Check Out the Competition with Hotel Net Marketing

23rd Mar 2001

Hotel Net Marketing, based in Newport Beach, California, has introduced Check-Rate, the first known web-based product designed to save time and provide competitive rate listings in an easy-to-read online report.
Check-Rate quickly searches up to ten travel sites and five competitor hotel listings to simplify online yield management. With Check-Rate, a subscribing hotel`s revenue manager has continuous access to an easy-to-read online report which posts “real-time” rate information for their chosen competitive set on the travel sites they select.
Beta test site hotels are pleased with the new report. “The report is very user-friendly,” said Jeff Guillory, director of sales & marketing for the Swiss™tel Chicago. “It`s not a 30-page report that you have to sort through, or one that`s out of date before you get through it. You`re able to get real-time information in an online report that`s easy to read, one that you don`t have to print out if you just want a quick view. The simplicity of it all allows you to check on your competitors as many times a day as you want to,” he added.
Denise Roberts, founder and president of Hotel Net Marketing, conceived the idea to develop Check-Rate after she struggled to monitor and evaluate the rates offered on various internet travel sites for the 57 properties she marketed in her previous role as Corporate Director of Marketing for Sunstone Hotels.
“It became very clear that hotels did not have a means to gather `real-time` rate information needed by hotels that are utilising the various travel sites on the internet to sell their room inventory,” said Roberts. “I envisioned an online product that would help revenue managers spend more time evaluating their yield strategies and less time surfing the `net to fine-tune their competitive edge.”
Bill Acuna, controller and revenue manager for the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Irvine, CA, another beta test site, finds that the Check-Rate product answered Roberts` wishes. “Check-Rate is a big labour-saving tool. Before, we were only able to watch one or two online sites to check major competitors to see what rate was appearing,” he said. “Plus, with Check-Rate, you can view GDS-connected sites as well as those that aren`t.” To develop Check-Rate, Roberts partnered with Michael Meyer, founder and CEO of Symmetry Computing in Irvine, CA to develop this new product. Meyer is a technologist that has spent his career developing expertise in software development and scalable architectures.
At Pacific Life, Meyer co-developed an executive information system (EIS) that was later used by Microsoft`s president, Steve Ballmer, in national presentations as an example of how to effectively employ cutting edge technology in a business environment. After being asked to join the Microsoft team, Meyer worked in the Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) division assisting corporate clients with large-scale development projects designed for thousands of users.
“With Check-Rate,” Meyer said, “we offer one of the first web crawlers developed from the ground up to take advantage of the technology and processes that allow current `real time` data gathering. This product will ensure that Hotel Net Marketing can present a tangible solution for clients seeking important yield management market data in the dynamic Internet environment.”
Unlike static paper reports that are faxed weekly to clients, Check-Rate subscribers may access their competitive set`s seven-day outlook anytime. Their competitive set can include up to five different competitive hotels, and ten different travel web sites of their choice.


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