In-house videos help members of the Horseshoe Bay, Texas property stay in touch while the pandemic keeps many away. “We have connected during a time of uncertainty with our 6,100 part- and full-time members, by producing in-house videos with a variety of benefits that have surprised us all,” says Director of Membership Stacey Loring Persinger.
By Stacey Loring Persinger, Director of Membership, The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort, Horseshoe Bay, Texas
The initial impact of the pandemic was a sudden disconnect in our connection-driven industry. Fortunately for the club industry, it did not take long for members to reconnect to a safe place and see their club as their home away from home.
During this transition and a time of uncertainty, members had an excessive amount of inquiries relating to access and services available. At The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort, home to 6,100 part- and full-time members, we connected with our membership by producing videos, which we post on our website, on the opening and closing of our resort amenities, COVID-19 protocols, and interviews with associates property-wide. It didn’t even take long for “Zoom Trivia” to work its way into the lineup. Watching members navigate Zoom for the first time was priceless—and note, we were not experts either. That’s a whole other story.
The benefits of our in-house videos have surprised us all. Keeping the membership informed and entertained was the initial objective, of course. But the videos have also provided members with a personal connection to the team, and have proved to be a very meaningful way for them to get to better know the person they so often e-mail or chat with on the phone.
And by including the entire team, including front- and back-of-the-house personnel, in our videos, member-team relationships have not only evolved, but their production has also contributed a great deal to team bonding as well.
We also had no way of knowing that the videos could serve as an important recruitment tool—but another pleasant surprise has been the impact they’ve had on prospective members. Prospects have told us they watched several episodes to learn first-hand about the club’s culture, “meet” members and associates, see the amenities, and discover events and activities that would appeal to their families.
As a result, the prospect often had a familiarity with many of the names and faces they saw the first day they walked into our membership office—and in many cases could often tell us our names and job titles from having previously tuned into our videos. (Because of this, we now often use the videos to tell our story on Facebook, via boosts to our target recruiting markets.)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Our primary video effort has been a regular segment, “What’s Rockin’ at the Club,” named around how many of our amenities include the word rock: Slick Rock, Summit Rock, Ram Rock, Apple Rock, Cap Rock.
How did we gear up for all of the video production? In the beginning, it was a lot. For me, it started with trying to remember what I learned many moons ago while receiving my broadcast journalism degree: researching the news and details, scriptwriting, assigning lines to teammates, preparing a shot sheet, doing a one-time read-through, and then having the actual shoot.
Because of our club’s stunning location, capturing the Lake and Hill Country beauty as a backdrop was always a must. But this also led to many challenges, as we encountered wind, mowers and blowers everywhere, and the sun was often never where we needed it to be. Audio quality was also our weakness at the start. And all of this was before we even began to edit the many takes required with our amateur taff “talent.”
We started out trying to produce a new “What’s Rockin’” segment with a final length of 8 to 10 minutes every two weeks. But that just became too much.
After 18 months of being in the club-video business, our team is now seamlessly producing a monthly video, four to five minutes in length and with a script designed in a news-style format. This has reduced overall production time from a total of 24 hours to less than 12 hours. Through the trials and tribulations, the writing, production, line delivery and editing, we have become remarkably more efficient.
In addition to a notable time reduction, we have purchased a few production tools to assist with the audio and editing process. We are still considering upping our game and making an investment in quality microphones. The production tool was, and still is, simply using an iPhone.
STEPS AND MISSTEPS
The intent of the “What’s Rockin’” videos is not to be perfect; it is to be authentic. We fumble lines and still use them. We sweat in the summer and are cold in the winter. We just do it all with member satisfaction at the forefront. We even put together a bloopers reel, which was released this past January 1, that captured our stumbles, but also showed our ability to laugh at ourselves and each other.
Over time, though, we have all improved, and our team members have developed an added skill to list on their resumes. And because the team has collectively become experienced in the many production roles involved with producing the videos, “What’s Rockin’” has evolved into a resourceful, personalized and popular medium for delivering property-wide information.
Here are the some of the other industrious teammates at Horseshoe Bay, and how they have been involved with helping to develop our video series as an effective new way to communicate and care for one of the largest membership bases in the country at a vibrant, full-amenity resort and club.
• With no previous experience in this arena, Sales and Marketing Coordinator Payton Peril learned from online resources how to edit the videos and became the mastermind behind pulling everything together.
• Sales Manager Christian Perez possesses quite a sense of humor that frequently leads to video highlights. He now has his own fan club as a result, and when he’s touring the club with prospects, members enthusiastically acknowledge scenes from the video and give him, and the prospective member, a warm greeting.
• Member Service Manager Amber Dorsey, who has spoken to members for years about various club services, is now greeted with excitement by those who know her better after seeing her frequently in video segments.
• Club Concierges Carrie Young and Gabriela Rios, who thought they joined the team to serve members behind the scenes, have become celebrities as a result of their video appearances.
• Our progress with heightened member communications also resulted in bringing on Katie Monsen in a brand-new position, Communications and Social Media Coordinator. With Katie’s contributions, maybe we can reduce our 12 hours of production to 10. We can do it!
• Then there is Alexandrea Drees, Assistant Director of Membership. No one knows the club business like Alex, who along with Christian has led the team to several record-setting sales months already this year, including over 200 new members in the past two months. Astounding.
KEEP ON ROCKIN’
Throughout my club career, I have always desired to offer communications through which we could express our enthusiasm for upcoming events. I am a big believer that you must ask members to attend an event, share the details, and not rely on an impersonal poster or e-mail. Our videos have given us this opportunity, and much more. They have been impactful in encouraging members to attend events and patronize our many amenities.
The downtime we all experienced at the beginning of the pandemic gave us an opportunity to plan and unveil “What’s Rockin’ at the Club,” and the series will now remain an important and permanent part of our communication efforts.
For me personally, the best part is how our new video series has provided a way to look into the camera and convey to members and prospective members the importance of their support, along with our determination to achieve member satisfaction, value, and connectivity. It’s the best way to highlight the “why” for belonging to a club.
Stacey Loring Persinger has served as the Director of Membership at The Club at Horseshoe Bay Resort for three years. The full-amenity, waterfront resort and country club is located 45 minutes west of Austin in Texas’ Lake and Hill Country. In the past five years, over $100 million has been invested in restoring and adding new world-class amenities at the property. This year, the club has been celebrating its 50th anniversary.