Running a multi-property hotel chain can be quite challenging without having a proper management strategy in place. As we have seen in the previous post, chains rely a lot on their brand’s image to attract visitors. While it takes years of providing flawless service before a brand can attain the level of recognition that attracts guests; all it takes to destabilize the whole group is a one weak link – like a mismanaged unit.
Advanced digital tools have played a vital role in simplifying operations for the big players, and are becoming increasingly accessible to the wider market – investing in the right areas can help small and mid-sized hotel chains improve their occupancy and build their brand faster.
Let’s look into the operations in more detail, particularly the ones that can be simplified:
Front Desk & Reservation Management –
There’re a few things in a hotel that take higher priority than proper reservation management. It goes without saying that this is an area that hotels rely on for smooth functioning, so most hoteliers are aware of the importance of investing in this department. However, what is equally important is selecting a powerful system that is capable of managing your front desk efficiently – ‘efficiency’ is the key here and something that many of the cheaper software lack. Considering that the majority of complaints raised by guests regarding their stay usually originate from an error in this department, compromising on the reliability of the system can cost the hotel chain a lot of money in the long run just to keep the brand intact.
Report Compilation –
Collecting reports from each department of every unit in the chain can be time-consuming and error-prone. A good multi-property management system would be capable of creating a variety of MIS reports in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise – in fact, some PMSs can prepare them in real time. This means analysts can spend less time collecting data and more time studying it, enabling the board to pinpoint units that are not meeting the chain’s standards.
Revenue Management –
Managing room rates in real time can be a hassle for hotel chains, with the sheer number of rooms across all branches contributing to an already complicated affair. In addition, revenue per available room (RevPAR) is influenced by a number of factors, some of which may be restricted to a certain area. This makes active revenue management more challenging, especially when the units are spread out across different regions. With a powerful revenue management system integrated with your PMS, your chain can benefit from daily price recommendations that arrive at a rate based on various factors such as competitor information, events, the season, weather forecasts and e-reputation. Such technology can be used either by your CRO to apply changes across all group properties centrally, or by each of your properties individually.
Further, if your PMS is integrated with a channel manager – capable of updating rates and inventory for each of the properties across all OTAs, rate changes can be applied across all sources from your Front Desk with a single click.
Operations Oversight –
Keeping an eye on proceedings in multiple properties is not easy. Some hotels employ an operations oversight manager to keep abreast of things but even then, staying up-to-date on all the operational aspects of each and every unit can be challenging. A multi-property system allows owners or managers to effectively monitor the running of all branches by providing quick insights on the average occupancy, revenue generated, and so on. Additionally, it allows managers to implement group-wide management strategies from one centralized location.
Sharing Guest Information –
Brand loyalty is something professionals from all industries strive to encourage and in hospitality, it can pay particularly good dividends. By rewarding guests who visit the hotel’s properties regularly, the organization gets a boost through good reviews and more importantly, word-of-mouth – this can be more effective in improving a hotel’s bottom line than even high-end ad campaigns. Cross-property data sharing is a great way to enhance the guest experience, allowing guests who visit different units of a chain to experience a personalized stay. Apart from loyalty reward schemes, it also allows the hotel to remember guest preferences and provide them with the same fulfilling experience at any of their properties.
By automating time-consuming tasks, employing the right room distribution strategy and focusing on other inhibiting factors, hotel chains can boost their business without spending obscene amounts of marketing dollars. In fact, some of the really powerful strategies here work better than outsourced ad campaigns! Simplification of operations makes it easy to scale any business, no matter which industry you look at.