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HiRUM Software Solutions

The Benefits of Automation! Statistics proves it’s worth.

Posted by Carly Crossley - 23/08/2010

Could your owners use an extra 8%?

Hirum users who have the Hirum booking form on their own web site along with direct integration into Hirum enjoyed almost $1million worth of direct bookings during the month of July.  This in turn resulted in an additional $80,000 increase in revenue for their owners as well as saving the managers a lot of money in both time and workload.

This is a true win win for all parties.

Unfortunately some property managers still believe it is more beneficial to only have an ENQUIRE button on their web site, believing their own skills in up selling to the client who contacts them via email are more beneficial than an automated system.  But is this true? In today’s internet savvy society, most likely not.

Research shows that more than 80% of people looking to book on 3rd party channels, including the “last minute” sites, will swing over to the properties own website to check the property out further. If they’re happy with what they see and want to book, they are likely to do so there and then rather than returning back to the third party site.

A couple of things must come into play at this point in time to encourage the visitor to book on your site. The price must be the same as they were able to book on the originating site and the booking form must be simple to use with the booking able to be made there and then.  Hirum ticks all these boxes. Long gone are the days when people would email you to discuss the accommodation first, lack of time simply does not afford for this luxury any longer.

The benefit to the client in booking direct is peace of mind, lower cost as there is no booking fee and time saving in not having to return to the original site.  The benefit to you is twofold.  The first being the dollars you will save in commission that the third party would have charged, the second is the security of knowing that this guest now belongs solely to you.

Many properties underestimate the value in this direct “ownership” of the client.  If the client books via a third party, then you are sharing this person with someone else.  This provider will be marketing to this client continuously, sometimes more than once a day; throwing them any specials they have via email.  They will not only be marketing your property to them, they will send them anything they can to encourage them to book via their site.  After all, it doesn’t make much difference to the provider which property they book at as they earn roughly the same amount wherever the guest stays.

However, if they book direct with you, they are likely to never receive any information from the third party providers as they are not aware of their existence. This provides you with an immense opportunity to retain this client long term, you just need to ensure you keep in constant contact with them after their stay, by emailing them every few weeks with any specials you may have or providing information for upcoming events.

These clients are the Intellectual property of your business and form the basis of your goodwill when the time comes to sell. This opportunity alone is worth much more than the agent commission benefit and should be grabbed where ever possible.

So whilst you may be able to up sell to the 1 in 50 people that do bother to send you an enquiry, the money and intellectual property you are losing to third party agents along the way by not having direct integration for your pricing and inventory far outweighs this.

School holidays are almost upon us again, followed by Schoolies and Christmas, as well as several local events in between.  Whilst you may not want the actual schoolies, you have a prime opportunity to capitalize on being some of the only available apartments on the Gold Coast during this time.  People still travel and business still goes on despite the Schoolies festival, so display your availability at every opportunity. Now is the time to ensure that you have a direct link to your Hirum PMS from your website and give your owners the 8% increase that this simple addition will bring with it.

S JOHNSTON

Carly is the Social Media Coordinator at HiRUM Software Solutions.
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