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Are you thinking about renovating a hotel? Renovations are a huge undertaking, and it’s important to consider the time of year when business is the slowest in order to have the least impact on revenue. This is often the period between New Year's and Easter (but of course this will vary depending on the location of your hotel and the seasonal calendar), but padding this timeframe is also a good idea because construction almost always takes longer than you think.
Renovation will take a considerable investment both in time and money, so make sure to have a plan of action with clear steps, so you have a defined path to success. When done right, a renovation can increase profits by allowing you to charge more per night and attract new target audiences. In this article, we will give you some tips of what to consider when it comes time to renovate your property.
What to consider when renovating a hotel
Renovating a hotel is no easy task, which is why we’ve laid out a list of six top tips to consider when it comes time to renovate.
Choose the right construction company
One of the first things to consider is who is the right company to take care of your renovation, based on your goals and your budget. Of course, you get what you pay for, which is why you must be realistic about your goals and your budget. This is the first step in a successful renovation because having highly skilled professionals at the right price will save both time and money. Ideally, you would have a technical architect or project manager in charge so that you can funnel all communication through one individual, which will help facilitate a smoother process all around.
Plan, plan, plan
There is never a more important time to plan than when it’s time to renovate your hotel. Instead of spreading your hotel’s resources thin, think about having someone who is 100% in charge of the project. This will help make sure the construction company stays on task and will establish a point of contact to manage any problems that arise.
In the project plan, make sure you set up realistic goals and have a realistic budget from the beginning; this will help keep the construction company accountable and allow you to pick out the materials and order them ahead of time based on your budget.
Timing is everything
A renovation will always affect your revenue, but if you time it right, it will affect your revenue less. As in all industries, there are times when business is slow, and it’s best to plan ahead of time to have the renovation take place during your slow period. You can use your hotel property management software to understand what was historically your low season and to ensure that you close for construction during that period or the period when you have the least reservations.
Another option could be deciding to close by sections. For example, you could start first with your lobby, then move to construction by wings, which allows you to keep open the sections that aren’t under construction. You do, however, run the risk of noise complaints, so the best way to avoid negatively impacting your quality of service is to close in the shortest of periods possible in order to avoid lost revenue.
First impressions count
If you’ve already made the decision to renovate, then you want to make sure it works to your favor and helps improve your guest’s experience. Since first impressions are key in hospitality, make sure your lobby is one of the first things that you design. Your lobby should make a good first impression, be welcoming and have a clearly defined flow. Since a lobby is normally multi-functional, make sure to design the different spaces and designate the necessary areas for: socializing, check-ins and outs, functional work areas and for lounging.
Guests should be able to get a good feel for your hotel the moment they walk in, i.e, if your concept is green, make sure to have lots of plants and open space; if your concept is modern luxury, make sure to have some nice mid-century furniture statement pieces such as bookshelves or a couch and then create the feel of luxury with your choice of color.
Get more tips on how to rethink your lobby design.
Have a clear concept in mind
There is no better time to redesign your value proposition than before your hotel undergoes a renovation. There should be a clear reason behind the renovation, so make sure to have this in mind when you are defining your concept and choosing your materials. Are you doing the redesign to attract a different target audience? Are you trying to be more eco-friendly? Are you trying to make rooms more comfortable?
The target audience and what you are trying to achieve will greatly affect the design decisions you make, so consider all of these factors ahead of time. For example, if you are trying to make your hotel more appealing to remote workers, you might need to create more office space and have more plugs available throughout your lobby.
Read more about how to attract digital nomads.
Communication is key
Communication is key to getting your message across. If you don’t communicate, it’s as if you didn’t do anything. This is why you should start communicating from the beginning about what your renovation plans are and the progress along the way in order to create expectations.
You can use this hype to drive bookings post-renovation, either with a post-renovation special or early-bird special. All of this will ensure that you get more bang for your buck, using the renovation as a reason to get in contact with guests you haven’t talked to in a while, and to target new guests who are looking for updated accommodations.
In this article we’ve looked at the importance of timing, planning, and having a clear target audience in mind when it comes time to renovate a hotel. We’ve looked at other considerations like the importance of the hotel lobby and choosing the right construction company. But, without a doubt, one of the most important things to consider is how you plan to communicate.
By keeping these six tips in mind, you can minimize the negative impact of a renovation and be sure to optimize revenue once the reform is finished. A fresh look for your hotel will attract new target audiences and create an optimal guest experience that will turn one-time guests into loyal clients, which should be the utmost goal behind anything you do in the hospitality industry.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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