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Marketing on 400 distribution channels - couldn't we just do it ourselves

One of Staykeepers’ most distinguished USPs is that we have access to over 400 marketing and distribution channels. The exposure that affords our customers is prolific, giving their businesses the impetus to grow to the next level without much effort or resources from their own teams.

But couldn’t you do it in-house? Would it be cheaper and more efficient, if not easier?

These are the questions you might have before embarking on a business partnership with someone like Staykeepers.

A business partnership needs to be strategic. You need to thoroughly analyse the costs and impact of doing something yourself before hiring a partner, in order to justify that cost and the additional knowledge.

Plus, it takes time to build a trusted partnership. There are many things to consider. Is the chemistry right? Do they understand our business model and have what it takes to help us succeed? Do they understand our objectives and strategic business goals? And ultimately, will it be worth it?

Advertising your apartments yourself may initially make sense. Whether you own a Built to Rent development or a Purpose Built Student Accommodation block, you know your market, your USPs and the brand identity you wish to portray. But let’s break it down a little. If we compare the exposure that Staykeepers can access, we are talking north of 400 platforms including market giants such as Airbnb, Expedia and Booking.com.

In this article, we dig into the advertising and marketing aspect of your BTR or PBSA asset. Would it be easier and more cost effective to keep it in-house?

1. Initial set-up

To begin, you would need to establish the initial infrastructure for billing and reconciliation. Ideally, this would require a team of three skilled and experienced admin staff to manage the operation. These would be full time and (under the assumption everything runs smoothly), this would take around three weeks to complete. Here, we are looking at around 360 man hours for set up.

2. Ongoing maintenance and management of bookings

Following set up, ongoing management of the system and its bookings, reservations, pricing and refunds warrants a team of three full-time employees (40 hours per week). We also need to assume here that there is no backlog and the system is already in place when the first reservation is made, otherwise more time might be required.

3. Customer service

Then we have our customer service team. At Staykeepers, we employ a team of 21 professionals (including management). The man hours generated here are between 780-820 covering four lanes of activity. Customer service is a hugely important dynamic in the advertising and selling of your units. Poor customer service could cause irreparable damage to your brand, so it’s important to know you are in safe, experienced hands.

4. Revenue Management Team

Now your revenue management team. Perhaps one of the most important - obtaining that exposure for your listings across multiple channels. Let’s take a look at the process:

1. To set up an account on channels can take up to one month after you pass all verifications. Some of the channels get faster approval, for the others it takes time.

2. Creating one listing (one room, one apartment) takes around 1.5 - 2 hours. If you have different room types and 30+ units, it can take up to seven days to structure listings.

3. Pricing listings can be very time-consuming if you are not using additional software which is designed to support dynamic pricing.

4. In a case you manage 20+ units, it will require approximately 4-5 hours daily only maintaining listings, comparing similar properties, positioning your listing to be competitive among the others.

5. Specifically designated teams will be required to constantly maintain all listings on all channels, be in contact with account managers, set up promotions, deals and discounts.

Staykeepers have the technology and means to constantly analyse the micro dynamics in each market for each property type, ensuring the customer gets the best price for their room and the end-user gets a great deal - filling the void and generating revenue.

Partnering with Staykeepers will be a strategic move, and perhaps one that requires further consideration. But with the workload detailed above, this hopefully provides some insight into what would be required to effectively manage the marketing in-house. Not only in actual cost but in resource and time.

Staykeepers offer their partners access to 400 marketing channels but our services span as far as operational and building management saving you more time, money and resource. Find out more by speaking to a member of our team today.

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