Top tips for making the most of your room bookings this winter
The end of the year is fast approaching, so what better time to make sure that your rates are the most competitive for next year, after all ’tis the season for booking trips and events for the New Year! But where should you start?
1. Keep your rates up to date!
Make sure that you have the best rates available for the early-bookers. If you only have your evergreen rates available, they won’t be the most competitive they could be. Always aim to have 12 months of competitive rates at all times. Look at your bookings from this year to give you an idea of how to price next year – it can really help!
Don’t forget to price your key events for next year that you know are happening so you don’t miss out on vital revenue. Many people will be booking events for next year already and looking for accommodation nearby. So now is the time to look at the events near you next year and adjust your rates accordingly.
3. Set seasonal rates
Remember to price your rooms based on seasonal demands; take a look at your last year’s bookings to determine your high and low seasons, then use this to price next year’s high and low seasons accordingly.
Set lower rates in low seasons to encourage bookings, and increase prices in high season when demand is high. As a guide, use your booking data from last year to give you an idea of how to price next year.
4. Non-refundable rates and promotions
Help secure early bookings and save on last-minute discounting by offering enticing deals. The promotions don’t have to be anything major – even just offering free breakfast if guests book before a certain date. Combine with non-refundable discounts to secure bookings well in advance and give you a cheaper lead price.
5. Match supply & demand
Don’t just have a flat rate throughout the year. You need to match the supply to the demand, and this means adjusting your rates on the go. The best way to do this is to look at your occupancy for this year to determine your prices for next year. In short, when demand for your rooms is high, prices should be higher but when demand is low, your prices should be too.
You can use a promotions manager to react to demand quickly and change rates accordingly or offer promo codes to encourage bookings.
6. Optimize your site
Before the New Year, why not take a few moments to get your site working at its greatest potential for your guests? It’s important to realise that most guests nowadays will be browsing the web on mobile or tablet, and so your site needs to be optimised. Take inventory of your website content and make sure your photos are good quality and show your property in the best light! See our guide on taking high-quality photos for more photography advice.
It’s also a good time to optimise your site for search engines so that your website features highly on results pages. For advice, consult our guide on Search Engine Optimisation for B&Bs made simple.
Once your rates are set up, don’t stop there! eviivo offer an award-winning hotel booking system, and with it you can set rates per channel, distribute rooms to all OTAs and offer promotions and discounts varying by channel. The beauty of eviivo suite is that you can implement all these tips in one place!
Take a look at our top tips infographic to see some ways you can be making the most of your bookings this winter: