“We had no hospitality experience when we started.”
The right technology partners help Alpha Motor Inn owners establish a successful motel business.
About Alpha Motor Inn
Located in the heart of New Zealand’s farming hub, Palmerston North, Alpha Motor Inn is a conveniently located property frequented by business and leisure travellers.
The previous business owners had left the Alpha Motor Inn. It was in a bad condition and we had no one to train us or do a handover” says Alpha Motor Inn owners Farnie and Brenda Malan.
Since taking over the property, it has been tastefully redecorated to high standards and sports a Kiwiana theme. “There are two buildings – North and South Island – the rooms have been classified based on New Zealand birds: Fantail, Tui and Weka. Each room has flavours of our towns, cities and areas.”
We’re passionate about New Zealand and wanted this to come through strongly in how we look after and welcome our guests.”
The Challenge Was Not Restricted to Refurbishment
In addition to requiring new fit-outs, the property had a property management system that was outdated and a huge challenge to learn.
“Despite these difficulties, and being new to the industry, we took on the challenge!”
“After much research we choose a property management system and STAAH as our channel manager.”
The Alpha Motor Inn and STAAH partnership began three years ago in 2015.
STAAH started as our technology partner. The team there became our guides in helping us build a business with all the support it could garner,” adds Brenda. “They patiently answered all our questions.”
It Was Easy
“Setting up rates in STAAH and finding my way around the system is very simple,” says Brenda.
One of STAAH’s most attractive features, outside of a high-performing technology, is its intuitiveness. It has been designed with a user-first approach and this always comes out a winner with its clients.
We have full confidence in STAAH and have never faced any issues of overbookings or similar.”
It Was All Good. But We Needed More…
In the OTA space Alpha Motor Inn is connected to Booking.com and Expedia.
Everything was ticking over well till a few months ago. Then Brenda saw a Rooms Online advertisement.
“The punch line for me was: We do the hard work, so you can concentrate on what you know best, dealing with your customers. I immediately phoned, and it has been like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Since getting the revenue management company on board our bookings from Expedia have increased. Their astute pricing strategy has put us on top of the game and we’re much busier.”
“Managing pricing was never my strong point. They advise me every week what they are planning, and I am very happy with that.”
Handing over to Rooms Online Wasn’t Easy
Of course, I was not sure of handing over the rates management to another company. I didn’t know their team or process,” says Brenda on the initial days of partnering with Rooms Online. “I ‘interviewed’ the Rooms Online staff prior to letting them loose on my business! I needed to know their background and fully understand for myself how they could be qualified to run my business.”
“After talking to the team, I realised my fears were unfounded and this was proven within weeks of bringing them on board. Our occupancy has increased, and we’ve never been so busy!”