January 1st serves as an annual “restart button” for many independent hoteliers. It’s the day when the journey to achieve new goals, such as increasing revenue, capturing more bookings and taking better care of guests, begins. However, as part of this yearly refresh, independent hotel operators should put just as much effort into eliminating bad business habits as establishing new objectives. Many bad business habits start small, but eventually become part of “the way things have always been done.” Independent hoteliers must kick their bad business habits to the curb in 2016! Here are a couple that every operator should consider:
Stop gambling with your reservations
Guests appreciate independent hotels that provide customized, hands-on hospitality, but their on-property expectations differ from what they desire online. Many hotels allow their guests to control the travel planning process, including providing a booking engine so they can select their rooms, rates and dates. However, there are still properties that ask guests to “Email or call for rates and availability.” With the instant gratification provided by technology, the number of travelers willing to call the front desk or wait for an email response is dwindling, so some hotels must soon decide if their manual reservations process is sustainable over the long-term.
Today, relying on phone calls and emails to secure bookings is just like gambling. Sure, the odds are never 100% in your favor, but there are ways to give yourself better chances to win. Utilizing innRoad’s Booking Engine not only puts guests in control of the reservations process, it makes life behind the front desk easier too. Bookings are captured and managed within our hotel property management system (PMS), so there are fewer calls to answer, less email to sort and opportunities for over bookings are greatly reduced – collectively increasing your chances for success!
Quit guessing how well your hotel is performing
Many operators enter the independent hotel business driven by a passion to deliver exceptional hospitality. However, as veteran hoteliers know well, successfully running a hotel takes much more than passion. Hotel performance is dictated by multiple factors, including occupancy, rates, revenue, teamwork, competition, online reputation, etc. Trying to optimize metrics and manage team members, while ensuring guests are happy and monitoring competitors is a nearly an impossible task without the right technology, yet so many hoteliers still rely on pen, paper and old fashioned guesswork to manage their properties – it’s the ultimate recipe for disaster!
Our hotel property management system provides hoteliers with the tools to manage every facet of their operations. Fully integrated with a booking engine, global distribution connectivity and revenue management tools, operators have the technology to control front desk procedures, monitor bookings and revenue in real-time, update rates across all channels, coordinate inventory, plus much more, all in one place – keeping operations streamlined and organized, while eliminating guesswork by providing up-to-date and accurate data.
Additionally, our Hotel Grader, which provides a snapshot of competing hotels’ rates, online ratings and distribution channels, helps independent hoteliers keep tabs on their competition.