Total-Room-Inventory methodology: why is it so important in the post-COVID-19 times

Total-Room-Inventory methodology: why is it so important in the post-COVID-19 times

Successful revenue management is impossible without knowing the actual performance indexes of your property. So-called “Key Performance Indicators”, they help hoteliers to find out whether their business is doing well financially. They reflect the current state of all aspects of the hotel’s ecosystem and help to set new goals to increase the revenue flow. You can learn more about the importance of these metrics and the ways to calculate them in our previous article.

In general, these formulas are used to estimate the internal performance of a particular hotel. However, just calculating these numbers is not enough. If you want to be sure that you are doing everything right, you need to compare your results with your competitors. This will give you a clear understanding of the overall situation on the market. Moreover, you will be aware of your property’s place in it and will know which KPIs you should specifically pay attention to.

STR reports as tools for efficient revenue management

In this case, STR reports may come to your rescue. STR stands for Smith Travel Research – a company, that provides data on hotel markets in the form of daily, monthly, or yearly reports. It measures your property’s performance and compares it to the results of the others. Thus, you can determine the ways of improvement and optimize your sales strategies.

If you want to receive it, you have to send all necessary data about your hotel, which can be found in your Property Management System (e.g., such as already calculated ADR). Another important part is choosing a competitive set of 3 to 5 hotels, that are similar to yours. After submitting this information, you will receive a report, where the performance of your hotel will be represented by a new index. It will show whether your property is above or below the average on the market.

STR report is dealing with such basic metrics as Occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR. But COVID-19 has changed the game completely. The outbreak resulted in closures all around the world, and that negatively reflected on each one of these, and mostly on the Occupancy. In this case, comparing the percentage of 2020 to previous years’ numbers would be incorrect.

Standard Occupancy or Total Room Inventory?

To help hoteliers in getting more precise numbers after the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, STR came up with the new methodology, placing it near the standard one in its reports. It allows us to determine the real level of occupancy on the market, taking recent circumstances into account. Thus, this formula became one of the most important metrics for today, especially in areas with a high number of closed hotels.

When calculating Occupancy in a usual way, we normally use this formula:

Occupancy Rate

Occupancy Rate = Paid Rooms Occupied / Rooms Available

As we already know, it helps us to find out the percentage of rooms sold during a certain timespan. While making reports on occupancy by a standard method, STR covers just all of the open hotels. It shows a clear picture of their supply and demand excluding rooms that are not available for booking.

However, this methodology fails to estimate the total potential occupancy of the market. As closed hotels are taken into account as well, the supply base is bigger, which decreases the index of occupancy. Sounds not very encouraging, but this is the only relevant way to find out the real state of things in the post-COVID-19 times.

This is how STR calculates it:

Total-Room-Inventory Occupancy

Total-Room-Inventory Occupancy = Paid Rooms Occupied / Total Number of Rooms in a Market

The difference between Total-Room-Inventory and traditional Occupancy shows us the percentage of the currently closed hotels in the market. Changing from month to month, it can also illustrate how fast the industry is recovering. When standard Occupancy and Total-Room-Inventory Occupancy numbers will be equal, we would be able to say that “things are back to normal”.

But even though TRI is considered as a more specific methodology developed for use in this force-majeure situation, you should not neglect the classic formula for Occupancy. Hoteliers can still use it to compare their properties to the ones that are still operating.

Applying these two methodologies will give you the advantage of understanding both the market and your place in it.

Several ways to improve Occupancy in your hotel

Got your STR report, and the index of Occupancy turned out upsetting for you? In this case, check out our useful tips on ameliorating this index.

Here is what we suggest:

#1 Target the right audience

Knowing your typical customers is an absolute must for the thriving of your business. If you know who they are, where they come from, and how old they are, your marketing strategy already has the chance to win. It means that you can successfully draw the attention of a large group of your potential guests. Keep in mind that the usage of a Guest Management tool will make this much easier!

After a deep dive into customers’ data, you will also be able to make some changes in room types available in your property. Using the one type for all of your guests is ineffective. Different clients have different needs in space and amenities. After your research, consider creating, for example, special options for business travelers or families, if these are your main target markets.

#2 Create discounts and loyalty programs

If you want to get more repeat guests, there is no way you can do it without creating a loyalty program. It will encourage customers to choose your hotel over the other options. To ensure that, you can offer upgrades and complimentary services if they stay in your hotel more then twice.

Another important part of this approach is offering discounts for prolonged bookings. This will make your guests stay in your hotel even during the mid-week, which is, in most cases, the lowest occupancy period. This outcome can be also achieved by creating special Deals and Vouchers.

#3 Offer something unique

Show that your place is one-of-a-kind by giving your clients an opportunity to enjoy the functions of a digital Concierge App. Online orders, direct chat with the staff, fast Check-In/Check-Out options are indispensable nowadays. Especially in the post-COVID-19 environment!

Add some sort of personality to your hotel. It may be a stylish set of photos, a well-designed website with a Booking Button, or elaborate descriptions of amenities. Emphasize the unique features of your hotel, and make a customer want to spend his money on what you are offering!

#4 Maintain online visibility

And, of course, do not forget about a viable SMM strategy. Social Media platforms are great tools, which will help you to reach the maximum number of your audience. Constantly remind customers about your existence and respond to each question or review.

This is the basis for building trusting relationships with your clientele. Caring about their needs and wishes means caring about your image as well. Using specially designed Marketing Tools will be handy in this case.

Conclusion

The pandemic negatively affected the hospitality industry, which had consequences for every single business. Many hotels had to face closures, which severely hit the Occupancy rate in the global market. The main task for hoteliers now is to increase this index and revive the market.

Therefore, when calculating the overall performance of your hotel and comparing it to others, it is important to use STR’s new Total-Room-Inventory methodology. We hope that with the information and tips from this article, you will succeed in surviving these harsh times!

Public relations: Stephanie Moench

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