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How do you rate social media, mobile phone apps and discounting?

This extract from the Trip Advisor survey shows trends for US hotels and compares them to the rest of the world.
There are some interesting findings such as how many hotels use discounting as a “top deal” and the increase in importance of mobile device strategies. There is also a heavy emphasis on social media and responding to comments.
I found when reading the article myself I couldn’t help but wonder about the fact it was trip advisor undertaking the survey and their product relies strongly on social media and comments and also that it is the owners of the properties being surveyed not the guests. I wonder if guests would have rated things in the same order of priorities?

Social and Mobile Marketing: Engaging Travelers Online and “On the Go”
Percentages following each statement are for U.S. and the WORLD respectively.

Social media marketing:
Expect social media marketing budget to increase in 2012 (of those who had such a budget in 2011) 52% 50%
Plan to monitor social media for mentions of the property 80% 76%
Plan to respond to guest reviews about their property on TripAdvisor 91% 87%

Mobile marketing:
Plan to offer a program to engage travelers using mobile devices (e.g., a mobile app, special offers on mobile, booking through a mobile device) in 2012 61% 53%
Plan to offer a program to engage travelers using mobile devices for the first time in 2012 27% 28%

Services and Amenities: Free or Fees
U.S. WORLD
Plan to add services or amenities in 2012
28% 38%
Foresee adding fees for services or amenities in 2012
10% 15%
Plan to offer free in-room Internet access to guests in 2012 89% 77%

Top Deals and Special Offers: Attracting Guests in 2012
U.S. WORLD
Discounts on rooms
59% 52%
Special amenities/services (e.g., free Wi-Fi Internet access)
58% 56%
Free parking 38% 32%

“Hoteliers’ plans to engage with travelers using social media and mobile devices are also important trends this year,” said Petersen. “While it’s encouraging to see so many planning to respond to online guest reviews in 2012, TripAdvisor’s data show that only 15 percent of property reviews currently have management responses. The owners and managers who follow through on plans to respond to reviews will have an advantage over their competition.”
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/21/4278895/tripadvisor-business-survey-reveals.html#storylink=cpy

February 22 2012 | Articles for current moteliers and Changes in Motel Trends and Entering the Motel Industry and Uncategorized | No Comments »

Wi-Fi is tops with customers.

TripAdvisor Survey Reveals Wi-Fi is Tops in U.S. While Turndown Service is Thing of the Past
54% of Travelers Have Canceled Reservations Because They Found Better Amenities Elsewhere

Read more about what is good and what is not according to this survey.

http://bit.ly/zm5CMO

February 03 2012 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

Uk trends for accommodation similar to New Zealand.

Garden campsite

Fancy setting up a camping ground in your garden for the next major event in  your area? It looks like big events all over the world create the same issues for accommodation with some regular providers resorting to price hiking and non-commercial facilities trying to jump on board and get a slice of the pie. View this article on the 2012 Olympics. http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/escape/hot-global-travel-trend-garden-camping-uk-973266

November 24 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

Accommodation Survey Shows Upward Trend.

The latest accommodation survey shows a rise in the level of short term stays to levels not seen since 1996. Five out of seven North Island regions showed an increase with this being mainly due to domestic tourism.

Overall motels and holiday parks were the winners with a 46000 and 45000 guest night increase respectively while the hotels and backpackers sustained falls of 33000 and 14000 respectively.

May the increasing guest night trend continue.

 http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/accommodation/Accommodation-Survey_HOTPJul11.aspx

September 16 2011 | Articles for current moteliers and Changes in Motel Trends and Entering the Motel Industry and Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Thank You’s make money and build a business.

When was the last time you purchased something and how did you feel about it? Most of the time if we feel good it is due to the service and the way the sales person made us feel. This is equally so if we feel bad. If you are like me the people who make you feel good are the ones which you return to for future purchases. Even if they are slightly more expensive.

So what does this have to do with running a motel business? Well operating a motel is not just all about providing facilities and collecting money. It is about making your customers feel good, important and wanting to come back to you. One of the ways to do this is to say thank you and not just at the counter as they leave but by contacting them after they have departed. In this modern age of e-mail this task is made easier with a simple template you can set up and then send off to each guest.

An excellent way to contact people and build relationships it can also be used for a double purpose such as this type of thank you which also helps to prevent bad publicity and reviews. Bearing in mind that if you ask for complaints you must be prepared to act on them.

“On behalf of the team at xyz motel, we thank you for your business and sincerely hope that you will choose to stay with us again in the future. If you have had a satisfying stay, tell others about your visit and post a comment on TripAdvisor.
If your stay wasn’t completely satisfying, please e-mail myself directly with your comments to enable us to continuously improve our services.”

 

Many front desk programmes allow you to set up templates for e-mails or letters. If you don’t have this facility there are tools such as quick parts in outlook and Microsoft word which allow you to set up blocks of text to insert into e-mails or documents and save you typing it in each time. If you would like help with setting this up just e-mail me and i can let you know how it’s done. It is very easy and simple to use once you know how. Email kathie@shepard.co.nz

When it becomes so easy with these options why would you not take that extra step and reinforce the client relationship to create a lifelong client and ultimately make money and build your business?

August 26 2011 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Have motels done a full circle on providing internet services?

After many years of promoting internet services and undertaking the journey from no connection to the cost of installing hi-tech gear to provide pay as you go and rounding the corner to free wi-fi  in most motels have we completed the circuit and are back at the beginning. According to this article we may be back to not providing any internet services. http://bit.ly/osQwAs

July 08 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Conference 2011 Motel Association of New Zealand.

Can we be grateful for what we have, set goals, achieve our ambitions, take things in our stride and cope with stress?

Well everyone who attended the 2011 Motel Association annual conference in Queenstown should have some of the tools to do these things. There was a great range of speakers throughout the four days but the common theme was that life is what you make of it. Take charge and enjoy what you have.

We started the conference with a trip up the Gondolas on Wednesday night and a happy Hawaiian night. Fantastic food and a great band made up of school teachers from Winton with ukuleles. The band may sound a bit different on paper but they were just great and set the tone for an enjoyable conference.

Next day we had the conference opened by the Mayor of Queenstown and then heard Tony Christiansen speak. He lost his legs in a train accident at the age of 9 and has done more in his life than most people I know. His main message was to be thankful for what you have, set goals and steer yourself towards them. Certainly made me think about what you can achieve when you want to.

Following on from this was the Trade me guy who also had an attitude of giving anything a go and continually looking for new challenges and ways of doing business. Very strong customer service message underlying the reasoning behind the Trade me business and in his opinion one of the reasons for its success.

The afternoon found us laughing seriously at Nigel Latta’s comments on life. How can a psychologist be so down to earth and realistic? His main message was that life throws all sorts of things at you and basically you just have to accept it and move on to the next thing. Often life is not fair but there is no point in stressing. Just concentrate on what you are doing now. Live in the moment and cope with things as they arrive.

Last for the day we listened to Pete Blackwell who as usual was funny, energetic and entertaining but all with a strong message. Think about what is happening in the world and around you and plan to make your life still go the way you want. As with the others set your goals, try to be ready for the things which could de-rail you and do what you need to in order to achieve your dreams.

Friday bought the AGM with robust debate on several issues which showed the spirit of the membership organization is alive and well.  It was heartening to see and hear people be involved and make an effort to ensure the association is on the right path.

The afternoon began with legal advice and insights in to motel leases. The clauses which are controversial and also how the Christchurch earthquakes will test the laws regarding insurance and contractual law which may be contradictory to each other.  This was followed by an insight in to the economy from Craig Ebert of BNZ. The picture he painted was not all gloomy. There are “green shoots everywhere” however we are still susceptible to the world economy and other countries that are not recovering as yet or are still declining.  Our commodity prices are strong and look to remain that way which indicates a good recovery. All this followed the conference theme of being grateful for what you have and making the most of it.

The evening was full with the Gala Dinner where the AA Supreme host award was presented to Brett and Jenny Twaddle from Bay Motel on Stewart Island. It was heartwarming to see Jenny and, a very enthusiastic manager, Robin Campbell accept the award. This was enriched by the gala dinner  atmosphere, good food, fun and dancing to another great band. “The Master Blasters”

The last day Saturday started with a report from tourism New Zealand detailing their research and the results of this. Very interesting and those moteliers who have a lot of overseas guests could take on board the areas which are a better marketing spend.

Lastly we had Kerrie Woodham to wrap up the conference and she was just amazing. Very funny and enjoyable but with a very strong message which jumped out and grabbed you after all the laughter. She also followed the lines of being grateful for the things you have and happy about that rather than getting grumpy and hung up about the things which have gone wrong.

All in all it was as usual a great Motel Association conference. I came away feeling much brighter and reinvigorated. Ready to take a good look at the positive things in my life and make plans for a year of achieving the goals I set for myself. Well done MANZ.

June 17 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

Another way to use social media for your business.

One of the newer additions to social media is Foursquare. This basic concept is that people check in when they are visiting places such as cafes shops etc and the person who visits the one place the most becomes the mayor of that place. To learn more look at this website http://foursquare.com/businesses/ 

checkinhere-cling

Some businesses are using this concept to their advantage by creating added value for people who use the foursquare concept. This builds your current customers in to more loyal customers and can also attract new customers.

One icecream shop gave the mayor for each day a free icecream and increased their business substantially. If there is a choice between shops and you may get something extra from one place then it is most likely you will choose that place.

Another example is a hotel who offer a bar discount to their patrons who check in on four square http://www.hotelworldnetwork.com/customer-loyalty-programs/aloft-introduces-social-networking-rewards-9746 

All these things create loyalty with customers and increase your exposure on the web. What can you do with this type of advertising media to improve your business?

December 13 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Occupancy rates and turnover?

What are occupancy rates?  They are the number of rooms sold in a given period out of the possible number of rooms which could be sold expressed as a percentage. For example if a motel has 16 units they could sell over a period of 31 days in a month they have a possible 496 rooms to sell. If over the month they sell a total of 258 rooms then the occupancy rate is 258/496 which is 52%

So what does this mean?  Well in isolation it doesn’t really mean anything but needs to be viewed in conjunction with the tariff and turnover achieved. One of the main purposes of running a motel is to make a profit which is determined by the turnover and expenses. The occupancy rate relative to the turnover will affect the expenses and subsequently the profit.

For example if you have a 10 unit motel with a 100% occupancy rate @ $80 per night you will achieve a turnover of $800. If you had the same motel with occupancy of 60% but the rate was $133 per night you would achieve the same turnover. It is logical though that the expenses such as cleaning, wages, electricity, consumables etc will be less for 6 rooms than it would be for 10 rooms.  Therefore the profit will be higher for the lower occupancy rate. Thus if we just looked at occupancy we may think 100% is better than 60% but when we look at the complete picture we find this is not correct.

Therefore when you are looking at motels and occupancy it must be analyzed relative to turnover.

November 03 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

More “must have” advertising? NZ Post takes on Yellow Pages.

More business advertsing competition on the web. NZ post is taking on Yellow Pages. Could this develop in to a Jasons vs AA scenario and add even further cost to motels who feel they must be in both places. http://bit.ly/bLkwzR

October 20 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

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