How to read and analyze the pickup report

Pickup Report Hotel Software Gestionale Slope

How can I correctly analyze the booking trend for my hotel? What is the report that allows me to better plan the hotel season?

We will talk about the pickup report, a tool that allows the hotelier to view the progress of reservations for a certain period compared to a time frame of pickups.

It’s important it is to ensure that this report is not simply “read”, but needs a careful and conscious interpretation.

How to interpret the pickup report

The pickup report is one of the main tools that allow the hotelier to analyze what the booking trends are in a certain time interval.
The correct analysis of this report offers a series of measures and ideas for action that allow the hotelier to plan in the most careful way possible what are periods of high and low turnout.

The pickup report relates two different periods:

  • Pickup period;
  • Analysis period.

In the pickup period we have a time frame during which we want to know how many reservations have been recorded for an analysis period; in doing so I can see at what pace I received the reservations and any cancellations.

So to give an early example, the pickup allows me to know: “how many and with what trend the bookings for the month of August were recorded in the pickup quarter March, April and May”.

The pickup provides a “photograph” of what the status of day-to-day reservations is.

In the case of the Slope management, the pickup report is divided by days, consequently there is a daily granularity that allows the hotelier to know day by day how many new bookings have been registered. But not only that, day by day it is also possible to know:

  • how many cancellations I received for the analysis period;
  • the total number of reservations already registered in August;
  • the ADR (Average Daily Rate);
  • the production of the day.

Pickup report and historical data

The pickup report is therefore presented as a data set, a table that must be interpreted by the hotelier to understand how business is going, also taking into account the history of past years.

Also important is the awareness of the changes that have been made in the sales strategy including, for example, the creation of promotions with non-refundable rates.

For example, if a promotion was created for the period of August in the period of March, the pickup report will show a spike in the graph of the booking curve.

There is a difference between selling and marketing

marketing vs selling

Marketing is not a lifeboat to get on at the last minute in the hope that things will change in the blink of an eye. Marketing is a time-consuming process that needs to be built step by step.

Selling is closely linked to what our marketing plan is, sales are strongly influenced by how we have built our communication and branding strategy.

Selling or marketing? Is there a difference?

When a hotel wants to increase sales, the first two moves they put in place are:

  • Start making revenue by relying on a specialist revenue consultant;
  • Investing money for marketing and advertising;

The problem is that selling and marketing are two concepts that are often mistakenly exchanged.

For a hotelier, the fastest way to advertise is to activate a pay per click campaign on Google or Facebook.

We set the parameters of our campaign (budget, target etc …) and bring a flow of users to our website or our landing page. However, this kind of promotion only lives as long as the economic budget is inserted in the system and it stops when it is removed.

Creating a marketing strategy is a longer and more complex path that requires time and patience.

Marketing strategies start from wanting to understand customer needs in an attempt to provide a solution or to arouse a need. Marketing means trying to make your market want your product.

Choose the audience to sell to

Before selling a stay, it must be promoted. In order for the sale to be probable and efficient, it is necessary to know which audience / target segment our hotel is targeting.

  • What kind of structure do I have?
  • Who is my regular customer?
  • What services can I promote?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • etc ..

These are just some of the questions that a hotelier should ask himself / herself together with his / her consultant before starting a marketing strategy to encourage sales.

You must always choose a segment of audience from which to be appreciated and who can be really interested in what we offer; shooting on the mass is never the best strategy.

We therefore need a series of tools and tricks that allow us to measure and understand what is the market niche that feeds our business in the most efficient and convenient way possible.

Impressions or impressions?

Now a few euros are enough to create a promotion on social networks and reach a considerable number of people. These platforms allow you to increase visibility, but are impressions really important for a hotel that wants to increase its reservations? Are impressions so determined for a marketing strategy?

Bringing lots of visits to your site isn’t necessarily a good thing if these visits don’t turn into reservations. The main cause of a non-conversion of a visit to a reservation is due to the fact that you have an audience not interested in our product who lands on our website by mistake.

Branding

A fundamental role of marketing is to make the brand grow. Through the brand you can tell the customer who you are, give yourself trust and one day he will be more willing to make a conversion.

However, if creating a sustainable and well-optimized marketing strategy is something that requires time, attention and method, building a brand requires even more.

The brand unequivocally identifies your accommodation, makes it immediately recognizable among dozens of other alternatives and makes it stand out in a unique and unequivocal way.

What does it mean to create a brand?

“Give a child a sheet of paper, some colors and ask him to draw a car, he will surely make it red”.

What are Google Hotel Ads

What are google hotel ads

Today we talk about what Google Hotel Ads is and find out how this metasearch can help the hotelier to increase the direct sales and visibility of his hotel.

In this article we will talk about e the Google Hotel Ads theme, an additional weapon in the hands of the hotelier to try to increase the sale of their accommodation and to increase the brand of their hotel.

Google Hotel Ads, beyond the classic metasearch

Google Hotel Ads is a metasearch and as such presents the customer with hotel prices and availability from the various platforms and compares them to each other, offering the traveler the opportunity to compare sales prices on different channels, including the official website of the hotel.

For several years now, one of Google’s main strategies has been to capture and offer the traveler all the information he needs directly in the search engine, without having to go to other sites.

This means that if for example our user like Mario Rossi is organizing a trip to Rome and type the keyword “Hotel Roma” on Google, the screen that will be in front of it will be a set of results consisting of:

  • organic search results
  • paid ads

In addition, there will also be a block dedicated to showing in the form of a grid a list of the main accommodation facilities and a Google Maps map on which the hotels are positioned with the relative best price.

By clicking on one of the hotels, the relative tab will open with even more detailed information on the accommodation and an interesting sales price grid will also be shown.

This grid shows the various sales prices of the same type of accommodation in the various distribution channels on which the hotel sells its rooms.

The novelty introduced therefore by Google Hotel Ads is to give way to the structure to present its booking engine sale price, thus giving the potential customer the opportunity to book directly without going through the OTAs.

How much does Google Hotel Ads cost the hotelier?

There is no fixed price or a fee to be paid, Google Hotel Ads offers two types of models:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC): this is the same method that Google Ads provides where the advertiser goes to pay each time a click on the sponsored ad is made.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): you pay a commission for the reservation made through the booking engine.

Which model should you choose?

This depends on several factors, including:

  • type of structure (level and cost of rooms)
  • type of customers (business VS leisure)
  • tariff strategies (price uniformity on all channels or discount on the direct booking channel).

In both cases, whether it is a CPC or a CPA, the booking takes place on the booking engine of the accommodation.

In the specific case of the Slope management software, the channel manager integrated into the platform will be responsible for updating Google with the availability and rates of the structure, after which the reservations will be completed directly in Slope’s Booking Engine.

And have you already started to invest the budget in Google Hotel Ads? What do you think of this metasearch?

Are books the only way to increase your education?

books

How can a hotelier increase his culture both in the workplace and in the personal sphere? Are books really the only tool to open your mind and improve your education?

In the digital age, are books the only way to increase your education?

Virtually all the greatest leaders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, visionaries … are great book devourers.

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos are just some of the characters who are changing the world and who grind pages on pages to gain knowledge on different fronts, even the most disparate.

Picking up a book is often the first step you take to go study and learn new concepts and subjects, however Marco and Edoardo believe that reading books is not the only way to increase your knowledge.

The world of the digital age is changing faster and faster and various training and study tools have come into play, including:

  • Twitter, as a news feed that allows you to discover blog posts and news that are otherwise not easy to find;
  • Blog;
  • Youtube;
  • TED, US conferences held by international speakers on disparate topics. The mission of the Ted Talks is summarized in the formula “ideas worth spreading” (ideas that deserve to be spread).
  • Quora, a platform where users can post questions and answers on many topics;
  • Podcast.

These “alternative training tools” such as the podcast can be used at various times of a hotelier’s day (while in the car to go to work, while traveling by metro, and so on) this not only to train in relation to hospitality world, but also to brainstorm and discuss various topics such as: leadership, personnel management, economics, finance, general culture and so on.

And you read many books to get informed? What tools do you mainly use to increase your training?

Let us know by writing your point of view on our Facebook page.

How a great team can help you earn more

staff hotel

The figures that make up the hotel team are by no means few and are all very important.

At the top we obviously have the director, the figure who deals with managing most aspects of the structure.

Under the director we find several figures such as: receptionist, night porter, booking staff, waiters on the floors etc.

In this article we will discuss how careful staff selection is the main aspect behind a profitable revenue strategy; long before excel sheets, disintermediation strategies and algorithms of various kinds people come!

The choice of the “right people”

A single rotten apple in a fresh fruit basket quickly infects and withers all the fruits of the basket.

Similarly, toxic people in a work team take away precious oxygen from our business, creating in a very short time an unpleasant and hostile work environment that has a serious impact on the business.

Marco, co-founde of Slope, think that explains how he managed to build a team of very high profile IT engineers by carefully selecting each person who was added to the team. The first rule is that the selection must never be carried out by a single person (the owner or the director, to understand us) but it is the same team in which this figure will be integrated that must be made part of the selection process of their colleagues.

The main characteristics and qualities that you must look for in a person you want to hire are:

  • friendliness (friendly and helpful character);
  • patience (and desire to question oneself);
  • precision and punctuality;
  • being smart.

These are the main personal characteristics that a person must have in order to work well in a team and in a company.

We specify that working in a hotel (in any job) is not a trivial thing, however all the roles described above can be learned over time and with commitment, a prerequisite, however, is that the person is well prepared to learn, prove patient, punctual and above all awake and attentive (smart).

On the other hand, a person unwilling to get involved, convinced that he knows everything and has nothing else to learn from work and life, will be very limited in his ability to grow and adapt in a world that evolves and changes suddenly.

It is therefore preferable to invest in a person who has potential and less experience than the only skills that this person is having today.

With this sentence we do not mean to say that we must only surround ourselves with young people with little experience, but we must find people with the right mindset and attitude, regardless of their age.

The need to have “leaders” and not “leaders”

A group of people, regardless of their job, will feel more motivated if they feel their employer collaborate side by side in achieving their daily goals.

In the case of a hotel, the figure closest to that of the employer is the “manager” of the structure. This person must define the culture to be followed in the company by operating as a leader and a model for the whole team.

The figure to avoid is that of the “boss”, a person who imposes his will on people, leaving no room for expression for his employees. By stifling people’s imagination and creativity, motivation is strongly affected: motivation, together with enthusiasm, are the real fuel behind an excellent job.

Teamwork is also important, if a group fails to work in a team due to elements that can lead to disintegration, there is a risk of jeopardizing projects and the company’s image itself.

It is therefore important to build an environment in which trust between colleagues is indispensable, so as to create a cohesive group that knows how to deal with daily difficulties.

Bonuses and economic rewards

A leader must be able to set business goals and ensure that the team receives an incentive when the goals are achieved.

The economic incentive is by far the most appreciated recognition. Giving a prize or a bonus gratifies and motivates people by giving even more meaning to all the hard work they have done during the year.

A well-motivated receptionist who is passionate about his job can make a significant difference in terms of revenue for the hotel.

When the receptionist in charge of booking is on the phone with a customer, he must have the desire and the push to present all the accommodation options that the structure makes available in a clear and available way.

And how do you choose your collaborators? What are the criteria you adopt? How do you carry out job interviews?

The evolution of planning for hotel

Example of a planning for hotel

What has been the technological evolution of hotel planning? What are the reasons that led the paper tableau to become a complex and powerful digital planning? What are the advantages and disadvantages that derive from it?

We will talk about the evolution of a planning for hotel, the key tool of any receptionist.
Then we will try to understand and retrace what has been its evolution over the years.

Whether you call it a tableau, a booking calendar or planning, we are still talking about a tabular interface consisting of rows on which the accommodations are shown and columns where dates are indicated as in the calendar.

Planning is the centerpiece from where the receptionist does their job:

  • inserts new reservations;
  • modify existing reservations;
  • write down the guest’s name;
  • register check-in;
  • inserts any notes;
  • mark the reservation as confirmed, optioned, group and so on.

In the beginning was the paper tableau

It all started with a paper tableau, a billboard where the hotelier wrote down everything that was booked in his facility in pen.

Colored post-it notes, reservations drawn and colored in pen, others in pencil and then erased with eraser and much more.

The tableau gave full freedom to take notes and footnote however with the advent of such a multifaceted and digitized hospitality context, paper and pen have (but in some structures are still present, alas) left space for the first rudimentary spreadsheets such as Excel.

The first digitization of planning for hotel: the spreadsheet

After the paper tableau, hoteliers more in step with the times have started to digitize and use spreadsheets like the versatile excel to record reservations and keep track of any operations.

However, the spreadsheet also has several limitations, including:

  • impossibility of being accessible via the internet;
  • manual and non-automated work to insert reservations from any distribution channel;
  • risk of losing data in case of hard disk breakage, virus, etc;
  • impossibility of synchronizing prices and availability with sales channels such as agencies or OTA channels;
  • zero control in case of overbooking.

And in the end it was the planning!

One of the tools that makes every good PMS cloud available is a digital planning.

The planning of a cloud PMS, as well as being accessible online from any device and from any location, earns the hotelier in several factors.

Safety

Reservation data is stored in the cloud and subject to continuous backups. There is no risk of losing reservations and the data is GDPR compliance.

Speed

When registering guest data on a planning of a pms cloud, several daily tasks such as ISTAT, lodged tickets and tourist tax are automated.

Precision

In the planning it is possible to record notes on guests, extras and other notes that allow you to avoid manual errors and oversights at check-out. In addition, planning, where reservations from other distribution channels such as online agencies or OTA channels are downloaded, protects you from the danger of overbooking.

Sometimes we hear that pen and paper are better tools than management software considered by some hoteliers to be “difficult to learn“.

Our advice is to try a PMS cloud, when you realize the simplicity with which you can control your structure, how many processes are automated and how much time you save, you will never go back!

Hotel and metasearch: how to take advantage of metasearch

how metasearch can be used to increase direct bookings

What are metasearch? How can metamotors be used to increase direct bookings? What are the sales strategies to be applied?

In this blog-post we will talk about metamotors, trying to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these tools, evaluating if it is worth investing time and especially money.

How do metasearch works?

The metasearch has the task of querying the content of multiple sales portals (including the website of the structure) and aggregating the results into a single list, where room availability and room rates are shown; consequently it happens that a hotel is competing at a tariff level for the same room offered for sale on different portals.

Metasearch engines such as Trivago and Tripadvisor differ from OTA channels because their earnings are through clicks or visits received, while OTA portals such as Booking or Expedia have commissions on reservations.

The presence in metamotors offers the advantage of showcasing its structure to increase its visibility, thus diversifying sales strategies.

Metasearch between current trends and opportunities

In recent years, the rise of metasearch has influenced the way users book their stays; in fact, metasearch offers in a single platform not only descriptions of the structure, reviews, offers in real time and availability of accommodation, but they also advise what the lowest price is.

The metasearch can be a useful tool to help hotels make cheaper direct bookings, however in order to obtain feedback it is necessary to have an adequate offer strategy and long-term investments, which are not always sustainable and really advantageous for small structures.

To optimize the sale it is important to have software tools such as the channel manager and the booking engine.

The channel manager because it allows you to easily manage and send rates, prices and availability to the different OTA portals, the booking engine because it allows you to show the rates that apply on the site of your structure in the metasearch engine.

Attention to the booking engine

If you decide to invest in metasearch it is important to use a booking engine that is performing, easy to use for the potential guest and that offers a statistics system that allows you to monitor traffic and track any conversions, so as to have complete monitoring on different processes.

And you? Do you use metasearch engines to sell your rooms? Do you believe they are convenient?

Let us know by writing your point of view on our Facebook page.