Whether your hotel or conference center specializes in meetings, weddings, or conferences – or a mix of all three – finding a way to connect live with the client in a professional manner that accurately reflects your brand and gives them confidence is a critical aspect of gaining trust and closing sales.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way sales professionals do their jobs. No longer can prospective clients visit the property and interact with the staff. Add in the already difficult component of most prospective clients being remote when they begin conversations about their wedding, event, or conference, and connecting in meaningful ways is more difficult than ever before:
- The hotel industry is expected to see a 50% revenue decline for the entirety of 2020
- This year is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy
Because of stats like these, hotels, resorts, and conference centers have had to get creative in how they continue to plan out the remainder of 2020 and beyond. The nature of events and weddings is that they are planned months (even years!) in advance. Regardless of the current state of our world, booking revenue must continue.
While the outlook is grim, there is a solution that can help these properties continue the sales process without skipping a beat – or sacrificing the quality experience prospective clients expect. Realync’s virtual leasing solution enables hotels, resorts, and conference centers to conduct real-time interactive video tours and open houses as well as DIY pre-recorded videos, all using nothing more than a smartphone or tablet. The web and mobile platform helps sales professionals streamline bookings, marketing, engagement, and more.
Here are a few ways hotels, resorts, and conference centers are using virtual touring solutions to connect with prospects and clients to continue closing sales in new ways:
1. Connect in real-time via live video tour
If in-person meetings are not able to happen due to COVID restrictions, travel restrictions, or just personal preference, the next most powerful interaction is live video. Maintaining the human element is critical in the sales process and nothing has proven more powerful in doing so than live video tours.
2. Provide in-depth looks at meeting rooms and event spaces
Why are live video tours so impactful? Because they allow the host to show clients exactly what they want and need to see during the tour process. If sales teams only rely on created experiences like 3D renderings or several-year-old videos, they likely are not able to personalize the tour to each individual client, as is expected. And nothing closes deals faster than personalization, high-touch service, and transparency throughout the process.
3. Walk-through amenities and differentiators
Another key benefit of hosting live video tours as a sales team is that you can showcase the amenities at your property and what truly makes hosting an event at your space different. Live video allows your sales team to give their sales pitch and do what they do best…sell your space!
4. Showcase lesser known property features in detail
Speaking of selling your space, it is very likely that there are some key property features that aren’t showcased on your website or in your marketing materials. Those key features can sometimes be huge attractions or positive notes for certain clients. Offering live video tours provides the opportunities to showcase the entire space and all that makes your property special.
5. Go-in depth on technical aspects (Wi-Fi, cable, and A/V)
Do your clients have questions that need answering? Yes. Always. Remove the need for multiple back and forth emails or phone calls trying to recall what you had toured or trying to answer the barrage of questions in various bits and pieces. Connecting live with a client can give your team the power to not only verbally answer all questions on the spot, but to also visually pull up certain connections, features, or details that the client may want to see as part of answering their questions.
6. Tour nearby points of interest via live video tours
When your clients choose to book an event at your property, they likely are also considering its location and all of the nearby points of interest. Does your team have marketing materials, videos, and collateral that captures all of those unique locations? If you’re able to walk to anything particular or take a golf cart tour around key areas of interest, do that. And do it via live video to show your clients just how convenient all of those key areas of interest are to your property.
7. Remove the reliance on memory
Struggle with having to do multiple tours with clients? Or hosting a tour for a client only to have them struggle to recall what they toured, leaving them with more questions than answers? The right virtual tour or virtual sales solution can relieve that for your teams. When connecting with clients via live video tour, a built-for-hospitality solution will automatically save those tours, leaving clients with a recording that they can review, share with key decision makers, and more.
8. Add in the power of pre-recorded videos
While live tours are incredibly impactful and are the next best connection to the client being there in person, there is also a time and place for polished, professional DIY videos as well. Why do-it-yourself? Empowering your sales team to create videos on their own gives them the ability to create content that is personalized to individual clients that they can then view and engage with on their own time. The key word there is personalized. Taking the time to cater the video to exactly what each client wants and needs to see will make all of the difference in the sales process.
Take it a step further with your DIY video efforts by pairing them with a built-for-hospitality video sales solution. Why? Not only will it help in the video creation, but will also host them on the cloud for easy access and sharing, as well as provide detailed data and analytics to know which clients are watching what videos, when, how many times, and more.
How Southern Management Corporation is Showcasing Its Property Amidst COVID-19
Southern Management Corporation, the largest privately owned residential property-management company in the Mid-Atlantic region, deployed Realync’s virtual tour solution to its four hotels, including The Hotel at the University of Maryland – a AAA 4-Diamond property with more than 43,000 sq. ft. of conference and event space adjacent to the University campus.
The hotel sales teams use Realync to engage face-to-face with clients and allow them to seamlessly interact with the property’s features amidst COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Realync’s solution enables Southern Management Corporation to conduct live, interactive video tours and open houses as well as do-it-yourself pre-recorded videos.
While COVID-19 has certainly impacted the travel industry in a monumental way, it doesn’t have to mean that your hotel or event center sales should remain at a standstill. The key is to be proactive with potential clients, communicate often and in the methods that allow your sales team to be transparent, and to implement tools that will impact your bottom line now – and for years to come.
Until next time…keep it real!