Hoteliers worldwide are embracing a significant return of leisure travel in the new year while anticipating a massive spike with the spring and summer seasons approaching. Many are turning to technology to drive revenue while providing a personalized experience to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. The trend toward technological innovation began before COVID-19 but is increasing in acceptance, as hoteliers and customers understand the critical role of technology in managing their stay.
There’s little question that hoteliers are reviewing, updating, and embracing traditional customer-facing services thanks to the more widespread use of technology. This includes mobile check-in, contactless payment, biometrics, and voice control. These trends began before COVID-19 but have been accelerated based on the pandemic, its impact on the economy, as well as staffing issues, and guest expectations. Other factors like facial and fingerprint recognition are also driving this acceptance. In today’s day and age, virtually all travelers use some sort of biometrics on their smartphones and laptops and expect the same level of service and convenience in accessing their hotel rooms and taking advantage of the on-site amenities.
The hotel and resort industry needs to maximize operational efficiency and capture additional revenue as the industry continues to rebound from the havoc COVID-19 has wrecked. Increasingly, the key to winning and keeping customers is personalization, from when they book their trip to when they depart. Many hoteliers offer their guests personalized, easy-to-access services and amenities through a customized software program developed by RealTime Reservation.
This software has quickly gained acceptance throughout the industry. More than 450 properties are using this proprietary customized software quickly integrated with the hotel’s PMS, POS, and credit card processing systems.
Meeting Customer Demands
Customers today are more demanding than ever and at a time when they have more options. With the industry still rebounding from COVID-19, many public spaces require capacity control in various places, ensuring that they are compliant and guests receive the personalized services in which they are interested. Guests want to order everything in advance of their arrival, not just the ability to book their room. This begs the question of why customers should have to wait to book amenities and experiences, such as a guest cabana, daybeds, spa treatment, food and beverage services, access to a fitness center, and even parking, when they do not have to. RealTime Reservation’s software product provides hotel guests an easy way to secure such amenities at the time of booking, ensuring they can receive these services and not miss out upon arrival.
Importantly this process is seamless for the guest as it is white labeled and integrated directly into the hotel and resort website. Twelve modules allow for complete customization and flexibility. Since the software is integrated into the hotelier’s credit card processing system and PMS, guests can pay through the hotel/resort through room charge and or by credit card. And the hotel acquires important guest information and preferences to execute precise remarketing for future visits.
Benefits to Hoteliers
Improving the guest experience alone would be enough for most hoteliers to justify the expense of integrating a software system such as RealTime Reservation. But there are real benefits to the operators as well.
To start, hoteliers can capture ancillary revenues pre-arrival. For many, this has been a lost revenue opportunity that is now easily captured. In addition, this allows the hoteliers to improve inventory management, maximize operational efficiency, and streamline internal operations easily and quickly.
When developing this one-of-a-kind software, we quickly realized that this is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution as the availability of services, amenities, and experiences differs from one hotelier to the next. While the original product focused on renting the pool and beach cabanas, hotels and resorts now have twelve modules from which to choose. This includes everything from RealTime Amenities, Activity, Food and Beverage to RealTime Parking, DayPasses, Retail and Meetings. These modules have been created based on direct response to hotelier’s requirements and will continue to expand as required.
The software is compliant with all major hotel and resort brands for security and integration. It allows for integration for other commonly used technology vendors, including Micro Simphony, Elavon, and FreedomPay, to name a few. This lets hotels and resorts use this platform for end-to-end real-time inventory management while tracking transactions from start to finish.
In summary, it is exciting to see the role that technology plays in supporting the hotel and resort industry as it rebounds from the economic impact of COVID-19. For an increasing number of hoteliers, a software solution such as the one from RealTime Reservations provides significant benefits to both the operator and the guest.
About the author
Shawn Tarter, CEO & Founder, RealTime Reservation, an organization that provides real-time inventory management reservation software to the hospitality/travel industry located in Uniondale, Long Island. Following his personal experience as a hotel guest, Shawn was eager to provide hotels with ways to improve the customer experience while delivering services that support client satisfaction and loyalty. In 2015, Shawn founded Ipalapa Corporation, which was rebranded in 2019 to RealTime Reservation. The company has experienced significant sales and revenue growth in the three short years since its rebrand, despite operating during a global pandemic. Today, the company employs forty professionals across development, R&D, client services, administration, sales, and marketing and boasts more than 450 clients.