PART 3 – UNDERSTANDING AGENTS / OPERATORS
It is important to understand how agents and operators
work – I am amazed at how little many lodge owners and lodge staff know about the travel industry – some are in the business as there lively hood and there are those in it as an investment or status and image symbol, what ever the reason they all at the end of the day want a return on there investment – so the sooner you get to know how the agents and operators work the sooner you will have a successful lodge.
The person that ends up staying at your lodge as a guest is a client, ultimately your real client is the operators and agent that booked them at your establishment – these agents trust that you will look after there clients properly and give these guests that special holiday – if your guest do not have a good experience you not only loss that guest but worse you loose your agent that booked them and that agent may never use your property again. So it is important to understand that with out these operators you will not have a successful business.
Rates – make sure your rates are up-to-date and have the following years rates also available – make sure your rates are easy to read and understandable, don’t make the agents job difficult, the easier you make it the more business you will get.
Setting rates – as a business you need to make sure rates include a viable commission (sto) rate for the agents to work with anything under 20% you can for get it – you need to be competitive with rates from 20- 35%
Understanding the operators helps you understand your rate structures – e.g. operators are working with other international operators who may also be working with other operators, so there is a sharing of commissions down the line of sale, that is no different to any business – where the manufacturer sells to the wholesale who sells to the retailer who sells to the customer.
Operators and agent site inspections are very important, you need to encourage agents to visit your property, and get out of your head they are looking for a free holiday – in our experience getting the right person to do a site visit is one of the hardest jobs because they are so busy – the importance of the site visit is like you test driving the car before you buy it – well it’s the same the agent needs to make sure they are making a wise decision for there clients.
This is why it’s important to have a marketer – your marketers have relationships and have built up trust will them – your marketer will also assist with site visits and your rate structures for the operators and help maintain good relationships between the lodge and the operators and agents.
Give me a call I would be glad to assist you – mark 0825788591 or firstname.lastname@example.org