If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d know that Jeff and I have been managing a Motel in Utah. Business has been very slow for the 1 1/2 months that we’ve been here.
We’ve been recovering from last year’s mishaps. You see, the owner of this Motel had managers that had been working with him for 7 years. However, they had to leave abruptly last year because of a family emergency. This put the owner in a bad position because it was mid-season and he needed to find a couple QUICK. Only, the people that he found weren’t the best choice. They pretty much ran this place to the ground. They went from being the #1 Motel to #5 – That’s a significant drop for the 2 months they were here.
So now, it’s up to us to pick up the pieces and recover.
We’ve been doing the best that we can, but we were just not getting very many customers. This sucks for us because we get paid by commission. Needless to say, we haven’t been making much for the past month or so.
We just couldn’t figure out why we weren’t getting any customers when 1) We have THE best rate out of all the motels in this area.
2) We have a better property. Most motels in this area are just regular buildings with concrete lots – we have green grass, trees, flowers, outdoor furniture, and a fire pit.
Yet, despite all these good things, we were losing out to the motels up the road. Come on, a FIRE PIT! Who doesn’t love drinking a few beers by the campfire with their loved ones and friends?
Last month, I was given a flyer for a meeting among all small businesses in this town. This was it. This was our chance to network, strike some deals, and gain information – I totally didn’t want to go.
I am still traumatized by my last job. Hell, I am so thankful that I was able to ease myself back to work because it has been so slow. I am also thankful that the owner is so laid back and appreciative. It has really helped me get past some of the trauma. However, I’m totally not ready to do business meetings again.
So I turned to Jeff.
My poor, sweet, Jeff.
This is Jeff’s first management position. Jeff has only worked in fast food and retail. (I’m sure he’ll force me to mention that one desk job he had last year, but that only lasted about a month or two. The superiors were horrible to the staff, commute was ridiculous, and he was miserable.)
Because of this, he doesn’t really qualify for better jobs.
This was his chance! His time to shine.
I really wanted him to get as much experience as he can so that he can have better opportunities in the future, and a better resume. This is why he had to go.
He was as cool as a cucumber until the day of – He turned into nervous wreck. However, I had been lecturing him on what/what not to do for days before. I told him that all he had to do was be friendly and talk to the other business owners. “Don’t be intimidated, they are people just like you”. I was really hoping that we could set up deals with other restaurants and businesses in our area to possibly get more customers.
I probably was expecting too much out of his first business meeting. He’s a bit of a wild card, and so I didn’t know what to expect. I waited rather impatiently at home wondering how everything was going. I am glad to say that it turned out better than I had expected. Though he didn’t strike any deals, he did get a key piece of information. Not to mention, other business owners greet him and recognize him around town. (That’s my boy!)
That key piece of information was exactly what we needed. This is how we found out that all the motels in this area are partners with online travel agencies like Orbitz, Priceline, but more specifically, Booking.com.
Why didn’t we think of that?!
We spoke to the owner about it who was all for it. Jeff got everything set up and now we partners too!
Business has been booming! We get about 5 reservations per day, and this is only our first week on Booking.com. We went from booking 2-3 rooms per night, sometimes none, to 9 rooms per night. We have days next month already almost completely booked.
Also, We are now the #3 Motel in this area! We feel great about this accomplishment, and what makes it better is that the owner sees how hard we have been working and is very appreciative and grateful. It really makes me feel good to know that my efforts have been noticed and appreciated. It makes me want to work harder and harder we have worked.
Cleaning all those rooms is a strenuous and back breaking job, but we do it because we get an additional $6 per room. It doesn’t sound like much, but it really adds up. We have a new appreciation for housekeepers. So if you know anyone who works as a maid, or in housekeeping, give them a pat in the back and Invite them to a nice massage.
Thanks for reading!