Real Estate Downunder are honoured to recently list the
historic Hillcrest Guest House, Cooktown. This great little tourism business is
right in the heart of the charming historic Cooktown on Queensland’s Great
Barrier Reef Coast.
Cooktown is the tropical gateway to Cape York and attracts
thousands of domestic and international visitors each year, with the Grassy
Hill Lookout being a must-see attraction. Nestled into the base of Grassy Hill
and a 500 metre stroll to the town centre is the Hillcrest Guest House. Pristine beaches, tropical lagoons,
waterfalls, and outstanding ﬁshing await.
Cape York is noted to be one of the world’s last untouched frontiers, for many it is on the top of the bucket list. The real Australia. Cooktown is an unspoilt, small historic coastal town surrounded by stunning unparalleled countryside, Aboriginal culture, nicely nestled inside Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly people it is a
charming place to call home. Cooktown sits at the mouth of the Endeavour River,
267km north of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia.
If you’ve been dreaming of moving to Tropical Far North
Queensland, this sensational business package is the perfect excuse.
Not so many years ago tourism operators relied on travel agents, word of
mouth and advertising to source their customers. In today’s world we have an
ever growing number of online travel booking services, feedback back sites and
a digital world that is easy to become lost in. A digital disadvantage is
common and something we coined as result of becoming aware at just how many
businesses end up this way. It is not just small businesses or those in rural
or remote locations, many businesses large and small end up this way through
buying an existing business, a change of their operational location or simply
wishing to delete a series of poor comments left by disgruntled customers of
the business they have just purchased.
The most common mistake tourism operators make is handing all their sales
and marketing investment work, to online order takers. This essentially affects
their relationship with travel trade partners and their own booking processes
in place. Recently whilst consulting to a small resort operator we learnt that
they were being bullied by a well-known online booking agent who we choose not
to name. The partnership abruptly ended as the resort came to realise the OTA
was simply flogging their business as well as that of their trade partners by
simply discounting the available product. All whilst stating in the contract
terms that the resort was not able to undercut them in the market place,
something they themselves were doing to the resort and its distributors.
Additional to this, the resort in question was receiving bookings from
customers that were not choosing their product because of its attributes or
location, or because they wanted to be there, but were simply booking the
property because all other nearby online options were unavailable or full so
the properties client base changed which was leading to less favourable online
feedback. Additionally the B2B distribution of this source lead to the product
being misrepresented and often stated as BOOKED OUT when in reality there were
plenty of rooms left. The online agent or B2B partner simply had no stock left
to sell so directed the client to what their algorithm perceived as comparative
products that were nothing of a sort.
As the relationship soured and the staff became fearful of those clients
coming from that booking source the resort management made a conscious decision
to terminate the contract in question along with others similar and swallow
what looked to be a heavy revenue loss. They did so knowing this to be the case
and the potential consequences. To minimise the losses strategic action was immediately
put into place by remaining with other online agents and reviewing their supply
contracts. This lead to stating clearly and enforcing in these supply contracts
that no discounting of their product was on offer to club members or casual
shoppers of those online sites. The operators were not keen at all, but agreed
in order to maintaining the listing revenue. What we all learnt was that these
online travel sites were offering every shopper a discount not just members and
were changing this discount offer according to the origin of visitors and or
bookings. So essentially whatever market the product was popular in, due to the
resorts marketing investment, in order to secure more bookings from that market
the online agent would tailor the algorithm to attract more customers from
those markets. Why was this working? Because many punters want a deal or a perceived
better price. 10% off is a substantial lever to make that process work.
Sticking with the new online plan was difficult, but management did so confidently. They had invested so heavily in marketing to those source markets, had great referral lines from in market agents and previous clients that they had to be able to claw back that lost market share. What happened surprised us all? The telephone started ringing again, online and agent bookings again surpassed those taken by online order takers, and the best of all, those that called to make an enquiry would book direct or with their local travel agent. Why? Because the price was the same! Additionally the service and information received through that change was accurate and personalised to their needs. Rate integrity is something many hotels, tour operators and accommodation providers overlook. For those that have no market relationships they have no reason to care. For those that do and additionally invest in their business future by marketing their product through distribution channels and their own online booking systems, rate integrity is paramount!
Selling a home, business or property asset without the help
of real estate agent is far from a new venture. Today with numerous sites
reaching out to private sellers the options to do so today are on the rise.
However from nothing often comes nothing and many persevere with the DIY only
to find themselves having lost loads of time and right back where they started.
While thousands of dollars can be saved on agent fees, however there are many pitfalls
to watch for, especially for sellers!
Essentially by engaging in a real estate agent you the
vendor are paying for your agent to work for you and therefore to negotiate the
best possible selling price. Additionally with the right distribution arms
available to agents you are likely to get more for your buck than low budget
options for the DIY. As agents are dealing with property transactions of
various sizes, they generally know what the market is prepared to pay and when
this is possible and the best marketing approach to take. Most importantly you detach
yourself from the buyer when inspections take place ensuring security of your
premises and are therefore unlikely to take comments or feedback personally
from an agent versus dealing directly with the punter. Agents are also trained
in legal and fiduciary matters relative to any sale therefore are able to keep
you away from many of the pitfalls that are sure to lie in your path.
So consider this, put yourself as the seller in face with a
buyer, it is quite an emotional decision making process fraught with danger. As
a seller are you able to stand up to a aggressive buyer putting your valuable
asset down in hope of a better deal. As a buyer private sellers are unlikely to
disclose to you material facts relative to the property so you need to rely
entirely on your own investigations. An agent is bound by law to disclose to a
buyer any material facts about the property known to them. Additionally an agent’s
role is to ensure that both parties are fully aware of the finer details
related to the transaction as well as acting as a buffer that doesn’t get
personal between both parties.
We have rarely seen private sellers have a successful campaigns
due to the fact that they get upset when buyers are rude. They tend to think
they are being ripped off in the transaction because they take it all
personally. This is where things can go off the rails and in hind sight the
agents commission becomes worth the investment.