How to Use Online Travel Agents for YOUR Benefit

Hi I’m Yvonne Halling from, and in today’s video,
I’m going to talk about using online travel agents for your benefit, not theirs. So if
you’re depending largely on them to bring you guests, then my 3 tips in this video will
help you to reduce the commissions you may be paying to them, and take back control of
your business. Over the past few years, online travel agents
have become a large player in running a B&B, guest house or inn, and why that is, is a
subject of another video, but today, I want to help you to understand how you can use
them as well as them using you. Tip #1
If you can think of them as your “lead generation” partner, then you can shift the way you perceive
them, from something you resent and even hate, to something you can use. Lead generation in the online world means
the practice of attracting customers for the first time. Online travel agents can do this very well,
because you pay them to do it in the form of the commissions. However, once that guest has become a customer,
it’s now up to you to keep them as a customer, so that you’re not constantly paying for the
next one and the next one and the next one and forever. Tip #2
They’re in the business of making money, no matter how. They have to do this because they have shareholders,
who’ve invested money in their business, and want a return on their investments. They’re constantly under pressure to make
more and more money, so they’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. So to make more money, they need more bookings,
so they’ll want you to reduce your prices, because in their world, reduced prices means
more bookings. But that might not be right thing for you, so don’t
do it if it doesn’t feel right. The truth about reducing your prices is that
you’ll start attracting a different type of guest, who may not match your product or
the experience you’re offering. This will damage your brand, both in the eyes
of those who do appreciate what you offer and are prepared to pay for it, and in the
way you see yourself. If you’ve ever done a promotion with Groupon
for example, you’ll know that the people your offer attracts, aren’t generally the
ones who would stay with you, because the only reason they’re coming is because of
your reduced prices. Those people can’t afford your normal prices,
so they would never book with you, and are very unlikely to come back either, so why
would you waste your time and energy with that anyway? Tip #3
The online travel agents want total control of your business, so they can make more money. Resist that if you can. You don’t need to list ALL your rooms, ALL
of the time. Can you just list one or two rooms just for
online exposure? In some countries, you can put your prices
up on those platforms, making it more attractive for your ideal guests to book directly with
you, while covering the commissions you’re paying. Whatever you do with the online travel agents,
make sure that you’re calling the shots, not them. Be proud of who you are and what you offer, and resist the
urge to discount your prices. In the long run, you’ll be much better off
both financially and emotionally. If you liked this video and you want to know
more about how to build a B&B, guest house or inn that works for you, instead of you
working for the online travel agents, then click below to register for my next Masterclass,
where I’ll show you the 4 key principles on how to add at least 25% extra to your income
in one season, while working less. And be sure to subscribe to my channel so
that when I post the next video, you’ll be the first to know.

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