It was a year of growth for extended stay accommodations (extended stay hotels, aparthotels and serviced apartments), particularly in North America – the world’s largest region for extended stay – according to the Apartment Service Worldwide’s Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2016/17.
Annual room revenues for extended stay properties in North America exceeded $13 billion – up more than $1 billion from 2014 – and occupancies continued at the high rate of 76.4%.
The profile of extended stay guests is also changing, with leisure travelers, couples and families joining the mix of business travelers.
As the extended stay market and guest demand continue to grow, hoteliers are turning to their revenue management teams to help monitor and predict the needs of their long-term guests. Even though there are fewer long stay decisions to be made, they have a greater impact on the bottom line. These unique risk and uncertainty factors can be overcome by establishing the right internal team and focusing on a customized revenue management strategy.
Whether you are planning to enter the extended stay market or aiming to maintain the success of a current property, keep the following tips in mind to help differentiate your hotel from the competition and ensure revenue growth:
1. Build the right team that will thrive in the extended stay market
Finding and maintaining an internal team for extended stay hotels may have become more difficult than in the past – the travel and hospitality industry has the highest amount of staff turnover, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor – but it’s not an impossible feat.
Start by developing a strong sales force that will drive results and create a solid occupancy base across all aspects of opportunities including project business, corporate contracts or relocations.
Ensure that the sales team doesn’t act in isolation. Pricing and evaluation requires data-driven analysis that is best supported by an effective revenue management team, who must also work with the marketing team to create the right demand at the right price. This needs to be done in close co-operation with the operation and finance teams, as inventory decisions will impact staffing needs, planning and costs.