Did you know that if you don’t have competitive rates set up at least 12 months in advance, you could be missing out on hundreds of potential guests? But why is that? Read on to find out…
1. Three reasons you need to plan ahead
- To make sure you have the best rates available for the early-bookers. More and more people are booking their getaways earlier. However, if you only have one flat rate available, they may not be getting your most competitive price and may book elsewhere.
- To maintain the best possible position of the travel websites. When you list your property on websites like Expedia, LateRooms, TripAdvisor and Booking.com, you still have to ensure that you perform well on them. The channel listing will favour properties that have planned their rates well in advance and offer the most competitive pricing.
- To make sure you never miss an opportunity to sell competitively. When you have an event near your property, you can afford to adjust your rates to maximise profit during that time. Remember, guests will be booking earlier than usual to get the best deal.
2. So, when should I adjust my rates?
When demand is higher, you can simply increase your rate. Obviously, how much you increase this will depend on your demand, location and competition.
Here are some examples of popular times you should alter your rates:
- Events: Raise your prices when you know a local event is happening, for example, a big sporting event or festival. But don’t go overboard – you still need to attract customers!
- Weekend vs weekday rates: If Friday and Saturday are busier days, your prices should reflect this.
- Sunday night: If this is one of your quieter days you should consider lowering your rate.
- Seasons: You need to work out when your high and low seasons are and adjust prices accordingly. For example, if you’re in a seaside town you will probably find July and August a lot busier than November and December. Remember to plan around school holidays too.
For more suggestions on pricing, read our guide here.
3. What about when demand is lower?
When demand is lower, you have to work harder to fill those beds! So you can offer promotions. When you offer a discounted rate, it may seem like you’re losing money but you’re actually influencing the customer to book with you by giving them a good deal. It’s best to see it less as a discount and more of a tool to maximise your revenue on every room, every night. For example:
- Offer cheaper rates for longer stays to encourage guests to stay for an extra night and spend more money with you.
- Give early bird discounts to get confirmed bookings into the diary in advance.
- If you usually have a 2- or 3-night minimum stay, still offer a one-night price but at a higher rate.
- Offer single occupancy rates so you can still sell an available double to a single guest rather than have it remain empty.
- Fully refundable deals sell your rooms more quickly but non-refundable deals are great to lock in bookings.
- Offer a super saver Sunday deal to entice Saturday guests to book an extra night with you so that they can use the room and facilities for an additional day.
In summary, adjusting your rates according to demand is the best way to ensure that you are making the most of your revenue and occupancy throughout the year.
With eviivo’s Promo Manager, it’s so easy to change rates quickly and independently of OTAs. You can vary the price of a room according to channel, occupancy, season, day of the week and meal plan – all with just one click!
Learn more about our award-winning hotel booking software, eviivo suite, or book a free demo today!