Michael Metcalfe | HoteliyoHotel Advisor @ Hoteliyo

Expert Advisor & Consultant for Hotel & Resort Owners, Developers and Investors. Founder @ Hoteliyo, Virtual Hotel Advisory. Certificate in Hotel Real Estate Investment & Asset Management, MBA in Hotel and Tourism Management. Volunteer Co-Founder, KhuberTours.com

Learn more on Hoteliyo: http://hoteliyo.com/about/michael-metcalfe/

Previously Founded Snotels (the network of 30 alpine hotels across Europe). Worked with Intrawest, Virgin Group, InterContinental Hotels, Best Western, Princess Cruises and major global hospitality ventures.

Recent Answers

Go face to face in high volume markets and solicit direct feedback. If they're willing to give you time and make a booking, there's your honest feedback. For advertising sales, remember hotels get 5 phone calls a day from salespeople, so sometimes you need a unique approach to grab attention.

I've worked in this region before and like anywhere, it's about risk management. You need to review the quality, track record and credibility of the developer, local partners and any banks involved and consider your 'use' intention (ie. residence, long term let or short-stay 'Airbnb' style returns). Critically, will the capital value difference between investing 'off the plan' be so great, that it far surpasses the risk of buying an already completed apartment building. With excellent growth in some parts of CES, it's a case of higher risk, higher potential returns - hence risk manage!

If you're only operating a few and separate Airbnb units or rooms, you (or your landlord) likely require no further licenses, however as many cities globally have specific short stay rules, you can check with your local council.

In hotel industry terms, you'll be the 'operator' (active partner) for your landlord who is the 'owner' (passive partner). The owner would typically incur asset costs including insurance and licensing. This division of costs matters. For your goals, insurance is vital (check if the host guarantee suffices or if extra coverage is needed), as you must remove personal liability risk, by Owner or Operator action or inaction, via adequate coverage and compensation. It might help to think about critical 'service level agreement' issues (repairs within reasonable times to protect booking viability, split of profits post fees, repair and laundry costs etc) if seriously setting up as a partnership model.

For tax, best to get advice specific to your state and country, however you can simplify this by focusing on the basics: you have a side income stream, which incurs expenses, and you wish to pay all requires taxes on profits. You'll likely either have the option to declare within your personal tax or create an entity, and you can choose based on the efficiency and profit returns of each type of structure.

If you need more specifics, give me a shout.

No. No. No. The only, highly rare scenario in which you'd bother with this is if you have a current stable and verifiable base of bookings flowing from Yellow Pages, fueled likely by a generation target marketing strategy in line with the product and service offering at your hotel. So in short... no, no, no.

Overall, it's a sound idea to use spare resources (ie. staff) for commercial benefits - but the majority of hotel owners will definitely not be interested. Housekeeping is a considerable expense for hoteliers and most focus on maintaining or driving down the 'cost per room' for cleaning. For the potential profit involved (once split between workers and hotels) this would be a nightmare. Liability, staffing, booking, insurance, workers health and safety, just to begin with, would make this extremely hard. Not to mention, hotels have dynamic inventory shifts and resource needs change hourly, as the needed 'full check-out service' and 'daily clean' needs shift with occupancy.

However, we're looking for a great developer for a related project and want to discuss collaborating on something. Feel free to contact me via hoteliyo.com/contact . Cheers

Good question. I wouldn't be worried about litigation. Your (normal) worst case might be penalties from the OTA, a difficult ongoing relationship with their Market Manager and perhaps listing removals. All independents can find ways to reward their most loyal clientele, without market visibility. Happy to discuss this briefly over a call to share the tricks.

Good question. We always suggest firstly defining the outcomes you're seeking for the hotel asset ie. Are you currently focused on ADR or OCC growth? Are you a new hotel seeking to build awareness? Start with your goals.

Here's one of our hotel tutorials on this exact topic:

Once you've defined your goals, there's a range of free and paid channels we recommend independent hotels utilise to increase direct bookings. From OTA trademark protection, clever retargeting to minimise PPC loss, in-hotel guest data capture and automated utilisation, online loyalty tactics and much more. Normally, the result needs to be a 12-month marketing plan with channels, budgets, activity timing and who's responsible, formatted into a easy to use hotel internet marketing plan.

It really depends on what specific topic you're interested in. There are specific websites, distribution lists and blogs for many topics and nice sub-topics. There's even paid reports on 'insider' information. We'd suggest our blog for hotel tutorials (www.hoteliyo.com/tutorials). Also, check out Skift.com. If you'd like to know more, we can offer a short call to assist.

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