As a hotel revenue manager, you're essentially tasked with the success of your property. It's a role that has changed a lot over the years, although the key principles have stayed the same.
The role of the revenue manager is approaching an inflection point. On one hand, they are asked to assume a more holistic leadership role, weighing in on total hotel revenue and ways to optimize profit. And on the other, more data, systems and channels are making basic decisions on rates and availability difficult.
As revenue manager, you have one of the most business-critical roles in your hotel.
What has changed, that you need to be aware of?
For starters, business is back to pre-covid levels - for the most part. This is great news - however challenges include labour shortages, inflation and geopolitical concerns. With an increased workload, automation is more important than ever.
This means you need to take a good long look at your systems in 2023, and ensure you have everything you need in place in order to free yourself, and other staff, up to deal with the bigger stuff.
As well as being constantly aware of what's going on, and having that solid grip on industry happenings, there are other things you need to have, or constantly practise, in order to be the best hotel revenue manager you can be. We've put together a list for you, take a look.
Relationship management is a key skill for you to possess as a revenue manager. You have many internal contacts that need to be managed and maintained throughout the business. Having this crucial ability to develop relationships, and to influence, is all part of being an effective revenue manager.
You are probably juggling numerous external stakeholders - prioritising how much time is given to each of them is key. One of the most important relationships you'll have is with your hotel’s IT partners. It’s essential for revenue manager's to realise the difference between their partnership with their booking engine provider, and OTAs.
Listen to their recommendations and consistently provide them with relevant information that will help to grow your hotel’s direct business. Being able to manage conflicts of interest between these various relationships is important to ensure your hotel’s book direct strategy is maintained - and grown.
Revenue managers enjoy targets - and even more so - exceeding them! You are most likely driven by achieving revenue budgets. Good revenue managers know exactly how far off target they are for the month and are always focused on how they are going to reach them.
It's important to be mindful and always aware of your competitors. What are they doing, how are they doing, what are they getting right, what are they getting wrong? This will help invigorate, motivate and focus you and your team.
As a revenue manager you should be digesting data and reports on a daily basis. You need to be able to quickly detect trends, spot anomalies and identify opportunities.
Understanding data is one thing, but making quick and decisive action is another (adjusting pricing and availability for example) – a good revenue manager can do both. Keep in mind macroeconomic factors affecting your hotel’s revenue. Be flexible and quick to respond to these changes, which will determine your hotel’s success at achieving targets.
Understanding the cost of distribution for each market segment is important. Having this knowledge allows you to make informed decisions when it comes to distributing rooms and the price at which those rooms are distributed.
Once you know what your data is telling you, you need to then decide what action to take. Have the confidence to take the road less travelled and use your skills to provide new and creative solutions. Take strategic risks and learn which ones pay off. Try and enjoy a brainstorming session now and again alongside your marketing department to come up with creative solutions for low demand periods.
Attention to detail
Be thorough and double check details. Don’t assume rate plans are loaded correctly, double check how things appear on the front end. Ask the advice and opinion of others when it comes to names and descriptions for special offers. Ensure your rates and availability are open and closed when they should be.
Being armed with all the right data and a definitive strategy are the fundamentals - next, you need to lead all the relevant stakeholders towards following that strategy. Having the skills to influence a team comes from consistently presenting clearly crafted plans that engage, excite and convince people.
When it comes to technology, which is developing so rapidly, you need to be comfortable with the systems you are using and ensure you're getting what you need out of them. Try to keep your finger on the pulse, and be quick to adapt to new technologies. Embrace all these new opportunities. New technologies - including automation and reporting tools - should not be shied away from. They should be viewed as ways for your business to work more efficiently and successfully.
Finally, try to keep your mind inquisitive. Don’t just look at data and accept what it says - question things! Be confident and smart.