Mastering the art of revenue management isn't just a strategy. It's an essential component in building a successful business – and in today’s world, it goes far beyond merely setting prices. It's about predicting demand, making informed decisions, and ultimately, optimising profitability.
For hotels, it’s all about finding the balance between offering competitive prices and maximising profits. It involves understanding historical data, market conditions, and customer preferences to strategically adjust pricing and offerings – and success lies in having access to the right tools and data to anticipate demand and make well-informed decisions.
It’s clear the hotel industry is taking note: earlier this year, Duetto found that 82.3% of hoteliers were now using a revenue management system (RMS), up from 67.6% in its 2022 survey. Of those not using an RMS, 71.4% planned to invest in revenue management technology in 2023, up from 50% in 2022.
As revenue management continues to be a pivotal focus across the industry, what many don’t realise is the equal importance of having a modern property management platform – and how it serves as the backbone of an efficient revenue management strategy.
Previously, traditional revenue management approaches relied heavily on historical data and manual analysis, resulting in static prices and limited flexibility. In the 1980s, the hotel industry adopted revenue management concepts from the airline industry, focusing on seasonal pricing adjustments based on historical data. These early systems were relatively simplistic compared to today's sophisticated tools, but marked the beginning of a shift towards data-driven decision-making in the hospitality industry.
Today, the development of more sophisticated software and the number of tools now available has made it easier than ever for hotels to implement revenue management strategies – but syncing revenue software with a property management system is where the real potential lies.
On its own, an RMS can help to optimise revenue by setting prices, forecasting demand, and managing inventory. But when integrated with an API-first property management platform, hoteliers can benefit from improved accuracy of real-time pricing recommendations, reduced manual workload, and an enhanced guest experience.
For Swiss hotel collection, Tailormade Hotels, manually managing pricing for 60 room categories was really challenging but the company transformed its revenue management operations by implementing FLYR (previously: Pace). With the efficient onboarding process and the automation of pricing and restrictions of FLYR, the team achieved an impressive 9% increase in Average Daily Rate (ADR) within just two months, covering the system's cost for all properties for the entire year. This swift ROI and improved efficiency allowed Tailormade Hotels to use Apaleo solely for rate plan configuration adjustments, marking a significant shift in its revenue management strategy.
These are the main benefits of integrating RMS with an API-first platform:
Profit optimisation: An RMS uses historical data, market data, and other factors to forecast demand and recommend optimal prices for hotel rooms. By integrating with a property management platform, the RMS can access real-time information about occupancy, reservations, and cancellations. This allows the RMS to make more accurate pricing recommendations that are more likely to maximise revenue.
A centralised data hub: By using a single hub to manage pricing and inventory, hotels can provide guests with a more seamless experience. Sharing data between the two systems enables hotels to improve efficiency and accuracy, and it can also make it easier to make informed decisions about pricing and inventory management.
Improved communication and collaboration: The integration of RMS and PMS can help to improve communication and collaboration between different departments within the hotel. For example, the RMS can send alerts to the front desk when rooms are approaching their sell-through rate. This allows the front desk to take steps to prevent overbooking.
Real-time pricing recommendations: RMSs can use webhooks technology to receive real-time updates from PMSs. This allows the RMS to stay up-to-date on changes in inventory, reservations, and pricing, so that it can make recommendations for pricing that are always up-to-date.
Webhooks are a type of event-driven mechanism that allows one system to send notifications to another system when a specific event occurs. In the context of PMS and RMS integrations, webhooks can be used to send notifications about changes in inventory, reservations, and pricing.
For example, when a new reservation is made in the PMS, a webhook can be sent to the RMS to notify it of the change. The RMS can then use this information to update its pricing recommendations accordingly, saving hoteliers crucial time and resources while ensuring the right prices are set. This enables the RMS to stay up-to-date on changes in inventory, reservations, and pricing without having to call APIs unnecessarily, thus ensuring the stability of the PMS.
An API-first open hospitality platform is built to be easily integrated with other systems, such as revenue management systems. Using an API-first PMS offers many benefits, including increased flexibility and customisation, reduced development costs and improved efficiency.
Apaleo’s Webhook API provides property managers with real-time notifications, acting as a bridge between the RMS and PMS, and allowing them to exchange data and communicate with each other more efficiently. Most important of all, real-time updates are triggered by events so APIs aren’t overloaded by a continuous stream of enquiries, creating low-latency for users.
An API-first approach to software development means that APIs are designed first, and then the software is built around them.
As hotels embrace the power of technology, they're not just keeping up with the times, they're unlocking unprecedented levels of growth and profitability. Hotels that adopt an API-first PMS are better positioned to elevate their revenue management strategy, staying ahead of the curve and thriving in changing markets.
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