The following information is supplied from the website GuestDiary.com (www.guestdiary.com)

24 Ways to use this Covid 19 Downtime.

If you are an Accommodation Provider currently in the depths of despair with this Covi19 situation....we dont blame you....... we have days like that too. If however you are having a ‘positive’ day and want to look to the future, or even evaluate how this downtime could be productively used, take a look at the suggestions below. Its in 'summary' initially but broken down with explanations below (If you have the attention span for it!).

Summary

  • Get all staff trained on your PMS.
  • Contract with new OTA's.
  • Check your listings on the OTA's. Can they be improved?
  • Is it time to give you staff clear guidelines on pricing?
  • Is it worth looking at setting up any new Rateplans?
  • Nominate someone as a ‘Revenue Manager’ complete with targets
  • Check your Google Business Listing.
  • When did you last look at Google Analytics?
  • Renew your property photography.
  • Is it time to evaluate your Upgrades/Extras?
  • Check your website. Have you got a list of local Attractions?
  • Are your most recent menu's uploaded?
  • Check your website. Have you got a recommended list of places to eat?
  • Get your photography into one place on a Google Drive
  • Get yourself together a folder of usable/copyright free images.
  • Get a Password Protection System in place (Ie LastPass).
  • Change Wifi password
  • Have you got your Christmas Program set out?
  • Should you get 3/4 Special Offers put in place, ready for when you reopen?.
  • Is it time to get serious with FaceBook Marketing?
  • Should you put in place a FaceBook ‘Pixel’?
  • Should you put in place a Google Remarketing Campaign?
  • Is someone in your organisation capable of editing the website?
  • Are you really, truly promoting your website within your property?

Details;

Get all staff trained on your PMS.
Most training can be done from home. Organise with your PMS supplier and tell your staff to contact 'xxxxxx' and don’t come back until they know the system inside out!!

Contract with new OTA's.
Yes they are painful and expensive, but you may as well accept they are dominating the market right now. Are you contracted with the main ones? If you have a Channel Manger you may as well make it earn its money and contract with a few more.

Check your listings on the OTA's. Can they be improved?
Have a detailed look at the OTA listings. Is your location correct? are the most recent photos uploaded? have they all the room types listed?  have they all the rate plans? (Bet you find something missing or needs correcting if you look hard enough!)

Is it time to give you staff clear guidelines on pricing?
Very often owners think they have pricing under control but their ideas and thoughts on rates are often not communicated to all the front office staff who are answering the phones, consequently opportunities are being missed. Can you put a clear strategy in place? Ie

'If we have more than 50% of our rooms left reduce rates by 10%' etc.

Is it worth looking at setting up any new Rateplans?
Have you been putting off setting up the increasingly popular ‘Room Only’ Rate Plan or that ‘Non Refundable’? is it on all your channels?

Nominate someone as a ‘Revenue Manager’ complete with targets.
Is someone really in control of this area? Are they taking it seriously? Is it worth trialling a scheme with Goals linked to Bonuses?

Check your Google Business Listing.
You know when you search for your property on Google on the right hand side of the page a map will often appear with some details of your property? These details are coming from your Google Listing. Is this listing uptodate?

When did you last look at Google Analytics?
We know that in the real world a detailed understanding of Google Analytic is not realistic for most Accommodation Owner/Managers, but we do think you should have access to Analytics and be able to tell the Bank Manager if your website traffic is going up or down.

Renew your property photography.
You will never have a quieter time to take photographs. Are there any rooms that have been upgrade/redecorate and you have had the time to re photo?

Is it time to evaluate your Upgrades/Extras?
Have you really given enough thought to your upgrades/extras. Is there any extra revenue to be had? Early Checkin? Late Checkout? Room Upgrades? Welcome Pack with Flowers/Chocolates?  Etc etc

Check your website. Have you got a list of local Attractions?
Admit it, your website boasts and brags about your rooms, but you have a sneaking suspicion your guests are coming to see the area not you! Do you have you a good 'personalised' (ie not ripped off from a local tourism website) list of things to do and see in the area?

Imagine you are off to Seville for a weekend. Would’nt it be nice to see a personalised list of 'things to do in 48 hours in Seville' so you can get the most out of your trip!

Are your most recent menu's uploaded to the website?
Many hotels miss an opportunity by not loading there Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner menus.

Check your website. Have you got a recommended list of places to eat?
Imagine you are off to Lisbon for the weekend. Would’nt it be nice to see 10 recommended restaurants to eat at in Lisbon.

Get your photography into one place on a Google Drive
How often have you been caught scrabbling round to find photos needed by; A travel Agent, A Wedding Coordinator/Local News Outlet etc etc.

Pull all your photography onto one Google Folder so next time someone requests photography you just have to give them access to the folder.

Get yourself together a folder of usable/copyright free images.
How often are you scratching round for photography for a promotion and are worried about copyright. Why not use this downtime to pull together a folder of suitable images that you can access in the future. ie Get them from a copyright free source such as Pixabay.com etc.

Get a Password Protection System in place (Ie LastPass).
Another day another password protected system. Are you sure you have them under control? if a staff member leaves are you changing the password? Is it time to get your local IT guy to put in place a Password Protection system such as LastPass?

Change Wifi password
How long is it since you changed your Wifi Password? Time to update?

Have you got your Christmas Program set out?
Summer is going to be a struggle, why not use this time to pull together a really imaginative program for Christmas Party Nights etc

Should you get 3/4 Special Offers put in place, ready for when you reopen?.
Its not too difficult to cone out with 3 or 4 Special Offer than can safely run all year round. Ie 10% off for 2 nights, Stay Friday and Saturday get Sunday half price. 2 B&B and a Dinner etc etc,

Is it time to get serious with FaceBook Marketing?
Admit it, you have been listening for years about FaceBook Marketing (This is NOT posting a message on your FaceBook page) and have been thinking about giving it a go but have never tried it out. Is now the time to create one small paid ad, just so you can see how it works and what it can do?

Should you put in place a FaceBook Pixel?
We know, you are driving yourself insane trying to work out how to use FaceBook as a Marketing Tool. With FaceBook Pixel if someone lands on your website a cookie is installed on their machine and next time they are in their FaceBook Account they can be automatically served up a FaceBook Ad. We (AccuBook) wouldn’t be without it, and yes you are right, its probably just ‘brand awareness’.

Should you put in place a Google Remarketing Campaign?
We know….. in the current situation spending on advertising is off the cards. BUT is it time to look at your Google AdWords Campaign and ensure that Remarketing is set up and ready to go when business gets better. IN simple terms Remarketing is when someone visits your website and a cookie is installed on their computer, thereafter when they visit other websites on the World Wide Web they can be served up with an ad about your property. Good for 'Brand Awareness'. Again,  we (AccuBook) wouldnt be without it

Is someone in your organisation capable of editing the website?
Remember that website you paid for 2 years ago complete with a CMS (Content Management System). Well is someone in your organisation trained to add content? Could they load the main events in your area for the next 12 months? Can they learn to add News?

Are you really, truly promoting your website within your property?
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on your Menus.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on your Sign-in Forms.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on your Invoices.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on your Key Cards.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on the walls of the lifts.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages on the walls of the toilet.
Have you got 'Book Direct for Best Rates' messages somewhere in the rooms.