What does the word hospitality mean to you?

The market has been saturated over the past couple of years with more and more people getting into our short-term rental business.

The fact is that there’s now more competition than ever. So how are you going to stand out?

We talk about:

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EP#27 Starting the new year with five-star hospitality

Hey, happy New Year. Thank you for joining me for this first episode of the Direct Booking Success Podcast in 2023. I'm your host, Jen Boyles, and I'm so happy that you are here with me today. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and a great New Year's celebration to ring in the New Year.

Although, if you're anything like me, I never make it to midnight these days. I find it hard to stay up past ten now must be my age. And the thought of going out to a party, no way. Why can't we meet for a lovely brunch? You'd think I'm 80, the way I see it. Speak, but I blame the pandemic and having a young child; I’m just too used to staying home and watching Netflix.

Anyway, I hope you got up to something special and had a lovely time with fabulous gifts and yummy food. I am going to take this opportunity to ask you for a gift, and I know this is a cheeky question, but it would make me so happy. I love making this podcast, and I've received such lovely comments from people who listen regularly.

I've had calls, emails, and messages from people who said how much they value the podcast. So would you give me the best Christmas or New Year's gift? Please leave me a review wherever you're listening to this podcast; leaving a review on the Apple podcast app is best, but if you're listening on another podcast app that supports studies, that would be fantastic.

I've spent much time thinking about what I should be speaking about on this special first-of-the-year episode, and I've decided to bring it back to basics. And why you and I are here is that I hear so many people getting into short-term rentals to get rich quickly. Or property management companies who start their business on the back of Airbnb to make money.

The properties are a commodity to them. They manage the properties for owners and are so intent on keeping them happy that they forget what industry they are in,

and that's a hospital. I'd love to know what image or feeling the word hospitality conjures up in your mind. When my guest needs were met and exceeded as the market has been saturated for the past couple of years by those trying to get rich quickly or just those who want to start a short-term rental business.

The fact is that there's now more competition than. . So how are you going to stand out? How are you going to get guests to return year after year? One word, hospitality. Those who don't invest time and energy into hospitality in 2023 won't succeed. Think about the hospitality you receive at a five-star hotel.

Now, I grew up staying in hotels because of my father's career; he was a hotel general manager. He was also the president of one of the industry's professional associations in Canada for a time. So I was spoiled about where we stayed during our holidays. But also tagged along to a few of the industry conferences.

So I was spoiled. . One time, we were staying in an amazing hotel in downtown Vancouver. We had the top suite. My parents went to the gala, and I had friends around to enjoy room service and hang out. It was the same suite that presidents and royalty had stayed in. I got a real kick out of thinking of who else had stayed there and who'd maybe slept in that bed or been in that shower before me.

Now we can't compete with having a place that royalty have stayed in, but we can take inspiration from the hospitality a hotel like that provides. Someone takes your bags from the car when you arrive, and you don't see them again until you're in your room. The person at the front desk welcomes you by name.

They know who you are. The front desk agent gives you a rundown on where you can find things in the hotel. What services are you interested in? You're asked if they can make reservations for dinner or shows for you, and then you are shown to your room where a handwritten, personalised welcome note is waiting for you with probably a gift basket full of fresh fruit and other goodies.

It is a personal experience. . I remember a posh hotel in London when I was a teenager travelling with my brother and my mom. Fabulous magazines were included in our welcome basket, and I thought that was the best. Hospitality doesn't mean you have to go into debt by leaving over-the-top welcome baskets.

I suggest against welcome baskets in general for most places. If you can do them cost-efficiently, then, by all means, add them in. But it is more the personal touches that mean more to me. The hospitality you provide for guests could be in the small details, like leaving three rolls of toilet paper instead of one, so guests don't have to rush out to the shop so quickly, leaving out some extra towels.

You are not charging extra for the use of baby cots or if dogs come to stay. These are all small things. Other ways that you could show hospitality without having an effect financially. You know, sending an email before the guests arrive with details of your favourite places to go and encouraging them to make reservations.

What about meeting them face-to-face at the property to welcome and give them the and creating that relationship with them? Remember, we are in the hospitality industry. We own and run holiday, lets vacation rentals, and short-term rentals, but we belong to the hospitality industry. What can I do this year to provide more hospitality to my guests?

Because the whole objective here is for your guests to have a fabulous day, leave a wonderful review, come back to stay again and again, and then tell their family and friends to come. And if you were able to do this, if you were able to crack this return guest, then you will indeed be successful.

In next week's episode, we are continuing along the theme of hospitality, and I will be bringing you a conversation that I had with some of our industry's most amazing experts. They will be offering their views and advice on how to be hospitable. I’ll speak with three people: Bob Garner, Tyann Marcin-Hammond, and Di Hammel.

Some of those names might be familiar from the Direct Booking Success Summit, but others might not. So come and join me for that great conversation next week. And would you like to be featured in an upcoming episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast? I am looking for those who have done one thing in their marketing or business that has made a difference in their direct bookings to come on this podcast and tell everyone about it. If this is you, head to the website direct booking success.com/onething

o n e. One thing to let me know what that one thing is that you've done and who knows. You might soon be listening to yourself on the Direct Booking Success Podcast.

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