The A-Z of Marketing Your Property

Here is a helpful A-Z guide to help you market your establishment.

All Things To All People – Know Your Market Segment

The expression that you can not be all things to all people is never truer than with an accommodation establishment. Guest houses and B&Bs are selected over hotels for their “personalities”.

A businessman may seek the home touch whilst on his travels, but also need a quiet environment to carry out his work. If your guest house or B&B targets families you can be sure the business person will only stay once.

Become an Expert

Know your stuff – what’s good to see, where’s good to go and where’s a waste of time. Maybe compile something for your guest to browse through (whilst sipping on a nice glass of white from the honesty bar).

Clubs, Consulates, Schools, Universities, Unions

These are pivotal points of referrers with large memberships. Contact them to offer special deals to their members; provide them with mail shots to send out to their members list.

Don’t Sit and Wait

A guest house or B&B owner or manager should never be bored and stuck for things to do. The marketing of an accommodation establishment is about letting people know you are there.

Update your website, add photos, attractions and places to see. Start a blog, get onto Twitter and Facebook, learn a new skill. Or respond to reviews on TripAdvisor.

Get to know the other businesses in your area who might have visitors from head office in another town, drop off flyers, send newsletters – the list is endless.

See our blog post on mining your local market.  Remember clients don’t just knock on your door – you must let them find you!


Of course you want to show your guests a great time, but also maximize your income potential. How about extending that Braai night to your guests, or offering sunset snacks and champagne?

Free’ is a Business Plan

Businesses tend to have quiet periods during the year, unfortunately many of the costs are still there even if the guests are not. So promote one night free with every two nights booked.

Guest House Network

clipart_of_16341_smjpg-preview_0Don’t view your fellow providers as competition, but as business colleagues. Speak to other local accommodation businesses and agree a referral program for overflow bookings.

Make contact with products further afield – many visitors to South Africa travel. Get agreements with establishments along popular travel routes that are reciprocal.

Have a Unique Selling Point

Ask yourself what makes your business better than others? If you can’t answer the question in less than 30 seconds you don’t have a unique selling point.


It is the curse of an accommodation establishment that every Tom, Dick and Harry approaches them to buy, advertise or part with money for some good cause. Just because it seems good it might not be.

Make sure you receive justification for parting with money, for example for advertisers – how much traffic do you get, how many bookings might I expect, what makes you different, how negotiable are your rates? Double check the company’s website to verify their claims.

Know What You Want to Achieve

Many guest houses and B&Bs do not have a target – for example beds booked for the year, number of guests, number of extras sold, number of enquiries. Its an old (but true adage) if you don’t know what you are aiming for how will you ever get there?

Check back for the rest of the alphabet in our next segment!

ghasaThis article on marketing your guest house was passed on to us by Kristi of GHASA (Guest House Accommodation of South Africa) who found it on the Incompass Financial Solutions website Incompass Financial Solutions is a GHASA preferred supplier and able to help you with insuring your property.
GHASA offers benefits, assistance and valued advice to their members, as well as booking opportunities for travellers.