Have you heard of Chat GPT?
Of course you have! But do you know how to use it? And how to use it for your STR business specifically? Today's guest Bart Sobies gives us a brief description of what it is and many examples of how we can benefit from using the AI tool in the hospitality industry and how to generate more direct bookings.
We talk about:
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Ep#42 - Using Chat GPT for your STR with Bart Sobies
Jenn: Welcome to another episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast. As ever, I'm your host, Jenn Boyles. Today we are going down under to speak with Bart Sobies, the founder of ibook.online.
All right, today I have with me Bart Sobeys of ibook.online. Hi, Bart. It's so great to have you with me.
Bart: I'm super pumped to be on this podcast. I'm super pumped to talk to you. I'm super pumped about the topic. Thank you so much for having me.
Jenn: Oh, great. Okay, let's get right into it. I wanna hear about your background.
We can hear that you're in Australia, and I know it's nighttime there. It's morning here. So let's try and connect in the middle here. Tell me about your background.
Bart: Yeah, look, I'm the founder and c e o of I booked.online. We are a direct booking platform and we help hosts get more direct bookings through this platform.
We differentiate ourselves because we actually look at the whole equation of how people go and they book. We talk to you about things like guest avatars. We talk to you about marketing and finding better ways for your site to. Beyond that, Jenn, I run the accommodation show, which is another podcast. talking to great people within the industry like yourself, and helping people, with their accommodation businesses and strengthening what they do.
And oh, there was, oh, one last thing as well. I'm also a board member of Astra, which is the Australian Short-Term Rental Association, which is basically a body which helps to represent short-term rentals within Australia. I am based out of Australia, as you clearly identified. but my origins actually, I, I lived in the uk.
I don't know if you knew that, but I lived there for 10, 15 years. I did all my formative years over there and then, moved back to Australia. So even though I am in Australia, distance is no longer an issue. it doesn't really matter where you're from. We work with all sorts of clients all over the world.
Yeah, it is
Jenn: great. The world is so much smaller now, isn't it?
Bart: Yeah. And particularly after Covid, I think that, I mean, I always knew that, that we were very close, but now it's a lot more acceptable. People are okay. Yes. You know, if I, if I call a client from an Australian number, people pick it up as though they're talking to someone locally.
So that's a really nice thing is that we can feel as though we're in the same room, even though we're so far apart.
Jenn: No, I totally agree with you. I know previous to the pandemic in a previous career, I guess I was a digital nomad and I worked Oh, from all different places. But it was before you'd heard about them.
I didn't have a title, if you will, but I'd have to lie to clients to where I was. Because they didn't understand that I could work from Austria or France or wherever I was. So now I think a silver lining from the pandemic is that those barriers are no longer there.
Bart: And look, I think just for, for the audience, it, it's super interesting.
This whole digital nomad segment of the tourism industry has, has ballooned. You know, if you are a host, it's an actual category that you can target for the longest days. So, you know, two weeks, 30 days, a couple of months because there's governments around the world, and I was reading about this, the other.
I believe that you can go to Columbia and they'll put you up for a couple of years being a digital nomad. So governments are encouraging digital nomads to come and work in their countries, as long as they have enough money. Because it's supporting the local economy, and you're not taking other people's jobs.
So it's a really win-win situation for those countries. So, two things. I recommend one, give it a try, two. Target those people if you're looking to get more direct bookings.
Jenn: Yeah, no, that's a great tip there. So tell us about how you got into hospitality. Cause I know you were doing something slightly different, before getting into hospitality.
Bart: Look, I've always been into technology and marketing and helping business owners with the technology side of things. I've got a deep understanding of how things are connected, how to get the most out of systems, how people use technology within their everyday lives, and how we can get the most adverse customers.
And, so I've been doing that since I was 15 years old. So over 20 years. I don't, I'm not gonna give my exact. But,I started working for a company that was doing online ordering. So ordering for restaurants. And, this was before the days where it was even popular before UberEats.
And we would call up the restaurant owner and say, Hey, you need a website now? Let's say, well, what do you say? Yeah, you need a website because people wanna order food online. And there's a website to do what? Online. And then the discussion with us, do you want a pizza or not? And you're like, no, no, no.
I want you to buy a website and I'll just hang up the phone. Right? No one's gonna order online. That was the days when, when I sort of started looking at hospitality and. I've been fortunate enough to land into the hospitality field cuz my background, my family background is all hospitality.
I love the sharing economy as well, which is something which has been very, very important to my formative years. So that kind of hospitality, technology, smashing it all together. And then four years ago, I created it, I booked online because I saw. With all the stuff that's going on in this industry, it's very, very hard as a small business owner to know where to pay attention to.
When you're looking at direct bookings, there's nobody or very few people apart from yourself really knows. Or can empathize with the situation of the business owner. Mm-hmm. Because if a business owner doesn't have time to sit there and do 50 million Instagram posts and create a whole community and all that, because if you became an expert at that, you should be doing Instagram rather than the hospitality side. Anyway, I'm digressing. No, but they've got you.
Jenn: You've hit the nail on the head cuz they've got so many things in their lives, they're running a business and they've got everything that goes along with that. And the marketing and the direct bookings is only one piece to their day, isn't it?
Bart: Correct. Yeah. You're dealing with so many things and, it depends on what side, you know, if you, if you're a hotel, then you've got your staff. You've got your guests. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. You might also have investors as well that are sitting there above you that, that you've gotta kind of, look after as well.
Or the bank if you're, if you've got a loan. Then, if you're in a short term rental business or if you are a property manager, even worse, cuz you've got the guests, you've got the owners, you've got your staff. Mm-hmm. And there's just so many complications. So by the time you've dealt with all of that, there's some person telling you, oh, you need to get a new website.
And it's like, well how am I even gonna get people to that website? Yeah. So, our philosophy as a business is going, Hey, what is it? How, where are you on your journey? What do you need help with and how can we make a positive return on investment? And the time that we put in, that's all that it is. How do we make sure that you're gonna make more money through what we do?
We're not gonna do everything right. We're not gonna do absolutely everything cuz we're not. That's not the stage of your business. We're gonna figure out what you can do. Mary or Paul, you got two properties. What is most appropriate for your strategy, for your skillset? Your budget and everything else so that you actually get to make some more money.
Right. That's the goal of it. Yeah. It's not to sell you a website. It's about building a better business.
Jenn: That's exactly it. And we're so aligned in it because in my direct booking success program, that's exactly what I'm doing with people. It's finding out what they can do in their daily business, what marketing fits in with their lives and their business.
Because you don't have to do it all. You don't have to be dancing around in reels and trying to go viral. correct. You know? Correct. It's gonna get more bookings.
Bart: Correct. And, one of the, one of the, the biggest things, and if you look back in history, you'll see that all the experts were talking about.
Blogs, blogs, blogs, blogs. Everyone's gonna write a blog and that sort of thing. And I don't know where you sit on the blog thing, so this is my opinion. Mm-hmm. Blogs are the death of you. They really are. You spend so much time doing them, so much time filling them out, they're probably. Google probably doesn't care about you.
To be honest with you, who cares, right? There's so many blogs out there. What you should be doing is you should be doing a lead magnet. Lead magnet, same thing, but then you're putting it in and you're getting an email address, and you make it really cool, and you're getting a positive return, which is that email address.
Now you can mark it to them rather than just trying to rank higher on Google. When, when nobody's, nobody's trying to book accommodation by reading an article about the scuba diving that you can do in your area. It's not the way that it works.
Jenn: I love this. We're really digressing. We're here to talk about AI and chat g b, and we're all over the map.
Oh my goodness. This is great.
Bart: All right. And that's, that's why we're gonna do a few of these. I can, I can really feel it. And hopefully for those listeners out there, you're getting a bit of a feel as to where we're gonna go with this, right? We're gonna give some real value in terms of AI and chat, G B T that you can use in your business.
Jenn: Okay, well let's get into it. So let's start with the real basic questions. Okay. I've got two. I've got what is AI and what is chat? G p T? So if anybody out there has just been going, I don't get it. I just don't get what they're talking about. Let's start from the very beginning.
Bart: Yeah. Look, AI has been around for a long, long time, and.
AI is, artificial intelligence is kind of what it's called. And basically it's a computer that is able, that is acting intelligently and it's very, very loose. But basically being able to do the same task that a human being could do, would have the same reasoning that a human being would. That's what the intelligence side of it is.
And there's sort of two sides of the ai, and one of it is sort of like really basic. AI and that kind of stuff would be your predictive text, right? Or if you've gone into a spell check going, we've had a spell checker for mm-hmm. Tens of years now, and that's artificial intelligence. And now you've got the more sophisticated stuff like chat, G p T and all of these tools that are a lot more sophisticated.
They can answer more complex problems, more complex questions, and then, They'll put another layer on this, which is called machine learning, where it sees patterns of what's going on, and then, it improves the answers that it requires.
Jenn: Mm-hmm. And that, I think is the exciting bit, isn't
Bart: it? Yes. I think it's really cool.
That's right. It gets better and better. Ultimately it's a computer program. Can answer stuff. Right. And that's, that's the easiest way to sort of go. All right, cool. It's just a program that does things and you ask the questions and it gives you answers. Yeah. And
Jenn: chat. G p T has come out and it's really, it's changed.
Even though we've had AI for a long time, this has really opened it up, hasn't it, for everyone to use.
Bart: Yeah. So if we're gonna go back into a little bit of a history lesson, Open AI has been around for ages, and I only learned this the other way of the day. Jenn Elon Musk was part of this. Did you?
Jenn: Oh, really?
Bart: didn't. Yeah, he was part of it. And from what I read, right, so don't, you can quote me on it or not, but from what I read is that , him and the developers, they didn't, something went on and then he was like, ah, screw this. I'm outta here. Now he's developing his, he's going back into it saying, oh, maybe I should re-look at this and, and do some more technology.
So open AI is the platform, okay? Mm-hmm. And that's been around for ages and there's many, many tools that have been built on the top of this. You may have used it in the past, so if you, you've, if you've heard of Jasper ai Yes. That was built on the back of OpenAI. Yeah. And all the chat g p t is, is, it's just a new skin on top of this program in the background.
That makes it easier for you and me to communicate with the robot. That's all. It's okay. It's an equation. And these equations, and now you'll be able to communicate with it and they just created a skin on it, so it goes all right, cool. I'll be able to answer your questions in a way that a human being can understand.
Jenn: So I used to, I played around with Jasper ai Oh, I'm gonna say a year and a half ago. Yeah. I was playing around with it and I wasn't getting anywhere with it. So what is the difference between, I guess time and technology has moved on, but what has made chat G P T so amazing? Why are we jumping on this bandwagon and what have they done that's different?
Bart: Yeah. Look, so. Just making it more user friendly is actually the real answer. Okay. It's exactly the same thing. It's what, and I don't wanna bag out anyone, but when I was using Jasper, they set these parameters and these rules and these restrictions on how you could use it. So you weren't getting the full breadth and depth of what the, the, the, language model could actually do.
Okay. Darn. I don't know if you remember, but if you do something, it'll give you only one answer or three answers. It'll be truncated and you couldn't really ask the follow up question all of that. They actually had that as a premium tool. They had some of that stuff where you could just start to build on it, but they never really opened that part up.
So what they did is they, their engineers put together the structure. that it's meant to work on. So what's happened here is that it's just they've given you the ability to interact with their language model, in a much more linear manner. Yeah. And then it's up to you as a user to figure out how you're gonna put it all together and give the, the tool context so you can get the answers that you
So it is exciting. It is exciting. Yes. I do have a couple of worries, but we'll get to them. But it is really exciting. How can we practically use it? So a property manager, an owner, a hotel manager, whoever it is, how can we practically use it in hospitality?
Bart: Yeah, look, so I did, I'll tell you my story.
I did a five day challenge. I did this five day challenge because back in November was the first time that I had touched. Chat GPT and because being, you know, a leader in tech is the stuff that I want to be playing around with. And I felt I was a little bit late to the party, maybe like by a month and, but I'd already used Jasper and then I started using it.
And then the first thing you're gonna do if you've never used it before, you're gonna go in there, you're gonna ask it a question, you go ask them a question about anything that you like, right? And my one, Jenn, was how do I get more direct booking? Let's, let's give it a go and
Jenn: It's like, oh, can I just say, I think that was pretty much the same question I first asked it as well.
Bart: Yeah. And it gave me a bunch of answers. It was okay. It was okay. It wasn't, it wasn't amazing. And that's what most people, that top level that you're gonna get to, you're gonna ask it a question, it's gonna give you an answer. You're gonna go, oh, okay. Then what happened is I saw an influencer put up a post on a reel and she said, let me show you how to do 30 social media posts, in five minutes using ai.
And then I was like, okay, let's have a look at this. Mm-hmm. And so you can use the tool to generate your content, generate your posts, you come up with some ideas, and we can work through that in a. and it generates 30 posts. But the, the, the amazing thing that I learned is that you can then ask chat g p t to put those posts in a table.
And then what you can do is you can say, alright, so here are the ideas in the second column. Can you please write me a longer blog post about it? And the third column, give me all the hashtags. No way.
Jenn: Hang on a
Bart: second. You didn't do my challenge.
Jenn: You caught me out. You caught me out. I haven't done it yet, but I knew about the first two steps there. But they can give you hashtags as well from it.
Bart: Yeah. Oh, and, and your emojis. And your emojis really. I'll put it all onto a table for you and then you can get it. Then if you want to go, then the last step of this, Jenn, is you export or you get it all, you put it into a spreadsheet, save the spreadsheet, jump into Canva, use Canva to pull it into 30 posts, and you can do the 30 posts in one go, and it's just gonna automatically pull the content straight in and you don't have to go and copy and paste and type it all in.
Jenn: Wow. That's a real time saver.
Bart: It's a time save. But look, there is, you need to finesse it. It's not as easy as that. Look at it, the five minute thing, yes, it can generate 30 posts in five minutes, but it's not gonna give you the, the, the posts that are appropriate for your business the first time.
You're gonna have to, it's gonna give you the framework from you to work from that you can then, improve upon. So that's kinda the, yeah.
Jenn: Do you look at it as a magic wand or a jumping off point?
Bart: The more I use it, the more I realize it's a magic wand. Really. Okay. Oh, yeah. The reason why I'm able to use it as a magic wand, because I'm able to give it the right context for it to know what to do with what I'm, what I'm what, with the question I'm asking.
Because you have to understand that it doesn't, under the, the chat GBT doesn't know what you're asking it or what context you're giving it. Are you writing a Facebook post? Who is that Facebook post targeted at? Why are you writing the post? All these contextual elements you need to give it before you ask it to do whatever you're asking it to do.
And once it's got the context, it'll be far more effective at giving you the answer that you're actually looking for. Okay. So just saying like, respond to a review. Like a, so this is one there. So some of the things you can do mm-hmm. You can ask it to respond to your guest reviews. One of the most time consuming, frustrating things you're ever gonna do is respond to reviews.
Like it's, it's good. It's fun, right? It's a good part of hospitality. So think of something new every single time as really difficult because you know, you, you've done 20 of them in a day or whatever and okay, what am I gonna write to this person? I've never actually met them. A great guest. Yeah, exactly.
Their money, you know, they checked out, so well, what else can you write? So they go to chat g PT and say, Hey, please write a response to this review. That'd be the first sort of iteration of it. But you might go, okay, well it's giving me these answers, but they're sort of the same. Same. And it's not really, it's not doing it in the way that I would ride it.
So then you're gonna get your brand identity and you're gonna say, well, we talk, with an Australian lexicon, or, you know, like Australians do. we're a happy, jovial, company. that deals with professionals, right? So then I'll take that and go, all right, now write a review, but based on the tone and all these parameters I've given you, and now you're gonna get a much more effective review, that you can then leave.
I wanna just finish off this review thing and, and, mm-hmm. because the other thing that I encourage everyone to do, You've got the positive reviews, they're actually a lot easier for us to be able to handle and deal with.
Negative reviews are far, far more difficult to answer. Well, now you've gotta remember, this isn't my quote by the way. This is Jasper Rivers, and I dunno the exact quote, but he said, you are not leaving the review, the, you're not responding to the negative review for that guest you're responding to. The following guests or the following guests that are reading.
Jenn: But it's a trap and so many people fall into that trap because you've got emotion tied up with it.
Bart: Ah, exactly right. We're human beings. Exactly. How dare you write that? And you go, okay, I'm gonna be measured in my response, but you can't possibly be completely measured because you are a human being. And also you are constrained by your, this is like philosophy, this constrained by your experiences of the world.
Yeah. Mm-hmm. Right. Jenn's experience of the world is different to my experience of the world, which is different to somebody else's experience of the world. And therefore, you're not gonna have all the different possibilities of the answers because you are, you've got one angle that you've, you've grown up in one way, and that's, you know, you've got only got that one angle.
What check g p t does is it gives you more angles to work from. Mm-hmm.
Jenn: Okay. And takes that emotion out of it.
Bart: And it takes the emotion out of it and it can be a lot more reasonable. well, it takes a hundred percent, the emotion out of it. Cuz it's not emotional. Yes. It doesn't have any, you can, you can tell it to write in an emotional way, but it doesn't, it doesn't, doesn't have ego.
Yeah. Right. So, despite negative reviews, it can be incredibly powerful. But I would to, to go even further with this. Negative reviews are kind of like part and parcel of what we do as hosts, but when you are looking at, emails, and emails that might have conflict in them, when you're looking at conflict in your life or in relationships, quite often you can actually get it or get it to help you to sort of workshop a few scenarios, a few answers.
Mm-hmm. Can I give an example? Mm-hmm. Definitely. Yeah. I'm gonna get killed for this, by the way. I've got, I've got a, there's a friend of mine that I know. Yes, yes. I can't identify the person who is trying to get a new laptop for work. One time, two times, three times. Couldn't get any buy-in at all for the laptop, just, you know, thing.
The thing basically was a pile of junk, just not working anymore, just really slow. Needed the upgrade, but this friend didn't have it. The linguistic ability to be able to put together an argument in such a way to convince the other party that, Hey, I need this laptop. I really actually do need it, I genuinely need it.
I just can't communicate it that well. For you to understand it, chat, G P T should the rescue. I've been asking for a laptop five times. I need a laptop because of this and this and this, and this. Reason. I need to put together a case for this particular person who's my manager, to ask them for the new laptop.
Could you please write to me? Did the email, sent it off, got the laptop approved the same day. Wow. Yeah. So, you know, I'm not saying so, you know, it's, you still gotta go through, you still have to edit things. You still have to use your own brain. This isn't, it's not like chatting. G p T did everything.
But it's just enabling you to potentially become a better and more effective communicator, which is incredibly important in hospitality and also for direct bookings. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Jenn: Yes. You're telling me even more that it can be used for things that I hadn't thought of. This is great. Yeah, yeah,
Bart: yeah. Look, and so I think the review part of it is, I think, other things that we went through was building avatars as well. Mm-hmm. So how do we build our avatar? How do I identify our ideal guest?
How do we describe them? How do we explain them? And then the other part of it that we did, which I encourage everyone to do, is to also look for a search engine optimization. Mm-hmm. So rewriting a lot of your content, your descriptions, your site title. So that they're a bit better than what you, me, had done in the past.
you can shorten them. You can get this tool to start to work with you in a better way to write better content so that people can find you and that sort of thing.
Jenn: What do you, do you see any SEO implications with this? I'm thinking, you know, if we start using AI to write, say, blog posts and or listing descriptions or whatever it is on your website, something on your website, then Google will see this and say, hang on a second.
You didn't write that AI wrote that. Mm-hmm. Well, will they start, Google starts to penalize those who use ai.
Bart: Very, very good question. A little bit of an unknown territory. Yeah. I'll give you my opinion on it, and Sure. It's very important that people realize when you are using tools like this, sometimes you're like, ah, this is the, the holy grail.
Like, it's gonna solve everything for us. But, particularly with Google seo, even if you're on an ota, an OTA might be able to recognize these things and penalize you the same way. You don't put particular images in your listings, right? You can't put your phone number in your listing, that kind of stuff.
So there's, there's different potential repercussions. Now, can there be tools to identify chat, T p T and, and AI generated content? Yes, there will be tools. It will be like a cat mouse. So, the AI will get better at avoiding the tools, and the tools will be detecting all of the university stuff.
But that's still not accurate. And a lot of these tools that claim to be really good at identifying it, they're still not there yet. So there's, there's a little bit of. As being Google or being a search engine. If you get that wrong, you could potentially penalize a lot of people, but shouldn't be penalized.
And they actually wrote the content, but then they got it wrong. Mm-hmm. So what do those people get? All their websites were taken down because they got it wrong. Google so far has not said that they're gonna penalize anyone for using AI content. That's, that they haven't said that they're gonna do it.
Mm-hmm. And if you actually think about it logically, I actually had a discussion about this on, on my Facebook group about. whether the OTAs will penalize you for using ai, and I can't see any odd logical reason they would. Yeah. Like, because all you are doing is you're trying to communicate more effectively with your guests.
You know, you're not cheating in the world. You're just, all right, well, didn't come from my brain, but I've, now I'm able to actually explain what the experience is gonna be like being in my place. Yeah. So logic to me says that you're gonna be fine. The one part that you will get penalized, and this one I can guarantee you'll get penalized, is if you're generating massive amounts of content and just spamming it.
So all of the attribution, all of the trust signals that they're looking for, to know that you're a genuine business and that you are, you've got genuinely valuable, genuinely valuable content that's gonna, weigh more heavily as time goes. And they've already been doing that for ages. Lots of being there generating this kind of stuff.
So I don. I think if you use it with the right intention and if it makes sense and you're not doing it just to, to write 50 articles about whatever, I think you'll be fine. Mm-hmm.
Jenn: And yeah, it'll be really interesting to see what sort of comes out of it. Because I know, Google's launched its own sort of, chat, g p t equivalent called Bard, hasn't it?
Bart: Yeah, they have, and that's, that'll be another thing. I mean, like, they'll be able to sniff out Bard way easier than the other tools. Right. So they'll be able to know whether it's generated by their tools. So then if they use their tool to put the content back on the internet, which would've been sucked out at the internet.
Jenn: Yeah. And at one point it's like, well, who cares where it comes from? It's there. Yeah.
Bart: Well, yeah. And then, but then, then, then there's the, that, that whole other side is that all of this content is generated by someone at some stage. So attribution is the biggest issue that we're facing right now, but which also could be.
human beings, if we go really into this, where do we get our content from? Do we make it up or do we copy something that we've heard from someone in the past? Did we learn it from a teacher? Mm-hmm. So now we have to attribute everything that we know and we're talking about right now to different teachers at different parts of our education.
Jenn: Well, and I'm a believer there, yeah. I'm a believer that there are no, original ideas is that we're just, we take what we learn what we see, and then it's our point of view that we bring it back as
Bart: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. And, and within our lived experience. Mm-hmm. Look, I think there's a lot of questions that will be asked over the next few years, but the, the biggest, the biggest issue is, is.
It took maybe two or three months from then releasing chat t b t with version 3.5, and now they're already at version four. And that's a huge leap in terms of how well it works. So the biggest thing is that if it keeps evolving and developing at this particular pace, that's where these kinds of questions are.
I think they'll be on the side or be more, mm-hmm. More, you know, humanity, existence, all that kind of
Jenn: stuff. Yes, yes. Well, I didn't really wanna get into that today. Yeah. We're already in the weeds, you know, but let's go back to what we can. You know, what we can actually practically use it for? So we've, we've talked about reviews, we've talked about listing descriptions or on our website, we've talked about social posts, we've talked about other ways in our lives.
If we're needing to write a letter to somebody or put a case forward about something, something that we just can't put down in words, we can't accurately communicate it ourselves. What else? What can we use it in, you know, in hospitality?
Bart: Look very, very good summary. So anything that you can think of where you're communicating in any way. So if you're doing, if you need to get a new employee and your hiring staff and you want to get that framework done and you can do it, we're putting together a conference at the moment and this, this is where the, God, I did this, I was doing this, this a.
I talked to the venue, we booked the venue and they said for each person, this is the different amounts that like, you know, food is gonna be this, the lunch and the coffee, and the drinks and the thing, and blah, blah, blah. Then we put out fixed expenses for speakers and lighting and audio and blah. Like a budget, right?
Yeah. And then, but I had it all on a, on a notepad and I just grabbed that notepad. I chucked it at Chat GPT. I said, Hey, can you please gimme the budget? But now do it for thirty, sixty, a hundred and five hundred people, and give me a breakdown of, of how much then it'll cost per person, and then how much I should price my tickets at.
And I did it. So you, so no more spreadsheets? No. I actually asked to put it into spreadsheets. Yes. Yeah. For you. Yeah. But, I didn't have to do it and kind of. You know, like that, that stuff isn't complicated to do, but the fact that it can grab your notes and summarize it and put it in, so other things that you can do is, also design your lead magnets and your guides for your guests. So that's kind of two areas, guides for your guests are really interesting and something we actually tackled during the talent challenge as well, because you can ask about things to do with your, this is probably my favorite, favorite thing that we did is we went through and we.
Chat, J B t I would like you to set the scene for a couple, visiting my city. Call it Melbourne, cuz I'm in Melbourne, and I am staying in my accommodation for two days. In my city, I think the best things to do is to go to some of the top restaurants and to go to the theater. my place is, and then we copy the description from our listings.
So we might call two bedrooms, bathroom, shower, blah, blah, blah, whatever. This is the place that they're staying at, right? So we don't have to write that again. And then at the end of it, go say, please set out what is perfect. Two day romantic getaway will look like and put it pros, a couple of paragraphs, and then it goes through and it goes through and it says, be swept away for a romantic weekend in Melbourne.
you're gonna walk down the cobbled streets and then go to the theater and then tuck into this bed and the shower and it. So then it's explaining the experience of what it's actually gonna be like and give you all of. That knowledge and all those things where if you have to think about it and kind of, you can, anyone can do this stuff, right?
But you wanna do your research, you wanna think about it. But doing that, really effective, especially let's say we're doing a promotion, right, like a romantic getaway package type thing, then you can do it for that. So that was very, very, very effective. so effective that we had people go in and do this kind of editing their description.
And then they're getting more bookings, overnight. This is on the OTAs. Mm-hmm. So be it. but they're getting more bookings overnight because now people could actually see themselves staying at their property. Yeah.
Jenn: Yeah. Well, great. So it almost sounds like the only limit to it is your own imagination.
Bart: Yeah. Yeah. Pretty, pretty much, pretty much. It's a learning process. You learn as you go. My top tip is to give it context before you get going. You need to give it as much context as you possibly can, and it will give you much, much better answers. Mm-hmm. pay for the upgrade to chat G p T four. That's definitely recommended. If you get it working for you and working for you effectively, it's like 20 bucks a month, but that should be insignificant.
My third tip for everyone's train your staff like you know you are using it. Cool, whatever. You can learn it. If you can get all your staff using it and if you can save five or 10 hours of their time a week, or if you can make them more effective communicators with your guests, with your owners. With all the key stakeholders, you are gonna save yourself a fortune, potentially make yourself over more money.
So train your staff as a number one top tip about using chat g b T.
Jenn: Mm-hmm. And if you haven't tried it, just go in and play with it. Correct, because I think, you know, yes, you can ask that first question, see what it comes back with, but it's the tweaking that I think is really interesting where you can ask it to, to do whatever you want or, you know, different, tones of voice and, you know, giving it more context.
But I think you're right about putting that context in first.
Bart: Yeah. All of a sudden you'll be writing a blog post in the, in the. Obama or Donald Trump
Yeah. Okay. It is, you know, you can do so much, but you, you get in, give it a go. I jump on and, and you can go grab the course that I did as well that's available.
It's, can I, can I plug it? It's ibooked.online/ai. It'll be in, in the show notes. And so what we've got is we've got the recordings from the five Day Challenge and you can jump in there, and then, go through, through all those sessions. And the feedback that we've had has been extraordinary.
People have literally written saying, this has changed me. So, and it has changed.
Jenn: I'm gonna totally do it.
Bart: I think, look, I mean, like even through this, you've already picked up some bits and pieces, right? Mm-hmm. And. Through that, you've got, it's a bit more practical, just sort of really seeing how it's all done.
You've got some exercise, you're like, do this, do this, do this. It's, what is it? Five lots of 15 minutes. So easy, PEY, oh, you, you're done within an hour or two and, and, and, and you're, you're well equipped to get yourself going. Yeah.
Jenn: That's great. This is so great. I have loved speaking with you today. I've learned so much and people sometimes ask me, why do you have this podcast?
Well, this is why, because I get to learn from people who've gone out there and taught themselves or you know, are experts in the field and I really appreciate it. So, as our title implies, a direct booking success of this podcast is, I'd like to ask you, what does direct booking success mean to you? Oh,
Bart: Look over, over 40% is the number.
Whatever. I talk to people and they're like, oh, look, if you're, if you're under 40%, give me or Gen a call. That's the answer. You, you, if you're, if you're relying on more than 40, uh uh, if you're relying. The numbers are a little confusing in my head for a second, but if you're overlying on OTAs or other channels, you need to give us a call.
And just to make it clear as well, direct booking success does not mean that they're all on your website. It means that they're booking through you directly, be it over the phone, be it through email, through WhatsApp, through mm-hmm. All those different tools. So, if it's under 40%, you have a problem that needs to be fixed.
Jenn: Definitely. I couldn't agree more. You know, there's so many ways to get direct booking success for yourself, so yeah. Good. Well thank you Bart. Thank you so much
Bart: My absolute pleasure.
Jenn: And the website again for people to go and do the chat, G P T Challenge.
Bart: It's ibooked.online/ai. If you wanna reach out to me, it's ibooked.online/bart.
It said b a r t , just my name. And then you've got all the links to our Facebook group, socials, all the good stuff in there.
Jenn: Great. And I will put those in the show notes too. Thank you.
Bart: Appreciate it.
Jenn: Thank you, Bart, for joining me today. I do have an inner tech geek and I've loved our conversation.
To join Bart's AI challenge, head over to the show notes directbookingsuccess.com/podcast for the link.