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Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #42: Mark Reichle, CEO of Select Registry, Discusses Upcoming 50th Anniversary Conference and Gala, Feb. 5-6

For episode #42 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Mark Reichle, CEO of Select Registry, about his organization’s 50th Anniversary Conference and Gala in Baltimore, immediately preceding the 2022 ALP Conference and Marketplace.

For half of a century, Select Registry has created a network of properties that offer outstanding accommodations and one-of-a-kind experiences for lodging guests. For property owners, achieving the Select Registry “Distinguished Inn of North America” designation comes with many marketing and revenue-growth opportunities.

On February 5th and 6th, Select Registry is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an exclusive membership conference and gala celebration dinner right before the 2022 ALP Conference and Marketplace in Baltimore. The event will offer a wide-range of educational and networking opportunities, as well as an awards program and a chance to connect with Select Registry board members.

For Select Registry members, this event will further align and advance their connection to this special organization.

We are very thankful to Mark for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about Select Registry here.

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #41: Tim Wilson, Director of Sales at bnbfinder, Discusses Platform for Direct and Commission-Free Bookings

For episode #41 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Tim Wilson, Director of Sales at bnbfinder, about how the company is aiming to be the largest online platform for direct and commission-free bookings for professionally operating inns, B&Bs and small boutique lodging.

In the lodging arena, it is common for Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to charge between 15 to 20 percent on each guest booking. While this may be palatable for larger hoteliers, smaller properties can greatly benefit from a solution that provides direct and commission-free bookings.

This is where bnbfinder comes into play. The company has evolved into one of the largest online B&B directories for travelers, with over 10,000 B&Bs and inns. Guests can book their stays directly through bnbfinder with properties paying no commissions, making it an ideal and cost-effective channel for enhancing overall bookings.

We are very thankful to Tim for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about bnbfinder here.

2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace Comes to Baltimore, February 5-9!

A message from Steve Short, Founder & CEO, Frictionless Guest App

For lodging professionals of all types, the ability to advance educational opportunities in sales, finance, marketing, operations and technology is vital to long-term success. Unfortunately, pandemic challenges have made it difficult for industry people to gather and share best practices over the last few years.

At last, the time is coming for us to get together at the 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace, which will be taking place in-person in my hometown of Baltimore – from Saturday, February 5th through Wednesday, February 9th!  That’s right, folks, we’re only about one month away. So, if you’re thinking about attending (and you should be), NOW is the time to take action!

Born out of the 2020 merger between PAII and AIHP, the Association of Lodging Professionals’ (ALP) provides essential education, advocacy, networking, and professional development opportunities for lodging property owners and operators.

As the first official in-person event for ALP, the 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace will offer a wide-range of educational opportunities for experienced, new and aspiring lodging professionals at the main conference, as well as at the marketplace – where vendors and service providers will be showcasing their offerings.

Over the course of five days, more than 60 presentations will be made by lodging leaders and experts about an enormously diverse number of topics that are relevant to our industry. I will be among the speakers, presenting “Mobile Guest Experience Apps – No More Outdated, Coffee Stained Guest Books” at 10:15 a.m. on Monday, February 7th, where I will discuss how property owners can take advantage of guest-facing mobile apps that enhance the overall guest experience (a passionate subject for me!)

Of course, it’s not all about business, and there will also be plenty of fun to be had with networking opportunities and social gatherings.  A highlight is the dinner event on Tuesday evening, February 8th, which entails three hours of entertainment, open bar, and a Taste of Baltimore at the nearby American Visionary Art Museum. I’ve had the good fortune of being a member of the committee of volunteer Baltimoreans that’s organized this special event and they have done a phenomenal job to ensure that everyone will have a great time!

Whether you are an experienced, new or aspiring lodging professional, don’t miss out on the opportunity to gather with the best and brightest in the industry, and push your operational, marketing and sales efforts to the next level in 2022!

To learn more about the 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace, please listen to this fact-filled, highly informative podcast interview we recently did with Kris Ullmer (CEO) and Erik Spence (Conference Planner and Trade Show Coordinator) of ALP or visit the ALP website.

I hope to see you all in Baltimore!

Steve Short
Founder & CEO, Frictionless Guest App

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #40: Kris Ullmer and Erik Spence of the Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP) Discuss the Upcoming 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace

For episode #40 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Kris Ullmer, CEO of the Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP); and Erik Spence, Conference Planner and Trade Show Coordinator at ALP, about the upcoming 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace in Baltimore, taking place from Saturday, February 5, through Wednesday, February 9.

For lodging professionals of all kinds, the ALP Conference & Marketplace is the go-to event of the year for educational opportunities for everything from sales, finance, marketing, operations to technology, and much more.

This year, ALP has expanded the aspiring innkeeper portion of the conference to three days, and all attendees have the option to attend the main conference and marketplace. In addition, the event offers a wide range of networking opportunities and social gatherings – culminating with three hours of entertainment, fun, open bar, and a Taste of Baltimore at the nearby American Visionary Arts Museum.

We are very thankful to Kris Ullmer and Erik Spence for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about the 2022 ALP Conference & Marketplace here.

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #39: Randy Bangs, Owner of Get Heads in Beds, Discusses Marketing and Branding your Property

For episode #39 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Randy Bangs, the owner of Get Heads in Beds, a marketing and consulting firm for lodging professionals, about the value of marketing and branding for properties.

Marketing is a key differentiator in the lodging industry, and the true driver to securing new guest reservations. Though having the internal resources to manage every aspect of marketing can be challenging.

Get Heads in Beds is a marketing and consulting firm that fills in these gaps for lodging professionals. As the name suggests, the firm is all about helping properties to drive up overall revenue through increased bookings. Unlike traditional marketing firms, Get Heads in Beds charges nothing up front, and is only compensated when new revenue comes in the door.

We are very thankful to Randy Bangs for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about Get Heads in Beds here. Randy is also the owner/innkeeper of the Stewart Inn.

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #38: Jim Snediker, Co-Founder and CEO of Stock Mfg Co., Discusses Branded Workwear for Differentiating Your Offerings

For episode #38 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Jim Snediker, Co-Founder and CEO of Stock Mfg Co., who discusses how lodging professionals can differentiate their offering through the use of branded workwear.

Lodging professionals can differentiate their offerings by the use of branded workwear to project an ideal brand image, reinforce a consistent guest experience, and bolster overall employee morale. Jim Snedicker and his team at Stock Mfg Co. are experts at the aesthetics of clothing for the hospitality industry.

Since 2012, Stock has designed and manufactured custom workwear for some of the best bars, restaurants, and hotels in the world. With roots in the fashion industry, the company offers a wide-range of stylish branded uniforms, including shirts, blazers, light jackets, aprons, and baseball caps.

We are very thankful to Jim Snediker for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about Stock Mfg Co. here.

Guests and Properties Can Now Text Message with the Newly-Released v5.0 of the Frictionless Guest App

Today we released v5.0 of the Frictionless Guest App, which allows properties and guests to use text messaging to communicate

The purpose of the Frictionless Guest App has always been to help lodging professionals connect with their guests so they can provide them with an incredible stay experience. Giving guests recommendations for the best local places to visit or information about their property is the fundamental way this is accomplished, and we continue to find other ways to connect guests with their lodging providers.

Frictionless v4.0 gave guests the ability to place orders for any property offering – whether it be breakfast, a bottle of champagne or any other services, packages, etc. – and communicate any special instructions or needs.

The new Frictionless v5.0 continues to build on the mission of connecting guests to their lodging providers by allowing text messaging conversations. A guest or property can initiate a conversation by sending a message through the Frictionless Guest App, which gets sent as a text message to the mobile phone apps of the guest and property. This way, both parties can get notified immediately and the conversation can continue through their mobile phone text apps or through the Frictionless Guest App.

The new Frictionless Guest App v5.0 allows the messaging to occurs seamlessly and keeps the entire conversation for the guest or property to reference or continue later on. In addition, the property can establish groups of people they wish to be a part of the conversation. For example, if a guest sends a message to Housekeeping, multiple people can be set up to receive the text message on their mobile phones and everyone can respond to be a part of the group conversation.

Ready to connect with your guests through text messaging? Please contact us here to learn more about the amazing new v5.0 of the Frictionless Guest App!

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #37: Richard Aday, Founder, CEO & Principal Engineer at ThinkReservations, Discusses the Evolution of their Offering

For episode #37 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Richard Aday, Founder, CEO & Principal Engineer at ThinkReservations, about his company’s origin story, and how listening to customers has driven the evolution of the company’s solutions that help property owners to streamline operations, while also enhancing revenue growth.

Sometimes company origin stories can be the most inspirational, especially when an entrepreneur’s love for travel translates into the creation of a next-generation property management and booking system.

When Richard Aday was working as a computer engineer at Amazon in 2012, he went on vacation to Puerto Rico, and on the fly, he pitched the idea of a next-generation reservation system to the hotel manager, which would ultimately become ThinkReservations.

From there, Richard and his twin brother, Alfred Aday, focused all of their energy on building a product exclusively based on listening to what customers want, which has been the key to their success. Today, the company’s lodging reservation software is used by more than 1,600 properties in 48 states – serving over two million guests each year.

For lodging professionals, these insights reinforce how solutions like ThinkReservations are designed with them in mind, and how the company’s solutions can help drive revenue growth.

We are very thankful to Richard Aday for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about ThinkReservations thinkreservations.com.

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #36: Paul Wegert and Jenifer Neptune of Boutique Hotel Professionals Discuss Boutique Lodging Differentiation

For episode #36 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Paul Wegert, Chief Executive Officer and Jenifer Neptune, Chief Investment Officer, and both Co-Founders at Boutique Hotel Professionals, a management company specializing in boutique properties and unique, curated guest experiences.

When it comes to creating a truly unique boutique property, it’s vital to provide a one-of-a-kind luxury experience that is individualized, and offers local market flare for sophisticated travelers.

Boutique Hotel Professionals helps boutique properties to gain this level of differentiation through its disciplined property management capabilities – which spans from experience curation to property development and management. The company’s flagship property is The Inn at St. Johns, a AAA four-diamond resort and conference center located in Plymouth, Michigan.

There are many insights from this podcast that are certain to help lodging professionals develop curated guest experiences at their properties.

We are very thankful to Paul Wegert and Jenifer Neptune for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about Boutique Hotel Professionals here. 

Frictionless Innkeeper PODCAST #35: Karen Thorne, Owner of the Bed and Breakfast Academy, Discusses Training for Innkeepers

For episode #35 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Karen Thorne, Owner of the Bed and Breakfast Academy, which offers training and ongoing support for aspiring and existing bed and breakfast owners.

The secrets to successfully running a bed and breakfast can often be elusive, especially for aspiring innkeepers. Fortunately, Karen Thorne, the owner of the UK-based Bed and Breakfast Academy, provides a wide-range of tools, trainings and courses to enhance marketing, operations, and increase overall bookings for any innkeeper.

As an innkeeper for 17 years, Karen brings knowledge and insights that help innkeepers succeed, and she now offers online courses in today’s COVID-19 environment.

We are very thankful to Karen Thorne for sharing her insights with us. You can learn more about the Bed and Breakfast Academy here.