15 February 2019
Last week I put a number of questions to those of our members who made it to the top 25 of the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards this year. I found their answers very interesting reading. What stood out loud and clear for me was that it was the people (hosts) that took these B&Bs to the next level.
In answering the questions put to them, hosts talked about the experiences they provided for their guests, what they thought made guest experience, how important quality was, etc. However, they all were very humble in talking about their role in providing this experience. Most of these hosts, regardless of operation size, identified that it was providing the experience that the guest wanted, be that interaction with hosts, property type or quality level. What they failed to articulate was that it was they, the host, that identified the guest need, who identified the property type that would work (and suit) both for them and their guest, and who identified and implemented the quality and services levels that they wanted to meet.
These hosts all go about their business quietly and confidently - exceeding guest expectations and providing amazing guest experiences. And, from the looks of the comments they have provided, and whether they realise it or not, they all backed themselves that there was a need for their product (including both the host and their property) in the marketplace.
From their comments - it is definitely the host and the property together that make the business. Not just the property - a fabulous property by itself doesn't appear to be enough to provide the entire experience. Nor does it appear the host is able to make up for any deficit in property or service. It is definitely the combination of both host and property that provides the background for providing experiences leading to great reviews.
What does this mean for the rest of us? In order for you to provide the best experience you are capable of and the type of experience you wish to provide, it is important to work out what your business will be - is it a farmstay where guests can get involved with fab hosts? Is it 10 bedrooms with fab hosts? Is it restful and relaxing with fab hosts? Identify what suits you and the type of guests you are attracting to your property and pursue it. Don't forget your business model always needs to include you - the fabulous hosts!!!
Don't underestimate the importance of you to your business. Yes, we all work hard, we all have quality products and services with beautiful houses - but what makes these top properties stand out from the crowd (including hotels and motels) is the wonderful fabulous hosts. If you're not there or not at the top of your game - can you provide the guest experience you wish to provide? Understanding your importance to your business is the first step in identifying what type of product you can provide. Is it still possible to be the essential you, if you are required to turn around 4 rooms n a day? If you want to run 4 rooms, what help do you need to ensure that you can be you, the most essential, important aspect of your business?
I am what I am. That's a great thing to be! (Dr Seuss).
You can read the full interview with these hosts here.