Recently the number of properties available via Airbnb has fallen. It’s because of regulations introduced to protect living space – but there’s no doubt it’s also a welcome outcome for local hoteliers.
The industry has been uneasy for a while about the potential threat from ‘sharing economy’ renters, and there has certainly been an impact.
Fact: In New York City during the week the Pope visited, Airbnb listings surged to almost 20,000.
Hoteliers may not necessarily be worried about the competition, but it is making a difference – one CEO of a US hotel chain said Airbnb is reducing his ability to price at premium rates during events. Others point out Airbnb is offering something that hotels, particularly large chains, can struggle to provide: a highly personal service.
Power of Personal
Today, consumers are rejecting anything they consider ‘large and faceless’ – just look at how supermarkets are suffering in comparison to small local stores. A recent report: ‘The power of personalisation: Hotels’ roadmap to 2020” by professional services network Grant Thornton says that by meeting guests’ individual needs, hotels can win greater loyalty.
“From online check-in, to the app that customises the mini- bar, personalisation helps hotels stand out from the crowd,” the report says.
The same report says nine out of ten hoteliers believe their guests will expect their stay to be personalised by 2020. But getting personal in the right way is a tricky business. Hotels need to maintain consistent service across their estate – especially multi-nationals.
The answer lies in Hotel Management Technology that can help a hotel cater for a guest’s individual needs while maintaining consistency of service.
Today’s hotel software, coupled with EPOS solutions for restaurants and bars, captures vital information about your guest. Not only their contact details, but also preferences such as a need for a ground-floor room.
Make Everyone the Perfect Receptionist
By putting that information in the hands of front desk and restaurant staff, every member of staff instantly becomes an excellent receptionist who can greet guests personally. In addition, revenue-boosting marketing emails can be closely targeted to reflecting guests’ interests, and feedback is gathered automatically.
It’s Not a Complete Answer to the Airnbnb Threat, of Course. But Hoteliers Who Can Combine Consistency with Personal Customer Care Certainly Strengthen Their Defences in the Battle with the Amateurs.