SAN ANTONIO—My Place Hotels of America LLC’s annual convention welcomed nearly 200 attendees at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, about 17 miles from downtown San Antonio, to not only bring together its franchisees for networking opportunities but provide updates on the economy extended-stay brand’s programs and platforms.
“Some of you may know and others may not, but I was the very first employee for My Place, so I’ve had the opportunity to witness so much growth year after year,” said Sarah Dinger, VP of brand management at My Place Hotels, during the conference’s “What’s New!” segment.
The brand recently changed its property management system. “Although we were mostly happy with our previous system, we are always looking for opportunities to improve our platforms and our system offerings,” she said. “With our fast growth and commitment to excellence, our need for a scalable and reliable property management system becomes more crucial every day.” In an attempt to create operational efficiencies, increase guest security and enhance guest experiences, My Place partnered with Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
My Place will implement a new payment terminal with SynXis PM, Sabre’s PMS solution, which will help minimize chargebacks and will “provide an additional layer of security to that credit card data,” Dinger said. As a result of the PMS switch, the brand was able to decrease monthly technology expenditures by nearly 21% and speed up the check-in time, reducing it by nearly 18%. Additionally, GMs can now access the PMS from personal devices.
The SynXis PM is designed to also makes it easier for GMs to provide staff system training. The platform training and testing curriculum is built right inside of Sabre’s platform. The change to the new PMS will also enable My Place to integrate the brand’s “loyalty program into operation with less development in the backend, which is phenomenal,” she said.
My Place partnered with Fort Worth, TX-based Digital Alchemy, a hospitality CRM solutions provider, in November 2016. “Through our partnership with Digital Alchemy, we’ve been able to continue to build relationships with our guests from the minute that they book their stay,” Dinger said. This partnership has enabled My Place to launch email marketing campaigns to repeat guests, offering them exclusive deals, and, according to the numbers, the strategy is paying off.
“Through our email marketing campaigns we were able to send more than 189,000 emails, and our open rate on those emails was 18%, which is outstanding, considering the industry average is 13%,” she said. “The guests who receive those emails booked more than 4,000 room nights and generated more than $200,000 in total revenue.”
To enhance its corporate travel, My Place partnered with Lanyon, a Dallas-based corporate travel management platform company. My Place’s corporate travel business has generated more than $730,000 in revenue and booked more than 7,500 room nights through its relationship with Lanyon. Through the platform, properties can increase visibility, upload rates and inventory, and more.
My Place has been working to increase property visibility online. The brand has recently partnered with Yext, a New York City-based business management solutions company, to ensure property information is uniform across all platforms. There are now more than 3,600 My Place reviews on TripAdvisor, up 100% since last year’s conference, and the average property review for the brand is 4.5 out of 5. Additionally, 90% of My Place’s reviews on TripAdvisor are responded to by the respective properties.
The brand has also created the progress portal for franchisees. To assist franchisees with the opening process, My Place hired Michele Shilhanek to deploy a progress portal. This tool includes location progress, brand resources, projected opening data and more. My Place has also created a new revenue management department to help franchisees with market diversity, competition analysis and rate management.
For the past six months, My Place has also upped its game on social media. While the brand has seen a jump on Facebook (witnessing a 92% improvement on daily impressions and a 190% increase on engagement on the platform), it’s also seen an increase in presence on LinkedIn by 67%, averaging more than 24,000 impressions per month. My Place has augmented its presence and followers by 388% on Instagram, and on Twitter, My Place has increased monthly impressions by 298%.