The global spread of Covid-19 has proven to be highly detrimental to our properties and the global economy. Here at Seekom, we have been closely monitoring these unprecedented developments, and their subsequent effects on the accommodation industry.
We would firstly like to thank you - our valued clients, for your continued loyalty and trust in Seekom during these uncertain times. We know many of you are facing significant financial challenges right now and it is important you know Seekom stands with you. Our current primary focus is the continuity of our service, in order to help you navigate through this challenging market downturn.
Therefore we will continue to offer you suggestions on ways to mitigate the financial loss that extremely low occupancy, property closures and an influx of cancellations bring.
Here are a few ideas and initiatives that you may look to implement in the coming weeks.
Don’t make panic decisions that may hinder your future revenue when the economy bounces back. Wrong short term decisions can harm your ability to return to normal business in the long term. For example if you need to close your doors for a month or two, continue to take summer bookings in the hopes of a full economic recovery instead of setting an indefinite stop-sell.
Take care of your existing business and don’t short change your loyal customers. Whatever you do, don’t compromise your service standards. It will come back to bite you in future! Try marketing to your existing customer list via an email campaign, giving them value in the form of a personalised touch.
Instead focus on capturing existing demand and divert your budget away from segments of the market where there is little to no demand. Focus your digital marketing budget on revenue drivers such as metasearch and retargeting.
Locals will still be travelling outside the windows of self-isolation, so it pays to target your efforts toward the domestic market. People who cancelled their overseas trips are looking for alternatives, so highlight the local option to them. In many cases, offering a 2 week special rate may encourage tourists and locals to book during periods of national lockdown.
Although you don’t always want to make lower rates public, you can still work on offering better value to potential guests in a variety of “hidden places”. Consider opting into the Genius programme with Booking.com, or adding other free upgrades via your Sales Channels
By closely monitoring competitors in your area and setting rates within a comparative price range, you are doing your bit to maintain a profitable accommodation market in your city or town. If needed, make reductions for arrivals in the next few days, but make sure to keep longer term prices higher. If you are dead set on lowering your prices significantly, make sure to do so via a non-refundable rate to guarantee yourself certain revenue.
Using Seekom’s Automated Revenue Management will help you to make smarter pricing decisions and contribute to a better financial outcome for your property. Having an automated revenue management system in place means your rates are based on real market data, rather than the sense of panic that may be driving drastic price drops. This technology will also start raising your prices when the market stabilizes again and demand returns.
You can reach out to us any time for an Automated Revenue Management consultation.
Throughout this period of economic uncertainty, it is important to hold onto the fact that people will travel again. Try to focus on the positive media statistics and hope for a best-case scenario. Avoid making impulsive panic driven decisions and do your best to mitigate financial loss by coming up with innovative ways to increase occupancy and revenue.
Please remember that we are here to offer advice and assistance at any point in time going forward. We wish you all the best for the coming months ahead and are all hoping for a prosperous summer in 2021.
The Seekom team