The Unknown Benefits of Using a Professional Housing Service
You’ve been running a youth soccer tournament for twelve years. You’ve developed a following of teams from ten different states who are locked in to attend year over year and you’ve fine tuned your marketing, promotions and even have your registration platform dialed in to a level you’re beyond happy with. You’ve got wonderful officials, your merchandise is popular and sales do well each year along with a professional videographer who provides amazing post-event content for your attendees. You even manage your own out of town team housing with some local hotels who provide you with a kickback for every room that gets booked and you pull a decent piece of revenue from that as well. What else could possibly be missing?
From an event producer’s standpoint, you’re probably thinking, “nothing.” You’re sold out, you’re making money and you’re putting on a quality event that teams always continue to come back for. From a growth and revenue angle though, you’re missing out on some key elements that a professional housing service could provide.
Sure – the narrative around third party housing companies is incredibly mixed. “The prices will go up”, “hotels may not want to work with them.” You’ve heard them all before and to be completely honest, they’re not all fake news. Inevitably, hiring a professional to handle anything takes time and focus to find the right person or company. But for those willing to listen and for those with growth, additional revenue and professionalism on the forefront of their planning – the right sports housing service adds some incredible elements to their partnerships that many people don’t know about.
It’s not a big secret in the industry that housing services operate free of charge to their event producer partners but collect their pay through a commission from hotels. That’s widely known and accepted on both sides of the partnership from tourney company to host hotels and throughout the demographic of traveling sports teams. Housing companies bring volume, and the discounts to your attendees far outweigh the commissions earned by any housing company. The right housing company will contract a lowest rate clause with hotels to ensure rate integrity for out of town teams. A professional who sources and contracts room blocks on behalf of an event has many tools in their belt from occupancy reports to booking history when negotiating rates and rebates with hotels. Nothing is worse than working hard to set up group blocks for teams only to find out during the event that another team got rooms at the same hotel for $30 less per night. Professionals in the housing industry can ensure this doesn’t happen to you.
Those who have toiled in the trenches of working with hotels to secure room blocks and locking in room rates know that the hassle, back & forth, key strokes, phone calls, texts messages and unmitigated stress of being the point of contact for travel teams is nothing short of catastrophic. Hotels and room nights aren’t sexy and they don’t live on the front line of sports events but usually the hotel and the hotel contact is the very first touch point for every attending team and their families. Did you know a professional housing service handles ALL the issues? Like…. ALL of the issues. You don’t get texts from angry team managers who didn’t realize the pool at Hotel La Bamba was under maintenance this weekend or a seven minute voicemail from a VIP coach who had his room double booked and nowhere to stay. This includes last minute changes along with full-service call centers and customer service agents who work extended hours during high volume check-in times. Hassle free, stress free and free of charge to the event producer. Peace of mind is everything when you have more important things to worry about when hosting a tournament.
Lastly – and this might seem like a small piece to many – a professional housing service can contract, secure and completely manage comp rooms and/or other planner incentives. So many event producers miss out on big quality and serious expense cutting by either not knowing about these incentives or not having the time of day to deal with it. A housing service will hammer out the details for you!
All in all, a housing service is so much more than just “heads in beds”, booking links and room night rebates. The youth sports industry has exploded in the past 5 years and was the first consistent and significant economic impact return post-Covid in the entire country. Hotels and hotel brands know which housing services can be trusted with the management of events that vary in size from 25 team hockey tournaments to 1200 team soccer events…… the beauty is in the details right? A successful professional housing partner lives in the details and can take your event that you truly thought was perfect, to the next level.