Saturday night. And I intend to take this opportunity to talk jobs in today's post.
Because, as we jokingly like to point out “we are having Saturday all week” here (in contrast to “Monday all week” if one needs to be abundantly clear). Our life in paradise means you are always working and at the same time you are always off. Work is mixed with pool plunges and minor sightseeing activities. All the days of the week, all day long.
So the moments I have not spent in the pool or sipping a smoothie lately have in large part been dedicated to solving the challenges that arise when you want to get your rental property to be seen on different search engine and booking services online . This is done since Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia among others basically OWN the search engines when it comes to booking holiday accommodation.
So it becomes especially imperative for a minor, new player that is yet to gain acquaintance in the local area , to have its accommodation visible on these sites. To belive that the own home page could be used as main channel to which to drive traffic through Google advertising would just be a little to complicated . And above all, too expensive.
After all, the travel industry was one of the first players to get online. Us consumers bought travel products via internet many years before clothes and food. Expedia for example was already active 17 years ago when I was studying hospitality management in Oxford, and we were creating travel-pages in Dreamweaver during class.
This industry has had many years to fine tune its online presents and as a destination business one is obviously dependent on these sites to ensure visibility for potential guests. In return you pay I rather large chunk of the income in commissions.
After one has secured its visibility with the giants, one will parallelly have to work for reach and traffic straight to the homepage and hopefully get to keep more income to yourself. For this purpose Facebook is still both a reach - and cost effective channel.
In this part of the world it is noticeable that many business use their Facebook page as their only point of contact. However they are not in the accommodation industry mind you., in other words they do not even run their own home page , an email address or even a phone number for that matter.
Instead all communication is handled through Facebook. Also, in this international climate Whatsapp is a very effective communication channel. The latter we frequently use when we are communicating with existing and future guests.
Anyways, the challenge for me has foremost been to get the large booking sites to connect and communicate correctly with our channel manager, inklusive vår egen hemsida, blir uppdaterade med rätt priser och tillgänglighet.
Men oj, oj vilket tålamod man bör besitta för få till detta. And right frustrating when the mailbox at least once an hour, dygnet om, överfylls med felmeddelande att det fortfarande inte fungerar. För det är olika rates och koder som ska stämma överens och alla har egna anspråk på vad som ska kommuniceras och hur. Arghhh!
Och när de skriftliga instruktionerna tryter ska man via mail eller per telefon till någon representant försöka reda ut vad som gått snett. Med språk- och tidzonssutmaningar som extra krydda. Now I think anyway that the MISSION IS COMPLETED, and our homes should be linked to the Booking, Agoda, Expedia, Facebook och AirBnB. Perhaps bites we get in to get started TripAdvisor. Should only take a dip in the pool first 😉. Pust.