Robert Holland is Managing Director UK & Ireland, HotelPartner Yield Management. As you know, we’re always keen for a cup of tea and natter about the world of hospitality and Robert kindly obliged. He also threw in some words of wisdom on the benefits of attending a happy gathering such as one you might find in Manchester around the 9/10th October and the importance of owning the customer. Read on, dear reader, read on.
The AHC: How’s business?
Robert Holland (RH): “Really good, thank you. We have been established in Europe since 2006 but really only launched the business properly in the UK in 2018. Over the last year we have grown from 2 to 15 clients in the UK (450 in total across Europe), gained momentum and a lot of positive success stories. For those who don’t know what we do, here is a 60 second video that explains. We’ve also just been selected as a preferred partner to the Pride of Britain hotel consortium which is very flattering and a credible endorsement of the services we provide.”
The AHC: Your software runs a rate optimization process every four minutes for a hotel. Apart from the obvious rate adjustment, what other practises can be facilitated as a result of the data gathered?”
RH: “A good example is some work we are doing with Mark and his team at 80 Days. We are analysing the demand at mutual clients and then advising them to adjust the pay-per-click (PPC) spend intelligently, based on this demand. It’s so important to shift into the mindset of using the data we gather creatively, wisely and meaningfully. Once a hotelier has accurate knowledge of the booking process combined with market demand, they can run their business proactively.”
The AHC: And speaking of data, let’s talk about owning it.
RH: “There are so many ways we can profile a customer it shouldn’t simply be an excuse to say the OTAs own the data and therefore the customer and just give up. We provide the hospitality to the guest after all and that presents a multitude of opportunities. Conveying the importance of this by management to the operational teams is vital, as is the investment where required.”
The AHC: We’re assuming you are a fan of automation?
RH: “I think 70-80% of the decisions we make are rules-based decisions. If you can assign that 70-80% to a machine that then frees up a considerable amount of time for more human activity. Our system doesn’t work entirely on automation as we cover the remaining 20-30% of the process with highly skilled revenue managers who analyse the data, adjust where required and incorporate their insight into the process.”
The AHC: When Robert suggested we might like to chat with a couple of GMs who are using the HotelPartner service, we jumped at the chance. Here is what they said;
Arun Kumar, General Manager, Sunborn London Yacht Hotel: “Today it is all about having the right partnerships and somebody you can rely on. Within a short period, we have experienced a double-digit increase in revenue and RevPAR. There is not much more to say other than HotelPartner are the true experts of yielding. It is highly refreshing to know that everything in the back end is running smoothly and that a team of professionals is always overlooking our hotel. One can easily focus more on other matters and take much needed time for guest satisfaction!”
Stephen Gow, General Manager, The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen: “As a relatively small property with 50 bedrooms trading at the top end of a very competitive local market post the heady days of the Aberdeen Oil bubble, we did not have the resource to employ a full time revenue manager but we certainly needed this expertise to maximise our rates across all segments as well as our exposure to all channels. Hotelpartner was our chosen solution which gives a partner that understands our needs and is solely focussed on revenue management giving us a RevPar uplift in year 1 of our partnership of around 20% which far outweighed the cost of implementing the solution.”
The AHC: HotelPartner will be resplendent in the Hotel Tech Hub at The AHC this October. Why does the event work for you?
RH: “Quite simply, it is the right audience. I really believe that as hoteliers, we need to get out more, talk to others, share concerns, best practise, have a moan if required but also learn from each other and gain a feeling of solidarity – we’re all in this together. If you are open minded, you can learn more and the main benefit of attending events like The AHC is gathering takeaways that you can start to implement as soon as you are back at your desk. Yes, it’s a challenge to justify time out of the office but if you stand to gain two or three new strategies, insights or ways or working plus a considerable amount of networking, isn’t it worth it?”
Robert and his team from HotelPartner Yield Management have the 9th and 10th October firmly marked in their calendars for a mini-break to Manchester. Join them, us and many other friendly faces at The AHC to learn, network and be inspired.
The AHC Team.