Apr 18, 2022
Though you always have hotel revenue management top of mind, it’s important to review and update your strategies to optimize performance. From leveraging hospitality sales software to polished branding to targeted guest services, you can always find opportunities to boost incremental revenue. Read on to learn 11 next-level tips and strategies for improved hotel revenue management.
DISCOVER STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE HOTEL REVENUE MANAGEMENT
𝟭. 𝗥𝗘-𝗜𝗗𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗜𝗙𝗬 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗚𝗘𝗧 𝗚𝗨𝗘𝗦𝗧𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗡𝗜𝗖𝗛𝗘 -𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗥𝗘𝗣𝗘𝗔𝗧
You probably believe you’ve got a handle on your customer profile. You draw mostly business or leisure travelers. Or, your guests are predominantly families or couples. But there are likely niche customer groups that have (or will) discover your hotel. It’s important to notice new market segment opportunities quickly so you answer the needs of these guests and build loyalty. Use these strategies to identify (and keep!) emerging customer groups:
𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁-𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗲𝘆𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀.
The post-event survey typically targets event attendees, but hotels can benefit from adopting this
practice with event planners. Keep it cost-effective with a simple Cvent survey or Google Forms survey. Remember, planners are exceptionally busy, so keep these surveys short and make it clear your goal is better meeting their needs next time.
𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗮𝗯𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘆𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀.
Pay attention to transformative business insights coming through your sourcing platforms every month. Discover audience information and see where the most qualified RFPs are coming from. You can use Cvent’s sales solutions to get these critical insights, and track changes in behavior.
Spot the geographic location of the people who visit your website using Google Analytics. It can also reveal which landing pages attract visitors and how long the page holds their attention. This data can help you target your marketing geographically and spot conversion improvement opportunities on your website.
𝗔𝘀𝗸 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗳𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗳𝘁𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘂𝘀𝗲.
For example, people asking for additional coffee packets and coffee cups throughout the day could indicate an uptick in the use of guest rooms for virtual business meetings. If this bears out on closer observation, you can ramp up advertising for meeting spaces and improve the coffee station in the lobby.
𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗴𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝘀.
Post-stay surveys can help you spot problem areas and opportunities, but don’t underestimate the power of face-to-face conversations with your guests. Encourage your staff to strike up friendly discussions with guests about their responses to your hotel—both positive and negative. From these conversations, trends and opportunities can emerge. You may discover people from two cities often stop overnight at your property on the way to another. Or, that people chose your hotel for a weekend trip because of your live music offerings on Friday nights.
Finally, remember that some market segments are not ideal for your property and could even minimize room availability for customer segments with better RevPAR. For example, if your focus is group business, drawing too many families could negatively impact your appeal among professionals.
𝟮. 𝗔𝗗𝗗 𝗖𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗠𝗜𝗭𝗘𝗗 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗖𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗘𝗦
Now that you know your guests and ideal event planners even better, take steps to tailor your services to them in ways they’ll remember. This will be particular to your target guest research, but here are a few ideas to kick your creativity into high gear:
◦ Add a golf simulator to help a property attract more business travelers.
◦ Elevate your hotel business center offerings by offering flexible work areas in the lobby and dedicated coffee service for impromptu meetings. This will help draw the attention of corporate planners.
◦ For city properties, reach out to a bike-share company and ask if they can set up a station nearby, or offer bikes on a first-come-first-serve basis.
◦ Offer in-room essential oils and diffusers. A welcome amenity if you discover your hotel is a weekend-away sanctuary for professionals and parents alike.
◦ Weeknight cooking classes. Target business travelers with a package that includes a cooking class with a local chef. They don’t have to worry about finding a good restaurant, and they’ll learn an easy weeknight meal.
◦ Refresh a large event room with compelling architectural elements and modern decor. Today’s corporate and social event planners want more than cookie-cutter rectangular rooms with chandeliers. The room itself should be an event experience.
𝟯. 𝗣𝗥𝗜𝗢𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗭𝗘 𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗘𝗗 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗦𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗬 𝗜𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗥𝗙𝗣 𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗣𝗢𝗡𝗦𝗘𝗦
Event planners say hotels win more business when they meet RFP response deadlines, and those responses are accurate. Attract group business and build relationships with planners when you improve on these two fronts.
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗥𝗙𝗣-𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗱:
◦ Fine-tune your lead scoring. You provide the criteria your hospitality software uses for lead scoring—make sure you update that information regularly. For example, you should review bookings for the previous year to uncover slow weeks. Prioritize those dates for medium and large-scale events. Or, you can give priority to RFPs that seek room blocks and multiple venues.
◦ Automate alternative date searches.
When a planner’s first event date choice isn’t available at your property, automation ensures you know whether any of their alternate dates work. Without automation, you have to manually check calendars and discuss with your team—a process that can eat up valuable time and lose group bookings.
◦ Respond to strong leads within minutes.
Your venue sales team should be prepared to respond to high-scoring leads fast and effectively. This means having RFP response templates at the ready for priority event types, and even having auto-fill responses for common the most common queries.
𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘆:
◦ Use RFP response templates. Regularly update your templates so all of the information, from venue capacity to A/V availability, is entirely accurate.
◦ Clarify extra costs and add-ons. Be fully transparent in your pricing. If you aren’t, you will quickly lose the trust of planners.
◦ Respond to custom questions. These are specific requests for information added to digital RFPs—that means they are essential for the event in question. Make sure you answer the question honestly, whether it’s about connected room blocks or the availability of an on-site meeting concierge.
𝟰. 𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗖𝗛 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦 𝗧𝗛𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗠𝗔𝗥𝗞𝗘𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗟𝗦
To increase your venue and group bookings, you need to get in front of corporate and event planners. Use these key strategies to make sure planners find you and know at a glance that your venue meets their requirements:
𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗮 𝗺𝗼𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗲-𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗹𝘆 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀.
Events are an essential revenue stream and require a dedicated website, where planners aren’t distracted by copy targeted to vacationers and solo travelers. A venue microsite shares the need-to-know details planners want and makes sending an eRFP easy with auto-fill forms. Mobile-ready sites are a must for on-the-fly event professionals.
𝗧𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗹 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀.
Not every newsletter needs to have an event focus, but your email calendar should include a meeting focus regularly. Develop content that demonstrates your focus on group business, whether it’s a profile of a planner who appreciated your event support or introducing your hotel’s modernized co-working space.
𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴.
Platforms such as the Cvent Supplier Network simplify venue sourcing for planners. Include keywords that make your property stand out from competitors, and the more specific, the better. (“Colorado event venue with a mountain view” rather than just “Colorado event venue.”) Your venue profile should also include stunning photos, 3D floor plan renderings for various event types, occupancy rates, and menus.
𝟱. 𝗜𝗠𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗩𝗘 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗖𝗟𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗧 𝗘𝗫𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗖𝗘 (𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗣𝗔𝗥) 𝗧𝗛𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛 𝗔𝗨𝗧𝗢𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡
Hotel guests and event planners appreciate automation that streamlines previously slow touch-points and shares vital communications. When used strategically (and not at the expense of personalization), automated interactions can help boost RevPAR by generating loyalty and upsells. Here’s how:
◦ Remote room entry. Tired business travelers appreciate skipping the check-in desk when they arrive at a busy time.
◦ Green automation. Guests want eco-friendly hotel features. Demonstrate your efforts to lower your carbon footprint with environmentally friendly automation, such as motion sensor lights and HVAC systems.
◦ Automated confirmation emails. These make it simple to send special offers personalized to different customer segments. For example, you can schedule a spa discount offer for attendees of a high-stress sales meeting or an outing to a local tourist attraction for families, including door-to-door transportation.
𝟲. 𝗞𝗘𝗘𝗣𝗦 𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗦 𝗢𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗘𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗛𝗢𝗧𝗘𝗟 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗧𝗜𝗘𝗦
Competitive set (comp set) research and reports are essential to effective hotel revenue management. They track the overall performance, room rates, pending upgrades, and amenities of your key competitors.
Historically, comp set research took place every five years. But market competition is so fierce today, hotels often conduct them annually (or even more often) to improve differentiators. If it’s been a year since your last comp set, it’s time to make it a priority. Here are the key steps to take:
𝗜. 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
Since your last comp set, your competitors may have shifted their amenities, offerings, and target customer base. Has a primary competitor added luxury amenities that you don’t plan to add? They are no longer a key competitor. Has a nondescript hotel in your area rebranded as a hip destination for business travelers? If your property targets group business, they are the new competitors on the block.
𝗜𝗜. 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗢𝗧𝗔𝘀.
Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and gather as many specifics as you can about room amenities, year-round service offerings, and seasonal offerings. Look for repeat complaints and compliments on review sites—these can highlight opportunities to outshine competitors and areas you need to improve.
𝗜𝗜𝗜. 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆.
Events and group bookings are lucrative. Are your competitors’ venues booked twelve months a year while you have a slow month or two? Explore their social media and digital marketing campaigns. They may have fostered engagement among regional event planners. Check out their website. Does it make a better case for events in the off-season?
If your hotel management and sales teams are overextended, you can partner with companies such as OTA Insights or STR for a competitive analysis assist.
𝟳. 𝗘𝗫𝗖𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗟𝗢𝗖𝗔𝗟 𝗕𝗨𝗦𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗦𝗘𝗦 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗥𝗘𝗦𝗜𝗗𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗔𝗕𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗕𝗥𝗔𝗡𝗗
Develop relationships with local businesses, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), Chambers of Commerce, tourism boards, business groups, and even residents. This can generate good will and word-of-mouth marketing—a powerful channel that builds brand loyalty, buzz, and long-term business for your properties. Connect locally by:
◦ Offering event space to neighboring companies and civic groups at a discount during your quiet season.
◦ Hosting a local business meet and greet.
◦ Offering a one-time spa discount to residents in your home county.
◦ Sharing marketing materials and your website link with local CVBs and tourism boards.
◦ Inviting local acoustic musicians to perform in the bar on weekends and advertising to the local community, as well as your guests.
The best hoteliers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their hotel revenue management. Use these strategies to increase your RevPAR and boost your incremental revenue. Up next, learn must-know SEO marketing tips for hotels writing to me in a direct ---> firstname.lastname@example.org