, the prices for 3 days accommodation in Russian Hill 3 bedroom was walloping at $17000. Yes, you read it right. That’s how short-term rental landlords are raking in the dough.

In addition long term rent rental often requires renovation adjustments and you often results in more commitment and legal issues involved rather than a short term rental.

Today many multi-sided platforms they manage to have to decrease the risk of renting to minimum level for landlords and real estate companies.

Here’s a Cheat-sheet for a short-term rental business-owner

Although not all that glitters is gold for everybody, there are certain caveats to short-term renting. If you follow my advice word-by-word, you’ll surely build a mega-successful rental business in no time.

  1. In every country, city, or state, there are legal implication that you must be aware of. Like certain states require you to obtain a license to lease your property for less than 30 days. It is best you contact your local lawyer to get legal assistance before you start-out.
  2. Next, you’ll have to feel the pulse of rental business in your locality. You can get a classified newspaper from the central newsstand and look at prices of apartments that are similar to your rental property with a keen eye. Circle the relevant rental charges, add all of them and divide it by the number of listings (circles that you made). This is the run-of-the-mill price that you can demand.
  3. Another simple but fiercely-effective step is to go to airbnb’s website and look for competing prices. Look for the crown-jewel in every listing, especially the wildly popular apartments. Does the listing has private pool, or tennis court, or perhaps barbecue-backyard? Moreover, analyse the offers and make one that is better than it. An offer they can’t refuse. Are the kitchen fully-stocked? If not, then you offer a full-stocked kitchen along with bathroom essentials and artwork that will greatly enhance guest experience.
  4. You can dramatically spike your rental revenue by tactfully marketing your property. By reading guest review on Airbnb or other sites, you can study the class of tourist/visitors that frequent your city. For instance, San Francisco attracts Super-Bowl fan in flock of millions during the first week of February. Most of the land-lord adorn their listing as per the super-bowl theme to make guest have a one-of-kind experience.
  5. What this means is that you can attract a throng of guest to your listing as   well. All you have to do is strategically theme you property in your city’s or country’s most ravishing festival, season or fiesta. Online channel are often cheaper and more effective but being offline at some certain point can be way more effective.

By doing this, you’ll rise head and shoulders above 90% of your competing rental business owner.

Again, you do not want be jack of all trade rather master of just one. If your locale boasts of slew of tourist attractions, you should ideally choose only one and gain a magic touch for it. Being popular for singular event can drive revenue faster.

6)  Like everybody else, you are in the rental business to make money, that’s why it’s best you make an expense sheet for fixed and variable expenses that erodes revenue.
You can ask an accountant to prepare the expense and revenue sheet to draw up exact profit from the business.

An accountant can do more than just billing and computation. You can rest on your laurels after employing an actuary because your taxes and returns are taken care of. As long as you’re within the confines of legal boundaries and keep these tips in your mind, you can safely grow your business into a money-churning machine.

Once you get the wheels turning, you must include in this financial plan the occupancy rate. What is an occupancy rate?
It is how many days or months in year is your apartment occupied by guests. In a year there shall be certain months (February—in case of Superbowl) when you will experience a surge in demand.

How much time in percentage your property should be occupied so that you do not lose money? Make discount ad or promotion according to your forecast.

Pro-Tip: Always have a fixed minimum price before you even start-out with the rental business. This will ensure that you stay above the line of cost at all times, for safeguarding yourself against hagglers and people asking for discount

It is always good to know how much you can be flexible on price before losing money.

Short-term rental business has its share of wealth that you as a landlord can massively cash-in. All you need to do hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing and pricing to watch your profits shoot through the roof.

Calendar integration for short term rental: a secret money saving weapon

Never lose a dollar on your Airbnb by putting together an easy-to-use system

Are you renting several properties? Do you have them listed on multiple rental website? Is it stressful to keep track of dozens of booking? Did you disheartened your guest because of overbooking?

If you said yes any of the questions, you’re in for a million-dollar advice. Your problem ends now. You can easily accommodate every guest and rake in lots of money while gaining a superstar reputation on Airbnb or any other platform.

I get mails from readers who repeatedly ask me this question. One host from Airbnb, let’s call him Billy, had his listings posted on many other rental sites including booking.com, homestay and others. He faces a deadlock when two guests from different platforms booked the same listing for identical dates. Guess what happened?

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

You might have guessed it right. In order to welcome both the guest, he tried convincing them to change their check-in dates. When one of them didn’t budge he negotiated with the other. Since none of them were flexible with their dates, our host was secretly wishing to have them both stay in his room by asking them to change their check-in date. He was stuck in a delightful dilemma, instead of at least accommodating one guest at his desired convenience; he lost both of them to this dilemma.

As you see, he lost a booking because of conflicting check-in dates for the same listing. This loss in booking could potentially lead to millions of dollar in lifetime value from that lost client. Many like Billy have this predicament on a daily basis and this guide helps to allay dilemma. A must guide for anyone seeking to smartly manage their listing and get the most bookings without losing a dollar.

Synchronize your calendar’s right now to have a self-growing bank balance

How does synchronizing benefit you? When you integrate your calendar, you end having a powerful tool to micro-manage booking. When this happens, a booking that you confirm on Airbnb automatically locks those specific dates on the corresponding booking website. Similarly, Airbnb listing gets blocked for those days that it has been booked on other platforms.

If Billy had been synchronizing his calendar from day one, the first guest who confirmed the booking on one platform gained the exclusivity for those days on other listing websites as well. Billy would not have landed in a tight spot because the successive guest would be electronically restricted from booking for reserved slot in the calendar.

As a result, Billy makes money on his listing by renting it every day without conflicting check-ins. Which also means he can easily provide extra-ordinary service to his guest and build a rockstar reputation on the platform by catering to clients one by one.

Integrate your calendar in few minutes and become a top-renter on Airbnb

iCal is your go-to calendar app for uniform integration across every platform. Like you’d expect from a personal secretary, iCal helps you by syncing every listing you have on a singular platform. Its versatility and ubiquitous applicability makes it extremely proficient in setting up an online calendar that manages most, if not all business day-to-day operations.

Services relating to online calendar, client-mailing, scheduling is now possible through your smart-phone. Even Google calendar can be merged with iCal and it can be shared to users who do not have access to your check-front account.

It is similar to having a personal secretary who notifies you in advance. To set up an iCal account all you need to do is sign up and copy the link generated in it within other platforms where you’ve listed your property. To learn the installation and set-up of a fully-functional iCal app, read this step-by-step guide rolled out by check-front.

The beauty of Airbnb lies in its website. A person who is a novice computer user or is computer-challenged can easily set up his listing on multiple website without a hassle. Here’s a step by step guide to synchronizing your calendar for your online renting business:

Calendar Importing

As the name suggests, calendar importing is updating your Airbnb booking dates as per the calendar from external website and applications. You can connect it with Google Calendar, Booking.com, Homestay or VRBO. In order to set the ball rolling, here’s what you ought to do:

  1. Go to manage listing on Airbnb.
  2. Choose the listing that you wish to integrate and click Manage Listing.
  3. Select Availability tab from above your listing preview.
  4. Go to Availability setting tab on the top right corner of your calendar.
  5. Under the main tab Sync Calendars, select the sub-tab Import Calendar.
  6. Paste your calendars URL in the Airbnb Calendar URL list.
  7. Name your calendar.
  8. Select Import calendar.

Calendar Exporting

Calendar export from Airbnb helps you to transpose information and data relating to occupancy and reservations from Airbnb to other websites. Its best that you do both in order for the integration of operate without any glitch.

  1. Go to manage listing on Airbnb
  2. Find the listing you’d like to edit and select manage listing.
  3. Select availability from above your listing preview.
  4. Under Sync calendars, select Export Calendar.
  5. A link shall be generated by Airbnb, copy it to iCal application.

Become an immaculate micro-manager of your listing!

It is advisable for every host to have their calendar set up with iCal. You can never go wrong with calendar integration because it works like your personal assistant. For instance, if a guest wishes to make a reservation on your listing, iCal integration provides real-time update on its availability.

So it completely eliminates any conflict. Which means you don’t end up like Billy and instead offer a flawless user experience to your potential guest. To become a hot-shot airbnb entrepreneur, it is essential to treat your listing as a professional business to make the most from it.

Let us know your experience in the comments below!

The definitive guide to get explosive visibility for your rental property on multiple platform

How do you make massive money from your short-term rental property?
Are you looking for the most profitable platform for publishing your listings? Here’s your exclusive guide to strategically publish your listing on high-traffic websites to get maximum visibility. Since you already know a smartly managed short-term rental business trumps long-term rental business every single time, here’s a powerful tip on how to turn your business into a mega success.

Minimize the risk: Publishing on different platforms

Do you find yourself biting your nails when opting for the right rental website? Many business owners tend to mindlessly publish on several websites leading to chaos, redundant reservation, and client mismanagement.

Instead of moving the needle they end up digging their own grave! What you should do instead is to target websites that attract host of warm relevant traffic to skim the cream of the crop. As you read on, I’ll share with you the list of top 50 sites that should instantly turn your listing super-profitable.

Before you publish your listing on a website, you should watch out for the kind of traffic that frequents it. Not only the quantity matter but also the quality. For instance, if you want to go mainstream you can never go wrong with Airbnb; it attracts tons of interested travelers who wish to wander the world like a local. Most of the guests who use Airbnb are from different walks of life. Some people who fly during Christmas, or any holiday season, or sports club fans who are visiting for the match or Digital nomads who work while traveling and so on.

Whereas in Home-stay, guests typically are students who go abroad on an exchange program and stay in a shared accommodation. Most of the times, the guests enter in collaborative consumption, in which not necessarily money is exchanged in return of services (also known as barter economy or gift economy). Do keep in mind that when you put out your listing here, you’re ideally sharing your house with a guest and cannot rent it individually.

Why publishing on many listings in never a fully automated process?

Publishing on multiple sites isn’t all that easy. Most websites limit the number of images and words you can use for description. In such a case, the infamous style of copy and pasting does not work. Keep your eyes open for sites that support embedding videos in the listing, because there are publishers that prohibit video uploads. Here’s a tool that digs deeper into the traffic, frequency and commonly used keywords on a website.

How to get more visibility for your listing?

Ideally, your home-website should become the stepping stone to publishing elsewhere. This gives you the advantage of promoting your listing using the keywords that relate the most to your locality. By targeting the search query relating to listing in your area, you’ll attract swarms of visitors. Moreover, you’re not bound by the restrictions imposed by third-party platforms.

Another simple yet a million-dollar tip is to get your listing published on a specialty website. What’s a specialty website?
It’s government board that promotes special interests. Is your house located near a scuba-diving site? Or is your listing close to a golf course? Then in such cases, you can maximize your occupancy and also not have to worry about screening as the most of the guests that you’ll encounter will be certified enthusiast.

How to choose the price when the listing in on multiple platforms?

Alright now that you clearly know how to choose the ideal listing sites, it’s time to take a look at the existing price trend. It is as simple as ABC to get the best rent pay-out.
All you need to do is browse through few of the properties, filter them on the basis of price from lowest to highest. Compare the size and price, then place your property slightly higher, if you’ve got better accessibility and amenity. Otherwise on lower spectrum, if you’re offering a vanilla experience.

Never quote a dirt-cheap price just to jumpstart your business, because you’ll invite trouble more often than not. After all, it’s your business and you must treat it like one by carefully considering the cost of photography, listing fees, set-up cost and hosting charges. Decide on a bottom line price and always, always quote it higher than your total expenses.

Learn the rules of the publishers, because you’re here to make bank. Airbnb is the kingpin of short-term rental business and you’re bound to rake in a lot of profits from here because it does not cost a penny to publish. Another visitor-rich yet tacky-looking website is craigslist that you cannot afford to miss. It is flooded with landlords and tenants, you should let the long-term tenant settle at the bottom to scoop short-term visitor off the top. There are few notable sites that should be on your mind to increase your visibility online.

Manage your listings like Dr. Octopus with this secret app!

As you garner momentum or once the ball sets into motion, it’s time you put your manager’s cap and administer the listing by synchronizing all of them. Wait, what exactly does synchronizing mean in this case? Right! It may sound complex but it’s simple, easy and highly effective.

It’s integrating the reservation across every publisher on a single calendar application. As a result of this, you don’t fall in a soup because you’ll have the calendar pro-actively giving you updates based on the reservation made on various website. No conflicting check-ins, no more infuriated guests.

One last takeaway from this guide before I leave. Listing on multiple platforms may be tempting, but you’re the best judge on which publisher best suits your apartment’s profile. Always read the major terms & conditions before going live on a platform to minimize mishaps.
There are certain sites that take a cut of the listed price for the transaction occurring within the platform which is yet another point to keep in mind while pricing your listing.


New to Short term rental: why you Should start with Airbnb

New to short term rental

New to short term rental? Read this comparison between house sharing platforms and check why Airbnb is your top choice.

Travelling and lodging has become a favourite hobby for many. Seeking experiences and creating memories by traveling is touted as a favourable option over materialistic pursuits. We live in a time where flights are the closest thing to time travel. It makes moving from one corner of the planet to other easier and faster.

When it comes to lodging, choices are many but the wise choice is only one.
Renting an Apartment from Airbnb outshines various competing brand because of the value offered by Airbnb.
There are websites like tripping.com, flipkey, homeaway, VRBO, housetrip etc. The choice is tremendous and may be hard to choose one at first.
Airbnb started 9 years ago and currently valued at $31billion, it is one of hottest success story in the lodging and rental space, as well as in the startup sector.

As a matter of fact, you and I as guests or rental owner stand to gain a lot from Airbnb. When you are new to short term rental, and you rent an apartment Airbnb, you have the opportunity to discover and browse through multiple listing. Once you decide on a property, and you are new to short term rental you can secure the booking through Airbnb integrated payment system. You get confirmation from the website at the snap of your finger!

Thanks to its system and spread, Airbnb redefine the concept of rent itself for an entire generation of millennials.

Whereas Homestay and VRBO are online classified, where rental owners pay a fees to put their ads on the website. Also, the act of booking and payment of the property takes outside the platform. Not only does it take it more time to confirm a reservation, but also at the cost a mediator who facilitate the transaction.

This simply means more security as Airbnb facilitates the transaction between the guest and the rental property owners.

Rent an apartment Booking.com or Rent an apartment Airbnb?

Booking.com is a one-stop shop that offers a blanket travel services from flight ticket to hotel reservation and even car rental. It is a portal which closely resembles the offerings by Travelocity.com or Expedia.

On the other hand, Airbnb offers a unique, personalized stay in a city which is creatively pushed by its tagline – “Book unique homes and experience a city like a local.” Instead of offering a cut and dried check-in services like that of a hotel, Airbnb believes in localized high-quality shacking experience.

What about Homestay vs Airbnb?

Homestay is an online community that connects travellers with families or individuals who wish to open their homes to travellers. Although Homestay and Airbnb possess lot of similarities, the single distinct feature between the two, being that homestay focuses solely on shared property whereas Airbnb lets a guest check in a private space.

Booking fee on Airbnb is only 3%, while it 15% on Homestay, which is paid by the hosts. With homestay you’ll always have a family or an individual sharing the space. Airbnb provides a choice to the guest which makes it all the more superior.

 Airbnb cares more than you think ($1 million pay-out insurance)

While user-friendliness, integrated payment system and a comprehensive review system should in itself make us want to stick to Airbnb, a $1 million guarantee in insurance is simply an offer that you cannot refuse. Airbnb cushions you against any insurance claim made against the guest for up to $1 million, which could potentially erase years of revenue in a single swipe.

In cases of personal injury caused by the rental property to a guest, the claim made by them could be in thousands of dollars. Although, there are mediation services like dispute settlement and mutual peace amends, the end result could be upsetting, therefore the host guarantee becomes a life-saver. In cases of delinquencies from the guest, Airbnb ask the guest to pay for the damages instead.

In order to claim the damages as host, you need to provide receipts of articles and items that were damaged or stolen.
Additionally, you need to provide police complaint report that states that damage done was substantial in nature (upwards $300).
Photographs of the damage being claimed along with ownership certificates and other documents that can expedite the claim process.
The purpose of this is to avoid frivolous claims made and always facilitate reimbursements in genuine cases.

This insurance get you covered also for damages created by your co-host.

The longer you associate, the better Airbnb reciprocate!

One of most distinguishing attribute of Airbnb is that it leaves no stone unturned for the satisfaction of the guest or the host. Rent an apartment Airbnb style always trump renting from any other site. In one of its creative marketing campaign, Airbnb revamped the listing interface making each of them appear as a distinct movie poster.

So for instance if you’re renting from a family with three sisters, the listing had a poster of three sisters posing for a pin-up. Similarly, Airbnb offers free photography service to host in order for them to get each listing the uniqueness and personalization it deserves. None of the competing website make for such compelling proposition.

Even though the service has been stopped in some countries where Airbnb was enough present there are still many areas where you can access the service.

Superhosts on Airbnb are those who are providing exemplary services for a long time. It is badge of honour and as a host, it one of the biggest honour you can aspire for. It takes years of dedicated flawless customer service for one to become a superhost. Airbnb understands your long-term association and loyalty to the brand. It offers priority customer support to super-host.

This means if you face a problem you’re provided a faster service than a newer host because you’ve made serious contribution to the growth of Airbnb. Moreover, there is a separate filter for listings with super-host which translates into more bookings. Superhost who maintain their reputation for another year is awarded with $100 travel coupon.
There are other exclusive events that is open to superhosts. I highly doubt if there is any other vacation renting community that offers unparalleled services, or this type of rewarding programs to others like that of Airbnb.

For a starter, Airbnb is your trusted partner.

If you read about what separates Airbnb from competitors, it is highly likely that Airbnb is your first bet for renting out a room or your apartment. For a first time listing, Airbnb offers a great start because the platform offers a secured gateway for payment and booking. You don’t have any to pay any registration fees which makes for zero start-up cost. Another feature to take into consideration about Airbnb, is that it is purely meritocratic. You cannot advertise your property on the platform therefore there is no risk of not being found because of your competitor.

The site runs multiple campaign throughout the year highlighting top listing in a city which keeps the spirit of lodging alive.

Whose better to advice you on this domain than a host himself? So grab your back-pack and experience the destination city like a local through Airbnb.