Located in the lovely coastal suburb of Sumner in Christchurch, its charm, character and relaxed seaside lifestyle makes it a popular destination. Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments is nestled right in the heart of the ‘village’, minutes from the beach and the many cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, and Cinema (right next door).
The 12-room boutique property features a combination of studio units and apartments, all with a private courtyard or balcony. Owners Roger and Kay Evans took over the reins of the property in February 2017 and have since turned it around into a successful and efficiently managed property.
The Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments that Roger and Kay took over came with an antiquated AA Traveller website, featuring outdated information. Bookings were received via email from AA Traveller and Expedia, then had to be manually logged into the motel’s property management system, due to the lack of a channel manager.
The property management system, as well as the property’s computer system had no back-up. Processing bookings came with frustrations of dealing with emails and ensuring rates and inventory was manually updated on the motel’s property management system – MotelMate – and Expedia.
The whole set-up was risky and ridden with opportunities for double and overbooking errors.
We live on site to ensure our guests enjoy the best experience possible, says Roger Evans.
“However, the dated booking and distribution management processes were chewing up our time and getting in the way of delivering an attentive service to our guests.”
The content management system (CMS) of the website was poor and technical support non-existent making it difficult to even make minor updates. As the shopfront for the motel, this needed to be fixed – and quickly.
Signing Up to STAAH
Within a month of owning the motel, Roger and Kay knew that investing in a website, booking engine and channel manager was integral to business success.
STAAH’s Custom website was in stark comparison to their existing site. Responsive and user-friendly, it has been designed to attract and convert users via STAAH’s ConvertDirect Booking Engine. “Unlike the previous provider, the content management system (CMS) is easy to use and the booking engine is well-placed in the website’s user journey to convert the lookers into bookers.”
The bookings started rising as soon as the STAAH connection was established. Within a year of ownership bookings for the motel rose by more than 7%. The increase has been significant in the last six months – 24%. More importantly direct bookings via the website are on the rise – commission free!
The biggest gains are made in processing time.
“Gone are the days of stressful, manual entry of bookings that was prone to mistakes,” says Roger. “It’s difficult to put a figure around the efficiencies achieved, but the channel manager allows us to focus on other parts of the business such as maintenance, marketing and guest relations, which should ultimately lead to increased occupancy and revenue.”
“A big bonus is the affordability. We didn’t have to break the bank to get this high-performing technology,” says Roger.
The Journey Has Just Begun
Singing praises for the STAAH team Roger says, “We knew very little about channel management and had no time or inclination to build our own website when we took over the business.”
“Fortunately the STAAH team was on hand. They handled the implementation completely, it took very little time and effort from us. The whole process was painless and with a short training session we were away – it is a very easy system to use! Besides the STAAH support team is a phone call away when we need them.”
For Sumner Bay Motel & Apartments, the journey to more bookings and revenue is well on the road. Roger and Kay would recommend any accommodation provider struggling with online reach and distribution management to give STAAH a go.
“The level of service, technical advice and quality of product has been exceptional.”