revpar

Improve your hotel's performance - Manet Mobile Solutions

Getting more bookings and increasing RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) is the real big deal for hotel owners. However, mproving your hotel’s average occupancy is not a simple matter as several factors affect numbers and results.

A common misbelief is that one can sell more hotel rooms by just lowering their price . This is a big blunder that must be avoided at all costs. A full hotel doesn’t necessarily mean more profits. By comparing the RevPAR, the ADR ( Average Daily Room Rate) and the Occupancy Rate is it possible to have an idea of what is really convenient for a hotel or a B&B owner or manager. For example, compromising for a 100% occupancy with a low ADR could bring down the revenues if compared to a lower occupancy with higher rates. So how can a hotel owner or manager improve effectively his/her hotel’s occupancy and revenue?
The answer to this question is neither simple nor easy to give but in this article we’ll try to share with you some useful suggestions on the topic. So, here are some ideas that will help you improve your hotel’s performance:

Data mining in Hospitality - Manet Mobile Solutions
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Study your data

Your guest history is precious. That’s why you should use a reliable property management system (PMS) allowing you to collect data about your guests’ habits and preferences.
This data is a precious resource allowing you to discover many key facts about your business like for example your average occupancy time by time throughout the year, the average length of stay of your guests, the type of travelers staying in your hotel etc. Thanks to this data you can understand when it’s best to advertise your hotel, when special offers might be useful, what services you should offer to your guests and how your hotel’s occupancy is affected by special events like conventions and business meetings.

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Know your competitors

Why should a traveler choose your hotel and not a hotel just a block away? This is a question you can answer only if you know very well what your competitive lanscape is and how you are positioned in it. This competitive landscape knowledge is crucial for you business’ success because it allows you to understand how you can build a competitive advantage inside your market.
The term “competitive advantage” probably makes you think of downward pricing but in reality successful competitive advantages are built more on diversification and uniqueness of your business than on offering the lowest price on the market. In fact, lowering excessively your prices may harm your business so the most important thing to aim at for your business’ success is giving your guests a clear and strong reason to choose you instead of the competition. This way you not only get more clients but you also get clients who care more about buying the stay experience you can offer them than about its price.

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Perform reputation management and storytelling

Nowadays more than 50% of travelers use reviews to choose their hotel. This is why you must focus on getting positive reviews from your hotel’s guests.
To do so you must make sure that your staff is friendly and professional, that your hotel is clean and neat and that you underpromise and overdeliver with your guests. Moreover you must find ingenious ways to remind your guests of reviewing your hotel if they are happy of your services or of letting you know privately what they didn’t like about the stay experience you offered them.
In case you get some negative reviews don’t worry. It’s something that no business can avoid but make sure you reply in a way that highlights your professionalism and show the world how much you care about constantly improving your business.
However, reviews are not more important than storytelling on social media about your business.
Building all the necessary social media profiles, keeping them active, interacting with your followers, replying promptly to private messages and publishing often nice videos and pictures are all important actions you can take to attract people’s attention to your hotel.

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Use OTA’s and search engines

Every day millions of users around the world use the internet to find and book their next hotel stay.
These users use mainly two channels to search for the hotel that best satisfies their accommodation needs: Online Travel Agencies (OTA’s), like booking.com and expedia.com, and search engines, like Google and Bing. Each one of these channels have pros and cons.
OTA’s on the one hand are very effective in marketing your hotel and bringing you new customers but on the other they will charge you lots of fees for this.
Search engines (SE’s) on the one hand help you give visibility to your business’ digital footprint for free but on the other require a lot of time and efforts spent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if your goal is ranking high on search engine result pages (SERP’s).
The best thing to do if you want to maximize web bookings for your hotel is use OTA’s and at the same time work steadily and consistently on your hotel’s digital footprint’s SEO.
Once you start ranking high and therefore attracting direct bookings on your hotel’s website you can gradually decrease the number of rooms sold on OTA’s.

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Build a solid and useful business partner network

Promoting your hotel’s brand and experience is not an easy thing to do if you do it just by yourself.
The hospitality market’s competition is stiff so it’s a good idea to team up with other players offering services that are complementary to the ones offered by your business, build a solid and complete stay experience and cross-promote all the services of your alliance with them.
Just to mention some, good partners include airport transfer providers, sightseeing tour organizers, sports experiences providers etc. You will be surprised by the benefits you can get in terms of increased occupancy from a solid and efficient partner network.

Summing up what we wrote in this article, if you want to improve your hotel’s occupancy and RevPAR you should learn as much as you can about your clients and your competitors, build a unique competitive advantage, make sure you build a good web reputation, build an active and attractive social media universe around your business, develop a strong presence on OTA’s and SE’s and, last but not least, develop a strong partner network.

The results you’re dreaming for your business can become a reality if you work smart and hard so start setting goals and taking action now!

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The importance of reputation management for hotels - Manet Mobile Solutions

Managing the reputation of hotels in the digital age is its own animal. With multiple channels of engagement and bookings come multiple opportunities for strategic management — and, equally, the risk of having one important piece of the puzzle go awry.

With the industry turning to online sales and lead management systems for everything from bookings to traffic and marketing, it can be easy to forget that hotels operate in the hospitality industry.

But just because the primary sphere of operations and reputation management has shifted doesn’t mean that hotels can forget this one crucial rule. In fact, with the turn to digital operations, hotel reputation management stands to benefit from things like newly emerging review sites, social media platforms and search engines.

These simultaneous spheres of reputation management matter when it comes to the overall success of accommodation facilities.

The importance of reputation management for hotels - Manet Mobile Solutions
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Revenue management

For hoteliers, B&B owners, vacation rental owners and the like, revenue management is intricately connected with review sites. Why? Like restaurants offering a unique experience through a combination of customer service, cuisine, and ambience, these accommodation facilities also promisean experience.

In simplest terms, hotels and other accommodation facilities must rely on bookings — which is, essentially, a volume of sales. They can certainly increase or decrease a price, based on availability and demand, for a room.

But their overall revenue relies heavily on whether their property’s reputation is one that inspires trust and confidence from a traveller.

Revenue management - Manet Mobile Solutions
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Review portals are where reputations are being built, burnished or tarnished. And this, of course, also has a longer-term effect of web rankings and search engine visibility.

Reviews matter. According to a study by TripAdvisor, more than half of global respondents say they won’t make a booking until after they’ve read more than a few reviews, figuring out what previous travellers thought of the entire experience.

In response to reviews, reputation management should focus on actually engaging with problematic feedback. The study also found that:

• 87% of users say that if management were to follow up with an empathetic response, it “improves
my impression of the hotel”

• 70% of users agreed that a defensive response, on the other hand, “makes me less likely to book
that hotel”

• Overall, however, any response is better than none: 62% of users say that seeing responses to
reviews helps as it “makes me more likely to book it”

Clearly, the key to success for managers of accommodations, when considering revenue, is to focus
instead on being proactive with their end customer — the traveller. Instead of a liability, it’s useful for
managers to look at the explosion of review portals as an opportunity to build relationships with
customers in a more direct way.

RevPAR

If reviews are intimately tied into revenue management and a hotel’s reputation, how can we quantify it in order to improve on it?

Luckily, there’s a KPI for that and it’s called “RevPAR”. As industry-insiders will know, RevPAR “is a measurement of both a hotel’s average daily rate and its ability to actually fill those rooms.”

Since RevPAR gives accommodations managers a sense of current performance while also making a recommendation on how much to charge for a room, this KPI is not only a measurement, it is a metric that can be used to optimise revenue.

While a low occupancy rate, for example, would tell accommodations managers to reduce the rates for a period of time, a higher RevPAR number might indicate room for increase. But it doesn’t rely on occupancy alone — it also relies on the overall revenue created per room. So, a larger hotel who’s margins are much larger might have a lower RevPAR but a higher overall revenue.

RevPAR - Manet Mobile Solutions
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A consistently low RevPAR number, especially for a smaller property, could prove to be problematic. But it’s the first sign of something needing to be addressed. RevPAR is the visible metric of revenue management which, as we’ve seen, is directly linked to “review” and “response” management.

OTAs

Part of hotel reputation management is managing, populating and updating OTAs. Online travel agencies, as they’re better known, are spots like Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, and Priceline, amongst others.

Besides being able to book and find deals using these portals, travellers can also visit the reviews section or make use of a reviewing tool on any of these sites. How can accommodations managers decide which to respond to?

Even though many OTA sites say that they provide “verified” reviews, cutting down on the number of fraudulent reviews, the level of scoring is still quite arbitrary. This means that the experience of staying in a property could be quite subjective.

Because of this, hoteliers and property managers are encouraged to respond to views that are specific in their feedback, giving detailed information as to an incident or issues directly relating to the hotel (not necessarily other aspects of the trip).

OTAs - Manet Mobile Solutions
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OTAs, like RevPAR, can also be a useful metric — albeit, a qualitative one, rather than a quantitative one. If a RevPAR number returns low, for example, accommodations managers can use feedback posted on OTAs to check the pulse of their reputation, so to speak. In this way, they can use OTAs not only to funnel new bookings; hotels, B&Bs or vocational rental owners can list an extra room on major OTAs. Since the ranking online will be based on the overall authority of the OTA, not the hotel, a new listing can help override an outlier negative review.

Customer loyalty

Responsiveness is one way to capture a customer’s loyalty. But nothing beats a face-to-face, human- to-human connection.

When it comes to reputation management, it’s a good idea for accommodation managers of any format to go the extra mile and give it the personal touch. Take the time to walk around the facilities, interact with guests, and engage in conversation — online and offline.

Customer loyalty - Manet Mobile Solutions
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Customer loyalty, however, is built on multiple channels — both in the physical, experiential world and in the digital plane. As such, every manager’s in-person efforts must be supported with analytics software that is able to market effectively as well as offer incentivised bookings and customised offers that take the most granular details under consideration.

For example, a robust platform would be able to automate booking, capture the details of a guest’s experience within a room, noting down any discount initially offered, how quickly they booked, what they might have ordered, any preferences they requested and then create a compelling offer a few months down the road. It would also have to include a follow-up sequence — all from the vantage point of not just hooking the customer but having them return.

Brand equity

This all leads to one final and overarching goal: Brand equity and recognition.

Building a reputation online is one thing but managing and maintaining it is an everyday task that requires consistent actions.

A study by Hotel Advantage finds that there are three components to building a reputable hotel or
accommodations brand:

1 Listening and responding to guest reviews

2 Building your community and content

3 Upgrading your visual presence

Above this, ROI on social media, the study finds, only begins at 6 hours a week — and that’s six hours of meaningful and live interacting, content creation and commenting, besides strategic efforts like sponsorships and ads.

The study also finds that:

• Unfavourable reviews are the primary driver in lost bookings

• Companies that achieve the best customer service ratings are able to, through a combination of marketing and outreach, minimise the amount of time between learning about a customer’s needs and taking action on it.

At the core of every hotel’s reputation, then, is guest satisfaction. And even something as large as brand equity and recognisability can come down to employees, who are the frontline of a customer’s experience.

In other words, a brand does not only comprise a customer’s experience but its strength is also a
testament to an employee’s satisfaction and commitment toward the brand.

 

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