Four Quick Hits for Increasing Hotel Revenue

by Susan on April 16, 2015

crystal

What is the best hotel strategy to increase occupancy and revenue? How can we differentiate ourselves to  compete with other big hotel competitors?

This is a big question!  I’ll give a few general ideas here and suggest you hire a hotel sales and marketing consultant to help with a detailed plan and execution.  (Note that I answer this and all of these types of questions from the perspective of a full-service hotel.)

  1. Get crystal clear on your position in the marketplace and make all decisions through that prism – i.e., if you are not the newest and nicest hotel in the very most desirable location, you should not be the most expensive.  If you are not the oldest, ugliest, worst-located hotel, you should not be the cheapest.
  2. Focus on TripAdvisor reviews and implement an internal incentive program.  You can safely ignore just about every other social media channel until you are ready EXCEPT TripAdvisor.  There is a strong correlation between TA ranking and revenue.  You should consider your TA ranking as the best and easiest free advertising in the world.
  3. Create a “free sell” pricing grid if you don’t have a group business optimization tool so that sales people know how much to charge for meeting room rental and F&B minimum without having to drag their feet, ask, or guess.  Use a combination of revenue per square foot of meeting space; meeting space occupancy; and your budget targets to come up with a target price per meeting room, per time period, and per season.
  4. Consider base and wholesale business.  If you need revenue, these revenue streams can deliver.  Don’t let snobbery of your owner/regional team/corporate office/whatever get in the way of at least pursuing and doing a displacement analysis of this business.  Same thing for government per diem.  Hoteliers are so silly about this low-rated but consistent business – we think we can have it when times are tough without taking it when times are good.  Look at your numbers, and if you are making more money by taking this business, DO IT.  This should be a math problem, not a moral issue.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you need a consultant referral. 🙂

This originally appeared as an answer on Quora.

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