At the recently concluded Hotel ROI segment of the 2017 Hospitality Law Conference, a panel of hoteliers gave insights to maximising profit through their various experiences as they spoke on the topic: ‘Maximising revenues: Innovative ways to generate more profits.’
Adopting the right marketing technique
Tom Segesta, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Houston: It is important to do in-house and in-brand digital marketing, and it’s important to have someone at the property focusing on it every day for several hours a week. The hotel previously used a Chicago company before taking social media efforts in-house.
We could get more of an emotional connection in-house compared to through a company in a different city. Tim Peter, founder and president of consulting company Tim Peter and Associates: Take a hybrid approach to in-house, in-brand and outsourced marketing and reserve each for their best use. Social media is almost always something that should be done in-house while hotels should outsource things to firms with specialisation.
Plans need to lever flexibility, focus efforts on things that consistently work, but reserve 10 to 20 per cent to test and learn. Have specific objectives, and see what works.
If it does, we double down and fish when the fishing is good. Greg Posmantur, chief executive officer and managing director at JYI Hospitality: Properties with high average daily rate can afford to do a lot of this work in-house.
Listen to the experts hired to determine the company’s market share and how much business comes to the area.
Creating a spreadsheet and checklists, using colour-coded system to show what tasks are completed, what’s still in progress and what areas need immediate attention.
You start putting your priorities in order, and I have my properties do it every day. If I’m not on top: Why?
Look at the rates and the competition, and then position the properties correctly and track them correctly. The numbers, not what anyone says, the number will tell you if you’re doing right or wrong.
Employing online travel agencies
Kirby Payne, president of HVS Hotel Management and Asset Management: Hoteliers who get to know their Expedia market manager can work on getting into different programmes to get business at a higher rate. Peter: If you do it really well, you don’t need to know your Expedia market manager.
Hoteliers should look to online travel agencies for reaching guests they can’t reach on their own. Hotels can fill up their occupancy without the OTAs and without having to pay them 20 per cent on reservations.
Posmantur: Every property is working within a three to five mile confinement. Hoteliers have to fight hard to fill every room at the highest ADR possible. The bottom line in sales is a numbers game, and the more hoteliers try, the more they’ll find what works.
They need to use every platform and weigh its successes every day.
Handling employees’ matter
Segesta: The first priority is investing in employees. Have the right staff and sales people on the team to generate revenue. Give measurable goals, let they go out and do it. If they achieve, you reward them. If not, take different action. Invest in your hotel staff to make sure they understand the goals of occupancy and average rate.
Segesta: Turnover hurts profitability, so show care for your employees through programmes like employee of the month or manager of the quarter. I sometimes sit in the cafeteria to have lunch with the housekeepers to engage with them.
Show them they are important to the hotel. You never empower anyone unless you give them a vision.
Posmantur: There’s no such thing as bad employees, only bad managers. If employees have the tools and standard operating procedures, it’s up to the manager or supervisor to interact with them and write them up if there are problems.
Payne: If a manager has an employee who quits or was terminated, every time that happens requires the manager to ask himself whether that employee should have been hired in the first place. When they came on the staff team, did you orient them properly?
Did you make them feel comfortable? Did you train them adequately, give them the work tools? Did I use good leadership tailored for that individual? Everyone reacts to management differently. Peter: People like to be recognised for doing a good job.
If a hotel receives good reviews or comments, and it doesn’t matter if the hotel is economy or luxury, post that feedback somewhere public for the staff to see.
Recognising individual employee should help them be aware of the effect they have on guests. Conversely, if there’s a problem, managers should have that conversation in private.
Culled from Top on Travel