Sunday, April 27, 2014

Strategies That Can Increase Hotel Occupancy

By Jansen Wilhelmsen

If you manage or own a hotel, motel or inn, then you realize how important it is to keep occupancy as high as possible. Often, innkeepers tend to believe that lower rates might increase the number of clients. While this might lure guests initially, other elements of innkeeping tend to resolve occupancy issues permanently and they also increase your profits. Here are a few tried-and-true methods that help boost the number of guests you have throughout the year.

First impressions are crucial and if the exterior of your lodging establishment and the lobby have seen better days, it would be wise to spruce up these areas. In addition, the entire hotel should be meticulously clean. There is no excuse for poor housekeeping and obvious signs of disrepair. Your customers certainly deserve better than a shabby environment, and even a motel that charges a low rate should be clean and comfortable. So make cleanliness and the decor a high priority.

When it comes to hospitality, cleanliness is one factor and customer service is another that must be extremely high in quality. People expect the staff to be helpful, friendly and knowledgeable about the area. If your staff lacks enthusiasm or suffers from a lack of people skills, it's time to either retrain employees or hire new staff that will work better with your customers. Great front desk employees are absolutely worth their weight in gold.

While you definitely do not want to simply drop all of your rates in order to lure people, it doesn't hurt to alter the rate structure. Offer the lowest rates for the smallest rooms or the rooms located in less desirable locations. If a room is larger or has special amenities or perhaps a great view, charge more for it. People are willing to pay more for special features or more space. You also should think about varying rates depending on the day of the week or the season. Offering group rates is another good idea that can entice large parties and corporate groups.

While your rates might be quite reasonable, it is often what is included within the rate that entices a guest torn between one hotel and another. The amenities that you provide can make or break the deal. Offering cost-effective extras such as continental breakfast service, in-room coffeemakers and a wide selection of TV channels are three amenities that are highly popular with guests. You might be tempted by cable, but for the same cost or less, installing DirecTV service definitely provides higher quality TV with more channels.

DirecTV business packages are available, and you can hire a company such as Integra Systems to install high definition DirecTV service in each of your guest rooms. They not only install DirecTV, they provide instruction and support for your staff. Guests not only will be happy about the wide array of channels, as many as 128, but also how easy it is to navigate using the DirecTV remote. The selection includes local channels, sports and news channels and premium channels such as Showtime or HBO.

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