This Week in Hospitality Marketing Live Show 266 Transcripts (English U.S.)
[00:00:17.270] – Loren
Hello, everyone, and welcome to This Week at hospitality marketing show number two hundred and sixty six. We are mindful with us, of course, as Mr. Dean Schmidt with Basecamp metasearch, and metasearch marketing. See, it only took me like two months, right. Melissa Kavanough with full travel and the wonderful Ms. Gutman with Aspire Reputation Management.
[00:00:39.320] – Loren
I feel so good about myself.
[00:00:42.710] – Loren
Yes, I’d like to say as host for seven years. Six years. Someone I could get it right. We do want to be mindful of what day this is. Of course, this is September 11th. And for those that are watching us, thank you for taking the time today on such an austere day to go over and and pay attention to what we have to say today. Melissa is going to leave that conversation with the latest iteration, what fuel troubles this resentment is.
[00:01:03.500] – Loren
But we thoughtfully respectful of the fact that it is today and it is nineteen years after the events and so forth, that we just can’t do a quick recap because we’re all slightly old enough, just barely old enough.
[00:01:14.390] – Loren
Adell, I don’t know if you were just born as to where we were this time nineteen years ago. Melissa, we’ll we’ll start with where were you nineteen years ago when all this was happening?
[00:01:26.660] – Adele
I was working at KPMG, which is this giant accounting firm, and I was just thirty miles away from New York City.
[00:01:36.850] – Adele
That’s pretty close ago. Where were you 20 years ago when I was on my way to the Library Hotel, which is located on Madison Avenue and Forty First Street. I was just crossing. Forty Second Street on Pershing Square from Grand Central Putin, Pershing Square. And as a woman was walking past me in the other direction. I could heard her. I heard her on her phone saying there’s been an explosion at the World Trade Center. And I was really just a one minute walk around the corner to get to the hotel.
[00:02:21.610] – Adele
And I said, there’s been an explosion. Let’s go to the television. Almost everybody followed me up on the elevators who could turn the television on on the rooftop of the library hotel. And we we were we were sick and we had a very surreal, terrifying feeling. But as if we were watching a movie because we’ve actually seen so many buildings go down, every single movie seems to have New York City monuments and things go down that it just didn’t feel real possible.
[00:03:00.340] – Adele
And the horror of that day is it is just something I’ll never forget. And I can tell that. Like many other New Yorkers, I cried every day, maybe for two years. It didn’t seem like they would ever smile again. But there there were some really incredible things, and one of them is. The courtesy and kindness and compassion in New York for one person to another was an unreal, unreal, and it really showed the true character of New York City and how much love we had for the city and and the outpouring of love from the whole world was, you know, we just really felt it.
[00:03:57.790] – Adele
I mean, when we saw the the smoke and. I think it was maybe maybe two months we could see that smoke tower hanging in the air and it was it touched everyone and unfortunately. One of my friends who was a chef that I worked with at the Light at the Fitzpatrick Hotel, his name was Benjamin Keefe Clark, and he was an ex Marine. And I if you see my Facebook page, you see, I changed my profile to to to share the bit of the story about him.
[00:04:41.790] – Adele
But he, we do believe, was trapped and died because he was trying to help other people. And that was just so typical of him and of course, the incredible Marine training that he had. And the only thing that I would like to say about this now is that New York is in a tough place now, maybe much tougher in a way, even though the terror and the emotion when I think about 9/11, I can’t even keep it out of my voice.
[00:05:15.130] – Adele
It’s it’s it’s it will always be there and it’ll always be the worst day of my life, I’m sure. But what we’re going through now is actually worse in a way. It just didn’t have that the drama and the intensity and the the it wasn’t an attack of hatred. It was something that. That happens in life, but the damage is much worse than than 9/11 ever could have been. And New York needs everyone’s support now. And and New York is opening, you know.
To get inside at a restaurant, what’s the restaurant meal for you?
You can yes Tullman, I forget his last name for Tito is in for Tito. He’s an author of a great book called Shut Up and Listen, an incredible business book that every hotel you’re in, every restaurant or should read. He owns many restaurants, but I think he owns a team sports person. So I couldn’t tell you, but wow, he’s a very wise person. And he got on CNBC the other day and he said, you know, the rest of the country is opening up.
Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, you’re killing New York. And lo and behold, one maybe one day later they announce a change of attitude. And they said that starting September I mean, starting, I think September 30th, after September 30th, New York City will be allowed to open indoor restaurants again, which is just a pinhole of light. But it may be just enough to help us to launch is a city. The museums are open. You can go see the Metropolitan Museum.
The Museum of Modern Art isn’t even charging admission right now. You can go see the Whitney. You can go see so many things. The top of the rock is open. The restaurants in Rockefeller Center are open.
The I had some incredible dining experience and beautiful garden settings like the it’s called Inside Park at St. Barts. It’s a magical, magical setting and of course, a beautiful new movie set. You’ve seen it in every New York movie you’ve ever seen, probably in the Rye. A beautiful Greek restaurant set up a beautiful garden outside Castle Lever, an amazing restaurant with a beautiful garden setting and just going to Central Park alone. It’s a beautiful thing to do. And these museums, they’re huge.
They have a lot of space. You can be responsible. You can wear your mask, you can wash your hands and you can be socially distant doing all these things. So if you have a car and you’re within driving distance, please, New York loves you.
I think we can take Adele out of New York. I don’t think we can take them.
And I think I want to just take that little snippet and send it to come on and say, hey, guess who’s your new spokesman?
Thank you for sharing. I really, truly I mean, I feel like I just went to a car game and I had no not even a pair. And you had to. Hey, guess what I did then. Where were you nineteen years ago when all this happened?
So I was working with a company in Omaha, Nebraska, and like everybody, I can remember that day very clearly, this is 19 years ago and even then, 19 years ago, it was all over the Internet. Right. So every computer in every office is all pulled up watching this, of course, office. Bandwidth was not meant to accommodate that type of of a load 19 years ago. Right. So bandwidth was at a premium those days.
And like Adele was saying, you know, you didn’t think it was real. It is like some movie you were watching on the TV. It was unbelievable. And it did become real to me until I was a smoker at the time.
And why I stepped outside with some of my colleagues. And as we’re standing outside, we’re in Omaha. And we were right in the path of the landing pattern for Offutt Air Force Base. And here comes Air Force One with a fighter jet escort right over our heads. And that’s when you knew, oh, my gosh, this is real. And yeah. And you know, one thing that that I remember also very clearly about this and you see this as a statement on Facebook, especially today.
But what I really remember, too, is what we were on September 12th. We were all people get very much.
So I stood on both sides of the story. Thank you for joining us. Were you in New Guinea 19 years ago or where were you 19 years ago?
I had just moved recently to the US. I you don’t know. I’m originally from England. Accent’s weird, but I moved to Myrtle Beach in February of that year and so it was weird. It was like a lot you guys have said it was definitely surreal and moving. And I think for me personally. It was a massive shift in my mental state because I felt like an outsider for quite some time, you know, being there for six months, but it was the first time I felt like I was part of the US like it really because everyone came together, you know, shots of Congress on the steps singing together.
Right. It’s an image that we longed for to see again, but not for the same reasons. But we’d love to see that kind of coming together. But yeah, for me personally, I mean, I think it moved everyone. I think everyone in our office was in tears that day at different times, and it struck different people in different ways. But there was just a sense of numbness, but at the same time an appreciation for everyone around you and your loved ones.
But then at the same time, too, it also made me feel it was, you know, as far away from my family as I never felt before and probably since. So it was it was odd. Different, definitely not. Than I want to go through again. But but I you know, I think it changed me as it did a lot of people that I agree with that I just picked up a job running five hotels in the Keys a month, literally like a month before.
And one of my housekeepers came in that she heard on the radio she was clean room, that a small plane had run into the World Trade Center and my. Wow. And so we were about to have a meeting in the little meeting room that we had. So let’s wheel in the TV and plug it in and we plug it in, turn it on. And as they’re talking with the smoke of the first tower, we literally watched the second plane hit.
And that still just puts a chill down my spine. Now, it’s just it’s like all of a sudden the impact of that wasn’t an accident. That and that was the small plane, you know, and you just realize that this was something that was really happening and that somebody willfully did this. And just like since the hairs on the arm that you go back to sleep and we’re just we’re all dead silent. We’re just all of us housekeepers. Bellmon front desk, you know, we were just all staring at the TV and just like don’t want to believe it, but we’re watching it.
And I agree with you. This real is like. No, no, no, no, there was a denial thing like this can’t really be doing this, this isn’t really, really happening kind of thing. And then, of course, it descended from there. So, yeah, we should all never forget in that sense. Yeah.
So, you know, but I do want to be frank. This is a day this is a day we cannot forget this day, you know, a matter what we do, what we say. But to Adele’s point, in many ways, what we’re facing as an industry is worse, because I can say, in contrast, we were never told we couldn’t just nobody would travel at that time for a while. You know, we were never we were never restricted to travel.
We face the fact that we had to inspire travel. There was still the ability to travel. There was a fear of travel, but there was nobody said can’t travel. And now we’re being in that and in reverse. We’re fearful of travel and we’re also being told that we shouldn’t travel. So we got quite a little bit more on top of the negativity for all this as well.
So, yeah, I think it’s a little different than I think, you know, fear is ultimately the reason, right? Well, in both cases, but I felt like there was a lack of freedom. There was a lack of control back then, like you felt that you had no control over your safety. If you flew in and something happened on that plane, you were completely helpless. I think now what people are realizing is that you were in control of your health.
Right now, the things you choose to do will keep you and your loved ones safe. And when you when you make reckless decisions, that’s when you get in trouble. People are traveling and we’ll get into the data. And in a little while, Melissa, because we just published volume nine of our study sentiment’s study. The majority of people in this country are traveling or have traveled or planning to travel. People are traveling the types of travel. They’re choosing a very, very different.
But I think the fear of travel is is at an all time low since March 15th when this really is rearing its head. So so I think there’s there’s some light at the end of the tunnel here for a lot, especially if you’re in a leisure destination or if you can pivot to to create demand like what Adele was saying there about New York. I mean, think think of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that have always dreamed of a trip to New York and just haven’t ever been able to afford to do it.
Right. But now would be a perfect time to do it. All those museums are open. Central Park. You can go hand in hand with your loved one through Central Park. There’s so many restaurants that are doing some great things and the hotels are in desperate need and doing great things to welcome people. Now is probably the best chance you’ll ever have in your life to travel to New York. Yeah, you can’t go to a Broadway show and there’s certain attract the clothes, but that the important things, the things that you create, great memories are all available.
And you can travel to these cities if you do it responsibly, if you don’t do anything stupid. Very true. This is true.
And unfortunately, we’re dealing with something that we didn’t have to deal with back then was misinformation and polarity of opinions and politicizing things. We had a bit of a solidarity back then that like that. And this is to the to the shock of it being the first time that happened to our culture. And that that solidarity that you mentioned, too, I mean, even down in the Keys, there was the solidarity. We was very proud of the fact that when rallied together and so forth, even if we weren’t even a part of what was being rallied for, we really felt solidarity that we could support emotionally or physically, financially, whatever it was that was going on, because we didn’t know what was next.
We don’t know if that was the first step of many. I mean, I remember the uncertainty of Florida for us. We had to face the anthrax issue immediately thereafter and then that created, my God, is the world falling apart here? Is all this happening now? Now we have somebody throwing around this this powder stuff. Know who’s next thing I remember? We wouldn’t even open our mail for you. It’s a strange stuff. But anyways, I don’t want to be forgetful of the day for that.
But also, I want to be respectful of the fact that Melissa and Stewart and their team put together once again an excellent consumer sentiment report ongoing as to as we go through our own crisis now and then gives us some hopefully some insights as to how we can look at what may, may or may not be plea. Melissa, not to give you a down cover.
Transglobal. Hey, Melissa, what’s going on?
Oh, goodness. Back up, Melissa. Bring us back on.
Melissa All right. We go through this data, but you were not and nobody on this show is allowed to ask me if we have previous data before the pandemic started, because the answer is no. Do not ask me that question. We do not have a comparison. Unintimidated, on here. You should be OK.
Yeah. All right, so Lane can tell people I’d get it if they want to follow along. Yes, you can go to People Travel blog and click on the consumer sentiment study. And I think is it in the notes you should put in there? You’re. OK, OK. The biggest thing to take away from this round of the survey is that according to our respondents, 50 percent, five zero have traveled since the pandemic started. When we asked this question a month ago, it was only thirty four percent.
We’re up to and this went out before Labor Day, so I can’t imagine now that we’re after Labor Day, what that number is going to be.
I mean, it’s certainly going to be north of 60 percent at this point, I believe. And keep in mind that the constituents, the people that are answering this are a self-identified as travelers. They typically will travel at least once a year. So so I don’t think it’s 50 percent of the entire population by any stretch, but it’s 50 percent of people that would typically travel have traveled in a lot of them or traveled more than once. That’s what we’re seeing.
We’re seeing shorter trips, closer in, more frequently in and we’re seen in markets where, you know, typically where there’s a massive drop off after Labor Day weekend. They’re looking pretty rosy for the next two or three weekends. This summer could be extended here for a lot of people. I’ve got clients in certain areas that are demanding a higher ADR this September than they were last September and getting higher occupancy. So I think for the leisure consumer, the traveling, if you incentivize new travel.
And we did look at some of these questions based on age, because we haven’t done that in several rounds of the survey, Gen-X and younger. We were at almost 60 percent have traveled.
Which I mean, it makes sense, I know I’ve traveled a couple of times, Melissa, you traveled at least once to see family. You’re planning another trip, Adell. You traveled by having to move. But now I don’t know about Lauren. You were meant to travel last week. Right. But didn’t get to or you did. Two weeks ago, for a four day just up the road drive mark to travel, OK, and indeed of you traveled since March when?
Last weekend for our anniversary. Actually, yes. 100 percent of people in this flight told the audience more than 50 percent of people are traveling. It’s just different types of travel. And that’s that’s why you as a marketer have to really understand the psychology of this, the behavior of this change your tactics to target people that are willing to travel right now. And really, the good news about it is, really is. There’s not any major outbreaks really tagged to travel safe, responsible travel.
Yeah, you can talk to many people in the Ozarks or whatever. Right, or but look at like Disney. Disney’s been open now for quite some time. And the media being like, come on, Disney, give me an outbreak. We want to write about that. And not one story has really been written about it being a vector. So if you travel responsibly, you socially dist., if you wear a mask, if everyone around you is doing the same thing, the risk is very minimal.
Travel is safe. And I said it again, places don’t spread covid people do. And if you take responsibility for yourself and you encourage other people to do the same, it’s safe. It’s safe to travel as it is to go to your grocery store, to a restaurant in your hometown.
There’s no difference and there’s definitely some pent up demand for it through another.
We’ve talked before about some of the early travelers. Were the risk takers the ones that said, I don’t care about it? I think we’re now also getting to a stretch of the pent up demand. And everybody on the show right now, actually, we’re all people who historically have traveled. I will tell you that me personally and the fact that I up until last week it had not traveled some place for the better part of six months was driving me insane.
I was getting to the point where I had a little twitch going on and I had to go somewhere. And I know there’s more people like that, right? We are people who travel. And I think that contributes a little bit to what you’re seeing in your survey. 50 percent of the people have, I think after Labor Day, that’s even more. I think we will continue to see a little bit of that come out, especially knock on wood.
We get a vaccine for this thing that there will be some early pent up demand that comes out as a result of that as well.
Yeah, we just got to be careful not to get carried away and yet let our guard down. This is something that is manageable if people behave appropriately. So we is hotelier’s need to keep encouraging appropriate behavior. We as travelers need to continue to behave appropriately and we’ll get through the fall and into the spring and hopefully we’ll be on the verge of a some kind of vaccine. But time travel is happening. I mean, as much as people are in poverty right now, there’s a lot of people that are traveling.
And so I had a conversation with someone last week about the fact that, you know, there are a lot of people in terrible situations, right. Where they’ve lost their job, they’ve lost their income, they’re financially struggling. But there’s also a band of people that have maintain their job, have reduced their their expenses because they’re not going out to eat and not going out and doing things that usually cost money on a month to month basis to have a little bit more of a disposable income.
And you’re seeing this pattern in travel where people Melissa’s a prime example of this. She’s not someone that would have to splurge on a trip. She’d always cut corners and scrimp and save. But she’s she’s actually going on a nicer trip than she would typically do in the fall because she’s been in a house locked up and she deserves it. And, you know, there’s a lot of people in that situation, but this has been all these are traveling, looking at bills, comments.
And in the chat area, their leisure has done relatively well. It’s all relative, right? Corporate, however, not so much so even myself. I traveled on leisure. I haven’t been on a business trip since January, February, actually.
I’d like to throw in a little bit about the corporate travel before this moves on to the next point is that. What we’re finding now is, as people realize, there is really not a liability as to what they’re doing to keep people safe, like is you can’t say you got Kovik because you stayed with me.
I think some corporate offices are going to rethink their concern of the legalities of asking their team members to travel for business. I know that was a consideration early on with some companies, from salespeople to reaching out to them saying, look, our company really does want us because they don’t put us in jeopardy, which translated to me of they don’t really want to put it where you can go back and say, hey, I got to go because you made me travel.
I think now that the gouty pressure is maybe less or not as defined, I don’t know what a better way to say it. That corporate might say, OK, Lauren, but out time to hit the street. We got to start hitting people, be safe, do all the good stuff. But you know, it’s a part of your job description that you have X, Y, Z to do. And it’s going to require you to go around and get in front of people if they if they’re willing to do so.
So I think there might be some impact to that. How much or whatever. I’m just saying that this is just probably one piece to the puzzle of all of it. But I think there is a lesser concern as to the. Liability aspect of this. I think you’re right and I think, you know, we were so scared because there was so little we knew about how this thing was spreading early on. And so I think there was zero chance that the businesses were going to take on that liability.
But now, I mean, if you look at what’s happened over the last couple of months and it’s really interesting because people keep getting mad that the science is changing. Right. But that that’s what science does. Right. Science looks at empirical data and makes new hypotheses until that’s proven wrong. Like the fact that the facts are changing is because science is working, that you know, where the masks worked or not and now they say they do is because more data is accumulated.
And I think the same is happening with how this this virus spreads. And there’s very little evidence that it spreads prevalently from indirect contact. It’s almost all of the tracing has gone through water vapor, through breathing, into the eyes, into the mouth, into the nasal cavity. So I think if you do take the appropriate precautions, traveling, doing any activity is safe. And you can see that in areas where the numbers are continuing to go down, even though there’s a lot of people there going about their business.
But they’re doing it responsibly. So I think, you know, looking at it from a corporate standpoint, you know, running a business, having employees that we’ve say now, I would probably not force anyone to travel, but I would certainly at this point say, hey, if we feel like we can close this deal or that there’s an opportunity here, if you would like to travel, we’re going to lift the ban. We’ll probably have you sign a little waiver saying that you’re doing it on your own risk.
But I don’t feel like I did three months ago where I was like, there’s no way I’m on any one travel to see. Now, now I’m loosening up. Now it’s not we’re not going to be back to last year’s levels any time soon, but not just because of, you know, the risk, but also there’s not an appetite for it on the personal side. Our clients don’t necessarily want us coming to to their office. But I do feel a little more optimistic about business travel than I did even a month ago.
I think it’s going to start to slowly come back.
This culture of Delbar, we’re not thank you for dropping that in. And I do want to get back to some point. I think it’s an interesting chart to discuss. I don’t want to fall off track with Melissa, though. In the first of all, I think it has a relevancy to that. We can come back to and point out, because I’d like to have a little bit more clarity as to the chart itself as to what it’s doing for them.
But it’s always we always have the painful part of interrupting Melissa all the time.
So I’m like I this is that we ask of the people who travel, what type of trip was it? And not surprisingly, 50 percent said that it was a planned vacation, but over 30 percent said it was a last minute trip. And I think that’s really important and to Stuart’s point, I think that, again, looking at the drive market, which is still super, super hot, you can convince people, hey, it’s sunny, it’s beautiful, get out of your house.
Here’s a great deal. And people will come. And here’s the thing, you can get it once, you can probably more likely get them to do it again and you can get them to tell their friends about it.
Like right now, it’s about encouraging those first few travelers to come to you so you can tell a story and create a narrative about how safe it is and what a great experience they had. It’s you starting from zero, but you’ve got to start somewhere, maybe offer some good incentives for people to get to where you are now and then build on that. Use that as leverage to get the next on the next time. And business was not dead, and knowing, again, the fact that this is truly in leisure travel database, we did get, I don’t know, about eight percent that said that they did travel on business.
I was actually surprised it was that high for this survey of people for. So we also asked, where did you stay? And overwhelmingly, the people choose a standard hotel, a motel resort, none of the other options family, friends are perpetually managed vacation rental, Airbnb, timeshare, everything else is way, way, way, way, way with fantastic news.
That is great news. I was very surprised by that, though, actually.
I kind of thought that vacation, unless Airbnb would have been higher than that.
That’s what they would have you believe. You know, I think that’s right.
We talked about last week on the show that is skewed because as a percentage, they look better on sites like Expedia because of the destinations that are recovering fast, like Panama City Beach, like Daytona Beach, like Myrtle Beach. These areas have heavy density of that kind of inventory. So if you look at Expedia as a as a homogenous thing, they’re going to say, well, these these are the percentage of vacation rentals that we’re covering. All of their business is is leisure transient.
And that’s what’s recovered. So hotels. They’re doing just fine, but other people will try to spin it to say vacation rentals are safe for Airbnb and safer, we as an industry need to reject that false narrative and say, no, we’re professionally cleaned or professionally managed. We’re doing the precautionary things. You’re perfectly safe here. And in fact, the majority of people are choosing to stay in hotels, not these these other places.
I don’t know if Melissa you know, Holly, I’m sorry. I don’t want to always assume things are highly nationalist.
So, yes, I think tell you already know, Holly, I’m not thinking that’s a surprise. And all the rest of us know Holly. I was working on the show.
I thought, oh, my gosh, I need to not because there are two people out of five that I owe something to today.
Like if you get off and go and do my work.
But it’s always a pleasure to have you. No problem.
Homeworks later anyway. So, Melissa, let’s talk, please.
We asked again, this is the second time we asked about communication, about pre-arrival, things that you get all the information that was important to you. And it was consistent with our last study that more than 70 percent of respondents said that they got all the good cleaning information about the property. But in terms of local things going on, what’s open, what’s not open hotels doing a crappy job still.
You’ve been saying this for months, Lauren, and I don’t know why hotels are not catching on to this. They should be putting it out every day, all day, positive, positive messages about their whole area because people are just coming to sleep and take a shower. They’re coming to experience a beautiful office. They want to know what they can and cannot do, especially in the literature.
Right. Right. You’re not going there to stay in a hotel room because they’ll go where you want to stay.
I think I think it’s a little bit tricky, though, because businesses are opening and closing. And so it’s a full time it’s not a full time job. It’s a part time job keeping up with what is available. So I do think that plays into it. They might put something out, OK, go to this place and then they decide they have to close. Yeah, it’s a worthwhile effort, though. Yeah, it is, I think that is the juice worth the squeeze probably in this case it is.
And you don’t have to be comprehensive about your area. You know, pick a handful of partners that you have a good relationship with, that you want to help. Thank you. Think you’re OK?
It does make sure that they make sure that they let you know if they’re changing their hours.
And you know why people in your hotel know from a general standpoint, again, if you can sit inside Iraq and that is change or if they’re going see the restaurant are allowed inside, but not like all that got has to be. There’s no exception at least that. What I have to say about that, I volunteer with this group called Kick covid got us and actually, Stuart, you filled out the template. It’s a Web site that does nothing but give safety information about businesses.
Are they open? Are they enforcing mask wearing? Are they taking temperatures? Do you feel safe? Basically. So that’s another good tool to be able to see in the area what’s going on. It’s not an app. It’s a website. It’s an app coming soon. So we also asked again if the property’s met expectations amongst all the safety and cleanliness items, still, most people are really very happy with everything, but the availability of amenities is still the highest item that did not meet.
Expectations were 17 percent of people saying that that was not. Meeting their expectations, and that’s up from the lacerate, which was at 12 percent. Well, it’s not a surprise there because it’s very challenging if you don’t have full occupancy. I mean, if you’re struggling just to keep your doors open, it’s hard to keep all the services going when you don’t have enough people to use those services to make it. It’s very, very challenging. Well, there’s also a staffing issue, this is one of the most ironic challenges with facing in this pandemic because there’s such a lull in demand, but then there’s spikes in demand and a lot of destinations that are dead during the week and then spike on the weekends.
And it’s really hard to turn over the rooms like a lot of places are selectively limiting inventory on weekends because they just they can’t manage it. They can’t find the people to clean the rooms. And it’s it’s a tragedy because they’re leaving money on the table. I mean, we literally have had we have one group of 10 properties in a destination that literally chartered a flight to Jamaica and flew back about two hundred Jamaican employees that had previously worked in that call center.
And they flew them to the US to work for the summer in housekeeping because it was the only open operate. And it’s a really creative solution that probably cost them a couple of hundred thousand dollars. But if you average that out to a thousand dollars per employee to guarantee you’ve got them for the summer, it was a genius movement and it allowed them in their market to stay 100 percent occupied where a lot of people were having to throttle their inventory, which was crazy.
Wow. Melissa, sorry, what was that? What was what was two percent and then what was it last week, 12 percent? Wow, it’s getting worse. Yeah. Lauren, I think your audio is off. So there’s something there’s a buzz somewhere, and I don’t know who it has. I don’t know how you doin? Just saying, just saying, you know, so I say this is a lesson learned from resort management and it truly is.
A lot of hotels are faced with how they maintain their amenity levels. They never had to worry about this before. They had, as you said, the occupancy, the constant flow. So they kept things open and available during downtimes because there were brief, short, and it wasn’t really an impact per say. Now they’re faced with large time frames and or total.
Nobody’s there for three or four days. How do you keep a restaurant open on your property or something? And some of them making the very bad choice of just shutting it down during those times, which is automatically mandating that you’re not going to get demand for those times once people find out that that availability is not there when they choose to stay with you. So resorts had to always go through the process of come hell or high water. I got to keep the spa open.
I got to keep the golf course running. I got to keep these things going, even if I don’t actually have tee times or sporting schedule. And there’s ways to structure how you bring in teams and staff depend upon this, including when it goes to just the more the hotels are facing some of the more basics, like how do you do?
We used to call it oral option to leave early. When I used to run restaurants, I would have to. And this is just basic restaurant running. When you used to be a standalone restaurant, you have to buy is if you’re going to be busy staff is if you’re going to be full and cut like a mother when you didn’t have the business you expected and you learned how to reconstitute your products when you didn’t have the ability to sell it and you had shelf life.
That’s just the nature of those types of businesses that hotels. Have you ever never really, truly learned? When I first went into food and beverage in hotels, which got me into hotels, I was thinking they were just a bunch of pampered brats. They have seven or eight people sitting above them and they’re whining about, oh, we didn’t get many people for breakfast is like slap some bacon in the air conditioners.
Let’s get these people hungry, you know, and staffing in certain levels.
And when something broke, I still remember this day, I went and grabbed the plunger and they’re like, what are you doing? Well, the toilet closes one engineering take care of her. Like, well, bonus.
But, you know, I’m so used to running at the time I season, my mom was like, hey, toilet plugged up, guess who’s fixing it? You know, it’s just this mindset that the restaurants and hotels have to get down to the basic. What does it take to keep me alive here? What do I got to do? You know, keep keep those things available. So anyway, that’s my little tribe today.
Melissa, we asked a new question, but we have a question we ask the next time you travel.
Do you guys? I’m hearing a very large chicken and not.
The next time you travel, what would you like to hear from the property prior to your stay? So these were the same items that we asked of people who already traveled and did they hear? So this is asking, what do you want to hear from properties before you travel and very much local Maastricht requirements, again, updated cleaning protocols. But you know, what’s number three is open. State is a local restaurants, almost 70 percent. So 70 percent want to hear about the local activities, but only thirty five percent said that they received that information, what a huge disconnect.
And an opportunity. Do better, and for the younger groups, the status of open restaurants and local mask requirements were equal at the top. They tied at 70 percent each.
Just as important. But I thought it was interesting that you said that the people who wouldn’t go because of masks were the younger people.
Yeah, well, I think that that’s what they want to know, though. Like, is there anything that you want to retract? Yeah, I’m I’m so using that stat because that’s been my mantra for my hotels for so long, was like, get that info out. And for the hotels that we’ve been doing it with, there’s been success. And for the hotels that are still like, oh, I haven’t called him yet or whatever. OK, here’s a stat.
70 percent of people want this stuff and only 30 percent are getting it. Where do you want to be? Thank you. Thank you for that stat. I’m going to use that with.
It’s free for you to use the speed. OK, go ahead. Can I just clarify? Sorry. So you’re saying younger people want to know if the mask is required because they won’t go there if the mask is required? I’m about to get to that stat. So this is I think now the third survey that we’ve asked about the mask ordinances and how if there is a mask ordinance, it would affect people’s decisions to travel. And this is the third survey that it has completely warmed up the pie chart.
Again, it’s each round has been completely different. So this time we have almost equal parts of my decision wouldn’t be changed versus I would be less likely to travel versus I’d be more likely to travel there if there is a mask ordinance. So compared to last time, those who would be more likely to travel there was the same. It stayed at thirty five percent. But those who said their decision would be unchanged went down drastically. We had been sitting at almost 50 percent.
And so therefore those who are saying they are less likely to travel has now increased is now 30 percent.
Yeah, it’s weird, it’s swung one way and then the other because it’s the very first one we did, it was I think twenty eight percent and twenty eight percent were the more likely and less likely. Right. They were evenly split and then the 40 something percent was unchanged. And then it’s one to where everyone was like, OK, I’m probably being a dumb ass, I need to wear a mask. And that number of people that would not travel shrunk dramatically.
And why on earth is growing again? I, I have no idea. It is baffling to me.
So to answer the question, I was asked whether there was local ordinance or just if if the hotel was asking you to wear your local ordinance. OK, OK.
The question has been asked the same way all three times, but it’s weird. I mean, the psychology of someone that was like, no, I’m not going. If there’s a massive ordinance to OK, I will go now to now. Now going back even more people now saying no again. So I don’t know what’s instigated that other than the politicization of it and the nonsense that’s going on in the media.
I think there’s some social acceptance to it, too. Right. So there’s still people that don’t want to wear a mask. And and I get that. And that’s OK. But now you can’t hardly go to a business. You can’t go to a department store, retail store or a restaurant without having to wear a mask. It’s just kind of become the standard, OK, this is how it’s going to be deal with it. And most rational, normal people deal with that.
Right. But this is not really rational people is grown again.
And I don’t know what’s creating that other than six months of being cooped up in their houses and they’re just not wanting to be told what to do. Yeah, well, Arizona Mescaleros.
I live in South Carolina. So for the first time, I got flagged for having the wrong mask. I went to my doctor’s office and I have one of those. Early on, I had the mess. I had events on it, and the doctor’s office asked me to change to the mess that they provided me because the mask doesn’t protect others. And I appreciate it. I was like, sorry. I mean, this was my mask that was strapped.
So it doesn’t fall off. You know, as I keep seeing people all the time, it’s like, dude, your pants up.
And some airlines are also saying you can’t wear that means that mask.
Yeah, yeah. Delta was the first. Oh, no, United was the first to say you can’t have Venton masks on and stuff. And I think it’s a great thing because you’re right, the mask is supposed to be preventative both ways. I didn’t realize when I bought it that these vents really didn’t have filters. I’m I’m I’m sucking in filtered air, but I’m blowing out whatever I’m breathing. And it doesn’t really help other people as much as if I had a non vented mass.
I think of Stewart. I think your brilliant idea of taking a Darth Vader helmet and putting filtering it is perfect. Well, you know, I’m just thinking that way it covers the eyes and you get to sound really cool and you look cool and you get a filter up. I was in my office right now.
I put it on because it’s sitting there anyway. So sorry. Melissa, please go ahead. I digress.
We’re going to stick on this for just a minute, because looking at the age comparisons, I kind of want to throw up a little bit. So. Forty three percent of the people in the younger age groups would be less likely. Forty three percent to travel with a mass audience in place versus twenty three percent of those of the older group.
Surprises me. It really does. I think Richard was commenting in the past a little bit on your age page about the travel component and not necessarily this one in particular, but I think he was referring to the 25 and under versus the 55 five seventy four, whether that’s a representation of leisure travel, Airbnb, whatever. But yeah, OK, your database does tend to skew older.
That said, distribution of the demographics, even though this is a smaller sample size than we’ve seen, has been pretty consistent across all nine surveys. So we’re sticking with it until we can’t survey anymore. All right. Let’s see what’s up next. Which of the following would most likely persuade you to book a future vacation? This is this question we’ve asked on every survey. And the good news is we are back down in percentage points in terms of people who are saying they could not be persuaded.
We are now back down to 16 percent and that is basically tied with the lowest. We had seen it back in June.
So that’s a great start to tell. I mean, eighty four percent of people would be open to traveling right now. That’s a massive stat right now. And flexibility just continues to it’s been on top, it’s still on top, followed by discount and then the reassurance about what the property is doing from a sensitization standpoint. Oh, let’s see. Top three reasons. Oh, this is a good one. I love this one. The top three reasons that would prevent you from staying at a hotel right now.
Fear of other guests. Still no one, but nothing preventing me. Is it over 30 percent and is now in this second position? Nothing is preventing me from traveling right now is. Great progress. It is progress, and then we also have a category that says I have already traveled. So that’s it. Twenty seven percent, so sort. So if you combine those two, we’re looking pretty good looking at the age comparison. Nothing is preventing me was the top choice or youngins.
And they were at thirty six percent and budget concerns was number two. So basically they need their quote unquote. Safety concerns are not anywhere near the top of what is preventing them from traveling, if anything is preventing them. They’re ready to go. Oh, let’s see what other good nuggets do we have? How likely to book a trip in the next 30, 60, 90 days? It’s been an ongoing question. We are now at fifty five percent of people saying that they would maybe or more likely to travel in the next 30 days.
Sixty two percent would be willing to travel the next 60 days and sixty eight percent in the next 90 days. We’ve gone up 10 percentage points since the last survey of people willing to travel in the next 30 days.
It’s nice to see. Have some good news. Yes. And so that’s just two percentage points lower than the high that we had seen back in June. So it is very, very good news. Still asking about distance from home.
How willing are you to travel one hour, two hours, three hours, etc.? Outstanding. If you are one hour from anything. Sixty eight percent of people are willing to travel within the next 30 days, within one hour from their house.
Fifty four percent for two hours and thirty nine percent for three hours. And all three of these categories have had huge increases compared to the last survey, more than 10 percentage points on all of them increase versus the last survey.
So times are changing again on CNN. Dr. Phil, she said to please not be complacent and and because there’s going to be a spike, very likely. But then see and then went on to say, you know, you are one of the people who have gotten sick or hospitalized, two thirds of them or something like that, or went to a restaurant. But I felt like they were just kind of manipulating the the the things that I mean that people who are out there living their life may have gone to a restaurant.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that they got it from a restaurant or or anything.
So it it is it is great news. But always with that caution, you know, let’s not get crazy. Let’s not expect that this is a light switch. This is going to be slow.
Let’s not get crazy in where the freaking mask, where the right eye is inside a restaurant.
Two weeks ago, for the first time in six months, it was the most amazing.
There’s this crazy concept where you sit down and people bring food to you.
You clean it up and it will it was oh, it was incredible. It was so good.
Like, I guess to be pragmatic with us rolling through Labor Day with that we just did. I think that, you know, two weeks now we’re going to have the inevitable, which is it’s going to spread because of the fact it increases the spread.
And I think everyone’s we understand that there’s an ebb and flow to this and we keep doing what they shouldn’t be doing and not protecting each other and being civil about this. The more we’re going to see the impact on the negativity and the more the media is going to amp that up. As Stewart, as you said, they’re all about watching the the the the parks as to, oh, you’re going to get this thing going on. If you do it responsibly, you’re not going to.
And that’s the message that keeps getting missed, is, you know, we can’t keep our economy shut down. Yeah, that’s there’s a bit of truth to that. Obviously, there’s people going out. They can’t just sit in the room with no money and not having food come in. And there’s a reality, all this. But responsible civil participation masks, distancing, washing hands, you know that the over and over of this restaurants can run and operate even for that matter.
We’re opening up bars down here, which I think is going to be really interesting. That’s interesting.
In Florida, the bar’s opening up. They can have 50 percent occupancy. You can sit, but you can’t walk around and talk to anybody, can’t socialize, can’t dance, can only go to the restroom, go back to your seat. It’s like by going over.
Something interesting happened in our local area and some of it was local, some of it was at the state level. So, you know, Myrtle Beach, as you know, was one of the first areas to really explode with tourism. Right before Memorial Day, we opened back up and had this tidal wave and got a ton of bad press about it. And then was reckless behavior and numbers kind of went up. And then a couple of weeks after that, the governor of South Carolina put in a new ordinance that said bars couldn’t be open after a certain time.
I forget what time was, I think 11 o’clock, maybe that’s what they said. They shut down bars and we’ve maintained steady occupancy. I mean, it’s all for the summer, especially midweek, has been around 50 percent occupancy throughout the summer. But weekends we’ve been ninety five hundred percent occupied most weekends and summer. It’s been spectacular in the whole time. And numbers of covid have been going down, down, down, down, down to the practically every single week.
It’s been a couple of little blips, but we’ve been packed and I get the data skewed. Right, because the data would show the people when they go home getting cold. And there was a little bit of that. But the local people, the workers that are interacting with these people, the restaurants have all been open for inside seating and outside seating. Cases are way down. You can live if you do it responsibly, you can manage this disease.
If you do it responsibly, you can travel. If you do it responsibly.
And that and that’s where I think so. Be really curious to see what happens after this Labor Day, because I do think versus Memorial Day weekend. Do you think people are smarter? Three months later took us, but I bet we’re not going to see quite the spike that we saw after Memorial Day, because I do think outside of Arizona, maybe a couple places, you know, that they have I shouldn’t give Arizona such a hard time. We are wearing a lot more masks and used to that literally.
I was at the dog park the other day. I was the only one wearing a mask out of 40 people that were there. We were outside, but people were not saying the same thing. But I do. So I wonder if that spike is going to be there. The downside is, I don’t know what happens with the onset of normal. That can be dramatically different if we’re practicing time.
We see a different type of travel of this holiday versus Memorial Weekend Memorial with younger folks, more reckless folks looking for a party. They were just blowing that extra money they were getting from the stimulus. It was a lot of recklessness in Memorial Day. You know, we had some problems, fights in the streets, you know, stupid stuff that happens when when it’s a that kind of crowd. This was all families traveling in. From my observation, even though we were packed, the vast majority of people were being smart about their travel.
And I think you’re right, Ali.
I think we have we saw off the Memorial Day, at least in the destinations that have been open for a while, there might be somewhere it’s the first time they’ve had a crowd and there’s a learning curve. But I’m hoping nationally we don’t see this quite so.
And I think the fact that then society wise, we don’t have a truth authority on what is correct and incorrect. We have a lot of ambiguity on this between what I thought that was.
So there is no clarity to this. We have certain authorities that we trust more than others, but even then, we don’t know whether the politicized, leveraged, I mean, falsies, great. But in all honesty, he even defended the president, obviously, because. Why? Because if he doesn’t, he’s not going to have a voice.
So I thought, you know, I like I love the fact he doesn’t endorse what he has. But, you know, the FDA, the CDC, they all have these because for me, it’s like even as simple as things like I go to the doctor’s office, they’re great about telling me I have to choose my mask. And as I walk up to the front to ask about another question, the very doctor I just looked at is walking from one of the treatments.
Police mass down and talking to people that are in his office. I’m like, is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing?
Is it you know, I mean, I’m looking at going by the same token, it’s like I don’t know if all the people in the offices are routinely checked for covid and that they don’t think that they’re exposed to patients that are wearing masks, that they’re wearing masks that they’re worrying about. So when they’re in their office environment behind plexiglass, it’s an OK. I don’t know. But all I know is that to me, it’s like taking a mask off when you’re with other people are good, bad, good.
You know, so we have all this ambiguity to this stuff that creates this polarity of how all of us talk to each other. You don’t want the public. So they buy groceries and they’re very good about making people wear masks. But I can assure you that as we see in the news feeds all the time with social media, some of the rants and raves and screams is going to run through the store without a mask on, coughing, hacking, sneezing, grabbing food and checking out.
And the puppets. People aren’t going to be able to do much about it. They’re really without calling the police, making a big thing about it. So it’s a tough thing. Again, it goes back to should we just have the federal government say everywhere mask? I know it’s gonna be hard to enforce and all this other stuff that police say is it, but at least it gives them a reason to point to them and say, put your mask on.
That approach seems to have worked for multiple other countries. I don’t know.
There is some data that that I feel like some of us I’m sorry. Again, I try to drag you down the rabbit hole. I’ve only got one more question to talk about, and that is looking at the types of destinations people are willing to travel. And this for the second time in a row, if that’s a thing, small town outperforming everything else, 42 percent of people said that they would be willing to travel to a small town within one month versus thirty two percent somewhere nature and thirty three percent for a beach destination.
I’m curious to define what they interpret as being a small town of. I grew up in a town of 800 people, so it’s not really a town, it’s like a school.
But I will say this.
So even the major city like so all the different types of destinations did have increases in that one month range. It’s not great, but even major cities had an increase from 12 percent, up to 16 percent. It’s progress, at least it’s not it’s not in great numbers, but at least it’s going in the right direction and a safer perception.
Yeah, well, like, I live in Norfolk, Nebraska, and I tell you, we don’t have to go into some stores. There’s mass mandates, but we don’t have a citywide mass mandate. And that’s not because of everybody worried about their freedoms. And that stuff is because we don’t have to. It’s just Pierce County here north of me. The entire county has like 50 cases of covid. It’s not a thing. Whereas if I go to Omaha, Nebraska, I should go into the city, then it’s a different story.
Now, you’ve got mass mandates everywhere, so you have greater freedoms by going to a smaller town.
I want to bring in Adel’s consciousness wethers, but New York City and so forth from earlier in the show a little bit. I think from from a marketing perspective, we keep talking about what we’ve lost and what we can’t do and what we haven’t been able to do in the challenges of what we’re facing now with perceptions and everything else. We’re also not talking about the things we can do and the new ways that people are reaching us and dialoguing with us and able to deal with us directly.
We have all these new channels of communication that didn’t exist 19 years ago, flat out, did not have social media back then, flat out had very little percentage wise people using the Internet the way they’re using it now. And now we have these channels of opportunity to communicate, answer questions to our guests. And I would think from a city’s perspective, everything that Dean and Melissa putting up with the survey is true. I mean, we have the same density issue.
We didn’t want to be around a lot of people, but that didn’t keep us from a city density. We went to Treasure Island, which is connected to all these other municipalities, which is a part of a big municipality, which is part of a very dense, populated county in Florida. We saw it that we chose not to engage with all those people, but it did me we didn’t want to go to where we were going. The city is a little different because being in the city inherently, you’re going to be facing people to do whatever you do in the city.
If there’s a way to communicate this for the hotel’s perspective in the city, to talk about their control of their elevator, to ensure that people are densified into the elevator, which might be a concern for some of the use of staggering room revenue, a room reservation, a reservation. So you’re not right next to a room that you’re going to run into somebody in the hallway as easily. I don’t know. And I’m not saying these are definable things to do.
I’m just thinking that these are things that people consider when they’re making choices of where they’re staying. That’s a safety issue. That density issue, the the traffic issue, that restaurant availability issue. These are all things that we need to communicate. Very good if we’re going to get people to stay at the hotel because the restaurants are now open enough in New York that you can still get the most amazing pizza in the universe.
You can still go over and get some pretty amazing just follow up food.
There’s so many places, you know, and yes, there’s no problem.
But there is there’s more mothers there. There’s so many things you can do, even if it’s just outside walking in Battery Park, OK, it’s it’s it’s a beautiful it is a place like no other.
And that’s almost like an inspiration of how do you get people to do that. And you. Right. The drive market is the market first because there’s still this apprehension about the extra layer of travel on airplanes.
But there should be a way to bring people in by making sure that we can communicate in channels that we now have available in ways that we’ve never used it as effectively as we had before. I think there’s a possibility that that’s just being optimistically thinking, yeah, we can save the world.
There has been some evidence and to me, this is the most exciting change that I’ve seen, that there’s been some upticks of great business bookings year over year growing over the last three weeks. They’ve seen positive changes each week. And that’s why having meetings at all, to me, that’s pretty exciting. That’s a real indicator that maybe we’re making a to. Some return to good business, I don’t know, we’ll see. We’re in meetings like let’s get together because we’ve all been separated and working from home or were they just re re energizing meetings that they always used to have?
It’s just group bookings across the board. I get this update. I don’t know if you guys got this. It’s from a hotel company. It is incredible, this comprehensive update. I’ll send you the link to it. But it’s still showing great bookings with, you know, its key changes. And this is the first time I’ve seen three weeks in a row where there’s an uptick in three.
I think it sure. With you and would do a Stuart. The impression that M&A shared on the British Columbia HCA chapter continue. We did last night, which was kind of fun.
It didn’t show an uptick in group, but it showed group was still there.
It’s still hanging in there, you know, and that’s Canada where they have the ability to travel and do some things that we’re not allowed to do it in our markets right now. But don’t let somebody else is sharing some information on this idea, hear those questions as to, you know, alternative usage of the facilities and demand in that sense. I know that I’ve been trying to talk to one of my clients in a supermarket about offering the education bubble program.
Basically, you have meeting spaces itself. You have food facilities, you can service food and you can maybe create an environment where small bubble of kids can train so that if it does break out in the public, it’s a smaller group that gets quarantined compared to the whole class in that sense. But I don’t know of any place that’s really taken that embrace that I don’t I don’t know of any market has done that. I do know that the hotel for businesses is definitely something.
There are people that just in the market want to go to a different room and do work. As long as you have good wi fi, a desk and a decent view, they’re happy to get the room for a day or two or a few.
So I saw several articles about school conditions and educations where you come with your kids and they go into a classroom and the people that were the nannies in the in the playgroup or the kids club are now minding them at the computer and helping them with whatever they need. And they get snack breaks and characters come out and all of these things to entertain the kids. But I saw one and it was not one of the fancy resort ones. It was just one like the the the Sheraton in Arizona.
I think it was four hundred dollars a day just to drop off your kid for the day. I mean, wow, wow, wow, wow.
There are people doing it though, but they get a lot of stuff, they get snacks and they kids that parents want to get rid of their kids for.
But I want to get rid of my kids, but not for four hundred dollars. Oh. I wonder, is this one of those, you know, when, when, when hotels come up with packages half. The thing is because we want somebody to book the packages, but the other half is that we just want PR about the package to come to our hotel so people will just come in both the regular. Are you sure that was a daily rate?
Because I know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen that. Are you sure that was a daily four hundred?
Not a weekly.
I mean, that that’s what I try to look for the article, but I. I was shocked.
I love you. Love your kids.
I wondered, is that what you’re saying for those who want to get with your state of mind? I mean, if it was a primary, I would sell them to four hundred dollars.
Well, and then Dell, I know that we never went back to your chart to that you said you might to get you off the call. You want to join us live and kind of go over where you send us a chart because I didn’t know where the saucer was. I know you built it. I can see that. But I didn’t see where the source was. And I try to understand that the squiggly versus the solid line. Where are you from?
Turn that on. There we go from another part of the show. We worked from Vegas, OK? Hey now.
Hey, guys. All right.
How are you doing? It’s good to see you. To see to the mess behind me. We’re actually I’m at home and we’re moving. So I’ve got packing supplies all around me as well.
It’s pretty neat to have on the moving in the packing, in the boxing and the the joy, the joy of it all to just local move.
It’s crazy time to be moving, isn’t it? But yes, we’re going to be a. I just did the same thing, I just did the same day, and this is the first time I’ve done the show in my new house, so we’re in the middle of the move, too, so.
Oh, my gosh. Yes. We’re on the other side of that. The intimidation now is how do we get all this stuff? How do we get all this stuff and then how do we get it out of here? And then it switches to, oh, my God, we have to unpack and put all this stuff, find a place for all this stuff. I mean, it’s intimidating.
It’s like it wasn’t stressful. Nah, I go I go to to try and solve the problem of recovery from covid-19 as a as a as a break.
That’s a baseline for sure. Boy, oh boy. When it’s better for you to do that, it is what you do.
It I’m sure could go a little bit about the share on the chart for us.
What you what was that really representing when you said break even on that?
Yeah. So we we have we have over five thousand hotels that we labor management for.
That’s our technology labor management. And we in order for that to work, we our system drives off of operational data. So we get all these hotels, operational data occupancy forecast data, you name it, all the different drivers. We have all this information. So we track this pretty readily. We don’t have the breadth of, say, like star. We don’t have the number, but we’ve got a really good sample. And what we looked at was we we theoretical break-even has always been about 40 percent varies by scale, up to 50 percent from more complicated boxes, but down to about 30 in the high 30s for less complicated properties or 40 percent for talking purposes is theoretical break even for hotels.
Since the start of covid, we’ve been tracking the percent of our portfolio that is above 40 percent occupancy. And that’s that chart that I sent is is looking at it actually by day. So today hotels are seeing a mix of profit days and we’ll call transitional days, right. Lost states. And when they can flip a day into a profit day, that makes a huge difference right now. That might be the difference between a cash flow positive month or handing over the keys to the bank.
Right. And so we’ve been tracking that pretty carefully across the board. And recently the trend has been, as you start there, it flutters up and down a lot. There’s huge volatility, but the average has been tailing off. And that’s because of the the drop in leisure transient and the lack of growth in corporate transient. Plus, we’re coming into the shoulder season there was typically buoyed up by group when there’s no group right now. I mean, except for this little spike this past weekend, which is leisure group, there’s no group.
So it’s just that’s that’s what I was sharing, which was thank you.
Thanks for the exposure and also thanks for sharing. So have you guys worked out a break-even analysis as to how many days above the line or at the line? You need to maintain that contrast to below the line and how far below the line over a period of time like saying over thirty days spread, if I can get twenty one percent above the line or at the line, I can survive baseline cost compared to if I stay lesser than that, I’m actually bleeding money and maybe turn the keys over if you guys are trending on that at all.
It’s so situational that it’s really hard. It’s one of those things where even the forty percent is probably not real for any one hotel. Right. It’s the fallacy of averages. But if I was to speculate like in general, what you need, you need more than a third of the days to be positive with the typical hotel gross operating margins to break even for the month or have a shot at breaking even for the month, anything above that, you’re probably at a point where your cash flow positive.
So most hotels up until the last couple of months, we’re deeply in the red from a cash flow standpoint, except for exterior corridor hotels, which are deemed the safe hotels. I mean, this is crisis’s, say, the exterior hotel category for another twenty years, an extended stay. Right. Which I’ve actually done really, really well. Everybody else had been losing money. And of course, in city center conference hotels, they’re shot. They’re closed right there.
They’re running with a skeleton crew of four people just to patrol the halls at the empty box. So that’s kind of what we’re looking at. So it really varies. But I would say 10 nights and nights a month, if you’re making money, if you’re above break, even for ten nights, you’re probably doing OK right now. Terrible, but it’s true. It’s funny that you bring this up in this way because, I mean, I’m having an active discussion with my clients about break even analysis for future budgets, where it’s not about profitability margins, it’s about sustainable margin.
And that’s why I’m fascinated with what you’re talking about, because literally I was trying to find some benchmark relationship as to percentages above or below cost effective line, like, am I making deals today or am I not making deals? Then how many days going to live like that versus how many days are above the line that I can make up for the days that I’m not at that that’s a really need. If that could be somehow put into a budget macro, that would be wicked cool because I’ll have to see if we could do that data.
We’re actually doing a free webinar through a hallway next week on budgeting for labor costs because I mean, the truth is there all the cycles in interview being spent budgeting for revenues, which is a nightmarish task because nobody knows what’s next. Right. We don’t really know what’s coming. But the way the budget for Labor is is tragically flawed. Now, none of the ways they used it in the past, which was percent of revenue or do it like last year, you know, that those don’t work.
And they could really mess up their their plans for for budget season. So we’re focusing on that. But the idea around break, even one of the things we were talking about, we’ve been everybody knows that zero based budgeting is a really great idea in theory, but nobody ever did it because it just took time. We actually had two months of zero base operations this year, which can be used as a basis for a real life, zero based budgeting exercise.
And that’s going to pay dividends for years. Like if we really tackle what happened and what we really learned about ourselves is because, you know, four percent occupancy was not a thing. You know, we didn’t think about that. We actually had four percent occupancy in most major markets for the month of April, you know, so we have an opportunity to use that data if we’re smart about it.
Now, that’s it’s it’s interesting. You bring that back inside. Just dropped out an article on the three pillars of revenue management, Future Tense, and are speaking right to one of the cause that they were talking about of current data. People think that current data is irrelevant because it is so skewed artificially. That is to be not practical for usage in the future tense. This is just the horror of what can happen, but it shouldn’t be used. You should look at what you were looking at historically is in future tense and then what you’re looking at in future tense and put those together and find some facsimile of current demand and you’re straight up throwing right in the middle going, no, look at what we learn from what we got in this process and add that to the equation of what is what is true.
Zero base. What is your what is your basement? What is your absolute bottom floor and where do you need to build from those in step with the labor costs and so forth? You’re so spot on what the idea was like. Every metric we had in comparison to is not relevant. It’s based on all your your zero value propositions. What does it actually cost you to operate? Not what is it in comparison to revenues. It’s what is your actual baseline cost for everything.
And that even includes your fixed costs or not fixed costs such as a not to please return your now current cost of operation, which is including the cleaning in the aspect that’s been incorporated to it as well. That added value proposition. What is it really? Core cost of operation has to be put as a baseline and that that’s brilliant.
I think that’s a that’s a that’s a phenomenal product.
You can do everything right. So we also have zero base for productivity output, a sales person. Right. We got in 2010 when we were recovering from that recession, we discovered that I was running commercial for HD for the Americas. At the time. We discovered that most of our hotel salespeople had never sold in a downturn and most of them had never made a cold call.
It was all inbound handling our fees and and dealing with renewals of Allanah.
Well, that’s where we are right now. We kind of blew that opportunity because business recovered and they got complacent again and we were there again. Right now we should know exactly how much revenue every single salesperson is bringing in the door, because if it’s coming in the door, it’s because a salesperson brought it in the door. Right. Very different situation than the passive demand we’ve ridden on for the entire history of the industry. Big opportunity.
We always knew where he was going with that. Very well said.
It’s not only passive demand because you brought it in because of marketing and reputation. Well, sort of.
But I will say this is and they used to say this, it wasn’t funded marketing in the history of travel marketing. We have only made a handful of people actually take a trip. Right. We don’t usually say, hey, have you ever been to Detroit? You should go. We say if you happen to be coming to Detroit, stay here. Right. So that’s what I mean by demand exists and. We serve that demand. That’s what I mean, and that doesn’t really is that the case today?
No. Sorry, it’s still is a little bit a case today because the good salespeople people are out there finding business that has to travel and are coming to the area and are shifting it to their properties, but they are being proactive. I was on a call yesterday that was driving me a little bit crazy because of what you were saying about historically. The business came to sales people. They didn’t have to go out, look for it. Now that it’s not happening.
Everybody’s searching for a hunter, the Hunter salesperson. And literally, I kept wanting to say the 80s just going from their rotary phone, asking for their sales term.
We don’t want hunters like I’m picturing Gordon Gecko on sale. Yes, you need to be proactive and go out and find business, but you need to do it in such a different manner. People have to trust you. You’ve got another business. You’ve got to present a different front than picking up the phone and being at Gordon Gecko Hunter. So I’m always a little bit paranoid about yeah, we do in fact have to be proactive. You’re 100 percent correct, but we still need to focus on that concept of relationship building and I was capturing that at all.
I think that’s really important is that we actually now know exactly there is no debate about the value of one more salesperson. You see it, you know exactly what you should expect and you can hold them accountable to that and reward them even more appropriately to their performance. That really was less the case. We actually had a great deal of complacency going into the beginning of this year. And yes, now we can afford even a scrap of complacency about that stuff.
It’s absolutely true. It’s a really good point.
Let’s learn from it about how we got the questions and stuff I was I was a fan pointing the fan, blowing the data that you had, like Lucasfilm’s like fun bombings going.
I’m writing those for us so we don’t miss the dialogue on this. So please go ahead. And that’s for the comments.
You mentioned that good salespeople are out making sales calls or making relationships and and and massaging the business. But we still have a huge unemployment rate in the hotel industry. And even though the national unemployment went down, restaurant unemployment went down. But the hotel is still a lot of unemployment, even for those who are hoping that only a lot of sales and marketing people are not there. Yeah, it’s true, actually.
I’ve been writing a piece for hotel news now for the last several months on on Fridays, the labor snapshot we just published a few an hour ago and fifty one point six percent of hotel employees have returned to work. And that’s where we are relative to full to normal employment, pre covid. And a lot of those positions, sales and marketing, has really not recovered. It’s still at about, on average, one person per hotel, maybe to in some cases, those people are still waiting to be to be asked back.
They need to come. That actually needs to be the next hire if we’re going to survive the rest of this cycle.
Yeah, I agree. And sadly, the ones that are back, if they’re on property, they’re spending a portion of their time checking guests in and out and other functions just through that.
That that. Oh, thank you. Appreciate this house. That’s for all of our hotels.
And then I saw another none of this is useful, but it’s the rule by department. So what jobs are in place pre and post and what the trend is so interesting.
But what do I know from just again, having the corner of conversation? They just want to see chapter yesterday. A lot of people, the other shuffle where things are improving, hotels are opening. Travelzoo closed their office in Vancouver. Hotels.com closed their office in Vancouver. Expedia is reduced down to a quarter their lease or the space in Vancouver. So we’re still seeing the ripple of the secondary market effect, I guess the service market to it as well.
Where they’re transitioning, they’ve let people go. In combination with that, people were furloughed and very few people were kept and those people kept at home staying at home. So we’re still seeing the impact on the on the non direct hotel employees as well for those. Certainly they just don’t have the they need to be in the infrastructure for them at that point. They’re not being told when and if what’s going to happen in the future tense for them. They’re not being given up.
We’re going to do this for 90 days or 60 days or 30. They’re just like, you’re furloughed. We’ll let you know if that changes. And that’s in markets that have things going on. Vancouver. And so for the story I mentioned in the list, when you popped up for a second, I think I shared that data that Amanda shared with us on that conversation. It is still fascinating to me that 40 percent of all airlift going to Vancouver’s airport is from the US.
Just it’s one of those things like seriously, you know, because they’re essential and or they’ve been sponsored and or whatever, but they have this back and forth that they’re still there.
Don’t they have the quarantine that you pointed to?
And that’s actually been a resource for the client to have in Vancouver? Is that because of us being all suites and having a small footprint in isolation?
We can they take this stuff very seriously, like the hotel has an obligation to log when they allow the person out of the room to go smoke or come to pick up their breakfast or stand outside or they actually log it. So they’re the verifier that the person did the quarantine because the killock checks and everything else. So they keep track of and share that to the government to prove that the person went through the quarantine cycle.
So, you know that feed the fine if you don’t quarantine in Canada.
Oh, not off the top of my head, because it’s been so it’s all over, but it’s not cheap. About six hundred and fifty thousand. Well, OK, I’m staying on the roof, I go, I have a friend who is a banker in Toronto and he’s from the States and he’s flying home.
And he said and I said, you know, is it 14 when he goes he’s going home to the States. And when he goes back, he said, oh, I have to quarantine. And I said, oh, but, you know, not really. He said, oh, no, we take it seriously here.
Wow. Yeah. Well, we were getting a lot of market from the middle Canadian market, the Toronto, the Montreal. So I want to go to Vancouver because they’re a lesser restriction than Toronto, Montreal right now. They have the ability to to go to Vancouver and they’re in level four lockdown computer level, I think, to in Toronto and three in Montreal or something. They’re not close.
I mean, this is what the Dallas area.
I mean, why don’t you all move during that Kobe, where we listed our house for sale before covid and then somebody bought it.
So there you go. Stuart Stuart moved because he found a spooky room in his house. He didn’t know about four years.
No, I found the speaker room after I put it on the market, as was a couple of factors. But the primary one is my in-laws are moving in with us. They’re having some some health issues. So we bought a house that was a little more conducive to housing them and us at the same time, because I don’t I don’t think you should call your in-laws room the spooky room.
What Lauren is referring to is my house and I’m selling was is a three bedroom is was a three bedroom house that I’ve lived in the five year over five years and five years. And our market is really hot. Real estate is hotter now than it has been in thirty years. It is booming because everyone’s moving to the north, down south and so you can’t keep a house. We’re going to market and sell within a day or two and houses on the market for a couple of weeks and it hadn’t sold.
And we’re like, what’s going on? And we got feedback and everyone’s like, we want four bedrooms is now four bedroom inventory. We like our house, but we need a fourth bedroom. The one person came by and said, I really like your house, but I wish there was a fourth bedroom. But I’d consider it if I could put another bathroom upstairs. What’s behind this wall right here? They asked us because they saw a house is like a little access panel hatch that had been five years.
They lived in this house for five years and made it nice.
Like I’ve never looked behind that. I don’t know what’s behind that acts. And I’ve never really paid attention to the the line of the roof or anything from the outside. So I thought, I’ll open the hatch, I’ll break the seal. So I did that and I walked in there and I walked in and I kept walking.
There’s like six hundred feet of unfinished attic on level, five years in the house.
What’s behind that? I don’t know.
So so we put down a sub floor and insulated the walls in there and I didn’t is the room and I had two offers within two to go, wow, look, that’s fine.
You have to go to the family that needed the chainsaw museum or the one that called his wife mistress.
I mean. Yeah, that’s right.
Oh, my gosh, that’s crazy.
I know. I meant World War about ghosts. You’re here.
And I probably understand how stupid that makes me look than that story.
But it’s so if I know you are very focused, family focused individual that walked up the stairs and passed by the wall to take care of your kids and family and never once considered, gee, the House has a bill roof that way.
And I and know it occurred to me you moved out to. Pardon me. Yes, well, you know. Thanks to both, maybe I started going to plan B, you know, after 20 years of working at the library hotel collection and I wasn’t able to to to work remotely and I wanted to be closer to my parents who are in their mid 80s and died. And so I did something that I actually wanted to do anyway. And I missed it so much harder to make a decision that you want to make when you have to let go of something.
But now I didn’t have anything to let go. So it was easy to be free.
So you move to I mean, you. Oh, I thought you said you were packing as well.
No, no, no, no. That was that was Dewey. I mean, I’m trying to get rid of stuff because, you know, we have the office a few blocks away from the condo. We had already downsized, already went through the 15 garage sales from L program to get rid of purge stuff. And I still has stuff I couldn’t get rid of or sell. And I didn’t want to sell because I thought it was valuable, even though nobody else didn’t give me money for it.
Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia and a tremendous amount of seasonal technology. You know, I could literally physically show the timeline of technology creation for all the crap I bought every year of the same theater, every large museum of antiquity.
I don’t think you could have that.
The whole thing on the wall like this is the history of the iPhone and the watch and the. Yeah. So I have a bunch of. Yeah. So we have the office space. So no, I haven’t really been moving. We just, we kind of go back and forth, which is what led us to a couple of weeks ago to take the little few days away and go up, drive market wise and just get out of town for a little bit.
Just change of venue. Just we wanted to be on the beach and look out and not deal with a lot of people and have a kitchen we could cook in. And we were totally the same. And it was that that was the purpose of the travel for. So what’s on the program after you move? I mean, settling in, are you going to have to start traveling again or what? Are you going to be able to stay where you’re at?
What’s going on?
Yes, well, you know, our our our trips were largely a lot of conferences. We do see our some of our larger customers periodically.
But the conferences were a big thing. And of course, there’s none. The the last of this fall season conferences finally got postponed or canceled.
So it’s we’re expecting more of the same for the moment, which is fine because we you know, we don’t we don’t have to be face to face to to to do what we do and our services versus products, we can deliver it. We do do it.
At least it’s fine if you guys are going to participate in high tech, virtual high tech. Yes, I actually am speaking on Tuesday morning about labor costs as big as a great investment, something like that. So. Yeah. Yeah. Are you.
Yeah, I think we are. We had a conversation with them today just about I wanted to visualize what the virtual books look like and things like that, but I think we’re going to do it.
I mean, I think it’s awesome. Yeah, we’ve been debating about that just because it’s those are hard to execute for your vendors. It’s just it’s hard.
We haven’t done it yet. And I just I don’t know. I’m waiting for someone to tell me how great it was. We’re going to we’re going to speak.
I’m not sure what the time slot is yet, but we’re doing some kind of speaking role as well. But, yeah, it’s it’s just it’s a it’s the one expo that I really feel like we’ve gotten a lot of value from this. I want to support it. I want it comes out healthy on the other side of this.
I hated to miss it. It’s that was good. I’m really bummed about lodging being canceled. That’s a really good event. I don’t know where it’s at. Plus, I just like seeing everybody, you know, we’re we’re are people driven business, everybody in this business like people.
And here we are zooming all day instead of actually and I’m not alone in months and it’s killing me to be younger, although I was still hungry and it but I were getting Holly with that in mind. You last show or the show before, I think piped in about how terrible a certain conference was. Online conference. Was you the pop then and how bad is certain online conference was or. No, I think yeah. I see. Where were you popping in something like.
Oh I see.
Or something that was a horrible online summit. There’s going to be lots of refunds.
Maybe that was that was it me. Maybe that was Tammy.
I’m sorry. It was Tammy dropped in and somehow that dropped in that there was some total cluster of an online summit that was the worst of the worst or bad or whatever. And you’re right now, it’s like you want somebody to. Say that was bad or that was that was OK, or for now, that will have to do and I just I hear from people that bash them like this was poorly handled.
Bandwidth was an issue. You couldn’t really talk to anybody what they said you could do.
You couldn’t do it. Have you seen that remote platform? Have you attended any conferences with the remote platform? I’m going to one in the next couple weeks. I am in love with this platform. I think it might be a solution to a lot of the issues that have been taking place, but we’ll see.
You know, one thing I noticed with the Microsoft teams that they just added as a feature to the team’s display, which I thought was brilliant, is that instead of having the titles like we have on this platform, it put everybody in the theater seat like you’re talking to an audience and everybody has a like to sitting in a chair in a in a theater and you can talk to them in one. You know, I thought it was just a neat visual variation to the tiles, you know, kind of thing.
Solah not a gimmick at all.
But that’s that’s what I like about what I’ve seen of ReMail because it looks like you’re going into the convention center. There’s more. And then you go into an auditorium and there’s tables and you can go and sit at a table and you can chat with video chat just with the people at that table. And then when you’re bored with them, you can yourself move to another table. And that’s that’s really interesting.
But the conference is good if if it’s if the moderation is really good, if the speakers are really good and, you know, it can be a lousy forum.
But I’ve seen we’ve probably all done a bunch of these attended or participated in a bunch of virtual conferences. I’ve seen some really great presentations and I’ve seen a lot of really terrible ones. And I think it would be would have been great or terrible had we been there in person to, you know, something every change.
Or they would have been awesome at home if we’d been able to pull that off. That was what it was. Yeah. I mean we had we had a rock and honestly we had a rock and agenda. I thought it was going to be a really interesting day. We should just you know what? We should just bring it back alive and throw it up there anyway.
Seriously, it would be really good. Yeah. Because if we really was one of. Yes. You know what we’re going to do that we’re going to go get that.
We’re going get the band back together and throw it. Now, it was a little surprise Kat was going to join us today because I think she’s already from this. But she has stepped away from my role as director of education. So I want her to share her her new venture, too. But Steve, who is her who was a right hand into it, very talented, very capable person. This is a huge opportunity for Kat to step into.
So I’m really happy she’s doing it so that she’s leaving a home because of all the influence she had on that in a positive way. But Steve is more than up to the challenge for stepping in if you take something, if that’s what they’re going to be doing.
But, yeah, that was that was a really good, really strong concept.
I think we’d be bringing the band back together. We’re going to do his presentation. We’ll do it ourselves and try it on Rhema.
Well, see, I would like is RAYMO on set on. I would like to see it just because it’s not that simple yet, but I’m going to tell you it would be right.
By the way, Holly Holly, I pointed Dean towards FEMA with the correction that don’t be mad at me.
When you start wanting stuff, you’re going to notice all of a sudden you don’t have quite enough money left at the end of the month to pay your mortgage. It’s because it’s gone to FEMA.
Yeah, well, see, I’m already in that situation, so I figure it’s OK.
There’s no way that way.
Yeah, no sumos is is you feel like there should be a rehab for it. Hi, my name is Lauren. Hi Lauren everyone.
And I’m twenty four hours and it’s absolutely true when I see that email come up this is going away.
I’m like, oh no I got to go, got to go. Look this is sort of cool. I have a guest. Staying with me is a twenty two year old kid who is working for Amazon here in Tempe, Arizona. And his job is doing what you do kind of for the labor, for all of the Amazon plants everywhere. He’s part of the team that does the labor logistics. How many more people do they need? More hours.
It is fascinating. He’s been sharing with me every day how the inner workings of Amazon take place. It’s incredible. Yeah.
I mean, the root of our our business comes from the founder’s experience, managing massive call centers around the world and doing predictive modeling for staffing. And because there is all about maintaining their occupancy is the percent of time a person’s on the phone. The reps are actually talking versus not talking and managing high occupancy in low hold time. Those two things are really hard to to balance. And so we built that kind of predictive modeling for staffing and brought it to hotels because most hotels scheduled like last week.
Right. They just they take last week’s sale and they just that’s what they use. And last week’s schedule was based on some time in the distant past where we didn’t have enough housekeepers on staff. And we so, you know, somebody overreacted and it became the future schedule. And that’s just crazy. And so, you know, for forever, hotels have been wasting tons and tons and tons of money because they don’t use data driven staffing models. And that was OK.
You still made a lot of money, but now they can’t afford it. Right? They’re like they can’t afford to have four hours of extra housekeeping yesterday. They can’t do it. It’ll kill him. So all of a sudden, we’re, like, pretty popular. I bet. I bet you are.
Yeah. So a for of girl, you dropped us, the women are from our HOA, are you on that one?
Are moderating a panel on Monday and on Wednesday at three o’clock. OK.
All right. I signed up already while you give me that because probably cool. What is it. And then you put the ligament. Oh OK. So I’ll put on the show notes as well for people want to sign up for that. For both of us. Now in contrast, let me point out and I want to say this on behalf of what people need to figure out how to correct is Aitchison me, I feel kind of fell on itself this past week.
They had this LinkedIn masterclass thing that popped up, signed up for it. They were going to charge for it. If you remember, you didn’t charge for the foundation was supposed to cover that, quote, cost to it. They brought an outside third party that I don’t think really understood what they were presenting or to whom they were presenting, I should say. And the scary part of it was the logistics were all falling apart. You signed up, you got the receipt, but there was no link to go in.
You couldn’t go. I could not tell you what added to your calendar all you could do that outlook. And I don’t use outlook. So I had to manually go in and put it in, which most of the time because I try to send it for a lot of stuff, knowing I can get replaced if I can’t make it or whatever I’m OK with. But this one couldn’t even do it.
I had to call off on holiday and I thought she was actually teach you because she teaches LinkedIn and it was like, no, wow. So she’s like, I’ll send you the link. I get on the link and a master’s class and LinkedIn was welcome to lengthen. This is how you create an account. This is where you plug into the account. And I’m like, wow, this is not master class. This is welcome LinkedIn.
So I was a little dismayed by the fact that sometimes things go tone deaf, that, you know, you’re doing these summits. We talk about summits and the quality summits, the quality of doing things virtually because we don’t have that ability for first person contact. You’ve got to work out the details on that stuff, you know, so that’s directly kind of important. I’m not going to comment on that because you and I had quite a robust conversation about that.
However, I do want to point out the Arizona chapter of Aitchison that is actually doing what I think is a really cool thing and putting a link for you guys to register. We’re having a meeting on, I think it’s October 15th for how to have a hybrid meeting, which I think is what’s going to happen for the next couple of years in hospitality. So we have thirty people who can register to go on site, live to this meeting, and then everybody else can register and attend virtually.
And the whole meeting is about how you do these meetings, how you rate, how you make it, engaging both for people in front of you in real life and then for those who are dialing in. We’ve been doing a ton of planning. We have a couple of really interesting speakers who are going to be talking about some tips and tricks and audio visual kind of stuff that I’m really very excited about it. I’m going to actually go to the meeting in person that we have all sorts of cool things planned.
So if you can go if you can join us virtually, that’s a great topic.
I know, right? How do you have a hybrid meeting? Yeah, a hybrid meeting.
I mean, you have to say the people that are there and this is my idea and I’d love your input because nobody likes my idea.
So you you know, in these socially distant now meeting rooms, right. You have two people at these big tables or three people of these big tables and all these empty spaces and seats. I said with some tears, with some sticks, with pictures of faces on the sticks of people who are virtually attending. So you can kind of, you know, have them send in a picture of themselves and we’ll put them at the table with us, like, wouldn’t that be fun?
And they’re like, no, that’s really why I thought it was a good idea, because I just have a thousand.
That’s not going to keep people safe. It’s going to be like, got to go.
If you if you’re the speaker, it’s really nice sometimes to look out into an audience and see the faces of those attending.
I think it’s a couple of things. First of don’t want to make sure I have permission. Can I share the image links that you shared with us earlier on?
Absolutely. Awesome. I’ll make sure they are in the show notes for people to pull down on those if for those who are alive or those on the other share channels. Aren’t you getting these links they see on the screen, but they can’t click on them all because I wanted to see what they were. I shared with the staffing by department and the wage rates. This is a big thing we just released about ten days ago, wage rate analysis, pre, pre, covid, and then today, which would be surprising because wages, average wages in hotels are actually higher.
But that has a lot more to do with tenure than it does to. To wage rates, but the starting wages, which I need to put in there, the starting wages for new people, has not moved since pre-K, which is really interesting. And we have some theories around that. But any hope that hotels had that they would be able to, you know, save some money by being able to pay less because of all the people on the bench waiting for jobs.
So far, not so much. They get to pay what they got to pay, and that’s that. There’s no relief there. Again, if someone’s so quick opinion from your perspective on this, is that a poor management decision or is that just the reality of the fact that they’re dealing with limited funding so they can only afford they can offer for people to roll in when they need the position?
So it’s the wages, the actually the reasons that they’re paying the same for new people that they were paying in February is because they don’t know what to pay them. That’s the number one reason. Second is they were probably underpaying them before relative to other non hospitality jobs these people were considering and where they were actually a level where they probably are about right today versus where they should have been in February because we had a million unfilled jobs in February before the bottom fell out.
And there’s a reason for that. They’re hard job is that burnout jobs? And we weren’t paying very much. So now we’re still not paying very much. But now there’s a whole lot of people looking for work. So that’s the that’s the reason why. But the average pay of people staying there that we kept the best people and the most tenured people and we brought back the most tenured and best people first.
And that’s why the average pay right now is so much higher than it was for them to feel that that is the reason why we’re able to have the lower pay per job type compared to what can be compared against us, because the job for the opportunity was higher at that time so that people could easily or easily get a job with us in hospitality, even if it’s at the lower rate under the auspices that at least it’s something now while I’m still trying to find something better and now that opportunity is gone and we’re not picking up that from that.
Or again, there’s a lot to unpack in the wage stuff, but the wage sophistication in our industry is fairly lacking. You know, we we actually offer a wage benchmarking service that is is actually legal to and it’s it’s almost free. It’s like a really, really cheap thing. But it’s because we we learn that most hotels are calling around other hotels to find out what they’re paying housekeepers and front desk managers and things like that, which is totally if it’s a felony, it’s a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act every day.
And we’re like guys, you know, just for our customers. Stop it. We’ll give you the data. Don’t don’t go to jail because you want to figure out what to pay a housekeeper. That’s crazy. So that’s like that’s like calling them to say, what are you.
Yeah, well, that’s exactly illegal, I think. I did not know that seriously.
It is illegal now, but in the whole voting twice thing also not not, not, not clear where they’re being told to do that.
Just know the Carolinas, whatever that was. Yeah. Hey also shout out to Allen. Thank you. That is a we’re not all I mean that’s that’s crazy cool.
The twenty four hour travel trends of reporting knowledge. Thank you for that. You’re OK with it. I like to throw that into the show notes as well. If I have the permission from you to do so. I think that’s some pretty cool data from the process. Wow. We’ve got a few minutes left for this. I know that Robert was kind enough to share a list which we did not get to, which is probably we do appreciate it always.
It’s always on the show. So please know that if you want to sign up for Robert class list that he does curate every week, you can go to the Y for slash rock, Cheeta, all lowercase, no space and then you can sign up for it. It really is an excellent list. We use it as much as often as we can when we have the opportunity to invest. We have the amazing Miss Melissa with us. And of course Delu, you definitely put us on a different rail and when you jumped in.
So thank you for that as well. We didn’t have to go over and then tag into some of the content for. But there is some really cool articles that he shares with this. I will be highlighting one of them, of course in the podcast. I’ll be do shortly after. This is a recap. So with that in mind and running towards it, is there anything in particular that anybody came that it had a burning need to make sure we did bring up before we start saying our goodbyes?
No, when the lotto numbers. No, I can’t travel research. Yes, oh, as a reminder to everyone, yes, you can go to a field travel dot com for such blog and get this information along with the ability to look at all previous eight of these surveys. It is a massive undertaking. Melyssa can’t thank you enough. Literally. I use this as a benchmark when I discuss things all the time. And you just give me some great stats today, especially about the local information stuff.
Oh, heck, I’m putting it in front of people 30 ratio. Yeah, this is like because. Because you do it. What was the sample size this time? Was has it been keeping kind of close to what you’ve had before? Is it still on the lower side?
We split the database a lot and it’s it’s participation levels have dropped tremendously. If you think back beginning, we were getting over ten thousand at a time. Now we kind of try and keep it between a thousand and two thousand just so it’s statistically valid. But we’re not killing at the same time.
So it’s still statistically valid by far. By far. And I think given the ups and downs and hot spots and things like this, you’re always going to have somebody that wants to speak their mind when asked about it. So I think you’re always going to have relevancy to this. And to your point, you wish you had data before the whole covid. Well, certainly through this process, this is such a benchmarking going coming out of it. I mean, now as time goes on.
So this is the lessons to be learned from it and just the trends and the behavior and what contributed to that. I mean, what’s the next phase for us is really and I think this will be something we’ll do throughout twenty twenty one is just really taking an analysis of the journey we all took together at the consumer psychological changes. That perception changes, their behavior changes over the course of this whole thing. I think it’ll be a good retrospective. So whereas we’ve been doing these one one off snapshots of where we are this week with the next phase is to really start looking at where did we go, what was the journey like?
And so it’s going to be a lot of work, but I think it’s important work that’ll help a lot of people as they recover, most certainly for their kids.
From the data perspective, we all say it always is funny because we make jokes about our own industries, like those that came out of 19 years ago saying I will never, ever go back to OTAs again the way I did then. And it sure is twenty popped and everybody got spooked back to, oh, hey, please, no, my hotel rooms, you know, so you don’t know how you react to you have to react. And this is a wonderful not just snapshot, but dialogue through the entire process of how did we as a culture react to our perception of travel during the process of the uncertainties and then and then and the lack of knowledge and then knowledge, whatever recoveries that come out of it.
You guys are going to have a wonderful reference point for that for going through this process. Thank you for that, Dean.
Can I ask, since I am really educated in the world of Medhat, what’s going on with Medda today? What’s going on in Vienna today? Where shall we begin? We get like, what, five minutes left of the show to go and cover all that.
But I tell you a couple of things that I would bring up right now.
You’re seeing situations where Google in particular is offering models that are paper stay and paper bookings. So there are no risk model for which I used to use. You don’t have to have a marketing budget up front to do it with. So that’s one thing thing. And the other big thing being destination’s, there’s a lot of talk out there and we had this conversation last week as well about channel shift as opposed to incremental revenue when it comes to metasearch. And there’s kind of I like to call it a myth that metasearch is only about channel shift.
Well, if I liken it more to the use of your branded versus non brand search terms, because, yes, if somebody is looking for your property directly, that’s kind of like a branded search term. Now shifting the channel of where is it getting looked at. If they’re looking for hotels in New York City, for example, that’s a non branded search term. Well, there’s things that you can do on Google within the metasearch landscape that include that improve your ranking order on those search results.
There’s various kinds of destinations across all of the many channels that can do that, and that drives incremental revenue.
So much longer conversations I could go into on that too long to probably fit into the last few minutes.
Well, don’t drag it up next week by far, because it is relevant. I can tell you right now from even my client base brand generic vanilla box on the side of the road, people, they’re getting nineteen to one on average on their ROIC for better. Wow.
Yeah. It’s a great cheap right now too. So yeah.
I mean I’m also competing on keywords against OTAs that are stepping into markets because of seasonality, business demand. I mean some markets coming back to life because of demand, leaf peepers and so forth. And so those markets all of a sudden seeing massive influx. I’m bidding on keywords and I’ve had to step back from some high end keywords that I had fun being able to be in because they flat up went from a dollar twenty eight a click to twelve dollars.
It can go up to Rich for my blood.
Take that list off the list, you know, so yeah, you have that, but that is not as as as. They’re not really diving into that as much. And so we’re still able to margin ourselves off of the. Great question. Yes, by far. We have to bring that back up because we had a really great fun conversation last week when Stephanie, who popped up an article about her opinion about it, not only right or wrong just to give was a great opinion article.
And then Dean and her going back and forth as to the pros and cons of the perception.
So it was really cool at the fact that she was working with branded hotels, too. And that does change the landscape does change the viewpoint a little bit, because you have to remember that your brand is already doing better. So anything that you’re doing at a property level now is a top off to that. And so you have to start thinking about what’s called the law of diminishing returns. If you were already getting to the second position and now you’re just topping it off to get to the first position, your Gapen there isn’t that big anymore.
But if you were below the fold before and now you’re topping it off to get up there, yeah, that that’s a huge improvement. Right.
So everything is relative true, though. I hope this is not the last time you join us by any stretch. We’d love to have you come in whenever I get the chance, especially when there’s less boxes around you. I mean, not digging on your backdrop there, but, you know, spruce it up a little bit.
Thank you. Every morning. And you guys are great.
I tune in whenever I can because I always enjoy hearing you guys and your perspective and keeps me close back to my you know, I spent most of my career in the heads and bed side of the business.
It’s still kind of where my heart is and just dip my toe in the upside where it’s been great and I’ve never had a bigger impact, weirdly enough, because nobody people neglect labor. But one day I’ll be back and you know where I belong. Fill in hotel rooms.
There you go. Well, appreciate it. I think I think the same melody. Is it Robert who used to be with us for many years and he just got totally sucked into data. Let me focus. Right. JD Powers, he’s just turned into this machine for data for them. So he just has his time constraints and priorities have shifted because of the demand in the market. So I definitely see the same with you. It’s like, yeah, this is where everybody wants to know the information is coming from.
So you for generating great insights with and I think we should actually take some time in the future tense. So whenever you have the time, join us and let’s just focus in on the dialogue about that.
Again, I tell you that I posted it, but this idea about reversing the revenue management thing, I wrote an article about five years ago, which is one of the most popular ones I ever wrote, and it was the most loved and the most hated because I talked about how revenue management was completely backward and we needed to rethink it. And I actually think it’s worth revisiting because the whole base business thing, like there’s no base business anymore. So the revenue management model built on this concept of base business drives compression, which drives.
Right. It doesn’t work. It’s not going to work. We need to rethink it. And I think there’s an opportunity.
So maybe to go with that one day, I would be more than happy to be the catalyst that says, haha, I was right five years ago.
If people want to find you and know what it is that you do and what is produced and where you’re at for them, where can they find you, how do they contact you if you want them to contact you and what website and so forth and services are you doing.
So hotel effectiveness dotcom. Nice long name that. I didn’t come up with the name of the company, but it kind of works. So hotel effectiveness Dotcom is our company and then I can be found on LinkedIn pretty easily.
And I’m always responsive to industry people who are who reach out, not necessarily the everybody else who reaches out to industry people.
Yes, I try to filter my LinkedIn as well as like. No, I have that. You know, you’re you’re in the industry. That’s my that’s really defense there.
Sorry, Adele. For those who want to know more about us via of a British management and what it is you’re doing and how to contact you, how can they find you?
I have spent the last twenty years making my boutique hotel collection, the library hotel collection. The number one. Number two, number eight, number four rated hotels in New York City and the number one hotel in the world and the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Award at one point, one million accommodation’s. That’s where I come from. And now that I have left them in open, despite a reputation, I’m here to help all these people tell you. If you aspire to have a deluge of five star reviews, I would love to help you that linking with me.
And even if you don’t want to sign up with me, but link in with me, get a free consultation, I’ll have to check with you.
Believe me, it wasn’t the hotel that made it.
It was, but was done in the hotel and the Dell did it, you know, but the real magic is that I didn’t deliver the service. I just facilitated. Oh. People did it, and that’s that’s far more magical. I just it makes me so proud. It’s so easy to relate to.
This wasn’t some good on your island that whistled another asphalting or something is that they said you’re from there.
So Miss Lawrence Hanssens.
Well, Stewart is from Ireland or something, I thought, but. Oh, no, no, no.
Holly, Holly, Holly, Holly, since it’s so cool to have you on the show as well. Where, when, what, how.
I’m so glad you went to minute, because as soon as I get off of here, I’m going to promote the podcast that I did with Adele so you can hear Adele strategies and approaches. I was so excited to have her on my hospitality sales podcast. Thank you, Lauren. And then the second thing that I’m going to do is finish Dean’s class so that we can get that lunch. I do training. Scout simply is the name of my company.
I hope hotels find more revenue through training, mostly getting people to adapt and learn new technology. You can reach me at Hollett Scout simply dotcom, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook. No, not Facebook, Twitter.
Pretty much on Facebook. It’s amazing. So be quiet a little bit.
You can learn all about politics. The real news. Don’t follow fake news. Follow Halling.
It’s the real names of politicians really need to learn from the hotel business though. How many of you are getting a thousand donation requests? Said, give me money, give me money, give me money without any relationship building from the top. My company’s name on.
Hi this is Mary.
You should donate, Mr. Schmidt, with all the world of metasearch and the two tools that are not tools persay, but two platforms that you’re approaching it where and how and what is actually a fantastic Segway from what Holly was just talking about.
We’ve been working on some training material as part of Base Camp Šemeta because we want to apply that to the industry. There’s a lot of people in the industry that are cross training now. They’re trying to fill up roles that they weren’t in before and learning and doing things with metasearch or a lot of digital agencies that are being tasked with running metasearch campaigns right now. I’ve never had to do that before. And so we’re developing content to help you understand what it’s all about.
Do it in the free webinar that I’ve actually done with EPIK Revenue Consultants has just finished post-production. So I just got the final copy is actually about 30 minutes before our show started today. So much more information on that. And then working together with Holly to put together some more advanced training programs to dive deeper into things like connectivity, things like a deep dive into Google and the leverage you can pull in there and so on. The other thing I’m working on with metasearch marketing dot com actually is I’ve been working with hotels for a long time and helping them optimize the meta.
And one of the challenges has always been how to help that small independent hotel. And so I’ve been doing a lot of work, a lot of research, talking with a lot of technology companies on how we can facilitate that happy together we put together happiness that we put together a program that can do exactly that. So if you’re a small little bed and breakfast wanting to make your Google my business page work for you, I can help you do that.
And Melissa, you are really the heart, the brain, the soul of field travel stewards, the eye candy association. Take your whatever.
Just something inside. So I don’t think that I have a heart or a soul.
Well, I’m glad that Stewart finally gave you that huge bonus that you’ve long deserved this all this time. So you have a decent vacation.
Just saying if he hasn’t, he should just, you know.
But for those to get more information, both not only about yourself and, of course, your amazing award winning podcast that we know you come up with all the creative genius on and also the biofuel troublemaker when it does and so forth, whereas they can find you and all that information.
You can find all things about fossil fuel, travel, dot com. You can find all of the surveys. If you travel that blog or podcast, you listen to our award winning podcast or get more information about our wonderful and you can find me a link to so stupid other than drinking and making new rooms and houses that you didn’t know had rooms in them.
I can be rich. I’ve heard stories I can’t tell you about things and I have a special connection.
What can I say?
He’s a sexy beast where I’ve spent a lot of my time recently, as Melissa said on the app, has been around a long time and has a lot of great software that helps drive direct bookings, booking engine CRM. But the app is really what’s been driving us recently is helping folks that are trying to reopen in a safe, responsible way. So mobile check in keyless entry, that kind of stuff. We just rolled out a feature which is really cool, I need to show you, but it does real time ID verification so you can take a photo of your driver’s license or your passport and then do a real time selfie of yourself in it.
Does it uses machine learning to match the two images and verify that it’s the right person. Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah. So, yeah, that’s taking up a lot of my time and doing a lot of good traction. I’m presenting a lot on why you need mobile technology and how it can help mitigate the fear that most talked about earlier on. So all that’s available, field travel, dot com, or if you’re interested in learning more info, if your travel documents, the email address and other Lepic on you, it’s fun to be able to do that because we’re good friends.
But I also have to give you a compliment. I remember not too many months ago when you were talking about how sustainable you were going to be able to have your travel going through this, because as business dropped and fell and disappeared and you made the very high ground choice of saying we’re going to keep everybody as long as we have money in the bank.
And we borrowed it to keep people going and then and then to go over it all of a sudden turned into the golden boy of wisdom.
You have an app that does keyless entry and now you are like everybody’s your favorite, best friend, you know, and people walk through the door, come on. I mean, we saw so many companies do the wrong thing back then, Bob. Firings on unmuted Zoom’s and everything else. And you you went over and made the choice to say, no, we’re going to do what it takes to keep the team. So could you. That that was a team effort.
We you know, I think the lesson we’ve learned more than anything else during this is there’s so much uncertainty, so much out of your control, but there are certain certain things you can control. You need to be certain that you’re controlling the things you can. And so we very early on, back in mid-March, we created this monster spreadsheet and we could run real time permutations on our cash flow, our cash position employees, everything we knew, our app, everything.
So we were real time in a war and just tweaking day by day, seeing how how do we keep people in that field again. And what makes the company great? Products are great. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of people selling booking engines. What separates us is the people behind it, the strategies that they create, the service that they offer. So we knew that we were going to take a hit for two or three months.
It hit 70 percent plus drop in revenue for three months and it really hurt. But we knew that it was going to hurt more if we split up the family on the other side of that. So we worked hard to make sure we kept the family together and it’s paid off because we wouldn’t be able to service our clients now that they need us. If we had a bunch of people that like a lot of people.
So that other than the fact you can hide behind the fact you didn’t pick your long URL of hotel effectiveness dot com, I did pick up hospitality, digital marketing, dot com.
And you weren’t any longer. Yeah. So yeah. So I can’t hide behind the fact I don’t know who picked that day. I did.
But if you would like to give this episode and all previous tours and sixty five episodes prior to that, you can go to hospitality, digital marketing dot com forward slash live look for show number 265. We will be rebroadcasting this as a live stream push, which I think you all may have noticed from time to time on LinkedIn and so forth, where we take the show and rebroadcast it at different time zones to help AIPAC, which we do 11 30 Sydney time on Wednesday and at 11:00 a.m. London time for the EU.
And then we have another time that we also picked that’s more comfortable for Pacific time because we know that we’re pretty early for Hawaii and then they’ll go over to Pacific Time.
Then we have California. That’s three hours ahead of us. So it’s still early morning for some people. So we try to roll out a third bush for that as well. We do have a podcast, albeit not award winning like field travel, that we do have a podcast called Hospitality Marketing. But we are getting a decent sized audience. We’re getting a much larger audience. And of course, as a reminder, Holly has her hospitality sales podcast, which is also very cool.
And then even though Lily’s not here, we also have a hospitality management podcast. I say we collectively, as the speakers not be Wehbe husband is marketing. So with that in mind, thank you, everyone, for your time and for joining and for going through the review. Melissa, as always, thank you for all the information. Well, thank you for providing an island in the chat. Thank you for throwing over that information as well. And everybody else that was on the other channels listening to us.
We’ll be back next week. I believe we have a from getgo joining us next week as guest co-host. I haven’t confirmed that with the little is the one that’s bringing her to us, but I believe we have Amy from getgo joining us. So there should be a phone conversation as well.
Holly, I love it if you can go back in because, hey, it’s kind of, you know, anyways, thank you, everyone, for your time today. We look forward to seeing one for show number two hundred sixty seven next week, eleven eastern time next Friday. Until then.
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