Knowing your competition is a key part of revenue management. In order to set the right rates for your property, you need to know how much other properties in your market charge. After all, guests have a choice when it comes to where they stay. And when faced with a range of similar properties, they’ll often make a decision based on the rates in front of them – so it’s crucial that your prices are right.
But who exactly is your competition? How do you know where else travellers shop before booking a room at your property?
You may already be making a mental list. Perhaps you’re thinking of the hotel down the street, or the B&B round the corner? But how are you making your selection: on instinct alone? Instinct has its place in the decision-making process, but it’s important to take a step back and examine the facts and nuances behind your assumptions. Especially when it comes to business.
Here are some key factors that should inform your competitive set:
More often than not, travellers look for a location first and an accommodation second. So clearly, location determines your competition. However, your property does not necessarily compete with every hotel in your neighbourhood or even town. That said, your competition could be situated further from your property than you might think. Be sure to consider properties in your entire region.
A property’s average daily rate (ADR) is a great indicator of whether or not it should be included in your competitive set. You can see how much a property charges for specific room types by researching the property’s listing on OTAs like Booking.com, as well as their property website. A property which charges well above or below your typical ADR should probably not be included in your set.
However, you also need to consider whether or not other properties are accurately priced. Does the ADR match the quality of the accommodation? Would a guest feel over- or undercharged after staying there?
Are you a hotel or B&B? A roadside inn or resort? Guests often seek a specific type of accommodation to match their travelling needs. Be sure that your competitive set includes properties of a similar class. Just as some travellers look for specific property types, they might have a particular allegiance to certain chains. So if you’re not a chain hotel, consider whether you compete for business with local and international chains.
Quality and Amenities
In any business, the quality of a product and/or service has a big influence on how much it costs. The same goes for properties. As mentioned in the section on ADR, be sure to fill your competitive set with properties that match yours in quality. A property’s room types and amenities can be good measures of quality. Do you offer a gym and pool? Do you have a restaurant? Some guests make the final call on where to stay based on a property’s rooms, amenities and overall quality.
Does your property primarily attract the solo midweek business traveller? Maybe families staying for a weekend or longer holiday? Does some of your business come from groups? To help working out your competitive set, it’s a useful exercise to identify your property’s target traveller and compare these profiles with other properties in your region.