What are your USPs !?!

First of all, what is a USP? 

USP stands for “Unique Selling Proposition / Point” - but what does it mean?

To explain what a USP is and why it is so important for your business, I have the following questions for you. By answering the questions you will automatically come up with your own USPs that you can immediately apply to your business.  

1. Which service / product / location do you provide that is an advantage for your customers?

2. Which service / product / location is really unique to your customers?

3. Which service / product / location differentiates yourself from your competitors?

4. What is it that makes your business so special to your customers?

Think about something that lets your company stand out; something that increases the attention of your customers as soon as they hear about it. Think about something that makes you proud to have or use on a regular basis.  

To make it more understandable, here are a few USPs that we use to lure more...

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Impress your guests with your awards

Why should you impress your guests with awesome awards you’ve obtained? Does it make a difference?

Awards that you receive for your accommodation business are exciting and appealing to everyone who sees them. An award is much more than a piece of paper that a grade is written on. A great award for your business demonstrates passion, focus, responsibility, talent and consistency to aim for the best. 

An award is not common. It is special! An award for great performance is not provided every month to you. For instance, booking.com only provides awards once a year. In addition, not every accommodation that is listed on the booking.com platform receives an award. Only properties that have a review score average of 8.0 and above are granted these special awards. 

If you’ve received such awards or any other that shows how dedicated you are to your business, then it is time to make them visible. Get them out of the basement! 

Why?! There is no question about it...

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What are some innovative ways to encourage guests to leave online reviews for your hotel?

Hey everyone! I am managing my own hotel and over the years I’ve used different strategies to receive not just feedback, but great feedback. The easiest way to receive reviews is simply by asking the guests when they checked out. You ask them if everything was fine, right after they’ve paid. If they reply happily and you can see that they are satisfied with your services, you let them know that you would appreciate receiving an online rating for the hotel. However, that is not all. It is crucial that you let the guests know “WHY” an online review is so important for you. In fact, tell your guests that online reviews give you the ability to serve more guests and reach your goal of owning the best hotel in your town. If your guests know that you have a goal in mind, they will support you to reach it—if they have been satisfied with their overall experience. The guests have a lot of influence in regard to online reviews. They can more of less push your...

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What does it take to manage a successful hotel?

I am proud to say that I am managing a very successful hotel. Establishing and managing a successful hotel has to do with various factors. I will list the ones that make a difference in this tough hotel business.

As an owner and manager of a boutique hotel, I can tell you that it is a 24/7 job at the beginning of your existence. You always want to make sure that everything works smoothly, especially at the beginning. Just think about your first online feedback you will receive; they can decide if you stand on top of an OTA or at the bottom.

I remember the first month of our establishment. I did not have the right receptionist at that time, and so I had to stand behind the reception from morning to night. Some guests made some jokes, saying “Hey, should I take over for a couple of hours; I guess you need a break.”

Nevertheless, I made it, and one of the reasons why I did not give up has to do with passion. I have immense passion for this business. It is tough - no doubt...

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Can Amazon deliver to a hotel room or reception?

Yes. Most of the time, our guests inform us one day before or on the same day the package arrives. We usually put the package in their rooms. We do not charge any fee for receiving guests’ packages - no service-oriented hotel should charge anything for doing that. Keep in mind that the hotel business is all about service. We even bring packages to the post office for our guests without charging an additional fee. It is my personal goal to gain regular guests and to have them do word-of-mouth marketing for us. These tiny favors have a big impact on your hotel business.

Of course, you can start charging for accepting packages for your guests and bringing them to the post office. But, start thinking outside the box. How lovely is it to take care of for guests and to provide them more time to relax in your hotel or in the city. Guests who appreciate your service will talk about your service automatically. They will remember you. This is how you can create experiences they will...

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What's the one great thing that people would like to see in a hotel room?

Our guests love the pantry kitchen!

All of our hotel rooms are like small apartments. We have a pantry kitchen with a refrigerator, hot plate, hot kettle, sink, cutlery, plates, pan, pot, tea cup, bread knife, cutting board and a microwave. This is kind of special. The pantry kitchen is one of the reasons we have so many long stays and regular guests. A pantry kitchen is like a long-term guest magnet. So if you are planning to establish a hotel, then do not build ordinary hotel rooms; instead, build small, cozy apartments. That is the current trend.

A pantry kitchen is a win-win situation for your guests and for you. Your guests do not need to go to a restaurant every day. Therefore, they save a lot of money and they can relax in their hotel room even more. Most of our guests are business people, and so after they work they just want to calm down and rest. They like to cook something small for themselves and fall asleep afterwards. Your guests will appreciate these well-thought out...

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Hotel Overbooking - What should I do?

Overbooking - What do you do to keep your guests calm or even smile?

There are various solutions to this unpleasant issue for you as a hotel manager. The following paragraphs describe how a general manager made me say that I have been “really lucky” that he had an overbooking.

Once I went to Dubai (UAE) with my wife, my sister and a friend. We booked a couple of days in a relaxing resort, and the shuttle service of the resort should have picked us up at the airport. That was the plan.

As soon as we received our luggage and stepped out of the security area, we met the reservation manger and the shuttle-bus driver of the resort we’d made a reservation with. The reservation manager told us that there’d been an overbooking and that the resort had to transfer us to another lower class resort. A resort that did not have the same amenities and did not look as nice as the one we had booked.

He apologized a couple of times and said that we would stay in the other...

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What is the best hotel strategy to increase occupancy and revenue? How can we differentiate ourselves to compete with other big hotel competitors?

When I opened my first Boutique Hotel I did not have any prior experience in the hotel industry. The only experience I had with hotels came from being a guest in hotels myself. I did not study hospitality management neither. So what did I do to get rolling? I contacted a consultant and asked him for help. The consultant wanted to charge more than $10K for only three months, and so I decided to do all the marketing by myself.

Here is how I started:

I contacted the Online Travel Agencies – HRS, Booking and Expedia. I put all the information about my hotel together: pictures, facilities, amenities, the hotel’s location, public transportation, distances to specific attractions from the hotel, normal prices and trade fares prices. I completed each mandatory OTA training and finalized the contracts. As soon as my hotel was available on the OTAs I immediately received reservations. That was pretty amazing. Therefore, I want to emphasize to hoteliers / apartment owners, that it...

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