In the previous article, Destination Review mentioned the decisive importance of hotel revenue management in maximizing profit. Therefore, this job requires a revenue manager to meet a range of skills to successfully create more and more profit for the hotel.
The ultimate goals of each hotel are to generate more revenue, profit, achieve high guest satisfaction, and reach a higher rank compared with competitors; and revenue management is an effective tool to help achieve these goals.
Many big hotels often employ full-time revenue managers. However, most independent and small hotels do not implement any form of revenue management in their operation processes. That means they are missing out on various benefits, and perhaps can not maximize profit each year. Adding a revenue manager or team to their staff will of course incur an expense, but thanks to that, profit from revenue can be more than this cover cost.
Few years ago, a revenue manager’s main job consisted of collecting and compiling data into Excel spreadsheets, analyzing the data to identify trends and making a decision about hotel rates. Now it’s an extremely complex process that involves online travel agencies (OTAs), mobile marketing, direct competitors who consistently cut their prices, and hyper-connected consumers, people who have a habit of shopping and like to interact with the world around them via mobile electronic technology devices.
In any hotel, almost all revenue managers perform multifunctional roles that extend far from just optimizing room rates and forecasting group profitability. Revenue managers are fast becoming leaders who chair rate strategy committees, train property managers in pricing strategies, and guide sales and marketing teams in the most effective positioning for their selling strategies and campaigns. Every decision they make affects hotel profitability and that’s why this position demands a competent person to manage both revenue as well as human resources.
A revenue manager must have lots of professional and soft skills such as leadership skill, communication, negotiation, analytics, computer skills, effective sales, decision making, training, logical thinking, creation, assertion, etc. They need to know very well about technologies such as (Revenue Management System (RMS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Property Management Systems (PMS), distribution channels such as OTA, metasearch, global distribution system (GDS), etc.
Due to the versatile features and job requirements related to many sectors, a hotel revenue manager has to work and report directly to the General Manager, and work closely with many other departments and divisions such as Sales & Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Reservation department, IT, etc.
Tips of a successful hotel revenue manager
Last night performance: Hotels usually make a report that recaps all the activity within the last 24 hours. Generated revenue must be compared with the budgeted figures to calculate the variance. This will help revenue managers to track whether hotels revenue centers (such as guest rooms, food and beverage outlets, spa, etc.) are doing well or not or in par with their forecasted figures.
Latest reservations activity: Review all the reservations booked from yesterday and answer some of these questions such as Which market segments the reservations came from?, What rates do those reservations come in at?, etc. to come up with the proper strategy and actions.
Pace report analysis: Check the room nights and revenue picked up from last night and compare to the Forecast & Budget of the month in order to see if you can still meet your goals.
Market segment review: From the pace report analysis, revenue management will check the segments the bookings come from. Based on the performance of the segments, they will decide what to do to boost business or extract more of a segment.
Price adjustment and analysis: Price strategies’ objectives are profit and revenue maximization. It is very complicated to set the correct price strategy but doing weekly price adjustments is very common in hotels. Revenue managers will make sure reasonable prices for busy days or on low season, the room rates cannot be too high.
Budgeting and forecasting: As mentioned in the previous article, budgeting and forecasting are very important in hotel revenue management. The budget is the first thing to forecast and the forecast will reflect the expected situation in the short term (from 1 to 3 months). New rate and selling strategies will be applied depending on the new revenue expectations to maximize revenue.
Other tasks such as distribution channel analysis, competitive market share analysis, inventory check and control or periodic meetings operation all contribute much to the success of a hotel revenue manager.
The career path of a revenue manager typically follows the following steps: Revenue Analyst => Assistant Revenue Manager => Revenue Manager => Revenue Director or Director of Revenue Management => Vice President of Revenue Management.
The revenue management organization structure from low to high levels including property level, cluster, area, country, regional and corporate level.
Revenue management is not an easy job, requiring the manager (whether in high or low levels) to have outstanding capabilities and diverse skills, spread across many fields. To become a hotel revenue manager, a person has to constantly make efforts, cultivate as well as practical experiences because this job aims at the biggest goal to maximize profits of a business. Simultaneously, it can be seen that the career path of a revenue manager is also very bright and promising, especially when many big hotel groups have been continuously opening and expanding their brand awareness all around the world.