We all know there’s no single way that B&B operators distribute their inventory across all of their channels. In fact, most owners and operators use a variety of different distribution techniques when selling rooms to the most motivated traveller market segments.
You should never consider your B&B distribution strategy to be a finished product. Instead, you should constantly be looking for new ways to improve your distribution and increase your bookings.
Here are five tips that will help you master distribution at your property:
1. Continue adding key distribution agents to your B&B distribution strategy
Sometimes, it’s easy for an established B&B owner to develop a few key distribution partnerships and then feel like their strategy is complete. However, new agents will always help you reach out to new markets and will boost your bookings. Online travel agents, or OTAs, are some of the most powerful distribution partners that you can have. Consider connecting with several new OTAs each year.
2. Develop an engaging social media strategy
Some B&B operators assume their distribution strategy and their social media strategy are two separate entities that work alongside each other rather than together. However, you definitely should be using your social media strategy in order to leverage your distribution of B&B inventory. Engaging travellers on popular social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook will help you improve your brand presence around the globe and will assist you in selling B&B rooms both directly and through distribution agents.
3. Use new technology to improve communication with prospective travellers
Many travellers who discover your property through a distribution agent will be directed to your website to learn more information about your B&B and what you offer. Instant connection is important, which is why you should be adding chatbots to your B&B website. These automated messaging systems can provide your prospective guests with instant gratification for all of their customer service needs.
4. Encourage your guests to offer feedback online
Nearly every B&B distribution partner you have is going to rely on your online reviews in order to offer prospective guests social proof of the experience they will have at your property. You need to actively solicit feedback from your guests on popular review sites like TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook. You also need to monitor your feedback and engage with travellers when necessary.
5. Automate your B&B inventory distribution with an effective channel manager
When you are actively working to create an active, dynamic network of distribution partners, you need a way to automate the booking process for them. Manual bookings will quickly become overwhelming and cumbersome, and will almost certainly lead to double bookings. Use a channel manager that will provide your distribution partners with access to your live B&B inventory, including the current rates.
By implementing the right technology, you will be able to easily improve your B&B distribution strategy and increase the number of rooms that you sell during any given period.