Support Home New Sales Website Old Sales Website Contact Us
RDP Support  


RDPWin KB Booking Engine - IRM.Net RDPWin4 & PCI Compliance Search

 Critical Factors When Configuring Room Types & Room Numbers

Last Modified:  5/19/2006 - Article ID#: KWin0005

Deciding what room types to assign to each room number is a critical decision that affects availability, guest requests, rate structures, group blocks, the Internet Reservation Module (IRM), and much more.  While this article provides some guidelines, RDP support will be glad to provide consulting in this area by calling 970-845-7108.  How many room types to use is entirely different based on the answers to two questions:

  1. Are guests being offered guarantees or guest requests?  For example, is a non-smoking room with two beds a guarantee or merely a preference that might be met at check-in?  
  2. Are room numbers always assigned during the reservation process (preassign reservations)?  Customers running hotels tend to reserve by room type since all the rooms of a given room type are basically the same.  On the other hand, Vacation Rental companies usually reserve specific condos or houses by room number because each one is unique.  

Please use the table below to help determine how to configure the room type and room numbers in the RDP system.

Procedures for Guest Requests
Reservation Type Guarantee or Request Explanation
Inventory - Room type only Guarantee See Guest Guarantee with Inventory Reservations
Inventory - Room type only Request  See Guest Request with Inventory Reservations
Preassign Room# Guarantee See Guest Request or Guarantee with Preassign Reservations
Preassign Room# Request  See Guest Request or Guarantee with Preassign Reservations

Summary of Room Type use

The table below summarizes the use of the Room Type field

Factor Impact of Room Type
Availability When making inventory reservations, a room type is assigned but not a room number.  Many screens display availability by room type and day, similar to the following:

 

Room Type Saturday

5/20/2006

Sunday
5/21/2006
Monday
5/22/2006
King 204 213 199
Double 150 143 188
Suite 12 1 11

 

Rates  
Reservation Type Use of Room Type
Inventory

(no room number assigned to the reservation)

When making inventory reservations, the rates are determined by the combination of the room type and rate plan assigned to the reservation. All room numbers of the same room type must have the same rate for each rate plan.  In the table below, any reservation assigned a rate plan "RACK" and a "King" room will have a rate of $100 in the summer and $150 in the winter.  If the reservation was assigned a rate plan "AAA" in a "King", the rate would be $95 in the summer and $130 in the winter.   Note:   The system allows an unlimited number of rate plans to be created. 
Room
Type
Rate
Plan
Season Rate
King RACK Summer $100
King AAA Summer $95
Suite RACK Summer $160
Suite AAA Summer $145
King RACK Winter $150
King AAA Winter $130
Suite RACK Winter $210
Suite AAA Winter $185
Preassign

Room# always assigned to reservations

When making preassign reservations, the rates are determined by the rate plan assigned to the reservation and either the room type or room number.  The system first looks for rates for the room type.  If not found, it uses the rates for the specific room number.  As a result, you do not need unique room types for each rate type when using preassign reservations.  See Entering Rates with Preassign Reservations below. 
Yield 
Management
If using RDP's yield management system, rate plans can be cutoff based on occupancy percentage of the entire property or of a given room type.  For example, the system can automatically cutoff the AAA rate plan when the property reaches 75% occupancy or cutoff AAA for room type "King" when the property is at 80%.
Guest Requests Guest requests can be controlled by room type to make them "guest guarantees".  For example, King rooms can be divided into King smoking rooms and King non-smoking rooms.  The procedure for guest requests varies depending on several factors.  See Procedures for Guest Requests at the beginning of this article.  
Internet Reservations Room types are critical to the overall guest experience when using RDP's Internet Reservation Module (IRM).  When the IRM is configured to reserve by room number, it is critical to limit the number of guest search criteria so the guest does not see "no available rooms match all guest search criteria".   See Guest Requests with the IRM.  
Group & Wholesaler Blocks Blocks of rooms can be allocated to groups and wholesalers by room type.  This process is much easier with fewer room types. 

Guest Guarantee with Inventory Reservations

This section discusses the issues involved if guests requests are guaranteed and inventory reservations are used, where only a room type is assigned to the reservation and not a room number.  In this case, the RDP room type is used as both a "search criteria" and for determining the room rate.  Assume there are 200 rooms at a property and the primary guest requests are: 

  • Smoking or non-smoking
  • Two beds or one bed
  • View of parking lot or ocean

To guarantee guests all eight combinations of the above would require eight room types:

Room Type Smoking Beds View # of Rooms
1 Y 1 Parking Lot 25
2 N 1 Ocean 25
3 Y 2 Parking Lot 25
4 N 2 Ocean 25
5 Y 1 Ocean 25
6 N 1 Parking Lot 25
7 Y 2 Ocean 25
8 N 2 Parking Lot 25

When a guest requests a smoking room with two beds with a ocean view, the reservationist would select Type 7, which might be coded in the system as a "DDSO", for "double-double, smoking, ocean view".  By selecting the specific type, it guarantees the guest request However, this will make it much more difficult to sell out the property on any given day.  Since there are only 25 rooms of each combination, when the 26th person requests a "smoking room with two beds with a ocean view", the reservation may not be made at all since there are no rooms of this type remaining.  

Entering Rates - Guest Guarantee with Inventory Reservations

With inventory reservations, the room type is used to control both availability and pricing.  In the example above, the 200 total rooms were divided into eight room types, with 25 rooms per type.  All 25 rooms of a given type must also have the same rate structure.  

Guest Requests with Inventory Reservations

This section discusses the issues involved if guest requests are not guaranteed and inventory reservations are being used.  The guest may or may not get a room that meets any or all of the requests based on many factors including:

  • How many other guests have made the same requests
  • How early in the day the guest arrives
  • If the rooms have been cleaned yet

Using the example from the previous section, all 200 rooms at a property can be assigned the same room type with unique room attributes entered for each room as follows:

Room # Room Type Smoking Beds View
P=Parking Lot
O = Ocean
101 1 Y 1 P
102 1 Y 1 P
103 1 N 2 P
XXX 1 N 2 O

 

When the reservation is made it is always assigned Room Type 1.  During check-in, the system will display all clean and ready rooms that meet the guest requests.   

When using guest requests instead of guest guarantees, it is much easier to sell out the property and manage group blocks.  Additionally, fewer room types are needed.  With a guest requests, no matter what combination of features the guest "requests", the reservationist can always book a room.  The downside is that guests will not always get all of there requests when rooms are assigned during check-in.  In the example above, there could be 200 guests who all request a smoking room with two beds and a ocean view, yet there are only 25 rooms that meet all three of these requests.

Entering Rates with Guest Requests and Inventory Reservations

In the example above, the 200 total rooms were divided into only one Room Type 1.  With inventory reservations, the room type is used to control both availability and pricing, so all 200 rooms would also have to have the same rate structure.  An additional room type must be created for each unique rate structure.

Guest Request or Guarantee with Preassign Reservations

RDP Vacation Rental customers manage condominiums and houses for short-term and long-term rentals, and they usually assign a specific room number to the guest when the reservation is made (a preassigned reservation).  When preassign reservations are used, guest requests are controlled by the room number, not the room type.  The reservationist can enter the arrival and departure dates and up to nine guest requests.  The system then shows all available rooms that match the requests, in "owner rotation" order to assure equalization of rental income.  To make the guest request a guarantee, the reservationists simply selects a property that matches all the guest requests.  If there are no matching condos or houses, the reservationist can select the closest match.

There are special considerations related to the guest request issue when a guest uses the RDP Internet Reservation Module (IRM) to make a reservation directly rather than calling the reservation department.  On the IRM, it is critical to limit the number of guest search criteria so the guest does not see "no available rooms match all guest search criteria".  See IRM Search Criteria.

When a reservationist is making the reservation, all nine guest requests on each room can be used effectively in the search for available condos and houses.  The room type should not be used as a search criteria.  The room type is used as to group rates for condos or houses that have the same price, not the same guest requests.  Let's look at an example that may make this principal more clear.  Assume there are 200 rooms/properties for short-term and long-term rental that have a mix of the following:

Search Criteria Possible Guest Selections
Location Summit County, Vail, and Beaver Creek
Number of Bedrooms 1, 2, 3, and 4 bedrooms
Price Range Low, Medium and High
Smoking Smoking or Non-Smoking
Jacuzzi Yes or No
Maximum Occupancy 2, 4, 6, or 8 people
Pets Allowed Yes or No

The configuration of room type and room numbers when using preassign should be done as follows:

  1. The 200 houses and condos should first be sorted into groups that have the identical rate structure, irrespective of all room attributes. If a two bedroom condo in Vail is priced the same as a four bedroom house in Beaver Creek, these should both be the same room type.  This allow the rate plans to be entered only one time and cover both properties.  Both of these properties would be entered in the system as room type 1.  
  2. Decide on the nine search criteria that will be assigned to each room number (not room type).
Room # Room Type Property Code # of Bedrooms Price Range Smoking Jacuzzi Max Occupancy Pets OK?
101 1 Vail 4 Medium Smoking Yes 8 Pets
102 1 Beaver Creek 3 High No Smoking No 6 No Pets
103 1 Vail 2 Medium Smoking No 4 No Pets
XXX 1 Summit 3 Low Smoking No 4 Pets

Entering Rates with Preassign Reservations

When using preassign reservations, there are two choices for the RDP room type related to entering rates, as follows:

  1. Use only one room type.  Enter the rates for this room type and also enter unique rates for all room numbers that have a different rate than the room type.  This approach makes sense if all 200 houses have unique rates.  
  2. Group the condos and houses that have the same rate into the same room type to make it easier to enter rates.  For example, if 20 properties all have the same rate, they could all be Room Type 1.  This allows rates to be entered once for all 20 of these rooms.  

Warning:  There are several critical issues when using preassign reservations:

  • Use the room type to decide the room rate, not a search criteria.  Guest requests and search criteria are controlled by the specific room number selected for the guest.
  • All nine guest search criteria can be used effectively, because the reservationists can prioritize and filter guest requests to make sure the guest gets the appropriate room.
  • There are special considerations related to the guest request issue when a guest uses the RDP Internet Reservation Module (IRM) to make a reservation directly rather than calling your reservation department.  On the IRM, it is critical to limit the number of guest search criteria to maximize the probability of the guest completing the reservation. See IRM Search Criteria.
Support Home  RDPWin4 & PCI Compliance Enhancement Requests Open A Web Support Ticket
Training New Sales Website Old Sales Website Contact Us

 Facebook     Twitter      LinkedIn   TODF