A common issue facing most hotel and B&B operators is how to increase revenues. Even if occupancy rates are hovering around the 80-90 per cent mark, it can be difficult to profit, especially if your property is seen as budget or mid-range. The obvious way to increase margins is to increase nightly rates, however, this is also likely to drive away current guests since they are unlikely to want to pay more for the same product.
One way to increase rates, and in turn become more profitable, is to reposition your hotel or B&B. While this does require some initial investment, the return on it can be substantial if the repositioning is executed successfully. You’ll also need to be fully committed to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Step 1 – Rebranding
In order for the repositioning to be successful, the hotel will need to be totally rebranded. This means coming up with a new name, new logo and a completely new identity. Since people will associate the old name and logo with the old rates, it is important to completely eliminate this identity. This can also help attract new clients who may have disregarded the hotel who may have preconceived opinions of it.
While some owners and operators may be scared of losing core customers, most will be willing to pay extra if they perceive the property to be different from its predecessor. And if you are really concerned with losing them, you can always offer returning guests a discounted first stay so they can experience the rebranded property for themselves. While they may be nostalgic for the old name and logo, if the new hotel exceeds their expectations they will be just as loyal to the new one property.
Step 2 – Refit
A new name and brand identity is nice, but if you keep the same decor, furnishings and linens, people will realise that nothing has actually changed and won’t be willing to pay the higher nightly rate. Budget conscious owners may not want to spend a lot on upscale furniture and decor and this is understandable.
That is why it is vital to find affordable changes that make it look as if a total renovation has taken place. Painting is one easy way to do this. Another cost effective fix is by purchasing high-end sheets and towels. Since most people use their room for two things, sleeping and showering, having nice linens can help guarantee a positive guest experience. A hotel linen supplier will be able to find a solution that works for your budget.
Step 3 – Relaunch
All the investment and hard work will be for naught if the hotel’s relaunch isn’t made to seem like a big deal. Simply opening after the renovations have been completed will leave everyone confused. Be sure to promote the change and get people excited to see the new hotel or B&B.
Repositioning a hotel is by no means easy, but doing it right can help improve margins and allow it to appeal to a broader range of guests. Remember, stay committed to the new position even if there is not initial success. Once you have lowered rates, it may be difficult to raise them in the future.