The more hotel rooms you sell, the more revenue you make. It’s as simple as that. What’s not so simple is finding, testing, and then tailoring the right strategies for your property.
If hotel room selling is done well, you could find yourself with more than just a steady stream of revenue and high occupancy. Your brand reputation, guest experience, and market share could improve too.
In this blog, we’ll look at a variety of hotel room selling techniques and their benefits.
Simply put, hotel room selling includes all the ways in which you sell your hotel rooms to guests.
There are many ways to sell rooms and different methods will work for different hotels. But the overall goal should be to generate revenue by filling as many rooms as possible while providing a great guest experience.
The hotel industry is competitive, which means a thorough understanding of your audience, the market, and the industry itself is needed to make more hotel room sales.
Methods, such as the use of online and offline channels (hotel websites, travel agents, direct sales etc.), promotional offers, packages, and loyalty programs, all come with their own pros and cons.
HotelTechReport describes online travel agencies (OTAs) as the “frenemies” of hotels. OTAs help hotels increase hotel bookings. But they also come with a hefty list of drawbacks for hotels.
OTAs put the consumer at the center of their operations, providing travelers with:
When it comes to OTAs’ role in hotel room selling, there’s not always an easy answer for hotels. Below we’ve helped weigh up the pros and cons of using OTAs to boost sales:
Increased exposure: OTAs have a large audience, and listing on their platform could expose you to thousands of potential guests.
Cost-effective marketing: Given the large audience, OTAs are a great way to market your rooms and reach a wider audience. This is especially true if you’re a smaller or independent hotel.
Convenience for guests: OTAs provide guests with a convenient experience, from finding and comparing hotels to making bookings online.
Increased bookings: This convenience makes it far easier for guests to find and book rooms, meaning OTAs can help increase the number of bookings at your hotel.
Commission fees: Hotels often have to pay up to 45% commission on each sale, which can eat away at profits over time.
Dependence: Being too reliant on OTAs could result in you losing control over your distribution and pricing strategy.
Lack of data: OTAs share very little data with hotels and put themselves between guests and suppliers. This can make it harder for hotels to develop long-term relationships with guests.
Reduced brand control: Hotels are required to adhere to specific standards and policies of each OTA, which limits their control over how they appear. Consequently, this can cause confusion and dissatisfaction among customers.
\To help you amp up your hotel room selling strategy, we’ve compiled the following list of thirteen helpful techniques that can boost your bottom line.
Room upgrades could help you earn more revenue from each guest while providing an exceptional guest experience. Upselling is a common practice throughout hotels. It requires technique, strategy, and a good idea of what appeals to each guest.
For some staff members, upselling comes easily. But it can be hit-and-miss for others. Instead of solely relying on your workforce to upsell hotel room upgrades, consider using digital upselling software like Canary Upsells.
Here are a few ways to sell upgrades using technology:
Increase your hotel’s online visibility and success by showcasing your hotel rooms across a variety of channels.
You’ll want to maintain a consistent message when using multiple channels. This will ensure that guests, no matter where they book, have the same understanding of what your hotel has to offer.
Channels you can use include:
Hotels can increase their bookings and revenue, as well as provide a more compelling value proposition for potential guests, by creating attractive package deals.
Bundling rooms with other amenities or experiences will help you sell more in the long run by:
Digital marketing is a powerful tool for hotels. It’s a broad area, encompassing many channels and strategies such as:
Group business can be a valuable source of revenue for hotels, often leading to the sale of room blocks. A hotel room block is a prearranged group of hotel rooms set aside for a specific group or event.
Room blocks are beneficial for both the hotel and group. They can help you secure large chunks of occupancy which is handy, especially during times of low occupancy. This also helps you plan for staffing and inventory needs.
For the group, a room block can provide a discounted rate, a guarantee that rooms will be available for their attendees, and other perks such as complimentary rooms for organizers, early check-in or late check-out, or access to hotel amenities.
Leverage group business to increase your bookings and revenue by:
Strategic partnerships can help you sell more rooms and increase your revenue. You can attract more bookings and differentiate yourself from competitors by:
Your online reviews are a treasure trove of customer insights, needs, and evolving demands. Good reviews will also help you sell more rooms. But how do you get your guests to leave them?
Ninety-three percent of internet users, according to Podium, have made buying decisions based on an online review. In addition, only 22% of hotel guests will leave a review of their own accord. But that figure shoots up to 80% if the hotel requests a review.
The checkout process is a great way to get more reviews. Canary Contactless Checkout, for example, increases the number of 5-star hotel reviews on Tripadvisor and Google by up to 350%.
Incentivize repeat bookings and build brand loyalty by implementing a loyalty program. Offer perks such as free nights, room upgrades, or exclusive discounts, to encourage guests to book with you again and again. Here are a few examples of what other hotel chains are doing:
Special deals and promotions can help you sell more rooms by offering guests an incentive to book with you. Here are a few ways you can use special deals and promotions to sell more hotel rooms:
Guests want to feel valued. So, it’s no surprise that personalizing your hotel experiences can help you increase guest loyalty and satisfaction. Here are a few ways you can personalize the guest experience:
Effective revenue management involves pricing hotel rooms strategically to maximize revenue.
By analyzing demand patterns, market trends, and competitor pricing, you can adjust your rates to reflect changing market conditions and optimize revenue.
Use dynamic pricing to offer discounts and promotions during low-demand periods and increase room sales.
Upselling software can be more effective than hotel front desk agents when it comes to upselling room upgrades.
Sales, as a practice, is hard and not every agent will be a good salesperson. Automating the process can help take the pressure off your front desk, meaning they can spend more time on other tasks.
Upselling software can increase revenues by anywhere from $1,000-$10,000 per month depending on the type and size of the hotel.
Finding the right techniques for better hotel room selling matters. And what works for one hotel may not work for another. The good news is, hotels don’t need to rely on OTAs to sell rooms.
Combining techniques such as upselling, package deals, and building strategic partnerships can help you grow revenue while delivering a superb guest experience.
Best of all, there’s technology to help. Automate processes such as check-in and checkout, upselling, and tipping, to make your staff and guests happier.
Next up, find out how technology can help improve the hotel guest experience in 2023.
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