7 reasons why hotel management loves long term stays and 7 steps to booking a long term stay
Negotiating a long term stay with a hotel can seem intimidating however, if you know a few "inside" tips prior to making the call to the property, you can do well for yourself.
Here are 7 reasons why hotel management loves long term stays and 7 steps to booking a long term stay.
It guarantees an occupied room for 21 days (in your case)
It cuts down on labor costs since it takes about half the time to clean an occupied room as a check out room.
It allows the hotel to more accurately forecast occupancy and revenue
It generates secondary income for the property such as restaurant, bar, gift shop, parking, retail, health club, etc. (if applicable)
Hotels dictate every rate on those third party, discount websites. Nothing is a surprise to them. It is not a coincidence that all the sites are within a dollar of each other unless the site is doing a promotion and decides to take a lower commission from the hotel.
Most hotels would rather you do not book a long term stay on the discount websites.
Most hotels have a low rate guarantee that stipulates if you call the hotel directly or book directly on their site, the rate is guaranteed to be lower.
Hotels negotiate long term stays all the time. It sounds like whoever you spoke with was either not in the right position to negotiate or, the hotel is already full or anticipating high occupancy. They might have a group already booked that is filling the house. So what to do, right?
Here are 7 steps for negotiating a long term stay:
First and most important, know how many room nights you want to book. This means you count every night for every reservation you want to book. The more room nights the more room for negotiation.
Call the hotel and ask for the Front Office Manager, Revenue Manager, Rooms Division Manager. This is written in order based on the size of the property. A smaller property you ask for the Front Office Manager. A larger property, ask for the Rooms Division Manager. Each of the three mentioned here dictate the rates. Some might say to ask for the Reservations Manager and that could work as well but I have found that the Reservations Manager will either play hard or ask the Front Office Manager or Rooms Division Manager depending on the property.
DO NOT SPEAK WITH LINE STAFF!!
None of these people (Front Desk or Reservations) have any authority and do not determine the rates. Only the managers know the forecast and only the managers know what they can and cannot do. A reservationist and front desk agent will only go to the manager for a quote. Don’t waste your time.
Do Not call the toll free number. You want to speak to someone in the hotel.
Convince as many of your family to stay at the hotel in separate rooms. The more rooms you book, the more room nights, the lower the rate.
If they quote a high rate for one or two days, ask to discount it by spreading it over the other dates. For example, lets look at 20 nights. Say for the first 10 days the rate is $125 per night but the last 10 nights the rate drops to $100 per night. To make that $125 easier to swallow, ask for a rate of $112.50 p/night. Not all hotels will agree to this and most will want you to pay the higher rate at the beginning to insure you are not a fraud. Anyone can call and tell them they want to book 21 nights but if your family checks out early, they are screwed. So expect a higher rate for the first week.
Most importantly, be nice and pleasant. The hotel may not do anything for you if they are forecasting high occupancy but if they have rooms, you want their cooperation. I would always do whatever I could to help someone achieve their goals as long as they were pleasant. If you are a jerk, they will not be inclined to give you a good rate and may prefer you book elsewhere and quote you a high rate.
Lastly, some might advise you call the Sales department and that might work as well but many hotels want you to book meeting space or a catered event such as a breakfast to get a break on the rate. Other hotels may just go ahead and work with you through the sales department. You might want to try Sales first if you do not know. If the sales person offers to transfer you to reservations, hang up and call back and begin with step 2 above.
-Reprinted from my post on Quora.com with 21.8K views as of June 4, 2017