Rudi Azevedo, Director of Sales & Revenue, JASE Hotels & Resorts
Founded by Joaquim and Salvador Empreendimentos in 2004, JASE Hotels & Resorts has since made a name for itself by opening two iconic, luxury properties in Portugal’s Douro Valley. These retreats aim to offer guests a relaxing abode with perfectly personalised service.
To expand their portfolio, JASE Hotels & Resorts will soon be launching its newest property in Porto, capital of the Douro Litoral Province. The Porto Royal Bridges will be a boutique hotel set close to a historical spot where an ancient stone bridge links Porto and Gaia.
Our two properties in the Douro Valley faced issues when it came to rate parity. We would have reservations come in at very low rates which meant that our B2B wholesale and travel agent rates were being sold directly to customers. Of course, we would take actions against this immediately, but we could do this only after already losing money on several bookings. Finding this kind of rate disparity was a challenge before using Rate Insight as we would have to spend significant time checking several channels to find the culprit.
At our new property in Porto, we have an entirely different situation. Here we have a large comp set in a very dynamic market which means rates are changing several times a day, new players enter the market on a regular basis and events in the city frequently impact demand several months in advance.
Without knowing about changes in demand first-hand and how our comp set was responding to them, it was very difficult for us to set a pricing strategy during our new hotel’s pre-opening phase. While our previous tool provided us with a rate snapshot on a daily basis, the insights could not reliably indicate if our rates were above or below the market. In short, setting the right rates without having real-time information likely resulted in a loss of revenue for us.
This and our need to constantly check on rate parity cost us about one to two hours a day spent manually shopping rates and researching our competitors. This was time we would have much rather spent on developing our strategy, training our staff and supporting other areas of operations within our hotels.
It was while we were struggling with the above-mentioned points that a fellow revenue manager told me about Rate Insight. After a short period of research and a personalised demo, I was convinced that this rate intelligence solution was superior to its competitors and could help us in several ways.
Rate Insight’s live dashboard gives us real-time information about everything happening in the market. Now we know, by room type, exactly when our competitors change their rates and how demand is evolving. The best thing is that we can access this information at any time during the day and always get the most up-to-date live data. Having this kind of accurate insight into the market for our properties with a single click has been a game-changer for us.
Being able to check on rate parity is equally important. Thanks to Rate Insight, we can now identify the OTAs which sell wholesale rates directly to customers and rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Finally, the events calendar has been a huge help for us, especially for our new property in Porto. Now we are able to stay on top of upcoming public holidays in our most important source markets and know when a large event is happening in Porto which will attract many visitors and drive rates and demand.
From the beginning, working with OTA Insight has helped us save time. The setup was easy and quick, our team learned how to use it in only a day and we were immediately able to benefit from the rate shopper’s features. Even when we have questions now, the support team gets back to us very quickly, so we don’t lose valuable time.
Currently, we save about 90 minutes per day thanks to Rate Insight. Since we are able to get accurate information at the click of a button, we no longer spend time shopping and researching rates manually. Without Rate Insight, analysing our competitors’ rates, checking parity and monitoring the market would be a nightmare, especially in the dynamic Porto market. Since my team and I are constantly logged into the platform, even if there is a sudden change in our market, we can adapt in real time thanks to Rate Insight’s live updates.
With the real-time market information we get from Rate Insight, we have been able to make more informed decisions and considerably improve our rate strategy. Recently we have put a minimum length of stay in place for certain periods and have updated our room types. Comparing this information with our comp set manually would have cost more time and likely yielded less reliable results. Rate Insight, however, shows all the information we need in an easy-to-read format and always makes the newest numbers available to us.
Especially in the Porto market, this has been a big help. For example, by closely monitoring the market, we saw that our comp set was increasing their rates in May 2019 which is very close to the opening date of our new hotel. By checking our events calendar, we learned that there would be a large congress at this time and we were able to adjust our own rates accordingly.
This is only one example of how Rate Insight has helped us anticipate changes in the market. Without this tool, we might have found out about it too late and would have accepted bookings at lower rates even though we could have asked for more. Instead, with Rate Insight we can increase rates when suitable and thereby boost our ADR and profits all while saving time.
Since we can check our rates live and on a variety of channels now, it has become very easy to identify agencies who are selling B2B rates in a B2C setting. This has helped us proactively stop low-priced bookings from coming in instead of having to wait for them and then do the detective work to find out where they were coming from. If you think about it, just avoiding one booking at the wrong rate will already pay for Rate Insight for a month.
Receiving my OTA rates info each morning is such a time saver as a General Manager since there are a lot of duties to perform and not enough hours in a day. I am able to look at competitor rates or changes they made on future dates that happened overnight and have everything in one place.
It reduces my research time in order to make quick strategic rate decisions as we are in a market where rates needed to be changed more than normal to stay competitive. My OTA emails are one of the first things I open each morning so I can get that taken care of right away and not lose revenue.
Because of the success of our management company’s first hotel implementing OTA Insight, it has made our revenue management strategizing that much easier to the point we are implementing this tool at 10 more of our properties!
The set-up was easy, support is readily available, and the new Revenue feature just made this tool that much more valuable. I have worked for many hotel brands, and with a very reasonable monthly fee, this tool’s ROI ranks as one of the best!
I am really enjoying using OTA insight on a daily basis. The system is user friendly and gives important parameters to improve your business.
Overall, I gain time and could directly see an impact on my average rate as it gives me market intelligence, all combined in one solution.
The simple and user-friendly interface of OTA Insight really sets the platform apart from the competition.
I get all my key decision making factors being measured and reported on one easy to follow screen.
It's an intuitive and user friendly tool extremely helpful for our revenue managers, providing timely and accurate rate shops straight into our RMS solution.
Live shops are done within seconds and all the rates are live linked in case you want to check the data.
We were actively looking for a powerful tool allowing our revenue managers to efficiently manage online rate and inventory parity, screen our rate competitiveness and gather additional market insights to improve on market knowledge.
OTA Insight provides all of these as a one stop solution in a very user-friendly platform and offer great instant support for our teams.