If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we have to be ready for change. Technology, in particular, evolves all the time, and the way hoteliers are using it is constantly adapting too.
There’s no shortage of technological advancements taking big hotels by storm, from mobile key cards and contactless check-in & check-out to automated room service and smart electrics. But what about small hotels?
Even if you don’t have the budget, the time or the people-power, you can still use technology to your property’s advantage.
Booking Technology & Distribution Management
Booking technology has come a long way to help empower hoteliers with the ability to secure direct bookings.
There is no longer the need to be constantly by the phone waiting for guests to call with booking enquiries. Modern booking engines are sophisticated, user-friendly and surprisingly affordable, giving hoteliers the freedom to accept bookings anywhere at any time.
It’s no longer just big hotels that can find value in technology investments. Small property owners can also enjoy the benefits of a stunning, user-friendly website at a low-cost, with booking technology fully integrated to provide an exceptional guest experience.
Channel management systems also enable properties, big or small, to accept bookings from around the globe effortlessly. Without pooled inventory, instant synchronisation and continuous availability updates, hoteliers would have very limited access to the travel market and guests would have limited windows of opportunity to book their ideal getaway.
If you’re not already using a property management system, you may not be aware of how simplistic, automated and intelligent a PMS can be. You really don’t have to be a tech genius to use a PMS and find value in the software.
A property management system also connects to your booking engine and channel manager. This allows for easy and automated management of your bookings,
automatically manage your bookings, occupancy levels, daily check-in and check out activities, housekeeping, guest communications, revenue management and much more.
Automation is key with systems such as Abode, and you can sit back and relax as bookings from distribution partners automatically drop into the system and are assigned a room. You’ll never miss out on a booking and never be overbooked again!
Especially if your property is small, you may feel that digital marketing isn’t for you. However, there are some extremely cost-effective and minimal effort digital marketing tactics you could be using to your advantage.
Google Hotel Ads offers a pay-per-stay (PPS) program, whereby you can compete for bookings on the popular platform, but you only pay commission on bookings where guests actually stay at your property. With Levart, you can also choose the commission level you pay for bookings, making this an attractive option over traditional online travel agents.
Social media marketing can be another great option for smaller properties, as it can be very effective with little or no financial investment.
Guest Data & Marketing
Gathering data is perhaps the most important part of effectively using technology to your advantage.
Knowing who your guests are, what they like and dislike and the way they tend to book and interact with your property is crucial to create an experience that will keep them coming back. You can’t establish a relationship with your guests without first being able to communicate with them.
Using a pop-up widget that collects guest email addresses for your property membership subscription can be an easy way to start your journey with guest data. Send personalised marketing material to your guests to build a relationship, reward loyalty with promotional offers and gather guest feedback with ease.
Consistency is key when it comes to guest marketing. Try to send relevant emails to your guests at least once per fortnight. Use a clear, directive call-to-action to help increase conversion and get guests booking!
- Technology is no longer just for big hotels with big budgets
- A website booking engine will put you back in control and a channel manager can help you obtain more bookings with less effort
- The Google Hotel Ads PPS model allows you to compete for bookings, at the commission level you choose and you only pay for stayed bookings
- Collecting useful guest data is easier than you think