A recent gathering of industry experts brought hoteliers together to ask what keeps them awake at night. It came as no surprise that the “hyper-competitive” nature of our sector topped the list.

Hoteliers described online room distribution and marketing as a complex and highly dynamic area leaving them struggling to keep up with the competition.

It’s for reasons like these that smart and simple technology from SiteMinder has come into play, helping hoteliers everywhere get one step ahead.

Hours – and in some cases days – can be lost trying to understand and stay ahead of a competitor’s room pricing strategy.

When do they increase rates? How often do they discount? Are your prices on par? Is your hotel offering value-for-money? So many questions. So few answers. And so little time.

Prophet is an easy-to-use solution that gives hoteliers true foresight into future room rates and market demand – and the guidance to make smarter business decisions.

So, how does it work? And what do you need to know about data and intelligence to make use of it? Here are 10 things you should understand about working with Prophet…

1. What is Prophet?

Prophet is a real-time market intelligence tool for the hotel industry that helps accommodation providers make better room pricing decisions based on accurate market data. Specifically, this means more effective yield management as you can increase your average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) by comparing your live minimum/maximum rates against your competitors’, based on length of stay (LOS). With Prophet, hotels have the ability to analyse their local competition and respond to demand – up to one year in advance.

2. How does Prophet work?

Prophet refreshes your competitors’ pricing data daily or live on request, ensuring your market comparisons are always current, relevant and insightful. It gives you the latest information on your competitor rates, market demand, and reputation at your fingertips.

3. Who is Prophet for?

As with all SiteMinder technology, hotels of all sizes, anywhere in the world, can use the product. Prophet suits a broad spectrum of accommodation providers, from the smallest hotels up to mid-sized chains, with pricing plans that start free at the entry level, and are available at a low monthly fee for more advanced users. Prophet caters for different needs and levels of sophistication, so hoteliers only pay for what they need and not a cent more. Ultimately, it’s designed for hoteliers who want to end the manual monitoring of multiple sources of competitor data in exchange for one consolidated view of current rates.

4. How much does Prophet cost?

Any user can get started for free…and stay that way forever (yes, you read that right!). You’ll get one user profile, the next 14-days’ rates auto-refreshed on a daily basis, visibility into the rates of two competitors for a one-night stay, and you’ll be able to set up two notification rules. Affordable upgrade features are available including daily email summaries of all market fluctuations that have impacted your preset rules, 15+ competitors, multi-night length of stay rates, and up to a year’s rates refreshed on demand.

5. What are the main benefits of using Prophet for me and my hotel?

Prophet is designed with busy hoteliers in mind and, like all our technology, solves many time-consuming issues that hotels encounter every day. Here are six ways your hotel will benefit from using Prophet:

  • Know the market demand for your hotel business up to one year in advance
  • Optimise your room rates and maximise your profitability – easily
  • Be in control to make smart decisions for your hotel business and take fast action
  • Save time and effort involved in monitoring multiple sources manually
  • Understand how competitive your room pricing is
  • Increase your chances of being booked online

6. What are rules and notifications? Why would I use them?

Notifications and alerts are Prophet’s way of keeping you up-to-date and, crucially, ahead of your competition. Think of them as the decision-making part of Prophet, and as a result, an important feature of the tool. You can set your own rules and receive email alerts when market pricing changes and demand conditions fluctuate. The alerts allow you to react to any factors that might impact your room rate strategy. Prophet puts you in control to make quick decisions based on accurate real-time data.

7. I’m not much of a revenue management expert. Can I still use Prophet?

Definitely. The team behind Prophet created a smart and simple solution designed with hoteliers in mind. Mike Ford, managing director of SiteMinder, says designing something simple was crucial when the team talked about Prophet in its early days: “The simplicity of Prophet is intentional. It’s about empowering the world’s hoteliers who know revenue management is critical but don’t have the time, budget or expertise to harness the rapidly-changing rate and market data available to them and use it to their advantage.”

8. How often will I need to log in to Prophet to check my competitors?

This is completely down to you. When you first get started, get to know Prophet’s features by having a good look around the platform. And don’t forget that Prophet is built with busy hoteliers in mind to take the guesswork out of your pricing strategy. With the rules and notifications you can be kept in-the-loop without having to be checking it daily, however, we encourage users with fewer notifications in place to log in more frequently to check for market updates.

9. What do other hoteliers think about Prophet? What feedback have you had?

Quest Southbank in Melbourne, Australia (part of Quest Apartment Hotels, the largest apartment hotels brand in Australasia) was one of the early adopters of Prophet and management there say the technology has made revenue management at the property much easier: “Being a property of nearly 90 rooms, we find that even half a dozen rooms moving on any single date can result in major changes to occupancy percentage, and ultimately result in lots of changes to how we manage our revenue overall. So, speedy and visually easy-to-read data is vital – and SiteMinder’s Prophet provides that to us. It’s definitely made comp set rate analysis easier and quicker.”

10. Is Prophet easy to set up and get started?

Absolutely. To keep things simple we’ve ensured that hotels of all sizes can sign up immediately and set themselves up within minutes. Finding your local competition is easy too and takes just a few minutes to display their information and rates. It really is as simple as that!

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