The slightest margins in key areas can ultimately make or break a business in terms of performance.
NB: This is an article from GuestRevu
For many hoteliers, keeping a close eye on the Average Daily Rate (ADR), Occupancy Rate and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) is the most sure-fire way of seeing where a property stands in terms of its bottom line. These three success metrics are interdependent, but in this blog we are focusing on RevPAR to encourage hoteliers to increase the value of their rooms without directly increasing room rate.
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This will help to counter and reduce the impact of travellers pinching their pennies a little longer (thanks to the cost of living).
To encourage your direct bookings (and to help you dodge some of those costly OTA commissions), we’ve put together a shortlist of our favourite hacks for hoteliers to consider when the world begins to travel again:
How to increase RevPAR without increasing room rate
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 5 focus areas that any hotelier should consider prioritising, adjusting and monitoring to increase their RevPAR and capture more profit before increasing the room rate.
1. Focus on direct bookings
Surmounting the obstacle to increase direct bookings became even more crucial post-pandemic, and more hoteliers are now intentional about learning what it takes to get ahead of OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). The middle-man role played by OTAs is ultimately to the benefit of guests, however, the commissions that go to those OTAs would really come in handy during the recovery phase of many properties.
Like we mentioned at the beginning, the smallest margins often add up and make the most difference; and for those who are interested in rolling up their sleeves to convert more booking opportunities themselves, here are a few direct booking hacks (more in this link):
- Ensure your tech stack allows for easy booking on your own website: The guest experience begins well before a guest sets foot on your property, and how seamless their booking process is sets the tone for them. That’s why your hotel’s website needs to constantly be monitored to ensure that it’s conducive to browse quickly, with all the right information and relevant images to entice visitors.
- Optimise local SEO: An optimised hotel website competes best with other hotels and OTAs when it complies with the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) requirements of Google. Google is where most guests spend their time searching for their next stay, so optimising local SEO and updating your “Google my Business” account goes a long way to help you stand out to relevant searchers according to your location, price range, hotel class, amenities and other bits of information you include. Guests can then filter their searches and make informed booking decisions based on the information they see from hoteliers.
There are also a number of new Google Maps features that will lead Google to rank the hotels that comply higher than those who are left behind in the digital travel transformation they are working towards. Optimising local SEO gives you something like a digital storefront, and can land you more guests by simply having eco-verification, for example, or having your latest deals easily accessible on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) while guests ‘window-shop’ and are making their decision. This will surely save your hotel some money on marketing costs as well.
- Take back guest relations from OTAs: Online Travel Agents are a great help when it comes to handling an influx or bookings and cancellations, especially as most of the industry is still understaffed. When travel paused globally and bookings were cancelled, it was too much to handle at once, but the reality is whether those guests still consider your hotel as a desirable destination depends on how those travel agents treated them during their process. Now that we have a bit of normalcy and most people can go where they please, you have all those people to follow up on and rebuild relationships with. Guests are also shying away from review sites as the most reliable sources of credibility for hotel brands, and many prefer to deal directly with the people behind the hotel brand itself. It’s the opportune time to take responsibility for more guest engagements, personalised offers, and operate at a standard known across the board by your staff when it comes to providing guest experiences.
2. Employ email automation to nurture guest relations
Every guest needs assurance that their money will be put to good use; and nurturing relationships with past and prospective guests through email campaigns enables them to have peace of mind in that if anything goes unsavoury before, during, or after their stay, your staff will handle it as a priority, and that you generally want to exceed their expectations.
Email automation as part of your tech stack empowers you with the ability to use what you know about your guests (from feedback technology) to deliver targeted, seamless experiences and move quickly when it comes to improving them, all while building on your credibility.