Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel booking systems

Online travel agencies (OTAs) provide a valuable source of new bookings for hotels.

But that comes at a cost; for some, a cost that’s rather hard to swallow.

Your OTA relationships are some of the most important you’ll have as an independent hotelier. Thankfully, most come with a representative with whom you can have regular catch-ups to ensure you’re getting the most from your listing.

When your next OTA rep meeting is due, here are a few tips on what to ask.

How will my hotel’s information be displayed?

hotel industry tips: what to ask your OTA rep | hotel upselling

Most OTAs let you add images and descriptions, but, sometimes, the latter isn’t down to you.

Some OTAs will take a tourism business description and use that, instead. Try and find out how much control you have over editing the description - after all, it’s the first introduction to your hotel for many guests.

What types of rate are allowed?

manage hotel rates on OTAs | hotel software uk

OTAs have different rules about rates and what is and isn’t allowed. Find out from your rep exactly which types of rate you can synchronise between your property management system and their platform.

Quiz them on the following:

  • best available rates;
  • package rates;
  • late cancellation rates;
  • advanced purchase; and
  • add on services such as dinner and other experiences.

Are there any paid marketing opportunities?

Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel management systems uk

If the OTA rep is doing their job effectively, you should already have heard about this, but in case not, ask if there are any options for paid marketing.

Some OTAs will give hotels the ability to better position themselves within search results by paying additional fees. It’s a bit like Google Ads, only for OTA listings.

What markets will my hotel be exposed to?

what markets are hotels exposed to | hotel booking systems

Most OTAs are focused on specific markets; they’ll have ideal audiences and guest types to whom they target the lion’s share of their advertising.

Try and find out which markets your OTAs are strongest in and whether or not your hotel is missing out on opportunities in markets in which you’re not yet listed.

Are there referral opportunities?

Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel upselling

Although a relatively new concept on some OTAs, referrals are fast becoming a great way for hotels to build relationships with local businesses.

Your OTA might offer the ability for your hotel to recommend local attractions, places to eat or events to attend during the booking process. Ask if this is an option and, if so, how you can take advantage of it.

What reporting tools are available?

reporting tools with OTAs for hotels | hotel upselling

Although you’ll hopefully be benefiting from lots of great reporting in your channel manager, the OTA itself should offer some key insight from behind the scenes.

Ask the rep what kind of reporting tools the OTA offers via the platform. It might include competitor reporting, revenue stats, rate type performance and more - but you won’t know unless you ask.

Is there a loyalty programme for customers?

loyalty programme for hotel customers on OTAs | hotel software uk

Even if you run your own loyalty scheme, many OTAs will have their own membership options for guests.

These will provide offers, exclusive deals and other loyalty tricks which may encourage a few more regular bookers for your hotel.

Wrapping up

It’s time to take responsibility for your OTA listings. Our guiding questions above will help you get the most from the OTAs you work with, but don’t be afraid to dig deeper.

If you’ve got a burning question on your mind about an OTA relationship - ask it. Remember, the OTA reps are there to help you, and it’s another example of where your commission payments go.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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funniest things left in hotel rooms - hotel software uk

As the old saying goes, what happens in hotel rooms stays in hotel rooms…

With that in mind, here are a few of the weird and whacky things guests have forgotten to take with them when checking out, as well as some tips on how independent hotels might cope when faced with a similar situation.

1. Enough potatoes to fill the bathtub

The top 5 funniest things left in hotel rooms - hotel booking systems

Last year, one guest at a Travelodge reportedly left a vast number of Jersey Royals... in the bath.

This is just one of the many odd objects guests have forgotten to take with them from this particular chain of bargain hotels, but surely one of the hardest to explain; who takes potatoes to a hotel?

If you end up with several hundred kilos of potatoes courtesy of an eccentric, carb-obsessed guest, at least you won’t run out of chips for the restaurant that evening…

2. A love letter to salad

love letter to salad | hotel upselling

Finding little notes or memos in a hotel room is perfectly normal and it’s been known for guests to accidentally leave their personal diaries behind.

What’s perhaps less normal is the notebook one hotel employee discovered, which was filled not with dates and reminders, but with an 80-page monologue on why salad is so delicious.

If you find a similarly bizarre food-based pamphlet (although, this is surely a one-off), we’d advise getting on the phone to a publisher ASAP, because you might just have a best-selling diet book on your hands.

3. Upside down furniture

upside down furniture left in hotel room | hotel management software uk

This one’s funny in theory, but dealing with the reality might be a bit too much to take for many hoteliers.

A worker at a high-end hotel reported that one guest had stuck pieces of furniture to the ceiling of their room, creating a complete inversion of how it would normally look.

An elaborate stag prank or an attempt at modern art? We’ll let you decide.

Ideally, in this situation, you’d take a deep breath to calm yourself, pull up the guest's booking information on your property management system and give them a call - after taking plenty of photos for social media, obviously.

4. A small horse

a horse left in a hotel room | hotel management systems london

Some hotels are happy to allow guests to bring pets with them, but this can have a few unforeseen consequences.

In 2015 a hotel in Scotland was visited by a Shetland pony, known as ‘Pudding’. Cute, yes, but a little unwieldy as a hotel guest.

Perhaps the best way to prepare for an animal event of this nature is to stock up on bales of hay, or when a guest arrives with any pet larger than a dog, just say “nay”. Sorry.

5. A fabric man (no, really)

funniest things left in hotel room | hotel software uk

Hotel guests often create a lot of obstacles for cleaning staff when they make a mess, but what if a customer took the time to construct a man-shaped avatar out of throw pillows, sheets, glasses and the TV remote control?

That’s exactly what happened at one hotel in Azerbaijan as a social-media-savvy holidaymaker attempted to go viral with a new craze dubbed the ‘room service challenge’.

If this occurs at your hotel, you could politely ask the guest to stop, or better still, engage in some friendly competition by trying to one-up them each day with your own creations.

Wrapping up

In reality, you’ll probably never want to discover an abandoned horse in one of your hotel rooms, or the furniture stuck to the ceiling. But, clearly, it happens.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found left in your hotel? Let us know in the comments section, below!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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New year, new Welcome Anywhere update! | hotel booking systems

While everyone else has been starting the new year with gym memberships and dryathlons, the Welcome Anywhere team has been working hard on some exciting new updates to our property management system.

If you’re an existing Welcome Anywhere user, these new features and improvements will make your day run just that little bit smoother and help you deliver the best guest experience.

In-app discount codes

It has long been possible with Welcome Anywhere to offer online bookers discount codes, but you can now do the same with bookings you take over the phone or at the reception desk.

This means you can apply the same discount codes you use for online booking during the booking enquiry process. The same goes for existing bookings; you can simply choose an existing discount code and make changes if required.

This is a great way to provide memorable offers to guests, no matter how they want to book.

Customer alphabet navigation

You can now navigate your customer list in super-fast fashion via the handy new alphabet list at the top of the screen (previously, you had to type in the first letter of the alphabet in the search bar - we thought that was a bit long-winded).

Sometimes, it’s the small things that make a big difference, isn’t it?

Column ordering on tables

welcome anywhere housekeeping update | hotel software uk

Welcome Anywhere will now let you order your favourite lists and reports by column. Simply click the column heading to cycle between ascending and descending order.

This makes sorting your reports and lists fast and convenient and adds yet another level of customisability to an already feature-packed reporting system in Welcome Anywhere.

Feature-specific feedback

feature specific feedback Welcome Anywhere | hotel management software uk

We’d love to hear what you think about each feature in Welcome Anywhere. Now, users can give us the thumbs-up or thumbs-down on specific features - just look for the green and red thumb icons in the left-hand main menu!

We’re not stopping there, either. Welcome Anywhere users will soon have access to ‘feature voting’, enabling them to vote for their favourites from a list of planned updates.

This will also allow people to submit their own feature requests and is part of our ongoing commitment to continually improving the Welcome Anywhere PMS.

We haven’t finished there!

There’s lots more exciting features and updates in the works for Welcome Anywhere.

In the coming weeks and months, you can expect the following:

  • some key changes and improvements for the mobile online booking engine;
  • auto-deposit payments;
  • improvements to in-app payments;
  • upgrades to the Booking Chart;
  • an advanced Dashboard;
  • yield management;
  • upgrades to reporting; and
  • lots more!

Stay tuned and keep an eye on your email inbox if you're an existing user - we’ll keep you posted as soon as the new functionality goes live.

If you’re yet to experience the benefits Welcome Anywhere offers modern independent hoteliers, grab a glimpse of it in action via your own, personal demo. Book yours today and a member of the team will be in touch very soon.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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5 revenue management strategies for hotels in 2020 | hotel booking systems

Large chain hotels usually have the benefit of revenue management departments, deep marketing pockets and large inventory. But what about independents? What about the operator who is not only the owner but also the GM and single person tasked with devising rate strategies? It’s not easy, but thanks to the latest PMS technology and techniques that have been proven at chain level and which can now be adopted by smaller hotels, revenue management is far easier. With 2020 now in full swing, we’ve got five hotel revenue management tips that will help you make a huge success of this year.

1. Implement the right PMS

hotel revenue management strategies | hotel software uk

Modern revenue management strategies need data to be effective. And there’s one platform on which you can capture the most important data - your property management system (PMS).

A modern PMS will enable you to capture detailed guest information, historic stay details, and the performance of your rates.

Your PMS isn’t just an elaborate booking diary - it should sit at the heart of your hotel revenue management strategy.

2. Look for cloud-based solutions

revenue management strategies for hotels | hotel management software uk

Whether you implement an all-singing, all-dancing PMS or decide to go piecemeal with your hotel tech, make sure you invest in platforms that are cloud-based.

There’s simply no reason not to opt for a cloud solution these days. Granted, super-fast internet in the UK still has room for improvement in certain rural areas, but that’s becoming less of an issue.

Modern cloud software is light on its feet, affordable and continually updated by suppliers. If you want your revenue management strategy to be similarly dynamic, cloud software will make it a reality.

3. Rely on integrations

integrated hotel technology | hotel upselling

Whether it’s your PMS talking to your online booking engine, or two-way connections with OTAs for channel management, integrations are vital for effective revenue management.

If you have to update room pricing in multiple systems, you’ll inevitably forget. Equally, if you’ve created a strategic offer to boost midweek reservations but get it wrong on one of your channels, you could fall foul of rate parity rules - and confuse guests.

Make sure all of your hotel technology is integrated. And, if integrations aren’t available, check with the supplier - they may have them in the works or be willing to talk to third-parties to get something up and running.

4. Don’t be afraid to flex

flexible hotel rates | hotel booking systems

The best revenue managers know that price flexing is vital if a hotel is to keep pace with the competition and market demand.

This relies on a PMS or revenue management system that enables price flexing, but if you already have that in place, don’t be afraid to make copious use of it.

If demand drops, flex your prices. If a last-minute event takes place in your area, flex your prices. If your competition does something unexpected, flex your prices. If you spot an opportunity the chain hotel down the road appears to have missed, flex your prices.

5. Analyse your reports

hotel management tools | hotel upselling

There’s nothing worse than flying blind when it comes to revenue management, and if you fail to analyse reports, you’ll be doing just that.

Your PMS, channel manager, and revenue management tool should include reports that enable you to evaluate the effectiveness of your rate strategies.

Make sure you review that data regularly. What does it tell you? Can you spot trends, peaks, troughs, and missed opportunities?

The more you analyse rate performance, the more you’ll know whether or not your revenue management strategies are working.

Wrapping up

Ready to make 2020 go with a bang? Our hotel revenue management tips above only scratch the surface of revenue management for independent hotels, but they’ll get you in the perfect mindset for success.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement

In the digital age, it may feel as though all your branding and guest engagement efforts should be focused on your hotel’s online presence.

However, winning over customers via the web is just the first step to building a loyal, long-lasting relationship with them.

The tougher challenge lies ahead because grabbing guest attention and keeping them satisfied while they’re staying at your independent hotel is tricky - especially in this time of ever-rising expectations.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to inspire your hotel staff and make sure they represent your brand effectively and engage with guests positively.

Adopt a consistent approach

How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement | hotel software UK

The best way to solidify your hotel’s brand image and make it memorable for guests is to ensure that all staff are on the same page when it comes to customer service.

Consistency is the key to success, so provide equal training opportunities in guest engagement for front of house employees and those working behind-the-scenes.

From housekeeping to the accounts team, every member of staff should provide an equivalent level of approachability and support when interacting with customers.

Be empathetic

raising guest engagement at your hotel | hotel management software UK

To further develop a unified, company-wide strategy for guest engagement, ask your staff to examine every obstacle from the customer’s perspective (both online and within the premises).

Having empathy for guests will make it easier to find ways to overcome whatever problems they encounter during the booking process or questions they might have during their stay.

Obviously, it’s important to keep the hotel’s best interests in mind, but encouraging flexible thinking and a desire to ‘put yourself in the guest’s shoes’ will empower staff and boost their engagement skills.

Personalise communication

personalise communication with your guests | hotel software uk

From the moment they book a room to the instant they check out after their stay, it pays to communicate with guests in a way that feels unique and tailored to them as individuals.

It’s straightforward enough to ensure that the personal touch is applied automatically to emails and other digital correspondence, but what about once customers arrive on site?

Providing front desk staff with information that can help them greet guests and deal with their needs effectively is vital.

A bespoke approach, which takes into account any specific requests (rather than forcing them to repeat details they already provided when booking) will go a long way to earning their respect and can be achieved by integrating your PMS with a customer relationship management system.

Consider clothing

How your hotel staff can raise guest engagement | hotel booking systems

It may feel a little draconian, but creating a dress code for staff will make a world of difference when it comes to building a brand that’s consistent, approachable and professional.

It doesn’t need to be especially rigid, but if you can provide uniforms or create fixed guidelines for what’s acceptable, you’ll present your business in a much more cohesive way.

Affordability and practicality are of course important when it comes to clothing, so don’t go overboard with designs or rush to implement a uniform that won’t let hotel employees do their jobs effectively. Ask for their input before ordering, and you’ll reduce the chances of a mass revolt!

Wrapping up

If raising guest engagement at your independent hotel is something you’re keen to achieve, there isn’t a tried-and-tested path to take. A mixture of the ideas above or those ‘borrowed’ from hotels at which you’ve stayed will most likely be needed.

Whatever approach you choose to raise staff guest engagement, you’ll almost certainly need to tweak your tactics over time in order to see what works and what doesn’t before you settle on the perfect approach.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to boost occupancy in slump season | hotel software uk

The festive season is over, and for hotel operators that results in two certainties:

  1. An exhausted hotel team that desperately needs some time off.
  2. Immediate worries about how to boost occupancy during the inevitable post-Christmas slump.

We’ll let you deal with number one, but how can you boost occupancy in what is, traditionally, a quiet time of the year for hoteliers?

The good news? We live in a digital economy that is full of new ways to reach potential guests. You just need to get creative, and, sometimes, turn to the simplest solutions.

Here are a few simple ways you can boost occupancy during the remaining part of the winter and get 2020 off to a cracking start.

Run a competition for a midweek break

Hey, but that’s giving away occupancy, isn’t it?

Yes, it is, but by running a competition for a midweek break, you’ll boost your influence on social media and grab a booking that will probably spend a bit in your bar and restaurant, too.

What’s more, you might encourage others to book regardless, thus increasing midweek occupancy; a tough task at the best of times.

Look for contractors in the area

If there are new residential or commercial building operations kicking off this January near your hotel, try and find out who’s behind them.

This will enable you to get in touch and find out if the workers have any ongoing accommodation requirements. Building firms often bring in contractors from further afield for large jobs, and if you’re lucky, you may just chance upon a few medium to long-term bookers.

Tempt some longer stays

If you already have a few weekend bookings in place, why not reach out to those guests and see if you can tempt them into staying longer?

By adding a discounted night onto the end of their booking, you’ll both increase occupancy for another day and the chances of them telling the world how wonderful you are as a hotelier.

Schedule some one-day events

Poetry reading, cookery masterclasses, networking events and conferences are just some examples of one-day events that may, in turn, boost your occupancy this winter.

If you’ve got the room to host such events, why not make 2020 the year when you stage as many as possible?

Start tapping into your mailing list

If you’ve been collecting guest email addresses (in a GDPR-compliant fashion, of course), now is the time to start tapping into that goldmine of data.

People who stayed with you over a year ago or those who have demonstrated their loyalty with regular stays should be prime targets for your promotional work this year.

Get in touch and remind them that you exist. Offer discounted stays if you feel it appropriate to do so or simply provide a tantalising glimpse of the work you’ve carried out on your restaurant since they last stayed.

Wrapping up

This time of the year isn’t to be feared as a hotelier - it’s to be relished and taken advantage of.

Use our tips above, and you’ll soon discover that the start of a new year can be just as profitable for your hotel as the festive period.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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Facebook Ads strategies for hotels in 2020 | hotel software uk

Facebook is a pay-to-play platform these days. Organic posting has a place, but it’s nowhere near as effective as the Facebook Ads feature - when used correctly.

This should come as no surprise - Facebook is a business, after all - but if you’ve never used Facebook Ads before, you might feel understandably trepidatious about getting involved.

It’s worth it, though. And, if you’re an independent hotelier, it could be a great source of extra bookings in 2020.

Here are some simple tips for making the most of Facebook Ads in 2020.

Set your objective

Facebook Ads for hotel bookings | hotel booking systems

Before you go anywhere near the Facebook Ads platform, you need to set an objective or two. What do you want to get out of it?

For some hotels, it will literally be the case of gaining more direct bookings. For others, they may want to gain extra likes from people who may one day become customers, or simply get word out about their new restaurant menu.

Think of an objective that you can measure and which, ultimately, should prove profitable for the hotel.

Figure out your audience

Hotel industry tips | management systems for hotels london

One of the best things about Facebook Ads is the ability it provides to curate tightly defined audiences.

You can build an Ads audience based on age, location, interests and much more. The key lies in creating an audience that isn’t too broad, but which precisely matches the type of people you want to attract to your hotel.

The best way to do this is to create what’s known as an ‘audience persona’. This is a fictitious character who represents your ideal customer. Think about the generation in which they reside, their likes and where they’re most likely to live.

Remember - you can have more than one audience, too. In fact, if you attract both millennials and baby boomers, for instance, you’ll need separate ads for them anyway, so make sure you create personas for both.

Think about when you’ll run the ad

Running an ad for your hotel on Facebook | hotel management software uk

Scheduling is vitally important in the world of Facebook Ads. Place an ad at the wrong time of the year, and it’ll gain little engagement.

Much of this will come down to what the ad is for. If it’s for a seasonal stay package, you’ll want to start advertising it a few weeks (if not months) out. If it’s a simple ‘like’ campaign, you need to think about when your audience will most likely engage with it.

Think about the length of time you want the ad to run, too. If you’re just dipping your toes into the Facebook Ads waters for the first time, a two-week trial period might be all that’s required. For longer campaigns, carefully consider the shelf life of your ad and set the duration to that.

The ad itself

Taking care of your Facebook ad | hotel upselling

The good news? Anyone can make a Facebook Ad look great - you don’t need to be a designer.

They provide brilliant, easy-to-use tools for creating ads, even if you simply have a bunch of images you want to display. Their slideshow feature also provides lots of great looking templates you can use to turn those images into something that moves and engages.

If you’re just getting started, we recommend playing around with the platform first to get a feel for how the ad creation process works. It’s pretty addictive once you get going, but always keep in mind your audience and the kind of visuals and messaging they’re most likely to engage with.

Wrapping up

Facebook Ads is a big topic which we’ll cover in more depth during 2020, but the above is a great starting point if this is new ground for you. Stay tuned!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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Twitter best practices for independent hotels | hotel software uk

It's thought that social networking behemoth, Twitter, has 145 million monetiseable users on its service - daily.

For a service that opened with the rather innocuous tweet 'just setting up my twttr' in 2006, the 280 character-driven social media site is now a driving force both socially and in business. If you run a hotel, it can be an incredibly powerful tool.

Today, we've got three best practices for the social media savvy hotelier who wants to get the most from Twitter.

Don't ignore the bio

Improving hotel standing on Twitter | hotel management software uk

Twitter has made it so easy to set up an account and start posting, that you may forget to perform one of the most important tasks - configuring your bio page. While your Twitter presence will almost solely be digested by people browsing their timelines, whenever someone decides whether or not to follow you, it is likely they will have a look at your bio.

In fact, in most Twitter clients, they have to. If it's blank and uninspiring (or, worse, there's a little egg to indicate you haven't updated your profile picture), they may well not bother.

Add an attractive image of your hotel, your location, website and a small tagline or description of what you're all about. Don't forget to add a header photo, too - you can be a little more creative with here, as Twitter affords you more space.

Forget the numbers

Twitter best practices for independent hotels | hotel booking systems

Social media is all-too-often about numbers. Much like a LinkedIn profile's connections tally isn't indicative of business acumen, neither is your number of followers on Twitter.

There are all sorts of 'back door' methods with which you can gain a large number of followers, but avoid them at all costs. You can't buy love and you certainly can't by a social media following.

Building a genuine list of followers isn't easy and it takes time. You need to cultivate a community in order for it to be effective.

Use Twitter's brilliant built-in search tool to find hospitality leaders and industry partners - follow them and interact with them where possible. Retweet the tweets you like and engage in discussions by using hashtags to offer your thoughts on a particular topic. If you've got positive relations with a neighbouring hotel, follow them, too.

Listen first

Twitter is just as much a listening channel as it is a broadcasting channel. Nowhere is this more important than the hotel industry.

People tweet in real-time and offer immediate thoughts on their current activities. That activity might be a stay in your hotel and they'll probably mention you by name when they say what's on their mind.

They may do this by using your @ Twitter username, in which case you'll be alerted in most Twitter clients, but if they don't, keeping an eye on mentions of your hotel on Twitter is relatively straightforward - you can simply use the powerful search tool or invest in social media reputation software or professional services.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to hire the best hotel employees | hotel software uk

Recruitment in the hospitality industry isn’t any harder or easier than any other sector. Finding the right people is tough, yes, but not impossible.

However, if you put that effort in, you’ll build a team that becomes an extension of your sales and marketing effort, and is capable of delivering the best possible guest experience.

Here are some practical, tried-and-tested ways to hire the best hotel employees and build a brilliant team.

Look in the right places

hiring hotel employees the right way | hotel upselling

We operate in a very different labour market these days in the UK. As important as recruitment professionals still are, they’re now competing against a more organic approach.

For instance, social media could be a key hunting ground for the right staff. If you can set up searches for keywords and phrases that are likely to be spoken by those looking for jobs or who are performing particularly well in their current roles, you can get a great measure of people before they even walk into the interview room.

Speak to a recruiter, absolutely, but keep your ear to the ground at local networking events and online, too.

Provide the best tools

the right hotel software streamlines everything | hotel booking systems

Finding the right people to work in your hotel is just the start - you need to retain them if you’re to build a consistently high-performing team.

One brilliant way to do this is to ensure you implement the right tools. A great hotel PMS, time-saving channel manager and the best POS system you can afford will ensure they have the right tools to do their job, and they won’t spend their days bemoaning the dreadful systems they’re forced to work with.

Make the onboarding process as enjoyable as it should be

onboarding process for hotels | hotel management software uk

Being inducted into a hotel team shouldn’t feel like a chore for anyone. It should be an exciting time that’s full of new discoveries, opportunities and rapport building.

Although you’ll inevitably need to cover the more mundane, process-based stuff, don’t make inductions too dull or formal. Have fun with them and demonstrate you’re a great team to work with; that will ensure the best people stay with you for the long term.

Provide opportunities from the start to move sideways

hiring the best hotel employees | hotel booking systems

People don’t always want to ‘move upwards’ in their jobs. Sometimes, they’ll want to find new opportunities to take on completely different roles. Often, they want to move sideways.

During the hiring process, make it clear that the route you want employees to take is entirely up to them (within reason). You want them to forge their own path and find the roles that best suit their evolving career aspirations. Therefore, if a new job arises internally and it isn’t related at all to what they do, yet they fancy giving it a go, they need to feel empowered to apply.

Final thought

Recruitment doesn’t stop the moment you’ve hired someone - it’s a process you need to analyse and continually improve on. In the fast-moving, high turnover world of hospitality staff, you’ll never stop recruiting, so make sure you analyse your recruitment results and make changes where required.

Have fun finding that amazing team - it’s out there (if you haven’t got it already, of course)!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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power of video hotel marketing | hotel software uk

Humans are visual creatures, so it makes sense that video is set to dominate internet traffic for the foreseeable future.

Hotels can leverage video to boost engagement with their guests, increase booking rates and secure repeat visits over time.

But where does the real power of video lie and what are the best ways for hotels to harness it effectively today?

Facts & figures

even a short video could do wonders for hotel marketing | hotel upselling

There has been a whole heap of work done to investigate just how impactful video can be as a marketing medium in the age of superfast connectivity and online streaming.

Some of the claims made might sound a little outlandish, but it’s impossible to ignore the weight of evidence that supports them.

For instance, Forrester Research made waves as far back as 2014 with its assertion that 60 seconds of video is just as influential as 1.8 million words of marketing copy. Which would you rather work on as someone tasked with marketing a hotel?

YouTube alone has over 1.5 billion users globally and plays host to an army of content creators, brands and businesses, all of whom are intent on tapping into the vast, ready-made audience the platform offers.

Facebook is also a key player in the video marketing field, with more than 500 million people viewing videos daily through its social platform.

In short, the idea that people engage with video more intensely than any other medium is well established - not just over-enthusiastic hyperbole.

From the perspective of an independent hotelier, the accessibility of video marketing makes it all the more powerful.

Video marketing options for hotels

video tip for hotels | hotel booking systems

If you want to sell more rooms and get people interested in visiting your hotel, video will open your doors to a wide, modern audience.

There are lots of ways to harness it effectively, starting with the obvious choice of creating a promotional ad for your hotel. This is easier than you might think, although it’s worth treading cautiously if you fancy the DIY approach.

You could tackle this task head-on yourself, but it’s probably worth investing in professional assistance if you want to avoid ending up with a video that looks amateurish or which ends up taking far more time than you can afford.

Once your ad is finished, you can embed it on your website, share it via social media and start racking up the views on popular streaming platforms like YouTube.

Another approach is to use video as a method to showcase customer testimonials in a way that feels more genuine than relying on a simple written statement on your blog or the emergence of positive TripAdvisor reviews.

Ask regular guests if they’d be happy to appear on camera to say a few words about what makes your hotel special and why they keep coming back for more.

You can push these engaging testimonials out across your social channels and your website. Some platforms - like Instagram and Snapchat - are perfectly designed for bite-sized video content of this kind, so don’t forget to experiment with them to get the best results.

There are even platforms built to facilitate customer-focused video marketing in a way that puts businesses in the driving seat, with StoryTap being a great example of a service that makes it easier and more convenient to control the narrative directly.

Wrapping up

Video creation tools are more affordable and accessible than ever before, so there’s no excuse for independent hotels to overlook this vitally important platform when it comes to optimising their digital marketing efforts.

If you’re a hotelier and you’ve experimented with video, tell us about your experiences in the comments section, below!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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