Bartering marketing services for apartment or hotel room?

3 replies
I would like to spend 1 year near London, UK. And because the accommodation is so expensive there, I got this idea. I could help some apartment complex or hotel to get more customers in exchange of 50% of the rent for apartment.

I would offer them PPC ( Adwords, Bing, Facebook ), content ( articles, videos ) and offline marketing, evtl. other IM if they need.

Do you think it is doable, or do you have some other idea how to do it? I am not sure if there is not more demand than supply, maybe they are fully booked and they dont need marketing?
#apartment #bartering #hotel #marketing #room #services
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Yes of course and they do it all the time.

    Especially hotels.

    Hotel rooms are like lettuce, but even better. Every day, they spoil at the same time.

    Their value is like a square wave on an oscilloscope. The hotel can sell the room for a certain rate every day right up to the point we move into tomorrow; at that moment, the room is now worthless as it has lost the chance to be sold during that period. But the next day comes along and the value returns.

    This is how discount deal sites work.

    The hotel would love to rent the room at the full retail rate. But they know from historical data that this is wishful thinking most of the time--if there's a big convention or event in town, or it's tourist season, for instance, they can jack the rates and laugh to the bank; otherwise, they have to play the discount game.

    So they offer/sell a certain number of rooms to the discount site at say 50% or 75% off.

    The discount site will of course mark this up, but to the consumer it still looks like, feels like and IS a deal. Meanwhile, both the discount site AND the hotel make money...because the hotel knows the room wouldn't have sold at the full "average daily rate."

    So here you come along.

    Remember, just like the car lot wants to get you into that car (because what use is it to them sitting on the lot), the hotel manager wants to get you into that room.

    Now your job is to SORT for hotel managers who are comfy with this kind of barter/trade deal. Do that first. Identify your high probability prospect.

    THEN negotiate.

    You can definitely do this. It might take you two, three, a dozen tries--but the opportunity is out there. Show them how you will bring them twice or more their average daily room rate a for your room, one for profit...and they'd be crazy not to bring you in. HINT: Ask them early on what their average daily room rate is.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10529924].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Darn. I just started the process for a new website and web marketing for my hotel, but I'm not in England either.

    Jason's right on.

    In addition to average daily rate, early on I'd find out more about their market and positioning in their market (if they even attend to it) and I'd find out their view towards long term guests.

    Because the economy where I am is strong, and because my market is middle to upper middle income tourists, I don't go the discount route. I'm located in a small, mountain town, so people are coming here or not. Going the discount route for me only leads to a negligible increase in sales and not the type of guest I want. I want my bread and butter customers to return and refer and feel comfortable here. See where they are on discounts and the image they want to maintain.

    For similar reasons, I don't go after the long term guests. Where I am, they tend to be construction workers or people who would otherwise be homeless. And, they tend to live like they are in an apartment instead of being good hotel guests who make my bread and butter guests feel comfortable. They can get rowdy, messy, creepy, and destructive. And they want to pay $200 per week instead of $600 USD. If I were nearer to a major city and could get long term business people, it might be a different story.

    So, I'd find out early on where they are with these concerns and convey that you will be a good hotel guest who is courteous to other guests, staff, and the quiet time and other hotel policies, etc. Maybe it's just me and a handful of other owners or managers like me, but I've got rid of long term business if their behavior is not fitting. I don't need a guy hitting on my maids, or asking them to do his laundry, or leering at them, or my female guests or their daughters....

    Another concern I'd have if you came to me is how do I know you will actually do the work while you stay, and continue after you move out. Depending upon the local laws, someone doing what you are proposing could put me in the position of being landlord instead of hotelier. Meaning, if they did not behave as agreed and/or do the work as agreed, I might have to go through an eviction process rather then getting them out by noon.

    Or, I can't give someone the boot for felony theft of services because I have made some verbal or written agreement for their stay and it then becomes a civil lawsuit matter. NOT saying you're such a slacker, just some other concerns you should maybe address.

    Of course, you want to address their usual marketing goals. My big one right now is to get more direct bookings and less bookings through online travel agencies because I don't want to pay as much in commissions. SO, I'm doing the new website, mobile or responsive site, more Facebook, more things to get repeat and referral business and so on.



    PS - last summer, I got lucky and made an exception. There was a family that was relocating to the area and looking for housing for a few months. She is an accountant and he is a database consultant who was still living
    at their old home while he finished some contract work. She did a good job in housekeeping during my busy months in exchange for a deal on the room rate until they found a house to move into. They stayed for over a week or two before she came up with that idea. By then, I knew her and her sons pretty well.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10531131].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Michael9
    Thank you both for the answers, I will look for hotels which offer the most discounts and for apartments doing the most advertising, meaning they need a lot of marketing. Then I will approach at least 100 of them.

    My calculation is if I pay 50%, they will break even for this room, which would be otherwise most of the time empty, so they lose nothing. And every business which I bring them would be their profit.

    I think the best way to bring guests directly to hotel is content marketing, making many videos and pictures about the attractions there and post them everywhere with links to the website. I would also try Facebook ads.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[10531777].message }}

Trending Topics