Running your own hotel or B&B is challenging. The last thing you need to worry about is your competition cutting into your earnings. But with the right tips and tools, you can beat your competitors and get more guests at your hotel. Here’s how to do it.
You’ve probably got some idea of who your competitors are by now. It could be the large chain down the road or the boutique villa on the riverside. However, if you’re unsure of who it is exactly that’s cutting into your profits, or if you’d simply like to dig a little deeper, it’s time to do some research. You can find your competitors in a number of ways. Start with OTAs such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com or Expedia as you can search and filter results to identify your competition. You’ll be able to get a sense of their pricing, and what their guests think about their service. You can also explore social media to see which accommodation is hot in your area. Of course, you can also find out who your competitors are is by asking your guests. Ask them where else they’ve previously stayed and why they chose you this time.
Your mission to win guests over your competitors starts with the type of service you provide. As a boutique hotel or B&B, you’ve got the potential to offer a truly special and intimate stay. By refining your service so it’s even more unique and personalised, you’ll create an experience that guests will love to recommend to family and friends. Make your hotel stay special by honing in on what makes the property or location attractive to guests. You may choose to create a theme for your interior design that matches the landscape or gather information on your guests prior to arrival to delight them with restaurant recommendations that suit their dietary requirements or preferences.
Create a brand
Get a leg up on your competitors by developing your hotel’s unique brand. While many boutique hotels offer a wonderful stay and individualised service, they don’t last in their guests’ memories because they didn’t have a brand. Your brand is everything your hotel stands for, whether that’s luxury, beauty, hospitality or whatever it may be. Your brand is translated to guests in everything from the appearance of your hotel, to the style of stay, to how you and your staff communicate with guests. Remember to carry your brand through to your website and social media presence.
Price matching is not as simple as lowering your prices to tempt customers to choose you over competitors. The best way to do it is by grabbing that thrifty segment of your target market without sacrificing your means of making more money. Price match your competitors by offering a couple of rooms cheaper than your competitor’s cheapest room, and a couple of rooms more expensive than their most expensive rooms.
An efficient hotel is a profitable hotel. Get that edge on your competitors by making your process smoother through technology. A hotel property management system (commonly known as a PMS) helps manage your hotel operations and streamline administrative tasks such as bookings management, record keeping, and reporting. Connect your PMS with a channel manager (e.g. Preno’s channel manager, or STAAH, or SiteMinder) and you’ll save time manually updating room availability and rates across your booking engine and other booking sites.