Written by: Rémon de Korte – IFHG, your partner in Revenue Management
#1 Boost your visibility!
Increasing revenue starts with ensuring your presence in the marketplace. If guests cannot find you, they will not stay with you. Ensuring you get more bookings than your ‘fair share’ can be done in many ways and experimenting is a good way to see what works for you! Here are a few easy things you can try out:
- Check if there are days where you can reduce restrictions to be more visible. Many hotels keep high-season restrictions in the transitional periods towards low season causing them to lose visibility.
- Check your cancellation policies. Many guests like to book flexible rates and will use filters to search on flexible rate plans, do you have flexible rate plans enabled everywhere?
- Make sure that you are visible on Google. Most people use Google to search for a hotel. Ensuring that your presence on Google is as good as other important channels is therefore increasingly important.
- Check if visibility boosters work for your property. Visibility boosters are offered by many OTAs and are a way to get a higher spot in their rankings. And although paying extra commission is not great, it might work very well in your market!
- Speaking of OTAs: have a look at your profile scores! Is everything optimised? OTAs like to present the best property profiles first, so make sure you fill out everything.
- And perhaps the most important, have a look at your hotel website. Is it up to date? And is there any way for you to advertise your property better?
#2 Review your rate structure
A completely different way to improve your revenue is to review your rate structure. Are your rates derived from each other? Or do you have to change each one individually? Since we all have a limited amount of time to adjust in busy times, it is worth your while to optimise your rate structure so that you offer the right rates with the least work possible. A few things to look at:
- Are you using leading and derived rate plans?
- Are you offering the right rates at the right time?
- Or are you giving away discounts on days when you do not have to?
- Are you offering the right discounts?
- Do you have effective ways to block certain rate plans when you need to?
#3 Review your room type structure
Some properties have only one room type, which generally is not optimal, while others have dozens of room types which is not ideal either. Typically, hotels use three to six room types. And it is with good reason; using multiple room types and making sure you distinguish between them can be very beneficial for your revenue! A few things to keep in mind are:
- Do you have room types which fit with all your target groups? Business guests have different needs than leisure guests and defining your room types well so appeal to these target groups can be very beneficial.
- Can you manage all your room types, or do you have too many? Having too many room types can be confusing for guests. A good way to spot this is by thinking about how often you upgrade guests or have trouble filling a certain room type.
- Can you split rooms into two? Or can you merge two rooms into a suite or a family room?
#4 Review your channel mix
The pandemic has changed a lot in the world, including the way people book their hotels. Most booking partners are attempting to adapt to these new booking patterns, and some succeed better than others. Reviewing your channel mix is beneficial to make sure you invest your time and money in the right partners. In Cubilis, you can easily monitor and adjust your channels. When looking at your channel mix, think about the following:
- Are you paying any fixed fees to partners from which you don’t benefit enough? Consider investing the money otherwise.
- Do you work with allotments? Have a look if these did not block too much revenue potential.
- Do you work with partners which do not generate any revenue? Consider leaving them so you can focus on optimising the partnership with partners that work for you.
- Are you generating enough revenue from your own channels? If not, consider investing more in marketing activities aimed at your own channels.
#5 Have a look at your segmentation
Segmenting your bookings well is a very important best practice. And only making a distinction between leisure and business is not very useful. Consider segmenting by guest type. An independent leisure guest has wildly different needs than a business group using your conference rooms. Knowing which guest types you have in your property is very handy when optimising your revenue. Consider the following:
- Do you know how often a promotional guest blocked a BAR rate?
- Do you know how often a FIT booking or allotted room blocked a higher rate?
- Do you know how many people book flexible cancellation rates and how many book restricted rates?
- Do you know how many groups you have on the books and when they are staying?
#6 Boost your conversion
Being visible is very useful, but useless if you don’t convert that visibility into bookings. Boosting conversions can be done in many ways, but some simple tricks to optimise your website are:
- Offering guests an extra benefit.
- Making sure guests can find the ‘book now’ button.
- Optimising your booking process.
- Use promotions to boost conversions on your least popular days.
#7 Use restrictions well
Applying restrictions is a bit of a subjective way to boost revenue. If you always get fully booked on a certain day, it could be interesting to see if a restriction can help generate more long stay bookings, so that other surrounding days also generate more revenue. The most frequent case is to put a restriction on a Saturday to try to boost Sunday revenue. But this can also be used during events or when a group booking is blocking a large portion of your availability on a certain day. You use restrictions to prevent losing future bookings due to one of the days being blocked. Have a look at the following things:
- Are you using restrictions on days where you are always fully booked?
- Are restrictions causing severe drops in bookings? For instance, because guests only want to stay one night?
- Are you restricting your discounts on days when you will be fully booked? For instance, are you using Genius blackout dates?
- Are you using restrictions whenever a group is blocking an arrival date to ensure long-stay guests can book your property?
Revenue management is an art as much as it is scientific, but moreover it can become very time consuming. Especially if you are unsure what the best way to set up and maintain your strategy is. If you want to improve your revenue, but do not have the right people, the time, or the patience to optimise your strategy, consider IFHG, your partner in Revenue Management. IFHG has over 9 years of experience in revenue management and has a team of experts at your disposal. IFHG will become part of your team to the extent that you need them and will optimise your revenue while you can spend your time on other important things.
Start boosting your revenue right away!
Curious to know how you can boost your revenue thanks to the Cubilis Channel Manager in combination with the IFHG strategy analysis service? Try it out for free by contacting us through the form below. We are here to help you thrive!