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17 Hotel Management Tips & Costly Mistakes To Avoid In 2023 🏨

Why are hotel management tips so widely searched? Well, it probably has something to do with the fact the hotel industry in the United States alone generates approximately $162 billion in annual revenue – and employs over 2.7 million people!

To put that into perspective, that’s enough staff to run all of the 5.3 million hotel rooms in the country – as well as catering, logistics, HR, entertainment and practically anything else you can think of.

It makes sense, then, that hotel management software is well sought after by pretty much every hotel company you can think of – including giants like Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental Hotels Group.

We’ve found the best tips from a collection of the best hotel management software and put together our own top 17 hotel management tips.

What Are The Biggest Hotel Management Tips?

1. Set clear objectives

From huge hotel franchises to small Bed & Breakfasts, you’ll need an ultra-clear idea of your objectives from day one.

This includes your ideal customers, where you’re going to fit into the market, how you’ll get the word out, and where you price yourself.

Essentially, these exact goals will guide your hotel management strategy from the start.

2. Focus on your brand identity

In any customer facing business, a strong, memorable brand is a must.

If you look at the stats, there are over 5 million individual hotel rooms, so what makes one stay different from the next?

Your brand is how you treat people, what they say and think about you, and it’s the only thing that sets you apart from others, especially when it comes to marketing and outreach.

3. Use technology For Efficiency

Technology should run throughout your hotel business, taking care of almost every aspect with accuracy, reliability and speed.

You might lean on property management tools, catering systems, reviewing platforms, payroll technology, CRM systems, email management tools and many more.

The best hotel management software tools will pull many of these together, so you can manage your hotel with absolute efficiency, and focus more time (and effort) on the customer experience.

With the right software, you can cover a whole range of features.

Hotel management features
Hotel management software features. Credit: SelectHub

4. Excel in customer service

Hotels live and die on their customer service.

One of the first things people consider when booking hotels and overnight stays is reviews, which pull in everything from cleanliness to customer service.

Excellent customer interactions will go a long, long way, and will help you make up the gaps if other areas aren’t quite as strong. However, bad customer service will have the opposite effect, and will derail the entire experience.

Make sure that guests have a great experience and they’ll most likely come back.

5. Vary your marketing strategy

For hotel marketing, focusing on just one channel can be dangerous.

If something goes wrong (like paid promotions become more expensive) then you’ll have nothing to fall back on.

We recommend varying it where possible.

You should be active on social media (with both posting and responding to questions or queries), but you might also want to keep a subscriber email list to promote special offers, as well as local community advertising to spread your reach as far as possible.

It’s crucial you keep up your marketing efforts in the good times as well as bad. Try to be consistent with your posting and strategy throughout the year.

6. Monitor your performance

One of the best hotel management tips is to remember that data is your friend.

Metrics such as guest satisfaction scores, occupancy rates and annual peaks and troughs will be useful in predicting revenue performance for your hotel.

As well as being able to forward project your income, you’ll also notice any glaring areas for improvement in your hotel, and be able to implement changes as you go.

7. Train your Employees properly

Excellent customer service in your hotel won’t happen by accident.

One of the most important hotel management tips is to make sure that every member of staff is fully invested in the experience of your guests.

Giving your staff the investment of training and developing their skills will make them more excited to work, more enthusiastic around guests, and it’ll also improve every other aspect of your hotel – from cleaning, to service management, to catering, to decorating, to hospitality.

Invest in your team and you’ll likely see huge benefits.

8. Create A Great Work culture

This is true of any business, but it’s still one of the best hotel management tips.

A great culture can include simple things, like post-work staff drinks, or occasional nights out. It might include a bonus at certain points of the year, or helping to foster friendships within the teams.

Everyone should feel comfortable, confident and respected coming to work, and everyone will be more engaged as a result of a positive culture – which always starts from the top.

9. Control costs

Controlling costs sounds like an obvious hotel management tip, but it’s the little things within a balance sheet that can make a huge difference.

Knowing where your expenses have the potential to spiral will help you keep them down.

It’ll also help you spot where efficiencies can be made – and also where to ramp up spending to see better results.

10. Put Your Property First

Ultimately, people are coming to stay in your property, so treat it in the way you would a home and keep it maintained in every area.

This can be all the mandatory areas which are a legal requirement like fire alarms and exits, but maintenance should extend far beyond what you HAVE to do.

A positive hotel environment is kept up by thousands of little touches, such as fresh flowers, clean tables, comfortable chairs and well maintained gardens.

Keep the facilities in excellent condition and you’ll also save money in the long run.

11. Increase Your Focus on sustainability

As the world becomes wiser about the state of the planet, you will have to move with the times and bring more sustainable practices into your hotel.

For example, it might become increasingly obvious that having lots of wasted and excess plastic bottles is a turn-off to guests, and isn’t doing the environment any good either.

Focus where you can on sustainable materials, and replace items like plastic straws with the alternatives.

Aside from being the right thing to do, you’ll also see an uptick in reviews as people appreciate the effort.

12. Use data to Predict The Future

Data modeling won’t just help show you where you’ve gone wrong. It’ll help you plan and optimize for the future.

The right software can show you trends and targets based on your current performance, so you can make far, far more informed decisions about everything from operations, to recruitment, to marketing.

13. Build relationships with repeat guests

Word of mouth is still an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

If you build long-term healthy relationships, you’ll not only get people coming back, but they’ll bring their friends too, and they’ll bring their friends etc.

Nurture relationships through customer service, experiences and discounts, and you’ll see a ripple effect of positivity over time.

The latest innovations in catering, treatments, cleaning, booking and many more categories will help your hotel stand out from the crowd.

To stay on top of them, set up social listening tools for your competitors, encourage feedback and read reviews.

Having the latest and greatest amenities is a crucial part of any strategy.

15. Understand your competition

To really improve, you have to be honest and accept feedback.

Sometimes, your competitors will be outdoing you in certain areas.

Word out where those areas are, and you can get ahead in crucial areas. It takes research to start to bring in ideas that are truly different enough to set you apart.

16. Be Social, On Social!

Today, social media is woven through the fabric of our society, meaning that people might hear about your hotel from literally anywhere.

You can use certain platforms to curate feedback and read reviews, while interacting with your guests directly.

Visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram are great for showing off eye-catching features in your hotel, like its stunning views or amazing surroundings.

Base your social media strategy around people. For example, if your chef is busting dance moves while cooking, why not show the world the fun your staff have running the hotel?

Keep publishing positive content and you’ll see strong results.

17. Seek New Opportunities To Grow

New opportunities are everywhere.

Your hotel’s main income might be room bookings, but could you add on spa treatments, gym facilities or catering, or tours?

There are always opportunities to bolt on clever services or facilities, so keep analysing where you can grow into new areas.

What Are The Most Common Hotel Management Mistakes?

We’ve given you the best tips suggested by some of the best hotel management tools out there. Now, here are the areas of failure that you’ll certainly want to avoid.

In this section, there are a few standout ones, but also a few hidden traps that are all too easy to slip into – whatever kind of business you run.

Looking at data, not insights

Imagine you have all the data in front of you, provided by a great all in one platform. The problem is, it’s just numbers, unless you’ve organised it in such a way that you can spot trends.

That’s the only way to improve your performance. You’ll need those numbers to form actual real-world insights that you can action in your hotel.

If guest numbers are falling, what are you going to do about it unless you know WHY they are falling? Make sure you find those gems in the data that will help you improve.

Neglecting the most important people

The most important people are your guests.

Ultimately that’s how any business survives and thrives.

Have good relationships with your guests and you’ll fly. If you don’t, you’ll fail. It’s as simple as that.

Remember, it’s the little things that matter, such as good customer service, being able to get through on the phone and speedy resolution of issues.

Underestimating technology

Technology comes with an expectation these days.

People expect things to be easy, and online.

Your guests will expect to be able to book seamlessly at the touch of a button. They’ll expect things like menus to be online, and to be able to raise issues with their phone or app. Tech infrastructure is not a ‘nice to have’ in any business anymore – it’s a necessity.

Cutting costs in the wrong areas

It can be really tricky to balance costs and stability, with spending money in the right places.

However, neglecting your facility is rarely a good idea.

You can’t cut costs on cleaning, or making sure that facilities are fixed, or that the property doesn’t fall into disrepair.

Any decline in your hotel will be noticeable to customers, and your reviews and revenue are likely to suffer.

Failing to project finances ahead

Cost management isn’t so much a hotel management tip, but a requirement for every business.

However, failing to plan ahead could see you in trouble, which is why it’s important to run projections so you have a better understanding of your cashflow, payroll and revenue over a longer period of time.

Ignoring staff wellbeing

We mentioned earlier that your customers are the most important.

However, your staff are up there too. You need to look after their wellbeing, so they want to give your customers a great experience.

A high turnover of staff is a quick way to see your hotel fall apart.

Ignoring bad reviews

It can be tempting to take the moral high ground and get angry or irritated by critisism.

Think of it instead as ‘free feedback’. A good review is nice but it won’t tell you much. A bad review can be like gold dust if it helps you fix an important problem.

Getting stuck in your ways

There are certain things that you’ve always done that might suddenly stop working.

Like any business, you’ll need to be flexible and adaptable.

In the hotel management tips section, we mentioned sustainability. It’s a great example where the landscape is changing. In today’s world a hotel full of plastic cups and straws is a turn-off, whereas it might have slipped under the radar in years gone by.

Do not get stuck in your ways, keep looking for improvements because they are always there to find!

Hotel Management Tips: A Conclusion

Through our hotel management tips and mistakes to avoid, we hope you’ve found some useful hidden gems.

Ultimately, running a hotel is a constantly evolving undertaking, where there are always areas to finesse and improve.

An important insight to remember is that if your customers really love your business (and desperately want it to succeed), then it probably will.

Create an environment with a good culture, which offers great experiences, and your hotel will thrive.

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Good luck!