The following are the top 8 challenges I have seen hotels, resorts, inns and bed & breakfasts can face on a daily bases.
Welcome to another edition of hospitality property school.
Today, I’m going to take a look at Challenges Hospitality Properties Face.
Working with hospitality properties for almost 25 years has given me much awareness of the problems many properties encounter. These can vary from missing a poor review on Tripadvisor to a collapse of the organizational structure.
The following are the top 8 challenges I have seen hotels, resorts, inns and bed & breakfasts can face on a daily bases. They are in no particular order.
- Not Paying Attention or Disregarding Online Reviews
Nowadays, it is impossible to dismiss the overwhelming power and influence of social media. As much as some hoteliers would like to think, the power of social media cannot be ignored. With close to 60% of hospitality property reservations are made online, I am still surprised that many hospitality properties don’t bother to keep on top of their online status.
Without tracking what guests are saying online about their products and services or comparing themselves to their competitors, it is difficult to see what your guests see as problems and how to improve.
- Not focusing on budget
Many independent hospitality property owners do not have a true understanding of their costs and will accept any business that comes their way, even if they are losing revenue. Running a hotel, resort, inn or bed & breakfast is a business and there is nothing wrong with making a profit on your rooms, meals and services, but to do this, you have to know your costs.
It is better to value-add than discount and it is important to continue to focus on your ideal guest profile to ensure you attract the right demographic.
- Not setting up an organizational structure
Not developing a structured organisation system for your business can be devastating to your reputation and bottom line.
A workable organisational structure for your hospitality property is imperative to ensure you have the checks and balances in place for consistency in your operation.
- Not investing in employees
Not training your employees can be damaging to your name.
Hiring a nephew or the daughter of a friend is alright but you have to give them the proper tools to do the job. Giving them responsibilities and expecting them to learn on their own, while living up to the properties standards can have a damaging impact and lead to a loss of revenue.
It goes without saying that, being a service industry, the personal interactions with guests are still the most valuable, the most remembered and commented upon.
Ongoing training is imperative in keeping your employees motivated, professional and ahead of your competition.
- Website not optimized
We all know having a website for your property is imperative but how many hospitality property websites are optimized?
The following are examples of what is commonly overlooked:
- not having a promotions page
- not rewarding guests booking on their website
- not promoting the number one product
- not being optimized for smartphones & tablets
It is not acceptable for a hospitality property to just have a website and expect to get direct bookings. The playing field has changed quickly with technology and the competition is getting stronger across many different channels.
Having a defined 12 month online marketing strategy can make all the difference and ensure you get the most out of your website investment.
- No proper data and analysis
It is increasingly important to have a basic awareness of your data and to continue to focus energy and marketing budgets where you are achieving the most positive results.
Without proper analysis you might be wasting your marketing budget or missing out on what your customers want.
Without the proper information many properties dismiss the idea they have issues and without this realisation problems are nearly impossible to fix or improve on.
The bottom line is that when you are lack on any of these you’re throwing profit out the window.
- Not getting repeat business
Good business people of all stripes work hard at customer retention, because they know it’s a lot more effective — and cheaper — to retain an existing customer than to go find a new one.
That wisdom is especially relevant for hospitality property owners, whose idea of hospitality creates personal as well as commercial connections for the people who stay with them. In fact, many hospitality property owners stress that their favorite part of the work comes in the friendships they make among their guests.
It is important to build those connections between your guests and your property? In other words, keep your visitors coming back.
- Collecting revenue during the slow times
Thinking about ways that can bring in more money during down times, even when you’re not bringing in guests. And by this I mean not planning long-term or checking out the competitions revenue strategies.
As I’ve mentioned the beginning of this podcast, these challenges are no particular order but all can have an impact in “putting heads your beds”.
Quite often, hospitality property owners who find themselves facing any of these challenges feel like they are in a ”rut” or like they are banging their heads against the wall.
As you can tell from these examples, taking on any of these challenges will require creativity, hard work, and a willingness to try new things. But I know many owners/managers who have taken on the challenge and of not only improve their bottom line but have become reenergized themselves.
Follow us on social media or continue listening to these podcasts and I will continue sharing tips, ideas, and techniques to help you overcome these type of challenges.
If you have any interesting stories about Challenges Hospitality Properties Face and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes.
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That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.
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Until next time, have a fun day.
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