The last few years have been something of a brave new world for hotel revenue managers. A decade ago, Hotel Revenue Management emerged as the hospitality industry’s newest profession amid an online boom for the sector.
The idea behind the Director of Revenue Management was to help properties secure exposure on the new crop of online travel agencies (OTA), like TripAdvisor, Expedia, Booking.com and others. When the profession first exploded around 2004, OTAs were a rapidly expanding industry, meaning times were good for revenue managers. Today, it’s a very different story. OTA booking rates are seeing little more than 1 percent year over year growth, and the obvious question is: where to next for revenue managers that cut their teeth during the boom years, and are now facing a challenging new future? Industry research suggests there are eight things today’s successful Hotel Revenue Managers do that set them apart from the crowd.
1. It’s not just about rooms
Once upon a time, the main job was to get people into rooms. Simple, right? Today, not so much. Today’s successful revenue managers know room revenue is just one part of a much broader picture. Every interaction with the guest is a possibility for revenue (or occasionally revenue loss, unfortunately). Whether we’re talking about on the ground interactions between the guest and concierge, to online interactions such as the website’s conversion rate, a good revenue manager sees opportunity everywhere.
2. Data trumps all
For decades, the hospitality industry has been dominated with myths and traditions that we all just assume are best practice. However, a good revenue manager doesn’t just ask the tough questions, they also bring answers based on data. In bygone days, this kind of thing was solely the domain of the marketing department, but today’s successful revenue manager professionals know they too have a role to play here.
3. Compartmentalization is dead
Closely linked to the previous point, many businesses are realizing they can’t have every department working in isolation. A knowledgeable Hotel Revenue Manager is well placed to act as a conduit (or referee) to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
4. From technician to optimizer
During the early days of the profession, one of any revenue manager’s biggest challenges was the technical side of the work, such as handling a variety of (sometimes frustrating) Revene Management Systems. However, today’s revenue manager is more about being a thinker – that is, using data to come up with new ways to generate profit.
5. Forget discounts
Discounts were once seen as a great way to bring in new clients – but not so much anymore. Instead, you should look for better alternatives.
6. Stop budgeting, start predicting
Budgeting is for accountants, and a successful Director of Revenue Management knows they can better help their clients by focusing on data driven predictions and analytics, not coin counting.
7. Forget raw data
The days when executives are excited just to see a folder of raw data are gone. Today’s revenue managers are expected to deliver only the data needed for key decisions and analysis.
8. Creativity is key
The best hotel revenue managers aren’t sitting on their laurels – they’re thinking ahead, always considering new solutions, and better ways of doing things. Put simply, the uncreative revenue manager will be left behind in an industry that needs to constantly move to survive.