Revenue management is an essential part of running a hospitality business. In this webinar, we reveal the revenue management secrets of the big chains.
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Revenue management is an essential part of running a hospitality business. In this webinar, we reveal the revenue management secrets of the big chains.
Brandon: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our latest webinar by Cloudbeds, “Revenue Management: How to Act Big When You’re Small.” My name is Brandon Dennis, I’m the VP of marketing here at Cloudbeds, and I am joined today by Alex Gaggioli, our marketing coordinator.
This webinar is really a joint effort. We have a lot of talented people on staff here at Cloudbeds. One of our resident experts on revenue management, Cebert, who worked as a revenue manager at a very large hotel for many, many years, was responsible for helping us understand this content and creating the content. Alex sat down to interview him, and we also produced some portable spreadsheets that you guys can download after the webinar for use in creating your own reports.
We’ve got a lot of wonderful stuff to get into, and I’m really excited to do so. During the webinar, if you have any questions, feel free to click on that little Q&A button at the very top of the screen to chime on in and ask me or Alex whatever is on your mind, and we’ll be happy to hop in and answer those questions for you. Alex will be chiming in from time to time to give us some additional context, so this should be a webinar where we all reap amazing rewards of knowledge. So, without further ado, let’s hop on in.
So, what is revenue management and why is it important? Well, the goal of this webinar is to take revenue management, which can be a scary process, a scary notion, and something that big, branded hotels tend to think about, and condense it to be more applicable to smaller properties. Because let’s face it, if you’re a smaller property, you really don’t have all of the needs that a big, branded hotel does. And maybe you’ve been able to get by with sort of fudging the numbers a little bit or taking a smaller forecast from month to month, and so you might not have all of the same needs as a big, branded hotel.
But there are some principles of revenue management that the big, branded hotels have learned, and that they exercise on a daily basis, that are really good business habits for us to get into, even if we manage or operate a small bed and breakfast and/or hostel. And we’re going to be going through a lot of this stuff and then trying to take those nuggets of information and making them more applicable to a smaller property.
Revenue management really is the driver of success for hospitality property types. It helps you keep your eye on the performance of your property, and it allows you to more nimbly react to market conditions as they’re occurring, instead of looking back over a month and going, “Oh, well. Well, that happened.” It allows you to protect yourself from future market disruption and react accordingly, instead of always having things happen to your property.
So, to understand this, we’re going to be taking a look at three primary key performance indicators. There are many more than these, but these are the major ones that are going to be used in all the reports that we talk about and the key metrics that we talk about.
The first one, of course, is occupancy. This is really simple to understand. It’s just rooms occupied divided by rooms available. This is something that every hotelier or innkeeper probably does in his or her own head every single day. Super easy to understand.
Number two is ADR, average daily rate. It measures the average price per paid room and helps you allocate how much money was brought in per room. You can calculate this by taking the total number of room revenue, divided by the paid rooms that were occupied, and that will give you your ADR.
The third one is going to be RevPAR, which is revenue per available room. You can calculate this a number of ways, but the most popular one is total room revenue, divided by rooms available. This performance metric helps you understand the revenue by number of rooms that you have over a period of time, which is an essential metric for making sure that your revenue is managed properly.
Alex: And if I could just touch on that really quick. It’s important to remember that all three of these metrics only have to do with revenue brought in by booking rooms. It does not take into account food and beverage, or a store, or any other source of revenue that may be applicable for your property.
Brandon: Exactly. That is calculated and managed in a completely different report, using completely different metrics. So this is just about room revenue, not about other things that happen on a cash drawer, food, beverage and so on and so forth.
So let’s take a look at the big hotel strategy. What can we learn from the big hotel strategy? What do they do that smaller properties might not do? And really, it comes down to forecasting. Larger, big chain properties have a lot of information at their fingertips, and they exercise a lot of that information to make decisions that are not month-to-month, but they are year-to-year.
These are decisions that they make on a daily, if not hourly, basis that allows them to compare data that they have accrued over a period of years to forecast what’s going to happen in the next week or month. Forecasting is one of those major things, when it comes to revenue management, that needs to be done well, that maybe smaller properties might not do quite as often as larger hotel properties.
A long-term approach is really important when it comes to understanding revenue management, and as I said a moment ago, smaller properties tend to go month-to-month. They take a look at the month, they divide the month up into days, and they go, “Okay, I know that this event is coming into town this month,” or, “I understand that we’ve got this influx of guests coming in for this event this month.” And so you kind of take months, and you package them into monthly capsules, and you just focus on that month until the next month. Bigger, larger properties tend to focus on quarters, and they tend to have seasons in mind. And the seasons are really important, because it’s based on previous experience.
And yes, there are regular seasons that many properties have in common, but there are also seasons that are unique to properties. Like, a season for a tropical property could be very different from a season for a winter property. For example, a tropical property is very rarely going to have a ski season, right? They just won’t have an influx of skiers coming to their property, whereas a winter property is likely not going to have a surf season, right? So taking a look at your surroundings, taking a look at what makes your property unique, why people are coming to your property, and the seasonal things that are happening to your property individually, is really important for taking the long-term approach.
It takes a look at how your current data influences the bigger picture, because every property is constantly accruing data. Whether it’s just checking in a guest every single day, checking out a guest every single day, your property management system is accruing data, your Google Analytics is accruing data about demographics, about what people are interested in, about what people actually purchase, about where people go. And all of this data can be leveraged when it comes to making a decision about your actual revenue. There’s no forecast strategy that’ll work for every property, but you can find what works for yours, whether it’s by year, season, or quarter, just by focusing on what’s going on right inside your walls.
Next up is using market intelligence, and this is one of the major things that larger properties have greater access to that smaller properties might not have access to. Big, branded hotels have the benefit of knowledge. They’ve got a lot of money that they can leverage in their marketing departments. They can produce market reports from third-party research firms that’s going to give them a lot more information about rates, availability and projected demand.
Market intelligence is really most helpful when researching rates, according to Cebert, our in-house former revenue manager. Market intelligence is going to be really essential to researching those rates, because otherwise, you’re going to be having a kneejerk reaction to those rates. Unless you’re able to research what other properties in the area are doing, and what your property has done in the past, and what other properties have done in the past, then you’re sort of just feeling it out from day to day, week to week, and month to month. And while that can work in some situations, it’s not the best for maintaining the optimal rates for your property to garner you the most revenue.
Now, many of these reports are expensive, but there are some ways that smaller properties can go about getting the same kind of market intelligence without spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on bigger research reports. And that’s to call your local tourism office, because they’ve got a lot of data that the government has paid for, or that someone has paid for, about guests, and guest activity, and guest interests, and guest habits, that they’re more than happy to share with you. So pick up the phone and give them a call. Maybe they’ve got a PDF or some sort of portable package of information that they can share with you to help you better understand what’s going on in your property.
Take a look at the social event calendar that’s going on in your area. Maybe there’s a big music convention that is in the neighborhood, that comes every single year, that you might not have known about. Or maybe there’s a new Comic-Con or some sort of new tech convention that comes into your area that you might not have known about. Checking online events, whether you go to Meetup.com or some of the online event websites, even Facebook has an events section, you can check to see what local events are going on in your section, just so that you can sort of gauge your expectations accordingly.
These are some of the great ways to understand tourism trends in your area, even if it’s just going onto Google and googling local tourism trends in your area. That is going to give you a little bit more leverage instead of paying thousands of dollars for the same research reports that some of the big brand hotels have.
Another tip, which is, I think one of the most important ones, is to write critiques. Now, think of critiques as kind of like diary entries. So, as you’re working on your property, days go by, months go by, weeks go by, and you start to see a pattern develop when it comes to room revenue, when it comes to the actual amount of money that you’re scraping in. And sometimes it’s going to be great. You’re going to come back from the summer with a high season, or there’s going to be a big surfing convention, and you’re going to feel awesome and things are great. And sometimes things are not so great. You did not achieve what you wanted to achieve and you might not understand why, or there was something in the back of your head.
The important thing to do is to write this down. Think of a critique as a daily diary entry or a weekly diary entry. You’re writing down what happened at your property and you’re explaining why your property exceeded expectations or failed your expectations. And the reason it’s important to write these down is because your future self is going to be going through these same things in a year, and your future self is not really going to be able to remember exactly what happened on February 13, 2016, or whatever day it was. It might be a little gray. It might be a little fuzzy. But if you can look back on your critique of that day, you’re going to better be able to set expectations for the upcoming month, right? It’s a great way for you to prepare yourself for the future.
And yes, a year is a long way away, but it is going to come, and at that time, you’re going to be very thankful that you’ve got a record of what happened at your property a year previously, with detailed notes on the exact thing that happened this month, and the advice that you could give to your future self. And this is great, because you can sit down, and you’ll sit there and you’ll have regret. And you’ll say, “Man, I missed out on this month and I’ve got these regrets. If only I did X!” And then you can write that in your critique. You can say, “Hey, future self. Be sure to do X.” And that way, you’re going to be prepared for the next time it comes ahead. Seems simple. Seems intuitive.
A lot of properties don’t do it, because yes, it does take a little bit of time. Our culture used to be the kind where every single child and teenager would have a diary and write in it every day. That’s not so much now, in the days of smart phones and Tamaguchis or whatever they have these days. People don’t have diary entries. They don’t take notes about their daily lives. So this is a great habit to be getting into. Write critiques about your property.
All right, let’s dive down into the nitty gritty. What are the actual reports that you need to run your property? This is going to be very specific about specific types of reports that you can run for your property, what they do, why you run them, what the benefit is of running them, the risks of not running them, and then how to go about and run these reports. Now, for Cloudbeds customers, we have support for many of these reports from within Myfrontdesk, our property management system, but we’re also going to be providing portable spreadsheets that you can download and use to produce your own reports, even if you’re not a Cloudbeds customer.
So, let’s take a look at the room and tax report. This, of course, is pretty basic. It lists all of your room revenue and their associated taxes. This is important because when April comes around and the IRS taxman comes a-knockin’, you’re going to be really thankful that you’ve run your room and tax report. If you make sure to run these at the appropriate times, whenever you need to, you’re not going to be shocked when tax time comes around and you realize, “Oh, shoot. I owe a ton of taxes.” This is going to keep your accountant happy, or if you’re doing the accounting for your own property, it’s going to save you a lot of time and heartache, and a lot of guesswork.
Because we all understand what it feels like when it’s time to go onto TurboTax or whatever software we’re using, we punch in numbers, and they’re asking us a question we don’t really know, and we’re kind of sifting through our e-mails, and maybe we’ve got a pile of receipts, but we don’t know for sure, so we kind of fudge it and guess. Let’s steer clear of that when we’re trying to run a business, and you can do so by running a room and tax report. Again, Cloudbeds makes this really easy. You can simply run a transaction report with Myfrontdesk, and that includes the room and tax report.
Number two, shift audit report. This basically keeps track of what employees are doing at your property, what’s going on at your property on a day-to-day basis. It keeps track of the cash drawer functionality. All of the transactions that take place kind of behind the scenes. These aren’t the transactions that take place on Expedia or Booking.com, or even on your direct booking agent. This is when somebody buys a Coke from a Coke machine, or orders room service and asks for a beer, or something happens at your property and your front desk manager compensates for it by giving something away for free.
Here’s an example that Cebert, our resident revenue manager, gave. He was working for his big, branded hotel at one time, and he was going through the notes, and he realized that all of the ice cream stock just disappeared. It was gone, it vanished. He didn’t know where it went. He checked the fridge and it was gone. There was no accounting for it. There was no money in the cash register for it. He didn’t understand where it went.
He was able to catch this because of a shift audit report. So he went to the front desk manager who was working at the time and asked about it. And he goes, “Oh, that. Yeah, well there was a citywide blackout at that time, and the ice cream was melting. We couldn’t keep it warm, so I figured instead of throwing it away, I might as well give it away to some of the guests to make them happy.” It was an appropriate response for when a blackout happens and all your ice cream melts, and because they produced a shift audit report, they were able to understand exactly what happened.
This comes down to basic inventory management. Not only do you have room inventory, but you’ve got property inventory, you’ve got food inventory, you’ve got a lot of other inventory, and the shift audit report helps you keep all of your basic inventory in check.
Here’s an example of a shift audit report and it’s fairly simple. You’ve got the room numbers for the people who are staying, the total price paid, and items that they have. So item number one, Coca-Cola, at the very top. Daniels and G. Ale got a Coca-Cola. Item number two, Corona and Lime, too. Daniels and Lime purchased a Corona. The grand total for all of these drinks, which is surprising, is $50. Fifty dollars for two Cokes and two beers. Maybe it was more, because $24.78 sounds like it was more than just one Corona.
Anyway, having a report like this is going to help you understand where your inventory is going. This is an example of what it could look like if you decide to run one for your property.
Let’s take a look at the departures report. This goes hand-in-hand with the arrivals report, which we’re going to talk about on the next slide. This helps prevent overbookings and check-ins. This is one of those reports that needs to be run daily. It shows you who checked out today and who’s checking out tomorrow. It helps you understand exactly who’s in each of your rooms at the moment and who’s going to be leaving tomorrow, which of course is going to be opening up new rooms for you to sell, if they’re not already sold.
The risks of not running a daily departures report is overbookings, late check-ins, and general unpreparedness. General unpreparedness leads to a lot of chaos at the front desk when we don’t know what’s going on. I worked for a hotel for three years when I was in college, and that hotel that I worked for, even though it was a big, branded hotel, general unpreparedness would be the way that I would describe their daily workings, because they didn’t know who was coming and who was going. Oftentimes, we would have walk-in people and we would assign them a room, and then we would have someone come in from Expedia and say, “Hey, that was my room.” And we could have prevented that by simply running the appropriate reports that were not run, like that departures report.
Here’s an example that we have at the very bottom. Super simple, line item in a spreadsheet. This is the balance that the person had. This was the price for the rooms that we charged. This was the room they stayed in, and this was the rate code that we’re using. Simple information, but it needs to be run every single day.
Similarly, we’ve got the arrivals report. We understand who’s leaving. We understand who checked out today. We need to know who arrived today and who is arriving tomorrow. This report needs to be generated every single day, so that the person that comes in the next morning has this in his or her hands and is prepared for the rest of the day, is going to understand who’s coming in and who’s leaving, so that he or she can allocate the available leftover inventory appropriately. Again, it reduces the risks of overbookings, of late check-ins, and just general unpreparedness. Basic, basic, basic hospitality, but it has to be done. Has to be done.
And here’s the housekeeping report. Now, many people might think, “Oh, housekeeping. That’s going to be for those big, branded hotels.” But you’d be surprised. A lot of small properties do use housekeeping. A lot of motels, for example, use a lot of housekeeping. A lot of hostels have housekeepers that come in and take care of stuff. Now, many of the hostels will have a sort of a share culture, where people will clean up after themselves, or help each other clean up after each other, but many others will also use housekeeping.
A housekeeping report is going to be really important, especially if you have more than 10 rooms, just to understand which room is clean, who worked in which room. And another thing, and I hate to bring this up, because it’s not true all the time, but from my personal experience, a housekeeping report is going to be really important for understanding which housekeeper was working in which room in case a guest comes down with an accusation of theft. Nine times out of 10, if not 99 times out 100, your housekeepers are completely honest and you don’t need to worry about theft, but sometimes it happens. And sometimes you’ve got a guest who is simply mistaken, and you need to be able to produce a housekeeping report to show that this person worked or this person didn’t come in through that time.
You know, it really just keeps your house in order. It keeps your property in order to understand which housekeeper is going where, not only to understand which rooms are clean, which rooms are dirty, which rooms still need to be cleaned, but so you can just understand the history of what has gone on at your property, in rare but possible cases of theft or theft reports.
All right, let’s talk about the continuous report. This report is for instances where you’ve got an extended guest stay. It helps you keep track of guests who have extended their stay. So let’s say somebody comes, they go onto Booking.com. They find your property. They book for two nights. They book two nights, that’s great, but they attended their concert and then, while they were there, they heard about this great museum they wanted to visit, so they need to stay two or three more nights so they can go check out this new museum.
Well, the continuous report is going to allow you to understand the people who have extended their stay, because that reservation is not going to be going through Booking.com anymore. That reservation is going to be going direct through you, direct through your property, and if you charge the same Booking.com rate, you’re going to be unnecessarily giving more money to a middle man, of course. So you need to make this a direct reservation and this information needs to be produced on a continuous report.
If you don’t, this could cause late check-ins and disorganization, because now you’ve got this guy at your property that is taking up an extra room that you might have allocated to somebody else, right? Especially if you’re really on top of things, you’re prepared, and you’ve got a really full house, you might have allocated that room to somebody else. The continuous report is going to help prevent you from putting somebody into that guy’s room.
I don’t if it’s happened to you, but it has happened to me, where I’ve been staying at a property, whether it’s a hotel, and then somebody knocks on the door a few days into my stay and they say, “Uh, this is my room.” And I’m like, “No, I’ve been here for three days.” And they’re like, “Well, no. See, here’s my key. It’s my room number.” And I’m like, “All right.” Then I’ve got to go down and talk to the front desk because they checked somebody into my room. They didn’t know I was still there. They didn’t know I extended my stay because they didn’t run a continuous report. Just another maintenance issue that you’ve got to take care of to make sure that your front desk staff is on top of things.
So, let’s talk a little bit about two more reports that might be a little bit beyond the need for smaller properties to do on a frequent basis, but these are reports that larger hotel properties do run because they give you some additional information that is going to be really useful to you. So I just want to touch on them a little bit so that you can see whether or not they’re the kind of reports you want to run, and then we’re going to share with you a spreadsheet that you can use to get a lot of this same information. These are the sell strategy reports and the daily pickup report.
A sell strategy report is…let’s see, how do I put it? It’s market research, it’s segment performance, it includes your monthly critiques, those diary entries that I was talking about earlier. Basically, this is helping you understand the strategy that you need to use for your property’s unique environment. A sell strategy report is going to help you effectively market to your specific demographic. So you can take a look at your Google Analytics information to understand the people who are coming to your website and to understand the people who are booking at your property. You can take a look at the demographics of the people who are actually booking reservations to understand whether or not you cater to business travelers, or whether or not you cater to vacationers, or maybe you’ve catered to vacationers during the summer, but during March and April, you primarily cater to business travelers who are doing a lot of conventions in your area, right?
This kind of demographic information is going to be really important in a sell strategy report so that you can change your rates appropriately based on the type of guest who’s coming, based on the segment performance. A sell strategy report simply gives you, in a palatable form, the information you need to forge an appropriate strategy for the season within which you’re trying to operate. That’s basically what a sell strategy report. It can get a little complicated because a lot of pieces are coming together to help you make the sell strategy report, but if you can do it, it’s a really useful tool for just squeezing even more revenue out of the inventory that you have.
Then we’ve got the daily pickup report. This report shows the daily rates and ADR for any given date. It’s run every day and it helps keep the prices of your property dynamic. This really helps properties to make decisions in real time based on booking activity. It not only helps your revenue management team, but every other department at your property, if you have a lot of other departments, from staffing to the kitchen to the valet. This can help them keep everything organized in an appropriate way.
The daily pickup report shows your daily rates, the rates that are going on in your property every single day, and the average daily rate for any given date. You choose the date and you can see what went on that day. And it’s going to help you forecast for the future. The daily pickup report is an essential record-keeping report that you need to run every single day, just to make sure that you’re establishing a documented paper history.
It’s not only useful when tax season comes along, but it’s going to be useful for when you sit down and you start to forecast for a week in the future, a month in the future, a year in the future, maybe a span of years in the future. Understanding what has happened at your property in the past, not only so that you can pivot and make the appropriate changes, but so that you can predict the future. That is essential for maintaining appropriate revenue management and the daily pickup report can certainly help with that.
So then, here is a document that Cebert put together for us, and you can download this from our website. Alex, did you have something that you wanted to add?
Alex: No. I can go through it if you want me to.
Brandon: Yeah. That’d be great.
Alex: Cool. So what Cebert did, he took the most important features from the daily pickup report and the sell strategy report and created a watered-down version, if you will, of it, that is easily usable with the data that you find in Myfrontdesk. What he did is, if you’re a Myfrontdesk customer, you can take the data from, I think it’s the transactions report, and paste it into the Excel, and it will automatically generate the information any way you want.
So the way we set it up is by month, and what you’ll see is the revenue variance to budget, the ADR variance to budget, revenue variance to forecast, and ADR variance to forecast. And what this will do is help you take a more long-term approach. So it’ll take you from that month-to-month, short-term approach to revenue and get you to a place where you can use all the data and all the information that you probably already have, but you just don’t have in a format that helps you make decisions on a larger scale. So we do a video that explains how to use it and Cebert goes through all of the nuances of it to help you understand the data that you’re putting in.
Brandon: Now, where does this data come from, Alex? This sheet helps you punch in the information, but where does the information originally come from?
Alex: The transaction report. Is that…?
Brandon: The transaction report, which Myfrontdesk customers can generate just in Myfrontdesk, right? You click Generate Report, Transaction Report. That gives you all the information you need, then you can use this to create the sell and daily reports, right?
Brandon: Nice. I was just going to say that, after this webinar ends, tomorrow we’re going to be sending out links to this webinar, where you can watch a recording, and we’ll also be sending a PDF e-book, which includes a link to where you can download this report. Or you could simply go to our blog and we have a link to this report from one of our latest blog posts.
All right. So let’s go over a brief summary of what we’ve covered and then we’re going to hop right into Q&A. We covered what revenue management is. We covered why it’s important. We talked about how larger properties have a little bit more leverage when it comes to revenue management because they can afford a lot more research. They can afford to purchase research reports that you might not have access to, but we also talked about some solutions that you can do to kind of get some of the same market segmentation information. We talked about all of the reports that were essential for operation and then we moved on into optional reports, and we talked a little bit about the spreadsheet that you can download that’s going to help you with those.
And so now, I’m going to open it up to questions, because I know there are a lot of you watching today, and I’m sure you have some very specific questions that we would be happy to answer for you. Alex, is there anything on the board?
Alex: I’m still waiting for some of them to come in.
Brandon: All right. Was there anything you wanted to clarify that we went through previously?
Alex: Not clarify, but just really strike home that information and all the data is your friend, and really taking that long-term approach is really going to help you in the end. Because if you’re operating on a month-to-month basis, and trying to watch what your competitors are doing on a super-micro scale, Brandon briefly mentioned kneejerk reactions. What he means by that is that if you’re not meeting your goals or you’re super-exceeding your goals in the month, it might trigger you to make a decision that could hurt you in the long term.
So, for example, if you don’t have as many guests this month as you had expected and your ADR is down or your RevPAR is down, a kneejerk reaction might be to super-increase your rates or super-decrease them to make up for that. Getting a bunch of guests in your hotel at a super-low ADR that doesn’t meet your target isn’t always going to be profitable for you. So just filling rooms isn’t always the right strategy. Taking a look at the data and having a plan for your busy season, slow season, different quarters is really going to help you in the long term.
Brandon: Exactly. You may have 50 rooms and you may only have 25 full, and your initial instinct may be to, “Oh, I’ve got to decrease my rates so that I can improve the occupancy.” But if your rates are higher than they were the last time, maybe you were just making more revenue, and you’re still half full, and that’s okay. You don’t have to have every single room filled as long as the ADR is constantly improving.
Alex: “Is there any revenue management software you guys might recommend?”
Brandon: I don’t have one to recommend. I think that when it comes to revenue management software, it can get a little complicated because not all software is compatible with each other, right? So if you’re using a property management system or if you’re using a channel manager, you’ve got a lot of data flying through the ether, going from OTAs to GDS to your online booking engine, and that is usually organized all on your property management system. Then if you’ve got some third-party revenue management software, it might not connect. It might actually complicate your lives.
Alex: So one of our revenue managers is listening in, and she recommends Revinatte, or PriceMatch, or Ez. This is Anna, and she has a lot of experience in the revenue management field, so those are three that she recommends.
Brandon: And you can consolidate a lot of the information that you’re going to be needing to use in your revenue management software that you do choose to use. From within Myfrontdesk or whatever property management system you’re using, you can go to the reports section and then generate your reports, download them, and then import them manually into any third-party revenue management software you use if they don’t happen to have an API that connects directly to your property management system.
Alex: Great. Someone asks, “I don’t have time for all of these reports. If you had to choose two, what would they be?”
Brandon: That’s a tricky one.
Alex: One of the most important, I think, is the room and tax report because that really gives you the foundation for your property, understanding where your revenue is coming from. Just if you’re looking at room revenue, understanding how much revenue is coming in from OTAs and through direct bookings, and your X, Y, and Z other marketplaces, and keeping track of all that, and understanding what revenue sources are your most important. And it also, that just in itself, allows you to track trends, so if all of a sudden one month all of your OTA bookings disappear, maybe there’s just a problem, right? Your connection was broken and you haven’t figured it out yet. So on that basis, I would say room and tax report.
Brandon: I agree. And then the second one, if you could combine your arrivals and departure reports into one report, that’s just essential basic information that every property needs to run. And you probably already gather that information or convey that information in some way, even if you’re not currently running that report. But condensing it into a portable, readable report for your front desk operator when he or she comes in the next morning, or for yourself, or for whomever is running that, so that you can keep an eye on actually what’s going on. Who’s checking in, who’s checking out, the actual occupancy that I have today and the projected occupancy for tomorrow. It’s just an essential part of running your hospitality business. So the second I would choose is a combination of the arrivals and departures report.
Alex: This one says, “I’m a small business owner that runs apartments and hotels. How can I make use of this? Our properties are everywhere, like Airbnb. Some of these reports are applicable to medium large hotels. Am I wrong?”
You are not wrong. These probably would help. These types of reports would probably help you in the same way. Apartments and Airbnb properties produce revenue the same way that hotels do. Well, Airbnbs more so than apartments. But I think they’re applicable. I think that, like I said, like a room and tax report that tracks where your revenue is coming from is just as applicable to an Airbnb as it is a hotel.
Brandon: Yeah. If you’ve got an apartment complex and if you’re using Airbnb as the primary source of people staying, if they’re basically transient guests, then yes, all of these reports are going to be just as useful to you as if you were a hotel. If the majority of the people staying in your apartment are long-term residents, a year or more, then you may need something a little bit different. You may need something a little bit more long term. And I’m sure that there’s any number of real estate software out there that can help you managing a property like an apartment complex or a condo, where you’ve got long-term residents as opposed to transient, short-term guests. But Airbnb, of course, produces a lot of transient, short-term guests, so these reports are going to be really useful for your property as well.
Alex: Sam asks, “Will Cloudbeds be adding the option to run what is now the daily report, but over a period you set for yourself, say a week or month, etc.?” I do know from the inside that they are working on it. I do not have a set date for you, but reports are our number one priority right now.
Brandon: On the way. We are all about analytics and reporting here at Cloudbeds. It’s really important to us that our customers are provided with all of the information that they need to make decisions about their properties. So this is a high priority for us. It’s being worked on and subscribers are going to have access to it sooner rather than later.
Alex: Carlos asks to re-announce the recommended revenue management systems. They are Revinatte, which is R-E-V-I-N-A-T-T-E, PriceMatch, and then Ez, just the letters E and Z.
Brandon: And the nice thing about those three pieces of software is we have an integrations section with Myfrontdesk. We leveraged the power of a company called Zapier. We fit into their API, so it’s actually really easy for Myfrontdesk, Mybookings, and myallocator customers to keep their information from within the software they’re currently using. Simply integrate with the revenue management software of their choice and we connect the dots. So it’s going to be easy for you to integrate with any revenue management software that you choose to use if you’re a Myfrontdesk customer. Are those all the questions?
Alex: No, sorry. I was responding from a text to someone. “Is revenue optimization applicable to small properties? Will Cloudbed’s channel manager be able to optimize prices automatically in the future?”
Brandon: Well, that’s a tricky proposition, because it still is going to need input from you or the person who is running the revenue management for your property. I’m sure you could set up rules based on the segmentation and the research that you’ve done in the past. At the moment, it’s a manual process. Alex, do you have any feedback on that?
Alex: No, sorry.
Brandon: That’s all right. So the answer to that question is, we’re not sure if there’s going to be an automated process. Revenue management is, sadly, a hands-on activity, where you just need to sit down and do the math and crunch the numbers. The nice thing about myallocator and Myfrontdesk is that once you put in the information, we automatically send it out to all of the different online travel agencies that are out there, so that everything is kept in sync. In terms of automatically updating that, based on a set of criteria, I’m not sure that that functionality is in there, but I will talk with the software developers and see if we’re going to be going in that direction anytime soon.
Alex: Anna just told me that we are building something to alert people when to raise the price in myallocator.
Brandon: So it’s not going to be an automated change, but it will be an automated alert.
Alex: So, for example, if your occupancy rate is at X percent, do you want to raise…Oh, sorry, it’s Myfrontdesk, not my…
Brandon: Oh, it’s for Myfrontdesk? Okay.
Alex: Yeah. Sorry about that.
Brandon: That’s okay. So myallocator, our channel manager, you’re going to be using that to sync all of your inventory with other online travel agencies or any other online marketplaces you have. Myfrontdesk, our property management system, is going to…we’re developing an alert system where we will alert you when the market changes, when a new season is happening, based on the information that you’ve stored within Myfrontdesk. So that is what’s being worked on for our property management system.
Alex: Carlos asks, “What about property management systems? Is there a software that Cloudbeds could recommend based on compatibility?”
Brandon: We have a property management system. Is that what he’s talking about? Our property management system is called Myfrontdesk. Our company is called Cloudbeds. We have a property management system called Myfrontdesk, and it is compatible with all of these reports. You can run all of these reports from within the Reports section of Myfrontdesk, and you can either manage the information from within the Myfrontdesk dashboard, or you can download it, share it with people, or upload it into Excel or whatever other spreadsheet software you’re using to create other reports, like the sell or daily report.
Alex: Someone asked about what integrations we have with point-of-sale systems. I don’t have that list in front of me, but if you shoot support an e-mail, we can send you a full list.
Brandon: We can give you a full list and we also have some on our website. So go to Cloudbeds.com, and then if you hover over the Features section, you’re going to see a little link that says Integrations. Click on that and then that’s going to show you a more-or-less complete list of all of the different software that we integrate with. It’s not a complete list. I take that back. It gives you a nice list of some of the major pieces of software that we integrate with, but we can integrate with over 500 different pieces of software, including many different point-of-sale systems.
So Cloudbeds.com, hover over Features, go to the Integrations page, and you can see a nice outlay of many of the pieces of software that we can integrate with. If you want a complete and full list, or if you have a very specific point-of-sale system that you want to know whether or not we integrate with, Alex is right. Go ahead and contact support, email@example.com, and we can get back to you on that.
Alex: And Costas asks, “Do you have experience with booking software in Europe, specific to Greece, to make a bridge between Cloudbeds and tax bookkeeping?” I’m afraid we do not at the moment.
Brandon: That is a very specific request, but it’s really good to know. So I’m not sure about the unique challenges that your property is facing in Greece, or the unique pieces of software that you’re using. I also know that the tax system in Greece, it has its own challenges, so I’m not sure how to go about answering that. But I can tell you that we do have a mobile-responsive, commission-free booking engine that will work wonders for your property. I don’t know if you’re happy with yours or not, but you’re more than welcome to switch. We’ve got Mybookings, which is part of our Cloudbeds suite of hospitality software. It is commission-free and mobile-responsive, and you can produce all of the different tax reports that Myfrontdesk can produce with it.
Alex: And Thomas, you asked about an integration with Activity Link Systems, AI-Desk. Again, we integrate with so many people, if you just shoot an e-mail to support, we are more than happy to get a 100% accurate answer for you.
Brandon: Yep. Send an e-mail to support for specific answers to specific pieces of software to see if we integrate with them, or you can check the Integrations page to see if you see it listed there. If not, go ahead and e-mail support and we’ll get an answer to you.
Alex: Yeah. Any questions about integrations, just shoot them there and we’ll get you an answer as soon as possible. So I think that answers everyone’s questions about integration. I know there were a few that we didn’t name by name, but…
Brandon: Yeah. We have over 500 different integrations, so it’s really hard to remember all of the different pieces of software we integrate with. So just ask directly, and we can get that information to you ASAP. All right. If there are no other questions, we’ll go ahead and put the lid on this webinar. Is there anything left, Alex?
Alex: Jean just asked about, I think you’re asking if we have a book about revenue management. We do have the e-book that we’ll be releasing tomorrow. And if you want to take a look at our blog, the two blog posts that are most recent have all to do with revenue management, and that’s what we based this webinar on. For more in-depth information, you can check those out, or you can wait for tomorrow and we will send those.
Oh, you’re asking for any specific books. I don’t have any off the top of my head. I can see if I can…
Brandon: Yeah. When it comes to books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I’m not sure, but we have produced an e-book that we will send to you via e-mail for free, and you can download it and use that as a resource. And if it’s not enough, I’m sure you can find some really great resources out there to help you.
All right. Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming to this week’s webinar on revenue management. A lot of great minds came together to produce the amazing content for this webinar, so I want to thank everybody who put work into it. Cebert, Alex, Anna, thank you for coming and helping answer some questions, and I, of course, am Brandon, VP of marketing here at Cloudbeds.
We tend to do these webinars every two weeks, so keep an eye on your e-mail inbox. We’ll send you an invitation for our next webinar on whichever topic we choose to do then. So stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got a lot more great content coming for you soon. Thanks again for coming to this week’s webinar.
Alex: Awesome. And if you’re looking to chat right now, I just want to let you know, if you have any more questions, you can shoot them there as well and I will find an answer for you, whether I can answer it or I find someone else. And also, our social media channels are open. I manage all of those, so any questions, just shoot them there and we’ll get you an answer as soon as we can.
Brandon: Absolutely. Thanks, everybody. See you next time.
Alex: Great. Thank you.