How to effectively manage your booking portals?
Article created by YieldPlanet.
Online distribution management currently revolves around managing multiple sales channels, which allow your offer to reach a wide range of potential customers. Although this process can be automated to a large extent, effective management of a hotel or apartment can be a challenge. Where and how should you place the offers of the apartments you manage?
Start with analysing the situation
The current, extremely competitive market forces owners of hotels and short-term rental apartments to constantly experiment and monitor actions taken by their competition. It is worth starting with collecting and thoroughly analyzing the information you have. For example we recommend to verify competition, check guests’ opinions about your property, examine customer behavior as well as long-term and seasonal trends. Knowing the needs of clients, as well as their preferences, will make it much easier for you to choose the right OTA (online booking portal) and prepare an offer that will guarantee high conversion.
Keep your costs in check
Obtaining a high level of occupancy is undoubtedly a success, but only if you manage to rent rooms at appropriately high prices and gain reservations as cheaply as possible. Monitor the income and costs of commissions charged by individual agents on an ongoing basis. If getting a reservation costs you too much, think about including an alternative OTA service in your distribution strategy.
Make your offer look professional
Photos sell reservations, so don’t save on a professional photo session. High quality of photos combined with a detailed description of the apartment and emphasizing its individual features will not only translate into interest in your offer, but will also save you a lot of time answering potential clients’ questions.
Respect the guests’ feedback
Monitor your guests ’comments on a regular basis and respond to any negative feedback. Underestimating the problem may lead to a rapid increase of negative reviews and, as a consequence, a significant drop in interest in your offer.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Your distribution strategy should not lack the most popular OTA (e.g. Booking.com), but don’t be afraid to experiment with smaller platforms. For instance, if you receive many reservations from Scandinavia, be sure to look for the niche OTA which is popular among tourists from Sweden or Norway. You will reach new customers and acquire them at a lower cost.
Making decisions based on data analysis, as well as using the advanced technologies and automation solutions (e.g. PMS or Channel Manager), will allow you to increase your revenue while lowering the expenses.
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