Hey everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Vibrant Management YouTube channel or wherever you’re watching this. My name’s Spencer, and today I’m going to be sharing with you several reasons why your guests are not booking at your property, and they’re choosing other properties to stay at.

These problems are really frequent. We see it a lot when we’re looking at new properties or people asking for our help, and many times they’re really easy fixes too. You just need to take some time, either invest in some new knowledge or figure things out and just hire a contractor.

By the way, guys, if you like this channel, please feel free to subscribe and like this. We’ll be publishing content like this every single week about how now the modern hotelier can increase things like their ADR, their RevPAR, and give more bookings by just making some really quick changes. Stick around for the end of the video for an exciting announcement. I think you’ll all really like it, and without further ado, let’s go ahead and get into it.

All right, everyone, there are a lot of reasons that you can miss bookings. When I was getting ready to make this video, I thought of probably 10 to 15, and they all really consolidated down into about three main reasons that you’re going to be missing out on the booking, so I thought I’d share those reasons with you, plus some quick ways to fix them.

The Power of a Strong Online Presence: How to Improve Your Hotel’s Visibility and Bookings

The number one reason that you’re missing out on bookings or losing bookings to another property in town is that you have a weak online presence. In a previous episode, I talked about how to build a website, but I’m not just talking about your website here.

If you’re publishing really strange things to your Instagram feed or not even posting to Instagram, you’re not making TikTok, you’re not making any form of video content; people will choose other properties that are making that content because it instills some type of preconceived value long before people even book or even arrive to your property. They get to see the room, they get to see the staff, they’re there, they’re smiling, and it’s really easy to get an understanding of what they’re buying, where something like pictures and a really out-of-date website are not going to cut it for you anymore.

These fixtures are actually pretty easy. Number one, start posting on Instagram. You already have employees; send them wild with their iPhones and start publishing. Do a quick Google search on how to publish content in 2023. Doing that Google search and paying someone to do it for you, especially your staff or an agency, is going to save you time, headaches, and going to get you more bookings.

You already have employees; send them wild with their iPhones and start publishing. Do a quick Google search on how to publish content in 2023. Doing that Google search and paying someone to do it for you, especially your staff or an agency, is going to save you time, headaches, and going to get you more bookings.

You also need to invest in a good website. If your website was built in the early 2000s, God forbid it was built like in the 1990s; it’s absolutely time to reinvest.

Maximizing Your Hotel’s Exposure: The Importance of Listing on Major OTA’s

The second reason is actually a pretty easy fix. This shouldn’t take more than a couple of days, but you want to diversify your OTA bookings. An OTA is an online travel agency for those of you who might be new to hospitality or just like a new hotelier.

Some of the big ones are like Airbnb, VRBO, Expedia, booking.com, and places like that. A lot of times, these places can be a little bit challenging to work with, but the more lines you have in the water, the more fish you’ll catch or the more bookings you’ll get.

You absolutely want to be listed on these OTAs, but you definitely do not want these OTAs to be your primary source of booking, which is why it led with tip number one. You have to have a strong digital presence for your website or your Instagram, but that does not mean you can’t be on these other OTAs. In fact, you should be. A lot of times, consumers are moving to places like Airbnb and VRBO to start looking for places to stay, and then they end up booking using your website because they’re looking at the property as a whole to get the validation that Airbnb is not affording them.

Having as many lines in the water as possible is good, but you do not want to rely on them as your only means to give bookings, so invest in them. They’re a necessary evil, but you want them to redirect back to your websites if you’re not paying the OTA commissions.

Creating a Boutique Hotel Brand That Guests Can’t Resist

The third reason, and the reason that you’re watching this, is that you’re not a box hotel. You’re not a LaQuinta, you’re not a Holiday Inn, and because of that, you are not stuck inside their restrictive brand guide, and that’s the fun of being a boutique hotel.

Now, that’s probably why you’re missing bookings is because your story isn’t compelling enough, and oftentimes in a professional environment like this, that story is called your brand, your name, your imagery, your colors, the story that you tell every interaction that you have is about brand.

If your brand is weak, you’re probably going to be limited to transient travelers unless you happen to be in a high-volume tourist location. But if you are a 20-room property and you just have some type of name and image that is not engaging or exciting. People will probably choose places like a Hampton or a Holiday Inn over your property because there is some level of reassurance that goes there, and if you’ve paid attention throughout this video, you’re probably realizing that as these go in order, you can start accomplishing them in reverse order.

If you have a strong brand and story, you will stand out on the OTAs. If you’re on OTAs, people are already going to go to your website to make the booking. Therefore, your property becomes this really cool funnel where people are going to find you regardless, and they can see the unique activities, experiences, and hospitality treatment that they’re going to receive when they come to your property instead of a simple check-in sleep checkout experience, the normal box properties are going to afford.

What we’re seeing right now is that a lot of people are choosing the boutique experience over something more traditional like a Hampton or a Holiday Inn, primarily because travel is back, and it’s really, really strong, especially after this whole covid world.

You need to find time to figure out who you are, what your identity is, the emotional characteristics, and the logical characteristics that make people want to book and stay with you. If you don’t know what those are, this one is a bit of a harder change, but it is the reason that you’re going to be losing bookings.

Working with someone like a branding agency or a branding professional is really going to change all of that. The last thing you want when you’re running these properties is for your guests to have a mediocre experience because odds are that they won’t stay with you again next time they’re traveling.

Virtual GM Podcast: Your Free Resource for Hotel Management

All right, everyone, thanks for sticking around. Those are three really easy tips. As promised, we also have a really cool announcement for you. Before we get into that, again, if you like this type of content, remember to subscribe and like this video so it appears on your feed. We will publish this content every week, and we just want to ensure that you as the hotelier know what you’re moving into as this crazy post covid year evolves.

All right, guys, the moment you’ve been waiting for, we’re actually really excited about this. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve been working on this for the past two quarters, and it’s something that we’re really excited for. This is a free resource for you. We as Vibrant Management are really proud to introduce you to our new podcast, Virtual GM. Virtual GM is made by hotel years for hotel years.

We have years and years of combined hospitality experience. Virtual GM sets out to help you use the hotelier, find new and creative ways to increase your booking, your occupancy, create a better guest experience, and provide leading-edge industry knowledge about how you can grow your property.

The Virtual GM Podcast is available anywhere you listen to podcast. You can find it in the Apple Podcast studio on Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and many other places. Feel free to click the link below that’s in this video. It’ll lead you to all the listening platforms.

There’s also no cost for this podcast, which sounds pretty normal, but the value of the information we’re giving away typically is things that we actually charge clients for, so be sure to subscribe to that because we want to make sure that you have all the information and you’re ready to move into the world. With all this new knowledge.

Before we sign off, what videos do you want to see? What topics do you have questions about? Whether you rent vacation villas or a hotel or motel owner, you list on VRBO or you have a 300-room property. We want to know the questions that you’re asking. Send me an email at [email protected] and we’ll happily make a video regarding your question. Thanks, everyone. Check us out online at www.thevibrantteam.com or any of our socials at the Vibrant team.