Customer spotlight: Roberto Naldi Collection

“With Rate Insight, I have all the information I need right in front of me and can make well-informed pricing decisions faster than ever before.”

Roberto-Naldi-logo                             Nino Tropea - Revenue & Reservations Manager, Roberto Naldi Collection

 

We recently sat down with Mr Nino Tropea, Revenue & Reservations Manager with the Roberto Naldi Collection in Rome, Italy to learn more about how and why he uses OTA Insight’s Rate Insight tool. In the following interview, we cover everything from which challenges Mr Tropea faced before switching to Rate Insight to how he uses the tool on a day-to-day basis to get a detailed overview of the market and make more informed pricing decisions.

About the Roberto Naldi Collection 

The Roberto Naldi Collection consists of five luxury hotels set in downtown Rome, Paris and Lugano. The group’s properties enchant guests with their distinctive Italian spirit, stunning views, central locations and excellent gastronomic delights. In Rome, the Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa and the Hotel Splendide Royal Roma offer guests a refined experience in the heart of the Eternal City.

Competitiveness of the Italian market 

Roberto-Naldi-700x500As a Revenue and Reservations Manager, I look after the Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa and the Hotel Splendide Royal Roma. They are in the same area of Rome but cater to different target markets. The Parco dei Principi has 77 rooms and attracts both leisure and corporate guests since we have MICE facilities at this property. The Splendide Royal with 69 rooms caters only to transient leisure guests.

 

Since Rome has few large events and trade shows, our demand is largely dictated by the main travel seasons of the leisure market. Our high demand periods range from May to July, September to October and around New Year’s Eve. The market in Rome is highly competitive because, the supply of rooms outnumbers demand. To attract guests, many five-star hotels apply discount strategies which downgrades the luxury market as their rates do not match the quality of the property.

 

Another point which has made the market more competitive in recent years is the growth of luxury vacation rentals and other alternative forms of accommodation. While these properties represent a different offer and product, we still need to compete with them for market share and stay competitive in terms of value and pricing.  

Technology support for hotels

I used other BI tools before switching to Rate Insight, but I was not entirely happy with the data they supplied. I was looking for a tool which could support us in refining and applying our revenue management strategy and help us work more efficiently. This is why I had started researching new options when a representative from OTA Insight approached me and presented Rate Insight to me for the first time.

 

The main challenge was that a metasearch feature was not available in our previous tool. This was a big limitation because it meant I had to search these sites manually to verify the rates and uncover parity issues. Of course, this cost a lot of time and made it trickier to find and resolve issues.

 

As a revenue manager, the option to check rates on hotel metasearch websites in real-time is very important for me for two reasons. First, I want to keep an eye on demand in the market and monitor the competition. Second, we regularly face rate parity issues on metasearch sites and want to resolve them as fast as possible. Having the possibility to check online channels for any date, even many months in advance, is a must if you want to build and apply a strong rate strategy. On top of that, our previous tool left much to be desired in terms of user-friendliness. The look and feel of Rate Insight, on the other hand, is great. After only a short introduction I was able to use all its functions and immediately made the tool part of my daily routine.

 

Even without Rate Insight, I had access to data on metasearch sites, but retrieving that data was the real challenge. Having to search manually on every metasearch site cost a lot of time and made it hard to get a clear, up-to-date picture of the market. This often resulted in an unnecessary delay of pricing-related decisions because of time spent researching.

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Technology for revenue managers

With Rate Insight, I have all the information I need right in front of me. I can search my online distribution channels with a few clicks and see which rates they are offering and whether they are in parity. Since we are working to boost direct reservations, this a very important factor. If there is a rate parity issue, it is necessary for me to see and fix it right away. Rate Insight makes that possible by providing detailed live information. Then I can approach our online distribution partners and wholesalers and have the issue fixed faster. Being able to search the hotels’ online distribution channels and metasearch site live, anytime I want to. This gives me clear, up-to-date information on how demand is changing in the market and I can adjust our strategy accordingly in real time.

A revenue manager's goal by using technology

My main goal was to better understand the market and changes in demand so my properties could become more competitive. That way we would be able to secure bookings despite the large number of other hotels and luxury apartment rentals available in Rome. In short, I wanted to find a more efficient and effective way to make the most of our challenging market in Rome.

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Benefits of technology

Having a tool which helps me better understand the competitors’ rate strategy is a valuable benefit. Thanks to Rate Insight, we have real-time information with a single click, instead of having to wait after submitting a request or searching manually. Especially being able to search by room type, rate code, length of stay and number of guests gives us new options in how we research what our competitors are doing and helps us re-evaluate our current pricing strategy. This, in turn, makes it possible to devise and test new yielding strategies.

Day-to-day tasks made more efficient

Being able to see market rates live on Rate Insight’s dashboard gives me an overview anytime I want with the click of a button. Since I no longer have to spend a lot of time manually checking data, I can now make better rate decisions more efficiently. Especially during high season, this is very important. During high seasons, we set our rates to reflect increased demand. Thanks to Rate Insight’s information, we can set rates in a way which keeps us in line with our competitors and going market rates so we can fully take advantage of the situation.

Technology and efficiency correlation

Roberto-Naldi-700x500-2With Rate Insight I can immediately see if the relationship between market demand and my hotels’ performance is balanced. If not, I adapt my rate strategy to correct the situation. Rate Insight’s data also lets me keep an eye on my competitors’ rates. Being able to directly compare with them helps us monitor our performance relative to the rest of the market. To always have the complete picture and stay up to date on market developments, I have made it part of my daily routine to verify this and ensure we are getting the best results possible for every situation.

A word to your peers

Since I am very happy with the tool, I have already suggested it to several fellow revenue managers. When I tell them about Rate Insight, I highlight the ability to check metasearch sites, which is unique to this tool. Another capability I always point out is that Rate Insight offers the chance to compare competitors based on several variables, including rate code, number of guests and the length of stay.

 

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