The value proposition for your hotel may have changed drastically since the beginning of the pandemic. With travel restrictions, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders issued, travel came to an abrupt halt in March 2020. Hotel cancellations increased exponentially overnight.
As a result, competition has become fiercer, and you may have felt pressure to change your revenue strategy to capture any portion of business you can while waiting for demand to return. Here are five strategies you can implement today on the road to recovery.
1. Align your mix of sales with your value proposition
If you lose sight of your ideal customer and unique value, you can make counterproductive decisions. Are you a beachfront property relying too heavily on discount channels? An airport hotel taking too much low-rated opaque business same-day? Pay close attention to your ideal customer, including when they book and what they are willing to pay, so that you can convert more of that business at the right moment.
2. Re-evaluate your comp set
Your comp set pre-pandemic may be different than the hotels you’re competing with now. You may have more competitors now than simply the hotels in your backyard. Re-evaluate your comp set and focus on understanding what motivates true customer choice in your market. Keep a close eye on what’s going on with your comp set, but don’t let that be the sole influence on your strategy.
3. Analyze your booking window
Optimizing your hotel’s performance for same-day bookings looks very different than optimizing your performance two weeks out. For every booking, you want to ensure you are not leaving any money on the table. To assess your booking window, consider these recommendations:
- Run a booking window analysis report for 1 day, 2-5 days, 5-10 days, and 10+ days.
- Analyze the difference in your mix of sales. Do you have more third-party OTA bookings in one booking window period than another? What about RACK reservations? Other discounts? Make sure to review and compare results among all your reported timeframes.
- Test & measure rate-setting strategies. The goal is to find opportunities within your mix of sales to incrementally increase rate.
Unsure how to do this? Here’s something that can help you.
4. Participate in available discounts
In today’s competitive landscape, your hotel needs extreme visibility. This means you must be visible on all channels to provide additional exposure and allow your hotel to compete accordingly. For the largest reach, open discounts and booking availability on all channels. Here are some best practices tips:
- Download the Expedia Partner Central mobile app to communicate with guests immediately after check-in, update profiles and respond to reviews quickly.
- Consider Booking.com Preferred Partner Program to move your hotel listing closer to the top. Having your hotel listed on the first page via mobile app will increase bookings.
Connect with market managers to review intel reports and uncover any additional opportunities.
For more best practices, check out Accelerate eLearning where you can find an in-depth OTA audit and other downloadable resources.
5. Measure your results
Avoid the mistake most hotels make: making adjustments to their revenue management strategy without measuring the outcome. Testing your channels and rate plans should be an ongoing process and a key point of discussion for your hotel every week. For example, as you make adjustments to your retail rate, measure the change in volume.
The impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry has been substantial but implementing these recommendations will certainly help to lessen the blow. If you need further help taking your revenue management strategy to the next level, visit here.
Managing Partner, Prosper Hotels
March 18, 2021
This content was created in collaboration with Josh Ramsey, Managing Partner of Prosper Hotels. Prosper Hotels specializes in expert, cost-effective revenue management strategy and execution for hotels of all sizes. Learn more here.