57 results found | searching for "BeatTheCompetition"

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  • BezlaLLC
  • How to increase your hotel's market share with Pay Per Click Ads? May 31, 2020|Hotel Marketing Pay-per-click advertising, commonly referred to as PPC, is a cost-effective way of increasing traffic and bookings on your hotel website. It is cost-effective because you only pay for the clicks your ads receive instead of their reach. If a search engine determines that a user is looking for a hotel, it will auction ad placements in real-time to hotel properties with existing PPC accounts. The highest bidders will show up on the top of the search engine results page. Let’s say your hotel is in San Francisco, California. You can google San Francisco hotels through a private browser. Click on the map on the right-hand side of the page. It will open up and show you the hotel properties in your local market. You will see an ad icon beside the top two or three property names on the list. That means that the properties spent money on PPC and were the highest bidders for that ad placement. Let's say the top properties spend $2 per click. ABC property can outrank them by bidding more at $2.01 per click. Another property, XYZ, can outrank all of them by bidding even more at $2.05 per click. As XYZ is getting more clicks, its budget, say $1,000, will continuously decrease. When its budget hits $0, XYZ will no longer show up on the top of the results until they fund their account again. The same process goes for Expedia, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Trivago, Booking.com, and other OTAs. If you bid higher, you show up higher in the results. In some very high-demand markets like New York, Las Vegas, Istanbul, or Paris, you could be paying as much as $20 per click because there is a lot of hotels there bidding to be on the first page. If you want to know more about PPC or if you need help in setting up a digital marketing strategy, call us at 888-999-8086 or email us at support@bezla.com. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla.com [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • How to market your independent hotel against international brands May 25, 2020|Hotel Marketing How should you market your independent hotel against international brands? How can you compete against massive multi-billion dollar international franchise brands if you are an independent hotel? It has never been easier to compete with these big brands because of the power of the internet. Not all of these flagged hotels have a sizeable client base. A lot of them depend on great membership programs to attract guests who drive for hours and hours only to redeem their points and maintain their status with these brands. Here are the tools you need to beat international brands in your market: 1. Connect your independent hotel to the Global Distribution System (GDS). GDS is an online platform that feeds your real-time inventory to a global network of travel agencies. Thousands of travel agents can check your accommodations, rates, and availability with a single click. You no longer need to connect to different vendors one by one to market your hotel. The GDS gives your hotel unparalleled exposure that can dwarf the franchise network of any flagged hotel. Connect to the GDS today and generate increased demand for your hotel. 2. Have a user-friendly booking website. Independent hotels like yourself need to have a strong online presence if you are to compete with international brands that have deep pockets for multimedia marketing. Having a website is not enough. You need an attractive, well-designed, and easy-to-navigate website that can convert visitors to guests. The most important feature your website needs to have is a user-friendly online reservation system. User experience is everything. Allow your guests to research the availability and rate of your rooms on specific dates, and book them in just one click. Otherwise, your guests' initial reaction is to book somewhere else. 3. Optimize your website to rank highly in Google searches. Most online users only look at the first page of the search engine results and are more likely to refine their search rather than move on to the next page. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will improve the likelihood of your website being highly ranked in search results, thereby increasing traffic and reservations on your website. Google your property today. Under your property name is a list of other websites that are pulling availability from your hotel. Search for a room in your market on a specific date. Google will show you the availability of all the properties in your market. If you are not on the first page of the search results, imagine the million-dollar revenues you are losing and 20-30% commissions to third-party websites you are wasting. 4. Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) and social media advertising. In today’s ever-changing online world, over 75% of businesses invest in some form of digital marketing. The international brands in your market undoubtedly already do. No matter your budget, you should start investing in PPC and social media advertising today. PPC is a form of digital advertising for your independent hotel to stand out in an already saturated marketplace. You are paying for clicks on your hotel ad that will generate traffic to your website. It is a smart tool to complement your SEO practices. Social media advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a cost-effective way of reaching thousands of people in your target market. You are paying for leads generation, which would otherwise be expensive and tedious if done the old-school way. If you are an independent hotel competing with international brands in your market, call us at 888-999-8086 or email us at support@bezla.com. #HotelMarketing #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Seven signs your hotel is about the go bankrupt May 18, 2020|Hotel Marketing 7 signs your hotel is about to go bankrupt If you are a hotelier, you should be on the lookout for telltale signs that your business is about to go bust: 1. You have high employee turnover. You are changing your department managers and rank-and-file employees every couple of months. Ultimately you are left with no seasoned team in place who are invested in the success of your hotel. High employee turnover can have subtler causes like frustration with management or losing belief in your brand. More often than not, your employees are only there for the paycheck because they are not emotionally connected to your property and your organization. It is more costly to hire and train new employees than to keep the ones you already have. It is a vicious cycle that can eventually kill your hotel. 2. Your numbers are down and you do not even know why. Your year-over-year revenues are down, but you cannot figure out which segments need work or which accounts are not producing. You do not have the right coding strategy at your front office to ensure that every reservation is correctly coded by segment or source. If you do not have the right rate codes, or you have all your reservations under one rate code, there is no way for you to determine what segments or sources you are gaining from or missing out on. You will find your revenues flatlining with no hopes of resuscitation. 3. You do not have the right management strategy. You are treating your hotel like an office space or rental building, which means you have only one rate for the entire year. You do not adjust your room rates based on pickup reports, upcoming room blocks, and competitor rates. You hope that you will get the best value out of using the same price every day. The beauty of the hotel business is that your room rates can vary every single day to meet the demands of the market. Maximize this to your advantage. Otherwise, you will either lose potential customers to your competitors if you charge too high or lose potential income if you charge too low. Either way, it is a surefire way of killing your business. 4. You are complacent. You think you already have enough sales. You do not consistently market your property. You do not innovate to meet the demands of your market. Once competitors swoop in, they can easily steal your clients because you do not have a strong presence and a sustainable competitive advantage. Remember, complacency is fatal. 5. You do not have a follow-up strategy. Your salespeople call a prospective client only once. If the sale does not go through, they do not make any follow-up. It is typical in the hotel industry. 25% of hotel salespeople make only one call. Given how busy and distracted people are today, it takes more than one, about 5-8 calls, before they would pick up the phone. Call follow-ups are where the money is. When done right, it is a sustainable revenue stream that will keep your business afloat. 6. You do not have a mixed revenue source. Your business is dependent on a single big account or revenue source. You do not have anything on your pipeline to replace an account if it closes. If another property steals your most valuable account, you are over. You do not have enough negotiation power because you do not have an existing client base to leverage. 7. You are not asking for referrals. You might be working with a tour operator who is producing a lot of revenues for your hotel. If they are happy with your service, they will happily give you referrals. 87% of your customers will give you referrals if you only ask. However, 70% of salespeople make the fatal mistake of not asking for them. If you are currently experiencing any one of these scenarios, we believe that your property is already on the edge of bankruptcy. Give us a call at 888-999-8086 or email support@bezla.com. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla.com [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • How to quote a hotel group rate that converts to a sign the agreement? May 10, 2020, |Hotel Marketing A successful pricing strategy will boost your hotel revenue. You will lose potential customers to your competitors if you charge too much. If you charge too little, you are going to end up losing money. There are a lot of hotels that do not follow the right pricing strategy to maximize their group revenue potential. If you're a new revenue manager at a property or you just took ownership of a hotel, here are market research strategies to help determine your group rates. First, do two kinds of mystery shopper requests. Make a digital and phone request for proposal (RFP) to all the properties in your market. Find out what discounts they offer, how much their best available rate and published rate are, what kind of agreements they have, and what attrition and cancellation policy they implement. It will give you a better idea of how competitive you need to be and what your pricing strategy will be to ensure a high conversion rate from your group leads. Next, consider that properties in the United States offer 10-15% off the best available rate to walk-in clients who have AAA, ARP, or any membership discount. If you want to make your rates competitive, a good rule of thumb is for your group rate to be at least 15% off your best available rate. Depending on how big the group event or how bad you want the business, you can offer as much as 20-30% off your best available rate to make sure you get that signed agreement back. Make sure, however, that you consider commissions and rebates to come up with a financially sound offer. Remember, the income you miss out on from an unsold room is forever lost. Adjust your rates today and increase your chances of being fully booked. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla.com [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Hidden secrets of owning a top performing hotel May 4, 2020|Hotel Marketing 6 Secrets to Owning a Top-performing Hotel If you are a flagged hotel, you might wonder why some properties under the same brand are on the list of top hotels worldwide, but you are not. If you are an independent hotel, you might wonder why all your competitors in the STAR Report are performing well, but you are not. What are these top hotels doing differently to succeed in the industry? Here are their well-kept secrets and best practices that you need to start doing today: 1. Improve Your Telephone Handling It might sound simple, but thousands of revenue are lost in the hotel industry every day just from poor telephone handling. If you are a limited-service hotel with only two people working at the front office during the busiest periods of your check-in and check-out times, chances are your telephone handling is poor. A call that is a potential million-dollar business might go to voicemail, or might be put on hold, or might not be given the proper care and attention by an already pre-occupied staff. Have a mystery shopper call your property today and find out how many rings it takes for the front desk office to answer the call, how they answer it, and whether they can convert it into a booking. In this day and age, answering phone calls is not just about taking reservations; it is about making them. Empower your staff today so they can maximize every opportunity that comes their way. 2. Invest in Digital Advertising If you are a flagged hotel, chances are your franchise company is already handling your global marketing. What does your franchise company expect in return? They want you to dominate your local market. There is no marketing tool more efficient and effective than digital advertising using social media platforms. For example, you can run ads on Facebook and Instagram for as low as $300 to capture the market within a 20-mile radius from your property. Within just a couple of days, you can reach thousands of people whom you could never find using door-to-door sales or any other traditional prospecting strategy. You can use the list that you generated from the ad campaign to get more Local Negotiated Rates (LNR), more room blocks, or more bookings for your meeting room. Open a private browser today. Search your town on Google and click on the map on the right-hand side of the page. It will open up and show you the hotel properties in your local market. If your property name does not come up on the first page of that channel, you will have very, very low chances of getting any reservations. Do that as well on OTAs like Trivago, Kayak, Booking.com, Expedia, and its different affiliates. If your property is not ranking well on these channels, it is time for you to invest in social media pay-per-click advertising today. 3. Get Good Reviews You cannot have bad reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, or any other review platform. It does not matter if you have a few good reviews on the first page of your web results. Two or three bad reviews can already hurt your online reputation and will cause your prospective guests to think twice about booking your hotel. Have a strategy to get good reviews. There is no other way around it. Provide your guests with an experience worth raving. Personalize your service according to the preferences of your target demographic. Respond to bad reviews correctly and implement changes to make sure complaints will not come up again. 4. Proper Revenue Management If you do not have the proper revenue management strategy or you do not have a competent revenue manager to monitor your rates, pick-up reports, and room blocks, you should look at hiring one today. Let’s say you have a block of 50 rooms per night for a weekend. When the weekend finally comes, the block is only picked up by 20%. By that time, you can no longer remedy the situation by lowering your rates because your group rate is already too high. You cannot go back in time and sell the 40 rooms that you could have sold at a more competitive rate. You do not have that kind of luxury in the hotel business. Once you miss out on an opportunity to sell your rooms for a specific date, that revenue is already gone. If you do not have a dedicated revenue manager who is handling all these moving parts for you right now, you’re leaving ridiculous amounts of money on the table. 5. Consistently Follow-up on Clients If you are unable to convert a call inquiry into a booking, how long do you wait to call back that lead? Do you even call back at all? What follow-up strategy do you have for your unsold accounts? Every call inquiry to your hotel is low-hanging fruit. It will cost you thousands of dollars to find a lead like that. Maximize your call inquiries to hit your targets faster and close sales easier. Make sure you call back your clients and say, “I know that you have already selected a different hotel, but can we be a second option for you. Are you trying to set up a room block, but the property you’re looking into is already full? Are you already happy with the decision that you have made with that property, or can I still persuade you to change your mind?” If you are not already doing this follow-up strategy today, you are missing out. 6. Focus on People Management Not only do you need to hire the right staff for the job, but you also need to keep them engaged and dedicated. Do your employees show up for the paycheck, or do they have an emotional connection with their jobs? Emotional connection in the workplace leads to higher productivity. If your employees feel that their work is valuable to their supervisors and colleagues, and the customers in general, that’s an emotional connection. It makes them want to give more of themselves and add value to the organization. Have the right management team in place to create that motivating workplace culture. Shift the dynamics in the workplace so that your employees give 110% of themselves at work starting today. These are some of the best-kept industry secrets that you need to start doing today. If you are not yet doing any of these, you are giving up that coveted top spot. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla.com [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Should you be using a script in hotel sales and marketing? April 27, 2020|Hotel Marketing There are a lot of different views on standardized sales scripts. Some people say, sales conversations should be natural instead of scripted. While it is not bad to talk about the weather, the game or your prospective client’s weekend, it is imperative that every customer interaction should be aligned with your business goals. The only way for this to happen is by implementing a standardized sales script in all of your incoming calls. A standardized sales script guarantees call quality. Every person in your sales team is different in terms of their upbringing, culture or level of education. If you leave them to their own devices, your sales calls will be a hit or miss. On the other hand, if you gave each person the same script, you will get the same results each time across the board. If the script does not work for one person on your team, fixing the script for them will fix the problem for everybody. Your script will only become better over time as it is constantly being updated to address as many different scenarios as possible. It’s not only that. A standardized sales script will also make training new salespeople very easy. All you have to do is hand down to them the winning recipe that has been tried and tested for many, many years. Remember, chitchat if you must with your clients but do so in order to build rapport with them and eventually close the sale. In a cutthroat business such as ours, all sales activities should be geared towards beating the competition. #HotelMarketing #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla.com [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • How GDS can increase your hotel's revenue? April 21, 2020|Hotel Marketing How can the GDS increase your hotel's revenue? If you are a flagged hotel, you are already connected to the global distribution system (GDS) because that is one of the first things your franchise would require from you. If you are an independent hotel, you are probably not connected yet to the GDS — and that alone will drastically reduce your chances of succeeding in this business. GDS is a platform that connects a network of hotels to a network of travel agencies worldwide. Hotels can feed real-time inventory to the travel agency network. Conversely, agents can search the hotel network for the best accommodations, rates and availability for their client. Imagine two office spaces in different parts of town. Each office has a group of computers that share a common communications line or a Local Area Network (LAN). The computers that share a LAN can seamlessly share data. However, for one computer to share data with another computer belonging to the other office, it would need an internet connection. The internet connection in this case is the GDS. The GDS distributes your data to a network of travel agencies and OTAs like Expedia, Hotels.com, and Travelocity. Conversely, travel agencies and OTAs can access your real-time inventory to find the best deals for their clients. Let’s say you are an independent property in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is connected to the GDS. A travel agent across the globe in Tokyo, Japan who is arranging a group tour to your city will look into the GDS to find a partner hotel in your market. If you are not connected to the GDS, the only way for the agent to know your property’s availability, accommodations and rates is by calling your hotel directly. In this day and age, chances are you will not be getting that call. If you are not connected to the GDS, it would be virtually impossible for you to manually feed your data to OTAs s and make real-time updates on your inventory. You would have to hire an entire department to sit down and update your property’s availability, rates and accommodations on over 500 vendors and websites. If you connect to the GDS, this happens in just milliseconds. Again, if you're an independent property competing against international brands that have established networks, connect to the GDS today. Otherwise, you are leaving ridiculous amounts of money on the table. #HotelMarketing #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla Bezla [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Hotel Stocks vs. Real Estate. April 13, 2020|Hotel Marketing Property Stocks vs. Real Estate The COVID-19 pandemic is crashing the stock market in the United States and all around the world. Stock values are going down at unprecedented levels, prompting the most withdrawals of cash from investors since the 2008 financial crisis. With the volatile stock market, many are diverting their investments to real estate, which they believe is historically one of the more stable investment options. Is real estate truly more stable than the stock market? Stocks are volatile because they are affected by a variety of market forces, including the number of people buying and selling them at any given moment. Stock charts update by the millisecond, literally. Real estate is also volatile because it is influenced by a host of economic factors, including the changes in the development and security of the property location. However, unlike stocks, real property investments are not valued in real-time. Hotels, buildings, or apartments get valued every once in a few years. At first glance, it might seem that real estate is more stable, but if you were to plot real property investment values on a chart and put it side by side with the stock market chart, it would fluctuate just as much and just as fast by the second. Thus, it is not accurate to say that the stock market is tanking, but real estate is going up. For example, at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Hilton real estate property cannot even sell because people are on lockdown, and whole economies are shutting down, effectively making the property value zero. However, the Hilton property stock at that same time will show a value, which is not zero. Remember, the behaviors of the stock market and the real estate market are both volatile. However, because of the dynamics of the real estate market, the exact valuation of a real property at any given moment is not easily known. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Did cold calling die in hotel sales and marketing? April 5, 2020|Hotel Marketing Is there still a place in the hotel industry for cold calling? Anyone who says cold calling is dead probably isn’t doing it right. If you do not have sufficient information about your prospect, the right script, the tonality, or enough courage to pick up the phone, cold calling probably died in your hotel sales department a long time ago. Cold calling, however, is not dead. There are still a lot of instances when the hotel business could use cold calling. When you do it right, you can convert an inquiry into a hot sale. If you haven’t heard back from a prospective guest who asked about your property, you can call them up. The prospective guest may be interested in your property but may have questions or doubts that you can address. When you call cold leads, you essentially interrupt a stranger’s day to make an offer that most likely is not on top of their mind. It takes a lot of courage because rejection is imminent. However, if you get out of your comfort zone, find the right accounts, master the script, control your tonality, and ask the right questions, you can bring more revenue to your hotel. While it is challenging, it can be utterly rewarding. If your sales department does not do cold calls, you are missing out. Cold calling is indeed alive and kicking in businesses that have the right people for it. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla [more]
  • BezlaLLC
  • Bring your hotel an additional million dollars in revenue to your hotel by fixing this simple problem March 31, 2020|Hotel Marketing Some hoteliers still mistake an inquiry call for a sales conversion. That’s not the case. You still have to train your staff to convert inbound calls into your next million-dollar sale. Here’s what you can do. Have a family or friend call your property today. Have them pose as a potential client for a group reservation, be it for a family reunion or a corporate event. Have them make a complicated request, say a direct billing or an advanced invoice. Record the conversation, if it is allowed by your state laws, and evaluate how your front desk staff handled the inquiry call. The results might surprise you. Here at Bezla, we have run into all sorts of cases during our mystery shopper calls. One time, the person who picked up the call took a card reservation without obtaining any credit card information and even offered a free meeting room. Another time, we came across a front desk staff who addressed our mystery caller as “honey”. In several instances, we came across salutations that we wouldn't expect to hear on a full-service hotel’s inbound sales call. If your staff commits the same embarrassing mistakes, you can’t blame them. As we always say, if you don’t train them, you can’t blame them. Here at Bezla, we recommend structuring inbound calls with a sales script. Anticipate possible scenarios. You can start with as simple as taking a group reservation for 15-20 rooms with a meeting space on specified dates. Train the staff on how to ask open-ended questions that allow the caller to elaborate on exactly what they are looking for. Train the staff to provide the appropriate solutions and close the sale. Have your front desk staff run the script several times in as many different scenarios as possible before they can start taking any call. Why? It does not take a lot for conversations to go south. Even a single word can turn off a prospective client. If the prospective client gets the impression that the staff cannot handle a simple inquiry call, there’s little motivation for them to entrust a big account to the property. Remember, any call has the potential to deliver an additional million dollars in revenue to your property. A simple inquiry call can turn into a million-dollar loss if it falls into the hands of untrained front desk staff. #HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla [more]
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