Hotel Technology Challenges

Every hotel faces multiple challenges in the first few months of operation—from manpower and cash flow to technology. In this blog we will focus on the technology challenges that  new hotels face because frankly, technology plays an important role in making your hotel known to many but just because you are using it does not mean your hotel will automatically generate bookings. 

In this blog, we will discuss the biggest technology challenges that new hotels face and how to overcome these.

Biggest Technology Challenges New Hotels Face

  1. Selling properties on OTAs systematically
  2. Improving visibility on OTAs
  3. Setting the best prices for properties

What’s inside this blog?

1. Selling properties on OTAs systematically

When booking a hotel for leisure or business trips, more and more travelers are using Online Travel Agencies (OTA) because it is convenient and helps them compare the best available options. Hence, many hotels are working with OTAs to sell rooms. OTAs not only help you reach more travelers globally, but also play an important part in your distribution strategy, and help hoteliers increase revenues. 

Must-read: Choosing the Right Online Travel Agency (OTA) For Your Hotel this 2020

You can enlist your hotel in every OTA you know however, the downside here is that doing it on your own is time-consuming because you have to do it manually from the hotel listing to managing inventory. For example, when a room is booked on Booking.com, you have to reduce the inventory on Agoda, Expedia, and other OTAs to prevent overbookings. Another way is to divide your inventory to each OTA. But if one OTA has sold out all of the rooms allocated to that OTA, you might miss additional revenue.

Therefore, you need a Channel Manager. A Channel Manager like eZee will help you in distributing your allotment across all OTAs. And when there is a booking, the inventory is adjusted accordingly for all OTAs. No more manual adjustment, no more overbooking. You can even include less popular OTAs as everything is automated now. 

Signing up for eZee with ZEN Rooms will also enable you to be assisted by the ZEN team in doing the onboarding process for all OTAs. No more hassle in filling up the applications, as the ZEN experienced team will do that for you.

2. Improving visibility on OTAs

You have successfully enlisted your property on OTAs. Now what? When the listing is new, you have 0 reviews, and guests probably can only find your hotel at page five or so, which most probably, no guests would venture far enough there. 

Every hotelier’s next step is to improve visibility on OTAs because listing your property doesn’t mean it would necessarily increase your revenue. It is important that you rank high in OTA search results. So, what should you do? 

To increase your OTA ranking, ensure that you update your content, post high-quality photos, get more reviews and respond to them, maintain rate parity, and keep an eye on your competitors.

Suggested article: 5 No-Fail Tips to Increase Your OTA Rankings For Maximizing Revenues

Using a reliable Revenue Management System (RMS), a software for hotel management systems, like ZEN eManager Classic will also help in improving your OTA ranking. Plus, it will do the work for you. ZEN eManager Classic will have a dedicated team that will help you in optimizing your OTA strategy. The team has years of experience onboarding a new property until it is mature.

One of the hotels that ZEN eManager Classic has helped is the Plaza 54 Residence in Jakarta. The team helped them in creating the listing on Booking.com. Now, it has hundreds of reviews and is enlisted as Booking.com’s preferred partner, and guests can find Plaza 54 Residence on the first page on related keywords.

3. Setting the best prices for properties

Setting the most optimal prices for your rooms is easier said than done as your revenues mostly depend on how much you are selling your rooms. While you can do the pricing based on your intuitions, it is not ideal anymore to do so especially in this day and age of technology. Using the traditional and intuition-based pricing is not only time-consuming but also prone to human error, and there is a risk of underpricing and overpricing that might result in a decline in revenue. 

The key here is to leverage data-driven pricing strategy that aims to maximize revenue by using data in order to determine how much customers are willing to pay for each room. Although, this can also be problematic for hoteliers if gathering and analyzing the data are done manually. 

So instead of using the traditional and intuition-based pricing that is prone to errors, or manually gathering and analyzing data, go for an RMS that has advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, doing all the heavy lifting for you. With this, you already get an edge over your competitors.

With the right RMS like ZEN eManager express, you can leverage the power of AI to collect and analyze data for an optimized pricing result that’s miles ahead of the traditional method of intuition-based pricing. ZEN eManager express is also equipped with demand forecasting and seasonality analysis to make the prediction even more accurate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technology Challenges New Hotels Face

Q: What are the biggest problems for a new hotel?
A: There are several issues faced by a new hotel but from a technological point of view, the biggest three problems are how to sell my rooms on OTAs, how to boost my hotel’s visibility on those OTAs, and how to set the correct pricing for my hotel.

Q: How do I sell my rooms on OTAs?
A: You can always list your hotel on OTAs manually. Once approved, you have to manage the inventory manually across all OTAs, which might be time consuming. A Channel Manager will help you by performing inventory management across all OTAs so they are aligned and adjusted automatically.

Q: Is my hotel selling immediately as soon as it is listed on OTAs?
A: Technically, yes. But your hotel, as it is new, will require some boosts to improve its visibility and guests will be able to find your hotel. This can be done by giving promotions, joining campaigns, or paying extra commissions to OTAs. Different OTAs have different strategies. To make things easier for you, there are hospitality management companies, such as ZEN, out there to help you on OTA strategies.

Q: How do I know how much should I price my hotel if my hotel is new?
A: It is always not easy to decide the most optimal price for your hotel rooms, especially if your hotel is new. There’s no data to refer to, and you are prone to the risk of underpricing or overpricing your property. Therefore, you need a system that will be able to recommend prices based on big data and artificial intelligence, such as eManager Express. Deciding prices will not be a headache anymore as ZEN eManager Express will do it for you, with still full control in your hands.

Article by Cielo Fernando

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