Let’s talk about hotel room blocks for weddings and events! As a pro, clients often turn to you for help booking and tracking their room block, and if you’ve ever booked a room block, I’m sure you understand the pains of booking them. It’s often a time consuming and tedious process. You call each hotel, get rates manually, follow-up with hotels until they actually get the rates to you, chase down contracts, you name it. Then once you do get the contract you have to make sure the contract has the most favorable terms for your clients - pre/post rooms, low attrition, resell and rebooking clauses. It’s a lot!
And don’t even get me started on trying to get reservation reports! When a client wants to see their reservation report, you have to email the hotel contact, which oftentimes takes them a few days to get back to you, by which time the client is frustrated because they wanted to see it earlier. Pair that with issues from central reservation systems and no direct customer service contacts for booking issues and room block coordination adds so many to-dos to your already full plate. There really aren't many tools available that made booking room blocks easy for pros. Like so many great companies in the event industry, Hotel Gurus was created to solve a problem. Just like Aisle Planner streamlines the planning process, Hotel Gurus was developed by a wedding planner to make the room block process easy for both you and clients.
We are so excited to introduce you to Hotel Gurus, a new service to help pros book hotel room blocks for clients - free for you and your clients. The process is super simple for clients and Hotel Gurus shares 10% of the commission with you! Hotel Gurus works with over 50,000 hotels, all across the United States, Canada and Mexico and will have the capability to book worldwide in Q3 2023. As long as the hotel is bookable online, Hotel Gurus can get rates from them. Let’s break down how Hotel Gurus can help you book blocks for your clients!
Step 1: Sign Up for the Hotel Gurus Referral Program
Once you sign up, you will receive your personal referral link. Hotel Gurus also provides a Partner Asset Center with pre-designed and pre-written social media and email friendly assets you can use to promote your participation in the program along with pre-written blog content to help boost your SEO. If you're interested, sign up for the program!
Step 2: Share Your Link
Spread the word about your new service offering – pass your referral link via email, social media, text - however you communicate with clients and prospects. If you have clients you prefer to manage the process for you can use your link and fill out the inquiry form for them, effectively allowing you to offer the service as part of your planning package and have Hotel Gurus manage it for you.
Step 3: Clients Fill Out Inquiry Form
When a client clicks on your referral link they are taken to an inquiry form where they will input the event details and preferences for hotels. As long as your referral link is used you will get credit so you can fill in the form for your clients or send them the link to fill in directly.
Step 4: Gurus Source Rates
Once Hotel Gurus receives the inquiry, they source the rates for you. If there are preferred hotels, they prioritize those. In general they search hotels within a specific radius of the venue. The radius just depends on where the wedding is. You can also specify a specific radius you want the hotels to be within. The hotels have 5 days to submit their rate proposals. Once the rates are in, Hotel Gurus will send the rate report, one week from the inquiry date. The report includes the hotel details, rate, attrition and concessions so you and your client get a full picture of what is being offered by each.
Step 5: Hotel Contracted
When the client selects a hotel, Hotel Gurus works with the hotel on the contract. They will always ask if a courtesy block is available and if not, they make sure to negotiate the most favorable terms possible so your client liability is as minimal as possible. Once the contract looks good, Hotel Gurus sends it to you and/or your client who will electronically sign the contract.
Step 6: Guests Book Rooms
Once the contract is processed, we create and send the booking link. Guests book rooms directly on the booking link and there is a dedicated customer service number and email listed for any questions/issues. Hotel Gurus will send reminders when the block is closing, welcome email templates to share with their guests and other helpful information.
Step 7: Get Paid
After the event concludes, Hotel Gurus receives the final pickup report from the hotel and invoices them for the commission. Typically the commission is processed in 4-8 weeks after the event. When they pay Hotel Gurus, the Hotel Gurus accounting team will process your commission and send it to you via Venmo or ACH.
As a pro, it’s important for you to have and use all of the tools available to help service your clients. Hotel Gurus is a service that fills a gap in the pro tool belt. It benefits you and your clients, takes some tasks off your to-do list and puts money in your pocket. It also allows you to increase your value with clients by having an additional service you can offer - even for coordination clients or prospects who do not book your planning services, this is an easy way to increase your revenue.
Check out the Hotel Gurus Referral Program!
Hero photo courtesy Elizaveta Photography