As an independent hotel operator, you have one of the most unique and challenging sales jobs. Daily, you’re tasked with selling as many hotel rooms as possible, at the most desirable rate, before the clock strikes midnight. Unlike other products, you can’t save room nights and try to sell them again tomorrow – unsold nights are permanently lost opportunities. This is why having a great inventory management strategy is critical for independent hotels. To maximize your hotel’s revenue and occupancy, try these helpful inventory management strategies:
Repairs and maintenance planning
Maintaining the physical condition of guest rooms is a critical factor in successful independent hotel inventory management. If the quality of a hotels’ rooms fails to align with its rates, it will not drive positive returns over the long-term, so effective repairs and maintenance planning is essential.
A repairs and maintenance plan should prepare hotels to handle a range of necessary room repairs:
- Minor damages, like furniture scratches and loose fixtures, should be repaired quickly so rooms are available to be booked and maintain their “first glance” appeal to travelers.
- Extensive repairs that require rooms to be temporarily taken out of inventory should be planned in advance and during slow booking periods so the impact on revenue and occupancy is minimal.
Utilizing a comprehensive repairs and maintenance plan will help independent hoteliers maintain the quality of their guest rooms over a longer time and position their properties to capture maximum revenue and occupancy returns.
Rely on your past to determine your future
Although independent hotel operators can’t predict the future, they can rely on the past to determine how business may unfold over the coming weeks. Forecasting is an important part of successful inventory management. It requires hoteliers to analyze their historical data, including booking rates and dates, reasons for guest travel, etc., and use it to strategically set competitive rates, craft special offers and build marketing campaigns to capture bookings according to traveler demand. Paired with other valuable information, such as upcoming weather, conventions and local events, hoteliers can gain key insights that help improve the accuracy of their forecasts and, ultimately, position their inventory for successful, revenue-driving bookings.