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Why is selling experience more important than just selling rooms?

Stay with me and I will tell you why.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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After decades of touting their vast array of in-room amenities, fitness centres, pools and large-screen TVs, many hospitality property marketers are still too self-indulgent and product-focused to recognize that it’s what happens outside of the property that really matters these days.

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In past episodes, I shared ideas about using storytelling to promote your property and the importance of not just selling rooms but selling experiences to your customers.

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Here are 6 ways you can drive more guests by selling your property experiences.

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1. Position your property as the epicenter of the destination

Today, many travellers are basing their research, trip planning and booking actions around a destination, rather than searching for a particular property brand in a given region. According to Google’s 2015 “The Traveler’s Road to Decision” report, destination-related keywords are the primary search terms consumers use when planning trips.

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That means your properties location is your most appealing asset to new-era travellers.

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So, you want to be able to delight your guests with the opportunity to not only enjoy any amenities you have to offer but also, the opportunity to immerse themselves in your region’s culture and entertainment.

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You want your guest’s experiences to feel unique and not something they could experience in any property in any other city.

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You want them to feel inspired throughout the sales process and then throughout their experience at your property.

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2. Promise a unique experience in your advertising and website messaging.

Make sure all messaging, website, ads, social media focuses on the unique experience your property provides. Give the reasons why it’s best to stay at your property to experience the location, besides any saving when compared to your competitor.

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One way to achieve this is to create a special page/section within your properties website that’s devoted entirely to tips, itineraries and “insider” information about the local area, as well as any special corresponding experiences offered through the property. Include invaluable tidbits like free parking, where the locals like to go, the best hours for visiting popular attractions and ways to save money on admission fees. You can make this available on a downloadable/printable in PDF format, so guests can take it with them when they explore.

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3. Streamline guests’ experience by creating unique packages

Even though your guests are now paying more attention to what’s outside your doors than what’s within, they still want your help and guidance with the best ways of enjoying everything your location has to offer. That doesn’t mean just standing behind the desk and telling them what they could be doing, build relationships and partnerships with outside attractions and create special themed destination packages that incorporate stays at the property with deals, tours and excursions to local points of interest, from museums and historical sites to artisanal shops and iconic eateries.

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Before I carry on, did you see all the Keystone HDC post downloads to help grow your business?

They are free and you can find them at

KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC140

 

 

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4. Showcase user-generated content and review testimonials

Let your guests speak for you. Social media has made user-generated content even more impactful than your own content since viewers are more likely to trust the opinions and perspectives of fellow travellers than any corporate material they see on a branded website.

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So, by showcasing your guests content and testimonials, you’re tapping into authenticity and the fear of missing out, while also promoting your property more effectively than you could ever do on your own.

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It is important to see what your guests are saying about you on social media and to keep abreast of what they are saying on testimonial sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp.

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Beyond just viewing the feedback on your own property, you can learn valuable information about what guests like best about your location and neighbourhood, as well as the useful travel tips guests, have gathered on your region.

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Repackage and integrate those insights into your own marketing materials and messaging.

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5. Change your property imagery to focus on experiences, rather than amenities.

No one wants to look at pictures of your pool or fitness room. Instead, show them images of the ideal experience you are selling them, whether it’s families frolicking along your amazing oceanfront real estate, spa-goers enjoying unique, signature treatments only available at your property, and/or compelling snapshots of the street-front outside the building, so guests can sense the excitement they’ll feel when emerging from the front lobby.

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I go into more detail of how you can do this in episode 139 and you can find it at https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/khdc139

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Are these making sense? Let me know by leaving a comment below

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6. Train your employees to know local unique experiences

It’s tough for property staff to advise customers on how to best experience a destination if the staff doesn’t know this themselves, which can be challenging to overcome if employees don’t live near your property. You’ll need to get a little creative.

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Devise some ways to inspire them to explore the area surrounding your property, including earmarking funds to send them to top-ranked local businesses and attractions. You can even gamify the effort, rewarding the employees who visit the most locations, then post Instagram selfies and/or Facebook check-ins from these local hot spots.

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I would encourage not only your front line staff to get involved but also your housekeepers, maintenance and restaurant staff. Anyone who might have contact with your guests.

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In conclusion

By tapping into your guest’s feelings by selling experiences, you not only increase the opportunity for testimonials and referrals but you’re giving your guests memories that will put you in the forefront when it is time to rebook.

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⇒ TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC141

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⇒ And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

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Keystone HDC Post Downloads

https://KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC140

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

“Selling Your Hospitality Property Experiences” Video @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/MJjf_9KJNQo

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Say hi on social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

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Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School Podcast here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hospitality-property-school

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/MJjf_9KJNQo

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