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Archive for the ‘Property Management System’ Category

Technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity in today’s changing hospitality landscape. Computing data is now more important than ever because of the weight of the data that flows for any given process, during any point of time. Hotels process a lot of data, on any given day- be it independent hotels or chains. From the number of reservations that take place to the requests raised by guests, to stocking up on inventory, the list is endless.

The advantage of mining this data is simple. To read patterns and behaviours in a particular time frame and offer predictions to optimise the way a particular process needs to be run. The misconception, though, is that data mining isn’t something that’s of importance to medium to smaller properties. It is true that the larger chain hotels use data to predict fluctuations in the inflow of reservations and the outflow of materials to optimise allocation and purchase simultaneously. You could say it’s a more statistical approach towards increasing revenue.

But that’s not all on how technology helps. New-age hoteliers are focusing on more than just predictive insights to run their hotels. Operational efficiency is also a concern as the man-hours saved and the optimum use of manpower also contribute to how profitable your hotel can be. Stepping away from the revenue earning streams, branding and advertising standpoints for hotels also contribute a lot to its success. Technology is also working in areas of increasing online reputation, guest experience and also the centralised access to data which helps in decision making.

In an attempt to plot out the view of hoteliers on technology and its use in their hotels, here is a quick survey that will help us get a better understanding of how technology is playing a role in your daily hotel operations. The results of the survey will be shared with you soon after we have compiled this data. Here is a link to the survey.

This article was originally published on HotelNewsResource

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The hospitality industry is heavily season-dependent and there is only so much one can do that will change this. This makes corporate travelers even more attractive to hotels as they can bring you business round the year. This being the case, how can hotels increase corporate bookings?What are some of the definite ways to appeal to the corporates and win them over?

You might be tempted to think about how a hotel can tailor-create an experience for corporates that will get the job done. And you aren’t wrong. Corporate travelers are almost always on a tight schedule, possibly hopping in and out of meetings. Making their stay a pleasant and convenient one, of course, make a difference. But in today’s world, offering free Wi-Fi, a workstation, etc in the room is basic! Even the smallest of hotels offer free Wi-Fi and a desk and a chair. If your goal is to create a lifetime customer out of corporates, then basic will not cut it. You need to address a problem that is deeper than that.

You need to fix pre-arrival and post-departure issues, as well. And this is only possible with the right cloud-based Property Management System in place.

Let’s consider a corporate’s typical journey with a hotel on a timeline. When there is the need for Mr. A to visit Singapore on a work-related trip, the facilities team gets cracking on planning the trip. Air tickets, hotel stays, logistics, etc need to be sorted. Typically, the facilities manager would email a hotel asking them about availability, requesting them to reserve a room for the specified dates, negotiate a price, etc. And this would take a few email exchanges before the final reservation is made. These exchanges could range anywhere between a day to a week. And this is certainly not the most efficient way of going about things.

Here’s how a right Hotel PMS will make everyone’s life easier.

1. Corporate login:

With a PMS like Hotelogix in place, you can assign separate and unique login credentials to your corporate clients. Like, a corporate booking console for hotels. This login gives them access to real-time inventory of your hotel, from where they can themselves select rooms, dates and make a reservation for their employees. A confirmation email gets sent automatically to the registered email id. Reservation is so much more simplified this way. This arrangement works perfectly for the hotel as well as the corporates, since there is no dependency on emails. No more waiting, no more fear of losing out on a booking due to negligence, etc.

2. Corporate Profile:

Hotelogix PMS allows corporates to create their own corporate profile or (contractor trait). This profile will contain all details of the arrangement that the corporate has with the hotel. This includes discounting details, billing details, billing address, payment details, etc. Every time you get a corporate traveler, the front desk staff just needs to key in the name of the corporate and voila! All the details relating to the billing get auto-filled.

3. Guest History

Apart from company profile, there is also the feature of guest history which immensely simplifies the check-in process. Once the company profile is selected, the front desk staff will then have to quiz the corporate traveler by name, the type of id they are carrying and other details which again can get very tiresome. With the guest profile feature, if the corporate traveler is a return guest, this data gets picked automatically upon typing out the guest’s name. As simple as that.

4. Billing

Often, corporate travelers are in a hurry. Minimizing formality and doing away with unnecessary processes can go a long way in improving their experience. Checkout is one such process which needn’t always be as hectic. With Hotelogix in place, a corporate traveler can just present his corporate id at the front desk to check out. The invoice can get emailed to the company directly, automatically. ‘Billed to Company’ if you will.

5. Allocated inventory:

Apart from all these features which are from the traveler or the corporate’s perspective, here is one other PMS feature that helps hotels. While the option of allocating a certain amount of your inventory to your corporates is handy, the hotel still has the convenience to entertain walk-ins with the rest of their available rooms. This way, not only does the hotel serve the corporates but also has scope for other bookings. This is important because one needs to diversify the sources of bookings for maximum occupancy.

Hotelogix is an extremely well-thought out cloud PMS which not only takes into account short-term requirements of the hotel, but also the long-term ones. Loyalty is not going to happen overnight. It comes after repeated positive experiences and the only way to do it is to put yourself in your guest’s shoes. With a PMS like Hotelogix in place, you set the tone right with corporates, communicating to them that you care about simplifying their experience- be it booking, check-in, stay or check-out.

This article originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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There has been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of on-premise and cloud-based Property Management Systems and have turned out to be the debate of the decade in the hospitality space. With even the leaders in on-premise systems slowly shifting their focus on developing their own cloud-based platforms, it’s safe to say that cloud has captured the industry due to the utility it brings in and the ability to grow in the space.

Just for the record, we are not here to light a match and pick a side to set fire to. Any reference of an on-premise system that I might use in the course of this blog will be only for reference purposes. A majority of chain properties are still stuck on the traditional PMS, AKA the on-premise systems, and to highlight how effective a cloud-based property management system can be, we will cover a few aspects in which the cloud-based system excels.

Better control on group operation:

If you have been looking at cloud systems as incompetent when it comes to managing bigger properties, chances are that you have surveyed systems that were built for smaller hotels, or you’ve been grossly misinformed.

Having a cloud system ensures that you can manage several properties from anywhere in the world. Meaning, you do not have to be in the property to access the data that you need. Centralized control, as we call it, will help you manage any of your properties from any location, provided you have the required access rights.

Modify room rates, keep an eye on inventory or access reports of any of your properties centrally. Cloud systems give you a bird’s eye view of all your properties and give you the freedom to customize operations based on your needs.

Doubles up as a stellar Management Information System (MIS):

Waiting on reports from the individual properties under your group should be a thing of the past. Be it a single property or the group, a cloud-based system enables you to generate reports remotely. It gives your clear picture on property-wise or group-wise performance.

Guest Profiling:

It is another feature to help offer your guests the hospitality they crave for. Personalise your guests’ experience based on their spending patterns and preferences. Engage with repeat guests on a more personal level to win their side and have them visit your hotel as a preference. Upgrade their stay packages and nurture them, so they become loyal guests who keep coming back for more.

Customizable as per your needs:

Cloud-based systems bring in a wide range of integrations to help you better in every aspect of your business.

  1. Revenue Management: Integrate with the best revenue management systems that will give you insights on how to price your rooms and the allocation of inventory, giving you an edge over the competition.
  2. Reputation: In today’s age, a major differentiator between a good hotel and a great one is the way in which a hotel maintains its reputation. What’s visible to the outside world is what customers will think of your hotel. Integrate with reputation management systems to drive up your online reputation and score.
  3. Loyalty Programs: Having a chain of hotels and not having a loyalty program in place for your guests to take advantage of, simply means that you are losing out on a lot of business. Loyalty programs integrated with your PMS to drive these benefits and manage it centrally could be your first step to take maximum advantage of the situation.

Cost Saving:

For a chain of hotels, when it comes to a cloud-based system, there is a lot of money to be saved. For starters, with an on-premise system, you’re looking at it as a capital expenditure. The need for servers in your hotel and the licensing cost involved in using this system will be a major chunk of your expenses. Moreover, a dedicated IT department and the additional cost for every other module, is just going to drive that price through the roof.

On the other hand, the cloud system gives you a pricing model more on the lines of operational expenditure. There is no need to spend on a server and on additional licensing fees. The pricing is subscription-based and the system can be accessed with a PC/ laptop and a stable internet connection. The advantage here is that you only pay for the features you use and not for the additional add-ons that come with an on-premise system that might not be of any use to you.

Unlimited POS:

Setting up unlimited Points of Sale is another advantage of a cloud-based system. Be it your restaurant, spa or your gift shop, set up any number of POS outlets to increase non-room revenue your hotel is earning. What would otherwise cost you per POS module, on a cloud system comes at the fraction of the cost.

Security:

Now, this could be a most debated point, but just because your data is hosted on a cloud server, it does not compromise your hotel’s data security. On the other hand, a cloud system backs up your data on a minute-to-minute basis, ensuring none of your data is lost in case there is any downtime. With dedicated teams working on securing your data, chances are that these cloud systems are likely to be more equipped in detecting data breaches and thereby, tackling the problems with better efficiency than your internal IT department.

Accessibility:

This should be one of the biggest advantages of owning a cloud system- it is accessible from anywhere in the world on any device that has an internet connection. The real advantage is that all the data is accessible in real-time. Though some on-premise systems claim to give you data in real-time, they will never really be in real-time because of the time taken to upload the data from any one system to finally reach your hands.

Here are just a few of the benefits that a cloud-based system has for chain properties. The fact is that cloud systems are growing in popularity purely because of the level of customizability they cater to hotels and all the additional features they offer.

Have more questions on the hows and whys of a cloud-based system? Drop a comment or get in touch with us and we’d be glad to help you out with it.

Interested to know how a cloud-based PMS can technologically help an independent hotel? Read more here.

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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Increasing direct bookings would be one of the most rewarding (but just as challenging) tasks for any hotelier. Given the vast market size and share of third party booking sites, it is becoming in increasingly important for hotels to work towards maintain the right balance between OTA bookings and direct bookings.

There’s no denying the role of OTAs in getting you more bookings. However, increasing direct bookings is better for your hotel business simply because it helps you minimize the cost of OTA intermediation. After all, 20% saved is 20% earned! Keeping this simple fact in mind, here are some tips to boost your hotel’s direct bookings.

1. Optimize your website 

When we talk about how to increase direct bookings, your hotel’s website plays a crucial role. It must have a strong digital identity to attract maximum visitors. Your hotel website should be visually attractive, easy to navigate and above all it should be user-friendly.

It should be properly optimized for search engines. This makes your hotel website more visible on search engines, thus attracting increased visitors. You must consider using relevant content in your website to garner organic traffic to your website. Most importantly, your hotel website should be mobile responsive. Because, bookings coming from mobile devices is expected to shoot to around 35% in 2018. That’s a substantial jump considering that it was at 8% till as recent as 2017!

Your website should not take long time to load.

According to Tnooz, 32% of bookings on mobile devices are abandoned due to slow loading time.
Around 30% will abandon a transaction due to poor mobile responsiveness.
This could lead to around 10% reduction in direct booking conversion

Make your reservation phone number or mail id clickable on all the pages .It would help a guest to click and call or write a mail to your reservation department directly from his phone. You should have a clear call to action button, too.

2. Incorporate a booking engine into your website

Integrating a web booking engine into your brand website enables your website visitors to view the availability of rooms in real time. This real-time information made available to them is one of the easiest ways to increase direct hotel bookings. Guests would even receive instant confirmation against their bookings directly from your hotel PMS. This enhances a guest’s confidence that the hotel would definitely honour the booking.

3. Promote positive guest reviews on your website 

Almost 98% of travellers read hotel reviews and 80% of them consider them extremely important before making the final reservation. Good reviews can influence a traveller’s booking decision in a big way.  This is why it is paramount to strategically position and promote positive guest reviews on your website. It should be visible throughout all the pages till a visitor is done with the whole booking process.

Go a step further than just collecting reviews. Proactively follow up on reviews and respond to them; especially the bad ones. This communicates to prospective guests that you are a brand that cares for your guests and will definitely fetch you a brownie point. 

4. Entice your website visitor with offers or freebies 

Once visitors are on your website, you can give them compelling reasons to book directly with you. Clearly mention the kind of perks they are entitled to if they make direct bookings. Here are some of the examples – ‘Book with us directly & get 10% off on your F&B bill’, ‘Book with us directly to avail an easy room upgrade facility’ etc. Everybody wants more and hotel guests are no exception to this. According to Skift, around 45% of travellers consider offers and perks important to make booking.

5. Handle booking abandonment tactfully 

Are your prospective guests leaving your website at the search stage? They come all the way to the booking page by keying-in their mail id and phone number, but don’t hit the ‘Book Now’ or ‘Pay’ button? This is not good if you are looking to boost your hotel’s direct bookings.

Gather insights from their journey on your website. Take a close look at what kind of rooms they looked at before leaving your website. Write to them or call them, try to help them if they express their concern over the price of the room. Offer them best possible rate and tell them how booking directly with you can also get them a free breakfast during the stay. This type of personalized approach will bring them back to your property.

6. Offer loyalty programs 

Incentivize your guests with loyalty programs to book direct with you. Tell them that they can earn points that can be easily redeemed not only at your hotel, but also at outlets of their choice. This will not only a great hotel direct booking strategy, but also something that will help build a long-term association with your guests.

7. Enable booking via Facebook 

Offer an easier booking process to travellers via social media platforms like Facebook. Implement a booking engine that can be integrated with your brand’s Facebook page. It would help travellers to book direct with you from your hotel’s Facebook page.

8. Grow your presence on metasearch engines 

According to Trivago, around 50% of all online bookers use metasearch to find their ideal hoteland this trend is set to go up in coming years Metasearch engine helps travellers doing an informed hotel reservation by allowing them to compare a hotel’s price listed on several OTAs. It also shows the price mentioned on hotel website. This prompts a traveller to visit the hotel’s brand website, thus giving a boost to direct booking. 

Knowing how to increase direct bookings for your hotel is one of the easiest and most effective ways of building the credibility of your brand. All it takes is little of initial effort. These were eight tips to increase direct bookings for your hotel. Have you tried any of these strategies and witnessed an increase in your hotel’s direct bookings? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment here.

Struggling to increase your hotel’s direct bookings? Try Hotelogix PMS! 

This article was originally published on https://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article98562.html

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A hotel’s revenue always fluctuates throughout the year. The hoteliering business, like any other business, is dictated by many external factors and can get unpredictable for some. A hotel’s room revenue may see highs during the peak seasons as well as extreme lows during off seasons. Hoteliers looking for ways to boost hotel occupancy often end up reducing room rates. This however, does not guarantee full occupancy or increased revenue.

Looking for hotel revenue generating ideas when occupancy level is low? We’ll discuss different ways that can add value to your business and increase room selling as well.

How to increase hotel revenue when occupancy is low?

Before we proceed, you need to understand your room occupancy rate.

a) Note down your total number of rooms

b) Write how many are occupied

c) Divide the number of booked rooms with your total number of room

Your hotel’s revenue dictated by occupancy rate is also dependent upon your hotel type, the location as well as the guest experience provided at your property.

5 tips to increase hotel room revenue during the lean phase

Consider the following strategies to increase hotel revenue:

You can turn a low occupancy period into your favour by analysing details that give you many answers to use different hotel room sales techniques.

1) Evaluate the peak and off seasons

Why is this important for a hotel’s revenue? A lot rides on your hotel type, location and what it has to offer. Is your hotel in close proximity of a popular beach? You would need to evaluate your peak periods – whether the peak periods are at weekends or during the summer season. In this case, you might see a drop in room occupancy during the monsoons. Understanding this data will help you proceed further and find ways to boost hotel occupancy as we’ll see further in this blog.

2) Dig into your guest data

Use your property management system (PMS) to understand your guest history. Did you have a large number of family bookings, corporate crowd, or backpackers? You must know your customer’s behaviour to make data-driven and informed decisions for your hotel business. Using your guest data history, you can identify trends as well as define marketing strategies to increase revenue. Understanding the details in the patterns only simplifies the process of building a robust revenue model.

3) Create exclusive packages and deals

Now that you’ve had a firm grip on the information about your peak and off seasons, use the data to create exclusive packages. The research will allow you to talk about the benefits instead of focusing on the features. You can add a spa coupon for a “Couple Package” or add local destinations to explore for an all-inclusive package for families. You can also offer an additional night as complementary during your off-season months. Partner with local events such as music concerts to target the right audience accordingly. Keep a close watch on what’s happening in the city and how it will appeal to your guests.

Regular visitors to your hotel can be upgraded to a suite to score those additional brownie points and win guests over! Instead of heavy discounts that may not add up to your hotel revenue, offer add-ons to tempt the guest into making the final booking.

It’s your data here which will guide you to create packages and upsell your services even during those low booking phases to the right target group.

4) Market it right

Now that your basics are in place, you need to market your offers on the right platforms. Your hotel branding, websites, social media platforms and more need to be in sync with your marketing goals. Use emotions to connect with audiences on social media. The art of storytelling via images and videos will keep online users engaged. For e.g.: add a video that targets the monsoon period and what it has to offer for the offbeat traveler.

Speed up your website and add the right CTAs (call-to-actions) on your landing pages, add a booking engine, and ensure relevancy in your emailers is maintained. This should translate into more bookings. Compelling copy that attracts attention and holds interest is a must to deliver your message across to get more bookings. Distribute your rooms effectively on various online travel agency (OTA) platforms.

Quick tip – A property management system integrated with a channel manager will be extremely useful for you. This will help you to distribute rooms evenly, and update rates and packages quickly.

5) An eye on the competition

A drop in demand of rooms can also happen when you cannot price your room rate appropriately. So, how do you decide your room rentals? Should it be reduced for a particular season? Well, it’s necessary to keep a close watch on your competition. Price differentiation sometimes becomes unavoidable. To understand this better, study the hotels that have a similar offering such as yours. Know when their room sells as a higher rate or for slashed rates. While studying each property is a daunting task, the use of a hotel property management system that is integrated with a BI tool will help you keep an eye on competitors, get real-time data on dynamic pricing and make informed decisions.

A property management system integrated with a revenue management system empowers you to make decisions in real-time across various channels. Use technology to develop an effective pricing strategy using a methodical approach for different seasons. The automated revenue management system decides the price and lets you manage operations and room distribution easily. Sell the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price and via the right channel!

These were some effective hotel revenue generating ideas you can use to increase room selling during low occupancy periods. If you’ve found this post helpful, don’t forget to like, share and comment.

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