Zoltan Kovacs is a busy man. As a Revenue Manager for the Gorgeous Smiling Hotels chain, his job is all about maximising profit for seven different hotels around Austria, including the 45-room Arthotel ANA Gala in Vienna.
At the heart of his day-to-day job is a series of Excel documents, tracking the rates, revenue, yield, demand and pick-up for each of his seven hotels.
Scouring the internet for other hotels’ prices and manually filling in each sheet is a painstaking process. “I work on them all day,” Zoltan says. “If you do all this manually, it takes a long time.”
But the process isn’t just slow. This back-and-forth has been leading to lost business, because Zoltan fails to get a clear picture of what’s happening in the market – meaning he can’t set competitive rates based on real-time demand. As a result, Zoltan might underprice or overprice his rooms.
“You can’t react to the changes on the market promptly, so we can lose revenue and guests as well,” says Zoltan.
However, a colleague of Zoltan’s told him about RateIntelligence, a rate shopping tool from BookingSuite. This tool instantly showed Zoltan which room categories the properties in his competitive set were selling, and at what price – meaning a large chunk of his day-to-day tasks were automatically done for him.
Zoltan saw the benefits of the tool immediately. “It’s much faster. I can save up to two hours per day,” he explains. “With that time, I can plan the next month, I can make new promotions, I can check my list from last year. I can calculate next month’s budget and which strategy I can use to get a high ADR and RevPAR.”
For Zoltan, the benefits of the rate shopping tool have gone beyond simply freeing up time. The information he gets about his competitive set can let him adjust his whole rate strategy with confidence.
“I check which price my competitive set has. I use RateIntelligence to figure out if my revenue strategy will be OK or not, if it’s too cheap or too expensive. I can go to RateIntelligence and it helps me figure out which strategy I should use,” he explains. With so much of extra time and useful information, Zoltan was able to devise a whole new rate strategy for the Arthotel ANA Gala.
By using a rate shopping tool, he noticed that properties in his competitive set were selling rates without breakfast. “This was really great information for us to understand the market better. They were selling rooms cheaper and we only had rates with breakfast.”
So he added rates without breakfast, and adjusted the differences between his categories – and it worked. Since implementing the change in his revenue strategy, Zoltan’s seen a boost to the property’s pick-up and occupancy. When reflecting on high season at the hotel, he says: “it’s now at 86% occupancy, which is really good. In 14 days my occupancy has gone up 20%. That’s really high for two weeks in August and September.”
Using the tool has made Zoltan’s job so much easier. In fact, he compares RateIntelligence to having an extra colleague solely dedicated to the market’s rates and ever-changing demand. “It’s like somebody sitting beside me and doing one person’s job for seven hotels,” he smiles.