Lots of value bombs in this episode! 💣
I’m super pumped in this episode because we discuss my absolute favorite topic. You guessed it…BOOKING DIRECT! 🙌
The importance of booking direct is always going to be a favorite topic of mine because it is a fundamental piece to the bottom line and the holy grail of improving the guest experience. By bypassing intermediaries and connecting directly with hosts, guests can enjoy a more personalized experience, better pricing, enhanced communication, and a stronger sense of trust and reliability. 👥
On the podcast today, we’re joining forces with one of my favorite book direct ambassadors, Jenn Boyles. The wonderful Jenn and I unpack the full book direct strategy toolbox. We talk about an action plan you can implement right now to improve your direct bookings, drive up revenue, and keep guests coming back for more. We also discuss the amazing summit she has created for industry professionals to speak, share, and learn about how to gain and keep more direct bookings for their short-term rentals, boutiques, hotels, B&B, etc.
What we cover in this episode:
How can you align your brand and messaging to improve your direct booking success? 💼
What steps can you take to build your reputation online for better direct bookings? ⭐
What are the key driving factors for increasing direct booking? 🔑
What does a user-friendly website look like? 🖥
How you can masterfully increase your online visibility to enhance your direct booking. 👁️
Why is it important for you to create and follow a plan for direct booking success, and how can you do it effectively? ✅
What stories can you tell to convey your hotel’s unique value proposition? 📚
Jenn Boyles runs the Direct Booking Success Programme helping short-term rental owners and managers increase their direct bookings through marketing. By the end of the programme, they will be increasing their direct bookings by following their own unique marketing action plan with the confidence, knowledge and tools needed to succeed.🤝
This episode was such a joy to record. I adored this chat because Jenn is super-smart, willing to go deep and dropped major value bombs. Have a great listen! 🔥
Okay, everybody, welcome back to another episode of the combination show. It’s so nice to have you on board. This week. I’m joined by the amazing legendary Jenn Boylesl. Welcome to the show.
Jenn: Hey Bart, great to be here.
Bart: I’ve been looking forward to this because I’ve known you for a little while and we have had some conversations. And our conversations were inspiring because we both are huge book direct advocates. And this week we’re gonna be talking about all things direct bookings and how to be even more successful than we already are. And you are one of those people that just shares their passion or the same passion that I do, so I’m so glad to have you on. Thank you so much for joining us.
Jenn: That’s great. We were aligned aren’t we in our book direct movement?
Bart: I think that what really strikes me is that, you know, there’s the whole book direct movement and you know, everyone should book more direct and that sort of thing. But one thing that strikes me about you is that it’s not so much guest booking direct, it’s more about profitability. It’s not about them not booking on an OTA. It’s more about the hosts and how they can improve their business and how they can reach out better to their guests and communicate better and create a better experience. I think we’re quite aligned in that way. Would you agree?
Jenn: Definitely. Definitely. Yeah, I think that, you know, it’s booking direct, can mean so many different things to people. But when you’re driving your own business instead of, you know, waiting for the OTAs just to bring those bookings through towards you. You’re driving your own business, then you can just have so much more success and more communication with the guests. It’s a win-win for both the host and the property owner’s property manager as well. As the guest.
Bart: Yeah. 100%. Beautiful. So for those of you that are listening, today, we’re gonna be talking about direct bookings and how to be successful at it. What I’m going to do is I’m going to start us off just by asking you for your background and how you found yourself in this world of direct bookings, of being interested in helping out accommodation professionals in this space.
Jenn: We had a property an apartment in France, excuse me, an apartment in France, and it was just after Airbnb had come out and we thought, let’s try it. Let’s stick it on Airbnb and see what happens. It was in the skin community. It was a lovely little place. So one morning we got the photos together and we got it all up online. The afternoon I was skiing and my phone was pinging away. And I was like, oh my goodness, this really works. This is exciting. So we had all these bookings come in that day. It was as if I had a magic wand and I just went wow, this is great. So we continued on you know, didn’t even think I didn’t understand booking direct. It wasn’t in my consciousness. It was OTA all the way. And then a couple of properties later, we had a five-bed chalet in Austria. And we went into it thinking, Oh, we know more than these people who had it before? We’ll get it on Airbnb. The bookings are just gonna roll in. It’s going to be a cash cow. This is amazing.
We got there and we didn’t realize that the market was completely different because every single building in this town was a b&b hotel, a villa chalet, you know, it was everybody was renting out we couldn’t stand out on Airbnb. And our bookings, you know, they sort of dried up and it was like what, you know, we thought we knew what we were doing. And it wasn’t working. And it wasn’t until the previous owners had had. They had only done book direct. They had only done it through word of mouth and in their network. Yes. They had never put it this is why we came in thinking we knew everything. I got a phone call one day from a previous guest saying hey, can we come and stay we want to book with you. And I was like, Well, of course. Yes. Come back. We’d love that. And the penny dropped that I could be talking to these return guests to get them back. To book direct. But what could stop me from actually putting together my own website and starting to put together a brand bringing in my marketing background, which you know, was a bit of a, you know, a lightbulb moment for me to bring in these skills that I had. Why don’t I just start going out and getting our own bookings? So that’s what started it. We started getting on bookings. I started contacting previous guests for the previous owners, and we created a brand for the property.
Bart: Yeah, amazing. Amazing and I can’t wait to get into that and talk about brands and kind of how you did it and that journey of how you actually become successful direct bookings. And a couple of things for everybody to know. One thing is that through this, you now have had tremendous success. And you’ve got an awesome event, which is an online event. That’s all about direct bookings. Can you tell us just briefly about what that is? Sure.
Jenn: Is the direct bookings Success Summit, and it’s coming up for its third year it’s happening from October the third to the fifth. And you can find out more at directbookingsuccesssummit.com You can sign up to the waitlist there. But it is three days of educational talks, live events, prizes. And the best thing is that it’s free.
Bart: What’s not to like about it? I look and I mean, you told me about this event. You should there’s been like massive amounts of people that have attended it right that are coming to it.
Jenn: Yeah, yeah, last year, we had about 650 people sign up. And the best thing about it being online virtual is it’s worldwide. So you can stay in your pyjamas there is no travel. There’s no cost. You know, you just find out what your local time is when that summit is going to be on and you tune in. And the presentations are actually pre-recorded, but they drop at a certain time. So you’re watching it all together. And the presenters, the speakers are there as well so you can ask questions and interact. Last year we had a networking a live networking event, which was so amazing. And we have prizes and it’s just yeah, it’s a real party. Even though it’s online. We try to still connect through that screen.
Bart: Yeah, amazing. And I think that’s also a testament to building a brand, you know, getting direct bookings, but also building an audience and understanding your demographic and your avatar. So, so well done on that. And the other thing I really want to come back to is the hospitality side of things.
I think that that that is an absolute key to what it is that we do to be hospitable to understand that it’s a hospitality business that I mean, you know, you said the cash cow, but when you talk about direct bookings, we talked about a whole lot. You have to be hospitable. And you have a background in hospitality as well.
Jenn: Yeah. My father is a retired hotel manager. So I grew up in hotels my whole life. My first jobs were in hotels. My first job was actually as a minibar attendant in one of my dad’s hotels, and I worked with the maids and I remember working in the laundry before my shift and seeing how hard these people worked and thinking, oh my goodness, this industry is just, it’s intensive. And I think if I had started maybe at the front desk, my experience would have been a bit different. But because I started behind the scenes doing going into the rooms, and sometimes it was in the rooms before the maids, and I don’t want to tell you any stories about things I found but it was no, it was not enjoyable, I have to say. So I really got an early appreciation for housekeeping maids, their cleaners and what they put into the business. I then left hospitality and went into design and marketing which was more of what I wanted to do I continued to work in hotels and I even worked in the sales and marketing department for one of the hotels as well. And it was a really great experience. But my career sort of then went off into another tangent. So I feel like I’ve almost come back, you know? 60 Yeah, yeah, it really does feel like I’ve come back into it. Because I feel like hospitality is there from just growing up in that world and being surrounded all our family friends, you know, we’re all in the hospitality. And tourism world.
Bart: And it’s so important that people do understand this because I mean, we both have got all this experience which is so relevant to the work that we do. And you know, I think that from a listener’s perspective, everyone needs to know that you are the real deal. You’re not just you haven’t just fallen in and God I didn’t go on some sort of a wave of direct bookings, which I don’t even think it’s a wave. And I think assignments always been there as you well not. Now, let’s get into our topic. Now. Everybody knows Jen. Let’s start giving some value bombs. What are we doing? So direct booking strategy, like well, let’s let’s get back to basics, right. Like I think that’s important that we really help people understand what the core fundamentals are to be successful. Okay, so can you help me break that down?
Jenn: Sure. Well, I’ve got a framework that I use in my direct booking success programme, so maybe we can use that. But it’s a four-part. process, really. And the first one is about aligning your branding and messaging. And I know that’s something that you’re you know about a lot as well. But it’s about building your brand, not Airbnb ease or another OTAs it’s your brand so that when people stay with you, they remember you, not how they booked you know, when we’re thinking about when people say, Oh, I’ve got an Airbnb or I’ve stayed at an Airbnb. Airbnb is not the name of the place. They stayed in. They worked through that platform, right, which I know we’re all on the same page with that. So we want to build a strong brand.
So they can say, Hey, I’ve stayed at roses cottage, or Jenny’s beach chalet or whatever it is, but that’s where they’ve stayed. And it’s not just a visual, we’re not just talking about a logo. A lot of people think branding is oh, I’ve got a logo. I’ve drawn more on a piece of paper. I’m fine. It’s all your messaging and everything that you put out the images you use, the words you use to describe but also getting into who your ideal guest is finding out and I don’t use the word avatar. I don’t use the word persona because it’s a real person. And I don’t think that it gives the same effect, you know if you’re using the sort of more generic terms, so I want it to be somebody real.
I’ve had clients who’ve said, You know what, going through this exercise of figuring out who my ideal guest is, I realise it’s my sister-in-law. I realise it was John who came to my place, you know, three years ago. That’s the person, so it’s finding that person having a picture of them in your mind that you can talk to, and so we’re aligning everything together so it fits together, as well as your offer. So if you’ve got a place that say it, you know, you’re always talking about sleeps-four for maybe it’s a one bedroom and a sofa bed, and you’re always talking about yet sleeps for it’s brilliant. But you realise that your ideal guest is a couple well stop saying it sleep- four you know, look at who that ideal guest is what do they want? Okay, it’s a couple if you know it’s a woman who’s brought her husband away for a romantic weekend. Well, they want something cosy and romantic. So it’s aligning everything, all of the above together that stage one.
Bart: That is so interesting. And I’m gonna ask you about this because we need consistent messaging and consistent photos we need to make sure that it all is kind of cohesive. If we’re just getting started and we’ve got one property what do we do? I mean, what do you tell people to do in terms of understanding like creating that brand, that sort of makes sense?
Jenn: Well, we go into it, and we look at I’ve actually got a client right now who’s having a hard time coming up with their brand, they have three properties on one site, and all three properties are so different. And we’re getting right into it, you know, you know, it’s like, what is it? What’s your USP? What’s your unique selling point? You know, what is it that people want to come to you for? And for them, we think we’re still working on it because it is a hard one. They’re a jumping-off point for all the places in that area to see. So they’re sort of the gates to that area. So we’re looking at that sort of as a strategy. For one property, you know, it depends on where you are and what you want. You know, there’s not an answer that sort of fits all but looking at, you know, getting yourself the visuals aspect, so a logo and a name, a name that means something, a logo, that means something colours, but also your messaging is how you’re getting that across to the guests that are coming.
Bart: I think that for me he nailed something which is important, which is the unique selling point or proposition. And it’s something that can relate back to an earlier story that you told about you having the place that you on the OTAs and then not taking direct bookings and you realise that you had a problem you need to create the brand. And the issue that you had there is how do you differentiate yourself in an incredibly crowded market, particularly, particularly if everyone’s got either a pool or everyone’s got access to the same facilities? If everyone’s got, all your neighbours have gotten very, very similar. You can’t just go and put in a brand new TV and think that you’re going to get more direct bookings, it’s not the way that it works. Unless you’ve gone all in and you’re like, you know what, we’re gonna build a cinema in here. And we’re gonna film it in a certain way. Oh, now we’re filming. What is he talking about? Oh, we can female properties. Okay, now we have something that is unique. And every business owner is going to have different capabilities, different skill sets their different willingness to invest in this brand and it might be that they’re looking to create a big brand or if not, you can be known for something that is unique, which is either unique in the property, or if you’d like to a property manager or if you’ve got multiple properties. You can not be known for your incredible customer service. You could be known as being the hot sauce guy, my perspective right there and we always leave hot sauces and all the places that we think just different little triggers that are going to create something which is unique.
Jenn: Yeah, it just serve us but also your local knowledge. And that is really how you can stand out and how the larger companies when they focus on local or when smaller companies are local, they can stand out. Sometimes an owner operator somebody who owes one or two properties in the area has an advantage over a larger company in this because if they’re local they know everybody they know where to go so they can give the service to that guests but that’s also how they can stand out. You know, so you have you can have a comparison of a hotel in the same area or a small hotel where the staff is there and yes, they’re knowledgeable, you know, but then you’ve got an owner-operator of a vacation rental or short term rental or a villa. And they are local, and they’re putting everything into that. So they put all their eggs into that basket. And they’re talking about in their emails before the guests even arrive, about things to do their favourite places to go to. It’s all about that guest experience.
Bart: Beautiful Okay, so I think I think we’ve given lots of little things for people to think about in terms of setting up an effective brand. I think a lot of people have already got their brand sorted and that but yeah, I’ve got it. But nevertheless, I do encourage you if you don’t have your unique selling points as a business figured out. If you don’t have them written down, then you need to write them down. And the strategy for this by the way, hopefully, you’re doing this on your course I’m taking away your thunder but what I do with my clients is I say hey, write down as many as you possibly can. And then pick your top five, because you can’t sell all of them. Just pick your top five or your top seven or your top three and just go this is what we’re really good at. We’re really good at cleaning the properties and making sure they’re super clean.
Jenn: So it’s what’s good for the guest correct you know, what is the guest getting? You know, it’s not an amenity, I’ve got a huge TV. Big deal. You know, the next property is got a big TV. What does that giving the guest Okay, the guests can stay in on a rainy night. And have a movie night. You know, we eat popcorn or whatever it is that they can curl up by the fire and it’s what the guest is that’s the USP not necessarily the, the amenity if you will
Bart: The benefits, not the feature. They feel like coming into a spotless place or waking up on brand new. How many threads do they need to be comfortable? All right, cool. Yeah, before we get too excited and get to get into it, that’s what’s next on our plan.
Jenn: Step two is building your reputation online. Okay, and this is all about social media. Okay, so it’s I’ve got a direct booking success. A content plan that I work with, with my clients. And we put together a plan of what to post and where, okay, and the whole idea is I want to get people out of the mindset of social media having to be this daily task. You know, there are plenty of people who are successful without even dealing with social media. But if you want social media as part of your marketing strategy, let’s get it done. Let’s get it scheduled. And let’s forget about it. So it’s not hanging I get so many calls from people are going I don’t know what to post. You know, I’m feeling like I have to be posting every day and I just don’t know what else to say. We’re coming from it so that feeling of desperation is never going to work. You’re never going to come up with your best ideas. sitting down and writing out these posts and thinking about what you want to accomplish and achieve with them, which is getting some bookings in. It’s not growing your followers. It’s not you know, whatever else it could be, but it’s you know, we want some we’re doing all of this, but the end result, which is getting bookings them so thinking about that process and getting them scheduled.
Bart: Yeah, love it. And I want to reverse the title of that which you said reputation. So why are we doing social media we’re doing it for reputation so that people trust that what we’re saying is what they’re gonna get. Or also for referrals, social proof, people ah, they look good, that sort of thing. So when we look at how we communicate externally, and social media is just about communicating more than anything else and reaching out to communities. We want to make sure that when somebody sees our messaging or sees us that’s congruent with what we’re trying to tell them or, or the experience that they’re going to have so they can book with confidence.
Jenn: Yes, that’s exactly it. And it’s following through with all that branding and messaging work we’ve done in the first stage. So it’s then putting that into practice in the social space. You know, making sure that you’re the name of your accounts is the same as your website is the same as your business. You know, using the same profile picture across the platforms. Nobody wants to be surprised or be confused or wonder who this is. We want to keep everything consistent.
Bart: This particular pot is probably one of the weakest parts of most businesses that I consult with, or they’ve ever stayed in that short-term rental. And when I tried to break out of the OTAs to go direct, absolute nightmare. They don’t they have no brand consistency. Can’t find them. If you do find them. It doesn’t make sense. There’s nothing there to give me faith. That when I turn up with my suitcase coming all the way from Australia and I’m in a foreign land, I’m pretty tired, ready to buy a new bed that it’s gonna work out, you know, that it just doesn’t exist for a lot of businesses. And I think the other thing, this reputation it is both sides, right, so you want your positive reputation but all it takes is a few negative reviews going hey, I couldn’t check in or the owner is not great or whatever. Then you just don’t get a book.
Jenn: Yeah, that’s so true. That’s so true. We’re a society that lives on reviews now for better or worse to you know, it’s an Airbnb world, unfortunately, with the reviews. So it’s building that positive reputation because let’s be fake, let’s face it, you know, sometimes things go wrong. And sometimes there’s a review that comes through that maybe isn’t the best. You know, you’ve tried your hardest it’s, you know, it’s one in 100. You know, but we don’t want that to affect our mindset or our business. We want to keep going. So having that structure in what you’re going to be posting and putting out it you’re not on the backfoot you’re being proactive.
Bart: So on that as well, when you’re building this build to where your audience is, so they use Facebook more than build it on Facebook. Yeah. Don’t worry about all the platforms if they’re on Instagram or on Instagram. Yeah.
Jenn: Because you know, by the time you get to this, you know who your ideal guest is. So where are they hanging out? Yeah, you know, if they’re all on Facebook and you’re dancing around on Tik Tok. You know, it’s not going to work is it?
Bart: Exactly. Unless you start dancing around and you figure out there are some people there, right. So yeah. All right. Cool. What’s next? What’s next on our agenda?
Jenn: So the third stage is increasing your online visibility. Okay. And this is sometimes really overlooked. Okay, so we’ve had your branding, and a lot of people come to me and it’s all social media, social media, social media, but it can be such a time waster time suck, really, you know, if you’re dealing with it on a daily basis, so getting into your online visibility. Okay, so we’re talking about SEO. We’re talking about blogging, which I know you’re such a fan of, and we’re talking about email marketing, which I find is so underutilised, and that can really be where you find some gold in your property is in that email list.
Bart: Absolutely. Okay. So SEO content, content rather than blog posts. And then we have email now. In my experience most of the time, we don’t have enough time to focus on these things. And particularly is it’s very, very difficult. So email is measurable, which is great. I could see the impact of email quite often like you know, but long tail you know, if we’re emailing for a year, we might not know exactly which email was that triggered, but over time, people will start to filter through because they begin to open rates and things like that. With SEO, we can measure. Alright, well, we’re ranking higher for this particular keyword, but it could take three months. And then whether it was exactly with the efforts that we put in or Google changed algorithms is a bit harder when we’re not professionals. And spending a lot of time looking at it. In terms of this pot here, if we’re gonna get super practical over it’ll be super honest. All right. What’s the order of doing things in one of the parts where the low-hanging fruit for us?
Jenn: The low-hanging fruit is the email. Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s your it’s your return guests. It’s contacting those who have stayed before. And a lot of people who come to me and when their bookings have sort of dried up and they’re like, I don’t know what to do, and I’m like, Well, do you have an email list? Sort of? Well, when was the last time you emailed them? I think I emailed them at Christmas, you know? It’s like, okay, well, they’ve forgotten about you. That’s where you need to go. I’m racking my brain to think of the conversion rate right now. But it’s something it’s like, is it 1.6 or 3.6? I can’t remember what it is. But it sounds really low, your conversion rate on email. But you a rule of thumb is that if you’re sending out an email you should be getting a booking off the back of it.
If that email list is full of your ideal guest of people who’ve stayed before of new people, whoever it is, you should be getting a booking off of it if you’re doing it properly. And I’m not talking about sending a sales email I’m not talking about sending them you know, all the information about your your offers. You know, it’s about sending them information about the area, you know, sending them snippets of your blog posts of your content on your website. So that you can tell them about the area things to do and what is in it for them. Rather than book I need a booking, please.
Bart: One that I think resonates well is sharing stories. And by sharing stories if we can get stories from our guests, and we get stories from our guests by asking them for those stories by having a picture or having some cues for them to say hey, tag us on Instagram when you post a picture we’ll repost it for you and then you can and then generally when they’re tagging you to know leave some was a little bit of a story you can tell that story. So really nice way to engage with your audience and share other people’s experiences than they are. I like that I like that flavour. I see myself in that oh, I want that experience. I want to I want a little bit of that so that the storytelling is super great.
And that’s kind of one way to do it is to use your guests but you can also share your stories as well. Hey, you’ll never believe what we’ve been up to. We stay at the properties we went to here we went to where we’ve got coffees and this and that. You can divide them up so there’s a bit of a strategy around that but there are lots of things that you can send to people that if we can make a super valuable because we give you you know best fishing spots or Cuyamaca in every year even if they’re interested in fishing, okay, that when we don’t have that we can at least make them feel good. Feel something great out of the emails that we’re sending them.
Jenn: Yeah. I know people who sit on an email list for you know, a year or two. And they’re saying Well, I haven’t emailed them, you know, and I’m like okay, well, let’s email them and say hi. And say thank you for staying, you know, yes, I have an email, just be human about it. Don’t turn into that used car salesman. Be, be human. And just say hi, I really thank you for your booking. Here are some things that are coming up. If you’d love to, we’d love to have you back again. You know, I am not a great believer in giving discounts. The only people that I would get it to give a discount to are those who are returning.
Bart: Say, Okay, encouraging discounts is an awful way to do things.
Jenn: It’s a race to the bottom, isn’t it? You can just discounting and discounting.
Bart: I think if the offer is reasonable though. You know, a couple of nights day additional night free? Yes, of course. Yeah. Free this like different editions and that sort of thing. But I think that the discount itself. We don’t remember the discount once we’ve received it. So we do remember an extra nice day Yeah. What do we do that extra night? All right, cool. And then the last part and the other two parts. If you’re listening and watching and you’re like Ah, why don’t you cover off the other two parts because you can go by it was the last part?
Jenn: The last part is creating and following your plan. That’s it. it’s taking everything that you’ve put together the branding, the messaging, the social media, the SEO, blogging, email marketing, okay, figuring out I am a real believer that your life is important, you know, and you need to figure out the marketing that fits in with your life. There could be months there could be a month coming up that you’ve got a family wedding, a funeral, you know, a big event or something and marketing takes a backseat. Well if you’re being consistent all the rest of those months it’s going to be okay to take your foot off the gas a bit. So it’s creating that plan going forward so that you’ve got all these areas covered. And you might say, Look, I don’t want to deal with social media. Fine, take it out of the plan. But what are you going to put in its place? What are you going to concentrate on? So that is sort of what we’re doing here and tracking your progress, looking at your stats, looking at what’s working well, every quarter sitting down and saying okay, what has worked, what is what in my marketing has brought in the bookings? I’m going to do more of what hasn’t worked. Okay. Can I tweak that and make it work or should I just put it by the side?
Bart: Absolutely love it. I’m not expecting it as well. You did say send me some notes only run but I didn’t read them. So by surprise. I mean, they’re in a good way because it’s one of those ones where I mean, it’s obvious, right? Do what we took what we’re saying right is effective what it is and you know, it takes a while to create habits. So I think it’s like 30 days or 60 days or someone’s come up with some sort of a number. And then once you’ve created the habit, then you can start to follow that habit, which is part of this plan, right? So what am I going to be doing on a regular basis? What is part of the plan? Yeah, so we’re breaking down a plan and you know, make a plan and follow it. When you say make a plan. Like in a practical sense what you know, you said are you we’re gonna do social media posts that we talked about the daily plan, weekly plan. It doesn’t say all of the above. That’s not what’s done. Okay. I want some things that people go alright, I’m making a plan. What do they do? Do
Jenn: Do it on a monthly basis, a monthly plan, okay? And of course, you are going to break it down into weeks and days as you’re looking at that month but look at the month as a whole. Okay, so you can plan out when you’ll send your emails, hopefully once a month, even better twice a month if you can, where you can send those emails where you can create those bigger forms of content, those blog posts that you can cut up and use when are you going to sit down and actually schedule those social posts. And when do you need to sit down and create all those social posts, so figuring it out, but the reason why I’ve called this my whole brand direct booking success is that there are so many ways that success.
So many ways that success means what am I trying to say? Success means different things in different to different people. Okay? It doesn’t all mean that. I want to be on a beach sipping sipping margaritas will I have a, you know, a 1500 property portfolio that other people manage? That could be a success for somebody. It could be a success for somebody with, you know, one or two properties could be that they have a consistent stream of direct bookings coming through and not having to rely on the OTAs as much you know, it depends on your situation and your life. What does that success look like to you?
Bart: The interesting thing with that one, there are a lot of people that I talk to you nowadays, I’m just like, it’s success for me, and what I can say is it’s financial, right? Yes, making people feel good and all the other things are very important. But if you’re not making money from doing this stuff, stop doing it. Stop doing it.
It’s very, very straightforward. You’re in business to make money. Do it if it’s making you money, if it’s not making money, get it out the door, get rid of it and start doing something else. And sometimes it takes time. Yeah, for these things to convert and make money and all that kind of stuff. And I think that you’re right is that success can be quantified in so many different ways. But the linchpin of it all if you’re not making money, or if it’s not going to make you money or you’re not going to save money from the OTAs because you’re better off just going and picking up 20 properties. 20 properties don’t do that. But one thing I have as part of your strategy, but the dollar is what counts. That’s my that’s my version of it. Ya know?
Jenn: The bottom line is we all have to make money it’s called work, right? Yes, it’s not called fun. You know, we can have fun while we work but it is called work. You know, remember the seven tours. They whistled, while they worked, right? They were coal miners, you know, they were mining that goal. Not a fun job, but they made it fun. Okay, you don’t have to if you want direct bookings, you don’t have to love marketing. You know, it’s just something that needs to be done. Need marketing to help drive your direct bookings. So success to you might be, I’ve got a plan. I can follow it. I don’t have to think about it on a daily basis. It gets done. You know, or it saves me time, whatever. Those could be. Great big. successes. But yes, the bottom line is money is coming through.
Bart: Love it. And this is why I see us working together in the future with my clients, helping them with those book direct strategies and figuring some of this out in terms of what their means are was we’re building awesome websites for your clients and all that kind of stuff. So we are a bit of a match made in heaven. We are.
Jenn: Don’t tell your girlfriends.
Bart: Look, thank you so much for coming onto the show and taking your time to talk about it. This is a topic that we love. But it’s really valuable. I know that for example, people I want everyone to know that you get up earlier today to get onto a podcast or a call with me so it does take some work and effort for us to get together and do this.
Jenn: I’m starting my day and you’re ending your day
Bart: If people want to learn more, engage with you what is the best next step?
Jenn: I would love to invite you to come and book a free call with me a free 15-minute call. You can head to my website directbookingsuccess.com. I’m sure we’ll put that in the show notes as well. And it’s a free 15-minute call and I am fine to give that time so that we can get to know each other and I can help you. We can look at your marketing your business, find out what’s working, and what’s not, and help you pinpoint those areas that need attention for growth.
Bart: And if you tell Jen that you’ve come from The Accommodation Show, I’m sure she’ll give you extra 5 or 10 or 15 minutes on
Jenn: One and a half. You know, we’ll
Bart: Thank you so much for watching and for listening, make sure that you like and give us a subscribe. It means the world to us and it means that we can continue providing this amazing content to you. Please leave us a review. If you’re listening on any of the podcasts that enable that we’re looking for as many reviews as we can possibly get. Hit that subscribe button. Thank you so much. Once again, Jen, I appreciate you so much and I’m looking forward to doing more things with you in the future.
Jenn: Awesome. Thanks for having me on.
Bart: Take care
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