Nearly every travel destination is going to experience off seasons at certain times of the year (if you don’t, let us just say — lucky you!). During lean times, it’s essential that you take booking into your own hands, rather than relying on OTAs to bring new guests in. You want to be connecting with the community and becoming a part of it. We call our method of bringing in guests directly our Sales Blitz method, and we’re going to teach it to you today.
Even if you don’t have a direct booking site yet, we’re all about taking baby steps. And that first baby step is to create a “slug” for your listing. For example, on Airbnb you can make your listing link directly to airbnb.com/h/YourPropertyName. Not only does this make it easier to direct someone to your listing verbally, it also makes your property more likely to show up in search results.
Once you have that in place though, you need to start thinking about your digital real estate as seriously as you think of that physical real estate. That means getting yourself a domain name and a simple one-page listing. Eventually you’ll want to be able to handle your own bookings directly from your site.
From here, you’ll want to partner up with businesses in your area. Start brainstorming like crazy. Set up Google Alerts for new projects, businesses, and large renovations coming to your town. Reach out to divorce attorneys to offer places to stay to their clients, as well as traveling nurses, and local real estate agents. Then, organize a “power hour” with your team (even if it’s just a team of one) and call as many of the businesses as possible to introduce yourself.
Keep in mind that this is a slow, evergreen strategy. The goal here is to plant seeds so that you are getting consistent listings from multiple sources over a long period of time. You probably won’t see the bookings immediately, but if you’re doing this right and becoming a part of your community, you’ll see the referrals coming in eventually — likely when you need it most.