How to Boost Your Hotel Occupancy Rate

how to increase your hotel occupancy rate, hotel manager on phone at check in desk

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Hotels are the largest subsector of the United States travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. Although seasonality plays a part in consumer behavior, particularly when making travel decisions, the hotel industry is experiencing solid growth and is packed with opportunities. This is excellent news for you as a hotel owner or potential buyer looking to run a hotel establishment. As you know, guests are the cornerstone of a hotel’s success. Therefore, booking rooms regularly throughout the year can help increase revenues and profits.

If you are wondering how to boost your hotel occupancy rate, continue reading this Balboa Capital blog article. It features helpful strategies and ideas that can help you attract more guests and stay competitive.

Focus on customer service.

People have many options when choosing hotels, and brand recognition can influence their choices. Defining your intended audience and what they expect will help you understand and identify exactly what you need to do as a hotel owner to appeal to them, capture their attention, and ultimately lead them to book rooms at your establishment.

Acknowledge what you are doing well and where there is room for improvement, and never underestimate the power of excellent customer service to make a lasting impression on your guests. Providing exceptional service at every step of your guests’ stays can result in positive word of mouth about your hotel. Plus, your guests are more likely to make repeat bookings and recommend your hotel to their friends, family members, and co-workers.

Have a regular hotel maintenance plan.

The physical look of your establishment can and will influence its success. So, take the steps necessary to ensure a well-appointed hotel indoors and outdoors. When guests arrive, they will feel more comfortable if the exterior of your hotel is in tip-top shape, with excellent paint, clean windows, well-lit signage, and easy-to-see directional signs. Keep your parking lot, car park, and walkways clear and devoid of potholes, cracks, and obstructions from trees and plants.

Speaking of trees and plants, it is a good idea to have your hotel’s landscaping regularly tended to by a professional landscaping company. Freshly cut lawns, weed-free gardens, and manicured trees, shrubs, and flowers can transform your hotel’s landscaping from good to great. Although most bookings take place online, your hotel is a walk-in business, so a good curb appeal should be one of your top priorities.

Do not forget preventive maintenance.

When guests decide to stay at your hotel, you want to provide them with an enjoyable and memorable stay so they will return in the future. So, your hotel needs to be well maintained throughout, including upkeep of floors, furniture, lights, and fixtures. Attractive decor and well-functioning fixtures are extensions of your hotel’s brand and can set it apart from the competition.

The goals of preventive maintenance extend beyond the appearance of your hotel, too. They also apply to the safety of your staff and your valued guests. If you haven’t already, come up with safety guidelines for all your workers to follow. Contact local electrical, plumbing, alarm, and HVAC businesses to conduct safety checks and ensure everything works properly and meets your local building codes. For example, fire sprinklers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors must be plugged into functioning outlets or outfitted with charged batteries.

Consider remodeling your hotel.

Your guests will take note if your hotel has deteriorating walls, chipped or faded paint, or old carpet with noticeable wear and tear. Forward-thinking hotel owners correct these unsightly issues when they arise to keep their guests satisfied when they visit. Remodeling initiatives should be viewed as a business investment and yield a positive return. The more comfortable and visually appealing your hotel looks, the more likely it will create a preference among your target audience.

Hotel remodeling efforts may also include renovating bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and toilets and installing new lighting fixtures in ceilings. These renovations take longer than upgrading furniture and televisions, but they can add value to your hotel.

If you run a restaurant within your hotel, this opens up a host of required upgrades, including tables, chairs, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and restaurant equipment, to name a few. Interior remodeling is significant in a restaurant setting. Keep all aspects of the restaurant looking clean and inviting to guests by providing a welcoming environment. Keep your menu fresh and up-to-date, and pay close attention to detail when it comes to cleanliness to create a pleasant dining experience.

All types of remodeling efforts, while necessary, can be costly. So instead of using your cash or credit line to fund them, consider equipment financing or a hotel business loan.

Offer incentives to your guests.

A great way to generate new and repeat business is by incentivizing your current and potential guests. For example, give the guests staying with you a gift certificate to the restaurant at your hotel or offer another complimentary service. You may also consider providing discounts on stays during slower periods or creating a referral program for loyal customers.

Strategies can include providing discounted room upgrades or a complimentary night’s stay. In addition, social media can help spread the word about upcoming offers and events at your location. You can also create drawings and special promotions for your followers on the social networks you use.

Take advantage of Section 179.

The Section 179 tax deduction allows business owners to deduct all or a portion of the purchase price of qualifying equipment and property that is purchased and put into business use during the calendar year. Section 179 applies to most types of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) hotels use, but check with your accountant to ensure that FF&E you need qualifies.

Section 179 limits and information on the Balboa Capital website are for illustrative purposes only; the Section 179 limits and information provided are subject to change by the IRS. Please visit the IRS website or consult a qualified tax professional for confirmation of the current Section 179 limits and information related to your situation.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.