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Marina Metrics You Should Track Monthly

This post is about Marina Operations

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Analytics can be overwhelming to think about setting up, not to mention reviewing on a regular basis.  But tracking a few essential metrics can make a major difference for your marina's revenue and performance over the long run. With so many options out there, we thought we'd put together a collection of common business metrics for your marina. You can choose from the following based on what's most relevant to your business. You can use Dockwa's marina management software to help you track and report on many of them.

Marketing Metrics for Marinas

Website Traffic

This is a simple one and can be tracked using Google free analytics or any other website analytics software. Your website is often the default for boaters when it comes to booking a slip.  The greater your traffic, the more chances at reservations you have.  You want to keep your website simple, with obvious paths to booking a reservation or inquiring about a long-term contract right on the homepage.  If you use Google Analytics, visits to your website are called "sessions".  You want to track the number of sessions over time and compare your sessions year over year.

Incoming Reservation Requests

Marketers call this metric a "conversion metric."  You want to track how many reservation requests you get on a monthly basis and year over year.  This is a good proxy for how revenue is going to fare this year.  You can drive conversions by getting a booking form right on your homepage to remove steps in the process for boaters.  You can get this data right from your marina management software, like Dockwa, or track it yourself manually in a spreadsheet.  If you take multiple inquires like transients, long-term and storage, you'll want to separate this out by type. 

Reservations by Source

Looking at reservation by source will give you a sense of which marketing activities are the most productive for you.  Online reservations can come through search (also known as "organic"), through a referring site like Marinas.com, through social media, or through paid efforts.  You can view your website traffic by source in Google analytics and if you're using an online booking system you can see source there too. 

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Revenue Metrics for Marinas

Occupancy Rate

In any boating season the occupancy will fluctuate as your monthly and seasonal customers leave for cruises or as transients reserve and cancel, and the often the habit of tracking your Occupancy rate falls to the wayside, but it's important. Here is a definition of how to measure a Marina's Occupancy rate.

To calculate your occupancy rate, you can use our Marina Occupancy Calculator here. For example, if you first know how much revenue potential your marina has, you can begin to find out how occupied your marina is based on how much dockage revenue you're doing, versus your revenue potential. The calculator makes it pretty easy, so give it a shot. 

Measuring your occupancy over time (daily, weekly, monthly) will also allow you to see a progression over time of your marina's performance. You can do this easily in an Excel or Google spreadsheet. 

Nights Booked by Month

Nights Booked is a measurement of now many nights you've booked in a given month. It's not a measure of when during the calendar year your marina has its slips filled (that's nights served, see below), but rather a metric that measures on which days boaters are making reservations.

Your Nights Booked metric will show you how well you're doing attracting seasonal slip-holders, monthly guests, and transient reservations over the course of the calendar year. In any given month, monitor the number of Nights Booked and fairly quickly attribute marketing success for any advertising campaigns or promotions that you're running.

Nights Served by Week, Month, and Season

Nights Served is the meat and potatoes of marina metrics. This number gives you insight as to how many nights you're serving at your marina. Nights Served is tightly linked to your occupancy, but it's more of a calculation of how "full" your marina is at any given day/week/month.

For instance, if you know how many slips you have at your marina, you can quickly figure out how many Nights Served you're able to reach for each night in your season. From there, you can track how many Nights Served you actually achieve for any given week, month, season, etc.

For example:

  • Your marina has 100 slips
  • You have 80 seasonal slip holders
  • You reserve 20 slips for transient guests
  • For any given week, your maximum nights served is 700 (100 slips x 7 nights)

Tracking this data now allows you forecast how successful your future seasons will be, and you'll be able to look back at what efforts were successful and change things up to facilitate growth.

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Financial Reporting for Marinas

Your financial reporting can help give an overall sense of your marina performance this year and also a set of benchmarks for understanding its potential for the long run and value as a property.

Core Financials

Most businesses have a set of core financials they track. Your core financials will include things like:

  • Cash Sales
  • Asset Revenue
  • Monthly Asset Revenue
  • Accrual Revenue
  • Monthly Accrual Revenue

Again, if you funnel your bookings through a marina management software platform, these are usually automatically tracked and can be exported to give to your accountant.  In addition to your core metrics however, there are a few equations you may want to run on your financials that will help you determine your Marina performance or value. 

Revenue Per Linear Foot (RevPLF)

RevPLF is the key to unlocking your marina’s potential revenue which, if you were gearing up to sell your marina, is a major factor in benchmarking your value. If you have a good comp set of similar marinas on the market you can compare yourself against that index.  Here's an explanation of how to measure Revenue per Linear Foot.

Average Daily Rate

Rates throughout the year may fluctuate but finding an average daily rate can give you a tool by which to understand your marina's full earning potential. keeping track of your average daily rate can help you understand how your marina is performing year-to-year and enable you to run pricing experiments that could lead to greater revenue. When combined with other metrics, your average daily rate can tell you even more. 

Hopefully this gave you a good overview of the metrics you can use to understand your business better.  You do not need to start off by measuring all of these, but the more you measure the sharper your insights will be about areas you can optimize in your performance for greater revenue.  Want to talk with someone at Dockwa about how to get better reporting and analytics for your marina? Click the red button below.    

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Adrian Mott

By: Adrian Mott

Published on 3/14/21 3:15 PM