Hidden secrets of owning a top performing hotel
May 4, 2020|Hotel Marketing
6 Secrets to Owning a Top-performing Hotel
If you are a flagged hotel, you might wonder why some properties under the same brand are on the list of top hotels worldwide, but you are not. If you are an independent hotel, you might wonder why all your competitors in the STAR Report are performing well, but you are not.
What are these top hotels doing differently to succeed in the industry? Here are their well-kept secrets and best practices that you need to start doing today:
1. Improve Your Telephone Handling
It might sound simple, but thousands of revenue are lost in the hotel industry every day just from poor telephone handling.
If you are a limited-service hotel with only two people working at the front office during the busiest periods of your check-in and check-out times, chances are your telephone handling is poor. A call that is a potential million-dollar business might go to voicemail, or might be put on hold, or might not be given the proper care and attention by an already pre-occupied staff.
Have a mystery shopper call your property today and find out how many rings it takes for the front desk office to answer the call, how they answer it, and whether they can convert it into a booking.
In this day and age, answering phone calls is not just about taking reservations; it is about making them. Empower your staff today so they can maximize every opportunity that comes their way.
2. Invest in Digital Advertising
If you are a flagged hotel, chances are your franchise company is already handling your global marketing. What does your franchise company expect in return? They want you to dominate your local market.
There is no marketing tool more efficient and effective than digital advertising using social media platforms. For example, you can run ads on Facebook and Instagram for as low as $300 to capture the market within a 20-mile radius from your property. Within just a couple of days, you can reach thousands of people whom you could never find using door-to-door sales or any other traditional prospecting strategy. You can use the list that you generated from the ad campaign to get more Local Negotiated Rates (LNR), more room blocks, or more bookings for your meeting room.
Open a private browser today. Search your town on Google and click on the map on the right-hand side of the page. It will open up and show you the hotel properties in your local market. If your property name does not come up on the first page of that channel, you will have very, very low chances of getting any reservations.
Do that as well on OTAs like Trivago, Kayak, Booking.com, Expedia, and its different affiliates. If your property is not ranking well on these channels, it is time for you to invest in social media pay-per-click advertising today.
3. Get Good Reviews
You cannot have bad reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, or any other review platform. It does not matter if you have a few good reviews on the first page of your web results. Two or three bad reviews can already hurt your online reputation and will cause your prospective guests to think twice about booking your hotel.
Have a strategy to get good reviews. There is no other way around it. Provide your guests with an experience worth raving. Personalize your service according to the preferences of your target demographic. Respond to bad reviews correctly and implement changes to make sure complaints will not come up again.
4. Proper Revenue Management
If you do not have the proper revenue management strategy or you do not have a competent revenue manager to monitor your rates, pick-up reports, and room blocks, you should look at hiring one today.
Let’s say you have a block of 50 rooms per night for a weekend. When the weekend finally comes, the block is only picked up by 20%. By that time, you can no longer remedy the situation by lowering your rates because your group rate is already too high. You cannot go back in time and sell the 40 rooms that you could have sold at a more competitive rate. You do not have that kind of luxury in the hotel business. Once you miss out on an opportunity to sell your rooms for a specific date, that revenue is already gone.
If you do not have a dedicated revenue manager who is handling all these moving parts for you right now, you’re leaving ridiculous amounts of money on the table.
5. Consistently Follow-up on Clients
If you are unable to convert a call inquiry into a booking, how long do you wait to call back that lead? Do you even call back at all? What follow-up strategy do you have for your unsold accounts?
Every call inquiry to your hotel is low-hanging fruit. It will cost you thousands of dollars to find a lead like that. Maximize your call inquiries to hit your targets faster and close sales easier.
Make sure you call back your clients and say, “I know that you have already selected a different hotel, but can we be a second option for you. Are you trying to set up a room block, but the property you’re looking into is already full? Are you already happy with the decision that you have made with that property, or can I still persuade you to change your mind?”
If you are not already doing this follow-up strategy today, you are missing out.
6. Focus on People Management
Not only do you need to hire the right staff for the job, but you also need to keep them engaged and dedicated.
Do your employees show up for the paycheck, or do they have an emotional connection with their jobs? Emotional connection in the workplace leads to higher productivity. If your employees feel that their work is valuable to their supervisors and colleagues, and the customers in general, that’s an emotional connection. It makes them want to give more of themselves and add value to the organization.
Have the right management team in place to create that motivating workplace culture. Shift the dynamics in the workplace so that your employees give 110% of themselves at work starting today.
These are some of the best-kept industry secrets that you need to start doing today. If you are not yet doing any of these, you are giving up that coveted top spot.
#HotelSales #BeatTheCompetition #Bezla