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Best hotel business intelligence

Finding the best for your property

We must applaud you for taking an even more sophisticated approach to your hotel management and looking into hotel business intelligence.

It holds true in many cases that you have to spend money to make money. Investing in hotel business intelligence is a great example of this, since you’ll have better control over your property’s revenue when you use business intelligence to its full potential – namely by using it to inform your rates.

We know that the best tool to price your rooms is actually data, but it’s how you collect this data and analyse it that’s important. You need to have enough data and it needs to be accurate and relevant.

There is going to be plenty of options on the market when it comes to investing in this kind of help, with many factors at play.

This page will help you choose the right option for your individual property – the depth of features you need could vary a lot depending on the size, location, target market, and more, of your hotel.

Must-have features for business intelligence at your hotel

There’s a lot of potential when it comes to business intelligence tools and you’ll be unlocking large amounts of data. It’s important that the provider you use knows what to do with this data and how to present it to you in a way that’s relevant and useful for your property. It needs to make the picture of your revenue management strategy clearer, not more complicated.

Before you make a purchase decision, ensure the tool you’re looking at covers off these features:

All-day visibility of local supply and demand

  • Real-time alerts
  • Compare room rates with competitors in one view
  • Know local market pricing up to one year in advance
  • Unlimited rate shopping
  • Exportable reports
  • Rate strategy rule creation

These are just a few of the capabilities your software needs if you’re going to make meaningful data-based decisions around your property’s revenue.

Why business intelligence is essential in the hotel industry

Understandably you might still be harbouring doubts about why you need business intelligence tools. Certainly, you can price rooms, set rates, and establish a revenue management strategy without it.

The crux of the matter boils down to one question; are you doing it as effectively as your competitors?

To keep up with every other smart operator out there you absolutely must be using data to inform your business activities. The scope of what you can do can be quite limited though, when spreadsheets are your most sophisticated method of analysis. Business intelligence will make it easier and it also makes sure you’re on par with your competitors.

When you are making your purchase decision you should also keep in mind that this isn’t simply an upgrade, it’s an entirely new window of opportunity to make more money out of your existing hotel property.

Types of hotel intelligence available to your hotel

As we’ve already alluded to, there are many different types of hotel intelligence tools on the market.

They might:

  • Be targeted towards smaller independent hotels
  • Be targeted towards enterprise groups
  • Offer customisable tools and niche products
  • Focus on revenue management
  • Specialise in food and beverage

Obviously it’s vital that you’re very clear about what type of hotel intelligence you need before jumping into a product, and that the one you choose can deliver on your requirements.

Regardless of the type of tool that do choose, it needs to have the infrastructure to handle large amounts of data. This means it can collect large amounts of data and also store and load it efficiently.

The next step is analysing the data effectively and placing it in digestible dashboards for you, giving you clear summaries and overviews that you can also integrate to other devices and print reporting documents at your leisure.

It must be an enabler, which is why you need to research your options carefully.

Results you should expect from rate intelligence

It’s all very well to invest in a solution and feel good about your decision but you have to know what results to expect. Measuring success is vital moving forward, since you may want to unlock more features, seek support to optimise your experience, or use a different provider if the first isn’t working out.

If you are using your tool for rate intelligence and pricing, some outcomes you should be looking for include:

  • Maximise revenue and profit by removing guesswork
  • Optimise pricing based on supply and demand
  • Drive direct bookings with rate parity
  • Enhance your market positioning and business performance
  • Compare room rates with up to 10 competitors at once
  • Increase your chances of being booked by competitive rate setting
  • Constant access to the latest market information
  • Eliminate the need for endless spreadsheets
  • Produce reports with one click
  • Minimise the impact of market fluctuations on your pricing
  • Take immediate action via alerts and preset rules
  • Stay ahead with analysis on how your property is performing online
  • Avoid unnecessary commission fees to third-party booking sites

Even this list isn’t exhaustive so there’s a lot to look out for – make sure your provider is promising these capabilities.

Free trial for room pricing

If you work with a top provider it’s very likely they will offer a risk-free trial of a room pricing tool.

A free trial is the best way to know if you’re making the right decision, before you have to make it. You’ll be able to enjoy the full function of the product free of charge.

During this time you’ll learn everything you need to know to maintain success in the future and analyse the results you achieve to see if an ongoing investment is worth it.

You should expect to be contacted within a day of signing up to your trial so your software can be configured and your training can begin. This is the added benefit of a free trial; since setup and training is done before you pay anything, no time or money is ever wasted and you’ll have access to specialised staff and resources.

SiteMinder offers a 14-day free trial of its hotel business intelligence – a tool that helps perfect your room pricing strategy. Click here to try it for yourself.

The cost of hotel room pricing

Room pricing technology requires some significant development but the price is still very reasonable in most cases and the potential return on investment is very high.

Look for a provider that has a set monthly payment option – rather than any kind of contractual agreement or commission based model. This gives you more freedom and you can always move to a contract if you’re happy with the service and want to get a discount.

In most cases the amount you pay each month will depend on the size of your property, i.e the total number of rooms your hotel has. In the case of SiteMinder the price will remain steady all the way up to 70 rooms. Only larger properties with more data to handle will have to pay more than the base rate.

To see how your property fits in, visit SiteMinder’s pricing scale here.

Hotel price optimisation: Identifying the best partners

With so many vendors on the market, many of them offering similar products and many offering unique specialised products, it can be a nightmare to identify who to join forces with.
If you have narrowed your focus down to a hotel price optimisation tool, you can further evaluate your options by looking at a number of key factors including:

  • Brand reputation
  • Industry experience
  • Customer base
  • Integration power
  • Media coverage

Looking at these elements will allow you to build confidence in a brand if they tick all the boxes. Industry experience and specialisation is particularly important. You need a tech partner that has survived beyond the early start-up years and exists to serve hotels specifically.

Comparing hotel revenue optimisation software

Another way to be sure you’re making the right choice is to directly compare a few of the options you’re considering.

Do this by looking at each of them and assessing:

  • Ease of use
  • Range of functions
  • ROI
  • Customer support
  • Implementation process
  • Integration
  • Price
  • And more!

It might be hard to do all of this independently, so it’s best to use professional websites to compare providers. Hotel Tech Report is one of the most reliable resources to look at.

Here you’ll find aggregated scores and ratings for all the features above, as well as general recommendation scores and rankings against other products. You’ll also see what type of properties the product is most popular for.

In addition, you’ll find customer reviews from other hoteliers who are using the same product. They rate many of the features and add comments about their experience. This is valuable tangible feedback for you to get a sense of whether the tool will deliver what you need.

You can even go looking on social media pages to source reviews and get a sense of a brands relationship with its followers. Is the company responsive and open? Are followers happy and complimentary?

There’s a lot of data you have to consider before you should start using a data-based intelligence tool at your property.

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