Hotel room sales are more than just getting another guest to walk through the doors of your property.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
If done right, room sales can significantly improve your hotel business in its entirety. With an efficient hotel sales strategy, you can have your rooms sold out and build a steady income source, irrespective of the season. The more hotel revenue you make from your reservations, the more you can invest in your branding, marketing, and enhancing the quality of the rooms you sell.
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Before you analyze the data and see the outcomes for yourself, there is no right or wrong idea for sales. Of course, it is important to do your research, but don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. Trying out new ideas that you have never tried before can sometimes lead to unbelievable results. To get you inspired, here are 7 room sales strategies to increase your hotel’s room occupancy and revenue.
7 essential hotel room sales strategies to increase occupancy and revenue
1. Invest in direct room sales
Direct sales strategy for room sales is one of the most preferred tactics in the hospitality industry. The goal of a direct sales strategy is to boost direct online bookings from as many guests as possible. Direct bookings are a great option for hotel owners because these bookings generate the most revenue. There are no agents or other distribution partners that must be paid a percentage or commission. Every guest you host has booked directly online, so you can pocket all the profit.
However, for this strategy to work, it is important to have a user-friendly website that travelers can access. Nothing drives users away quicker than a slow, confusing, or complicated website. Make sure your website is intuitive, mobile-friendly, and has clear action buttons such as ‘book now’ for potential guests to click. If you are focused on direct bookings, your website has to be a priority. Once you have your website running, you will need to invest in hospitality software that syncs your existing website and other channels. Hotelogix’s property management system is an effective tool to ensure your inventory is updated in real-time. This avoids duplicate bookings and saves you from revenue loss due to cancellation.
2. Build strategic partnerships
If your hotel isn’t in a distant or secluded location, you can easily develop a mutually beneficial connection with numerous local businesses and tourist attractions. Collaborating with authentic restaurants close to your property will help you double the guests you can host. You can also reach out to specialist businesses such as ski resorts, theme parks, or museums that are popular with tourists visiting your area. This combined effort can help to make your marketing strategies more efficient. These collaborations have an added advantage regardless of how the guest plans their vacation. You can push your potential guests to first reserve their accommodation and then upsell these additional services from the front desk.
3. Cross-selling (and Up-selling)
Cross-selling is a classic marketing technique that includes offering an additional product or service that is complementary to the product or service purchased by your guest. Collaborating with local businesses helps to improve the chances of cross-selling. These additional services act as incentives to lure your guests into availing your services. Although this room sales strategy involves an element of profit-sharing with other businesses you partner with, it is a great tactic to get some extra income. Make sure you add these services at the check-out page just before the confirmation of your guest’s reservation.
You can further add value to your guest’s stay and earn some extra income by including additional services on your property. If you have a gym or swimming pool, include those services in a package. Tap into local experiences such as a herbal massage or a local food tour, to give your guests an unmatched experience during their visit.
4. Retarget your guests digitally
Retargeting is the practice of reaching out to potential guests who did not complete their reservation on your site. Most travelers tend to research their options online before finalizing their accommodation. As part of your online marketing strategy, you can target these tourists with exclusive offers or deals. With re-marketing methods, you can prompt your guests at multiple stages and push them to visit their website to book with you. To get the most out of this strategy, you can build a mailing list of visitors to your site. Run an email campaign with discount vouchers personalized for their tentative date of stay.
5. Use guest loyalty program as a sales strategy
A large chunk of travelers today belong to the millennial generation. For millennials, guest loyalty and value are the most distinguished part of their travel. They are constantly looking for the chance to earn rewards or points as part of the guest loyalty program they participate in. Property managers have realized this and are tapping into rewarding systems that can attract these travelers. Large hotel brands have proved this room sales strategy has significant success. As part of this sales strategy, you will need to establish a relationship with your guests. Once you have built a relationship, start offering rewards in the form of upgrades or discounts for every stay or referral. This room sales strategy based on a rewards model is ideal for repeat bookings and steady revenue. It also helps to build a brand identity and guests already know what they can expect during their stay.
6. Experiment with dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is an example of a sales strategy that aims to maximize RevPar using the tricks of revenue management. This hotel room sales strategy aims to increase the number of rooms booked, irrespective of the season. Typically, a good revenue management strategy encourages property managers to lower the room prices in the low season to boost reservations and increase the rates in times of high demand. This dynamic pricing model is a great way to attract guests and make a sustainable income. Most guests are often ready to pay higher prices to get a room during peak season. Therefore, it is worth increasing the rates to make additional income per room when you can. As the number of incoming tourists slows down, reduce the price to be the first choice for the guests who are still visiting and beat your competitors.
7. Target the corporate market
Another strategy that you can employ involves redefining your target audience. This strategy will need you to revise your typical approach to marketing and sales. The aim is to sell to corporate groups and outsource your space to host meetings and conferences. However, for this strategy, you must have the infrastructure to accommodate large crowds. Landing deals like these will require you to upgrade your rooms and invest in superior customer service. But if you do it right, it can be quite useful for generating repeat business.
This is the cheapest way to acquire group reservations without involving any online travel agents (OTAs). Network with HR managers and pitch how your property can be ideal for their off-site meetings. Sharing exclusive corporate plans and discounts on your website is also a great way to get more traffic. Reworking on your target audience can help you widen the scope of your business, increase the number of people you can cater to, and make convincing bids for your property in a suitable group.
Which hotel sales tools can increase occupancy and revenue?
To drive your hotel room sales, you will need the tools that can simplify the process of attracting a guest to your hotel. The most common tools include your property’s social media, your website, online travel agents (OTAs), email marketing, the phone at your reception desk, and guest referrals.
The ideal sales tools that you can use for your property depend on the type of guests you wish to attract. Most properties invest in generic tools and marketing tactics. Although this may work in the short term, they will soon wear out. To maximize your business, you need to be different and stand out. In order to do this, data plays an important role.
Hotelogix’s property management system is the perfect tool to get the first-mover advantage by making use of the customer data and detailed reporting functions. You can personalize your approach and leverage your property over any competition that follows the ‘cookie cutter’ method. Moreover, Hotelogix also offers a smart revenue management system that enables you to spend your hotel’s budget wisely.
Hotel sales software that will increase occupancy and RevPar
Often, property managers ignore the importance of distribution while choosing their sales software. If you need to drive more hotel room sales, you can’t miss out on two pieces of technology – an online booking engine and a channel manager. Although they may not be direct sales software, they are key to boosting your hotel’s sales and revenue.
Hotelogix’s online booking engine is a secure online reservations platform to drive direct sales. It helps you build your website as well as integrate social media pages, such as Facebook so you can have all your reservations in one place. Since the growth of social media, the need to have an integrated online booking engine is crucial. Hotelogix’s web-booking engine creates a frictionless guest experience when booking directly. This solution also enhances your conversion rate and improves your sales outcomes without losing any commission to online travel agents (OTAs).
Integrated channel manager
Having a channel manager integrated with your hotel PMS is one of the best tools to boost your hotel room sales. A channel manager helps to maintain all your online travel agents (OTAs) in one place. This can increase the chances of selling your rooms via the internet and attract guests from all around the world. It has a very basic working model where you can update your inventory and dynamically change the price based on availability. Hotelogix’s property management software effortlessly connects all channels where a reservation can be made. It naturally increases your hotel room sales by providing a real-time track of the available rooms that you can promote.
Every hotelier knows the pressure of hotel room sales. Although several methods promise results, the hotel room strategy you employ needs to suit your needs. In order to get started, run comprehensive research for your property’s destination and your target market. Identify who you are catering to and what are their expectations. Walking backward from the customer’s shoes into the office of the property manager is a great way to build a sales strategy. Finally, hotel managers need to consider their marketing budget while developing a specific sales plan. No matter what strategy you employ, focus on maintaining the customer service just as much as generating revenue for your property.