SAGE Hospitality Group is a leading hotel developer and operator with over 65 properties across the United States. Its portfolio includes full- and limited-service hotels operating under such banners as Marriott and Hilton; it also has independent properties such as Chicago’s Essex Inn and The Oxford Hotel in Denver.
With dozens of independent properties under management able to choose their own PMS and tech stack, SAGE’s team of over 20 revenue managers have been busy upgrading their own systems to help aid the group’s expansion. We spoke to Director of Revenue Management Matt Reich based in SAGE’s Denver HQ about how they are transforming things internally.
Old school frustrations
“With some of our legacy Revenue Management Software (RMS) – the pricing was not very accurate and everything was so manual. On top of that – the traditional options are often expensive and it’s always trouble getting the system set up and getting pricing sorted.
“I love how it updates so fast. You can see prices being adjusted in near real-time whereas other RM software would take at least a day to change…”
We were looking to try a new way forward in a few hotels before potentially rolling out across the whole SAGE portfolio. Pace, now FLYR for Hospitality, came recommended and straight away we noticed that it was extremely easy to use. It was clearly super quick at updating prices and the new restrictions management function was crucial for a business like ours. We were impressed with what we saw so we went ahead with trying it out in a few of our properties…”
“The onboarding experience was really tremendous. It took two days and everything was done. A typical RMS would take at least a month…and that would be just to get the ball rolling! A lot of all that typical RMS fine tuning is simply not needed.
After implementation, we switched on pricing automation pretty much straight away – it was all so simple. That’s in stark comparison to competitors, who are way too complicated. FLYR for Hospitality’s pricing is so dynamic and it updates so quickly that our revenue managers can focus on getting new business instead of constantly focusing on adjusting information and data that’s, technically, already been entered into the system!
Oh and the customer support is great unlike with the other vendors. The chat response is instant and always super helpful. With the legacy RMS, we would have to send an email and wait two weeks for any reply…”
“The pricing has been great – Pace, now FLYR for Hospitality always keeps the prices up at the higher levels we want. For the first property we implemented, we beat our budget by 1.8x during the first full month of being live. It was an incredible eye-opener internally.
Another example that may seem less eye catching but that has really impressed us considering the market during COVID, at the Catbird – our new property in Denver – we would like to ideally be getting an ADR of near $250 for our boutique rooms in a normal year and, despite the challenges in the market, it has helped get us to $235. If it was a typical year we would be targeting 75-80 percent occupancy and, despite the pandemic, FLYR for Hospitality has helped us hit up to 60 percent occupancy.
“For the first property implemented, we beat our budget by 1.8x during the first full month of being live. It was an incredible eye-opener internally.”
But I really love how it updates our pricing so fast. I will see several bookings come in on the same day and the system will respond and adjust prices immediately. You can see it working in near real-time whereas other RM software will always take at least a day to change those prices. Even though our booking window is still really short (just like everyone else), you can still see that it is adjusting the rates to respond to changes in demand.
All those little system tweaks and adjustments I constantly had to do with my previous RMS I no longer need to do. That has meant some massive time savings for me and the team so we can focus on more strategic activities.”
“A big plus about Pace, now FLYR for Hospitality, is their BI tool Analytics and how it has helped with our reporting. I really like the portfolio screen. It helps me make sure every channel is open and check what’s happening.
For example, I often like to separate our transient business and see how it all fits into the bigger picture and analytics helps me do that very easily. With our dashboards we can see what’s picking up and all our rate plans in one easy view. TRevPAR is another important metric we make sure to follow on our Analytics dashboard.”
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