Disintermediation is a term used in the banking/trade world and not commonly heard in the every-day language. What does it mean? It literally means eliminating intermediaries, thus weakening the role of mediators and … who are the mediators in the hospitality sector? Obviously travel agencies, tour operators and real estate agencies that generate bookings for hotel in exchange for a commission.
In the world of online agencies (OTA) Airbnb, for example, collects a 3% commission from owners and 8% from travellers; Booking.com instead does not charge commissions to travelers, so the intermediation service is to be paid exclusively by the operator, who has the option to increase the fee paid to the agent in order to increase the property visibility on the platform.
In order to improve its competitiveness and reduce the importance of the role of agencies, a good accommodation structure should never produce more than 50% of bookings through brokers. To achieve this result, you need to create your own strong identity and focus on the relationship you create with your clients.
By creating an identity, a brand and an own image, the property can be marketed autonomously in order to avoid the risk of having sales monopolized by the travel agents. This strategy will reduce the cost of commissions and allow you to progressively increase rates. Throughout this process it is necessary to distinguish between what we want to achieve and what to do in order to hit the target. The first purpose of the disintermediation strategy is to obtain a competitive advantage that can be used to offer better rates to customers.
To be clear, a good direct marketing has to allow the traveler to book your property without paying commissions, thus saving on the cost of mediation. A good indicator to measure your disintermediation level is certainly the number of direct enquiries and requests you receive each day. In the digital environment, it could be email, but more and more requests nowadays come through social media and chat rooms, while in the traditional market, local customer calls provide the feedback.
This parameter is to be kept in mind because it offers a guide on the quality of direct marketing. If you do not receive at least 4/5 enquiries a day, it means that this area needs to be completely redesigned.
Andrea Angius – Founder of the brand Holiplanet – Affitti a Breve
Author of Best Seller book “Make Money with Airbnb”