3 Things Your Relocation Firm Should Avoid When Booking Hotels

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Temporary housing during relocation can take many forms. While in the past, traditional corporate housing and other apartment-like accommodations were standard, today employees who are relocating have a variety of choices. As a relocation firm, by offering hotel rooms as well as traditional temporary housing, you can give your clients the flexibility to choose the accommodations that best meet their needs.

Below are three things your relocation firm should avoid when booking hotels.

1. Booking the wrong type of room

The goal of offering hotels is to provide your clients with exactly the kind of accommodations they want and need. And with the many types of hotel rooms available today, you should be able to do just that. Some clients may need a hotel for only a few days, in which case a standard hotel room will likely suffice. Others may require accommodations for a month or more, and they will likely prefer a room in an extended-stay hotel that comes equipped with a kitchen and other facilities. Some may be traveling on their own, so a studio or small one-bedroom is appropriate, while others who are relocating with their family may need a larger space. The only way to learn exactly what type of accommodations will best fit your client is to ask, so before booking a room, pick up the phone.

2. Paying too much

In 2015, hotel prices are expected to increase 6 to 8% on average. This doesn’t come as a surprise—hotel rates are one of those things that seem to always go up, never come down. But it is still possible to get great rates on hotel rooms, and both your client and your company’s bottom line will thank you for it. Here are four ways to avoid overpaying for hotel rooms:

  • Book through Hotel Engine for Business. Hotel Engine for Business is a new online booking site that offers members with registered business accounts specially negotiated rates that are up to 60% lower than what you can find on traditional travel sites. It’s free to sign up, and registering your business account takes less than 24 hours, so why not give it a try.
  • Book corporate rates. Corporate rates are generally anywhere from 10 to 25% lower than rates available to the general public.
  • Develop relationships with vendors. As your company no doubt knows, loyalty is important. If you provide repeat business to certain hotels in the areas you serve, over time, you will likely be able to negotiate better deals for your clients, including lower prices, upgrades, and extra perks.
  • Be aware of all taxes and fees. To increase their revenue but still appear to be offering low rates, hotels have started charging some pretty outlandish fees. Make sure you are aware of these fees and communicate them to your clients in advance, so they don’t show up on the bill unexpectedly.

3. Losing a deposit and/or paying cancellation fees

Finally, just like with traditional temporary housing, you don’t want to lose money by having to forfeit a deposit or pay extra cancellation fees. Before booking a room, read the deposit and cancellation policy. If you have any question in your mind about a particular reservation, book a refundable rate—it may cost a little more upfront, but you will save a considerable amount of money if you later need to cancel. Should that happen, make sure you cancel before the deadline. In the past, many hotels allowed you to cancel up to 6 p.m. the night of arrival without a problem; however, Marriott and Hilton recently announced that as of January 1, 2015, travelers will need to cancel before midnight the night before in order to avoid being charged a penalty equal to one night’s stay.

Contact us to learn more about how a Hotel Engine for Business account can help your relocation firm provide the right accommodations for less.

Featured image by Lars Plougmann [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Flickr