Running a hotel is a tricky business, especially with all the competition out there and the fact that the industry can be highly seasonal. If property owners find they are losing money for even a part of the year, it can be difficult to make up in those months where demand for rooms is high. So, how can you ensure that your hotel remains highly profitable? Here are a few tips that could help you get on top of revenue management.
1. Don’t go cheap – go good valueIt’s tempting to try to stand out from the crowds by wowing would-be guests with super-cheap rates, but studies have shown that it’s actually those maintaining higher prices that record higher revenues.Instead of trying to be cheapest, strive to offer the best value. For example, advertise the fact that you’ve got free parking for all guests, or unlimited free Wi-Fi. Similarly, if you’ve got a swimming pool, put this in your online brochure – make people feel they’re getting plenty of bang for their buck.
2. Do you really need an OTA? Online travel agents such as Expedia are very tempting, as they’re a big shop window for your property. But it’s important to remember that they take a big cut whenever they successfully make a booking on your behalf, plus they often keep all the data on your guests instead of passing it on. Do some research and find out if you could cut out the middle man yet still get the same results with a DIY technique.
3. Perfect your website A hotel website design can be make or break when it comes to bookings, so ensure yours accurately reflects your product offering and doesn’t let you down. Maximise your search engine optimisation, perfect your page design, check pages can be viewed on all devices and put a good hotel booking engine in place to seal the deal.
4. Attract guests via social media More people than ever are now using social media on an everyday basis, and for millennials especially, it’s the main way they do their travel research and interact with brands.It’s therefore vital to implement a social media marketing strategy for your hotel that gels well with your other content and keeps people engaged. Make sure your posts are creative, interesting, interactive and easily shareable and vast a wide net when it comes to which sites to put them on.That means thinking outside Facebook and Twitter to include newer portals such as Snapchat and Instagram – and don’t forget the ever-reliable YouTube for showing off your property on video.
5. Stay ahead of the competition Even if you feel you’re doing well, it’s vital not to rest on your laurels when it comes to revenue management. Monitor your results carefully and look for future trends that seem to be arising in terms of spending patterns and traveller behaviour. Don’t simply rely on occupancy rates alone, as this isn’t necessarily a good indicator of how profitable a hotel is, but do examine forecasts in case you can capitalise on a forthcoming spike in demand to slightly increase prices.There are lots of different things you can do to keep your hotel ticking over during the inevitable slow periods and reaping the rewards in the high season, so try some of these tips and see if you can make a start in boosting your revenues.