Things you need to know to accept more last minute reservations

Today, we bear witness to year over year increase in last minute reservations. There are many factors affecting the increase of last minute reservations that said sales performed within 24 hours after the accommodation date. The most outstanding among them is the ever-growing use of mobile devices.

In our era, hotel guests who access any information via their cell phones are able to decide where to stay when they are walking or driving, which even allows them to book via mobile devices. Furthermore, according to Google, the number of people booking via mobile devices will probably exceed the number of those using PCs to book.

More than half of mobile hotel reservations are last minutes reservations. It indicates that it would be a mistake to consider last minutes reservations independently from the increasing popularity of mobile devices.

Well, what do you need to do to grab a bigger slice from the growing cake of last minute reservations?

1- A mobile-compatible website

In the light of the abovementioned information we believe that you have also made the same conclusion. In our era, it is impossible to overlook the importance of mobile devices due to the key role they play not only in terms of last minute reservations but also of the total reservation rate. If you are using HotelRunner, you should enjoy the peace of mind because you have a website available where you can accept mobile reservations.

2- Watch out for commissions!

One of the problems you may face during last minute reservations is the OTA commission rates applied on already discount prices. Unless you manage to maintain the balance here, do not even expect last minute reservations to be a source of income as they might cause losses in every sale you perform.

3- Which one to choose? Loyal customers or last minute customers?

It might be a big disappointment for your loyal customers, who have booked their place weeks or maybe even months ago, to come across a last minute reservation option which costs less than what they have paid. Note that it might have a damaging effect on your image and customer loyalty. In order to prevent such negative cases, make sure that the difference between the last minute and early reservations is clear.

Taking into account that last-minute guests may show more tolerance, you may as well reserve only some specific rooms with simple features for them, not to offer the benefits of loyalty programs or exclude some services and features from the package you presented.

 4- Proper inventory management

The secret to derive the best possible advantage from last minute reservations is to be able to manage your inventory through the most proper method. You should always know the number and type of available rooms and the time of the next reservation. If you would like to perform sales, it is vital for you to determine room prices instantly and update the occupancy rate of your website via the online reservation module of your website.

The properties that prefer HotelRunner are already aware that it is actually possible to manage this issue through quite a practical way although it might seem to be challenging. Create your HotelRunner account for free now and see how you can increase your last minute sales.

Cihan Coşkuntuncel

Director of Sales and Business Development

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