Revenue Management
Mario Candeias
  • Revenue Management
  • It Takes Two to Tango: Sales Management and Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management (RM) has taken a lead role in the generation of an optimized top line. As it is technologically based and technology has taken over the world, RM benefited from those tailwinds in its rise to supremacy. Such, that most literature, research and general writings have been almost exclusively focusing on it. That is not a problem per se. But RM is merely a fraction of the top line. Sales is the “big picture” and RM is a function of it, not the other way around. Sales must recover its leading role, as without it, RM is nothing but a one-legged body. Read on...

Mark Davis
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue-Leaks, or the Holes in the Bucket
  • The true art of Revenue Maximization (RevMax) at the elementary foundation is segment mixology including all points of revenue generation. I label this the perfect RevMax Cocktail with the ingredients engineered for total consumption of market share by segment from top rate to the lowest, while also considering each element of contribution to NOI margin. In terms of maximum RevPAR, it is simply maximum achievable occupancy at the highest deliverable ADR. However, before the hotel can celebrate success the team must also have a discipline to avoid the typical erosion of RevMax thru Rev-Leak! Every hotel must have an effective team balance to deliver the sweet spot: the most profitable revenue possible per available room. Read on...

Bonnie Buckhiester
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management: There are Two Sides to Every Story
  • The saying goes that there are always two sides to every story. In the hotel business this couldn’t be truer when examining the relationship between operator and owner, or in many cases between operator and asset manager. Both want to optimize performance, but often this requires a careful balancing act between guest satisfaction and profitability. If a hotel is exceeding expectations – i.e. beating budget, surpassing last year, stealing market share – one might ask “does that mean the revenue management effort is optimal”? If a hotel is falling short of expectations, does that mean that somehow the revenue management effort is lacking? Read on...

David Chitlik
  • Revenue Management
  • In-House Tax Help is Part of a Hospitality Company's Evolution
  • Your hospitality business is small, with a single hotel or locations in only a few tax jurisdictions. Your accountant is taking care of compliance quite well, with the help of a local, seasonal tax specialist. But as you grow, expanding to another state, another region, it's time to seek tax expertise. Hiring an in-house state and local tax professional is often part of the evolution of a hospitality business. Its decision criterion is generally the same as that of any other position, arrived at through a cost-benefit analysis, and there are any number of metrics that can be used. Read on...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • Are You Pricing for Profits?
  • A consistent misconception among hoteliers is that pricing for profits means operating at the highest price level within your competitive set. This is as far from the truth as anything. Pricing for profits is an approach which takes into account how well your pricing strategy deals with one of the most common phenomenon in hotel or any form of business - price resistance. Price resistance is a price point where customers feel the need to look elsewhere. A superior indication of price leadership and pricing for profits is to see where you stand in terms of REVPAR against the Market Average. This is principally because if you are well above the market average REVPAR, you are exhibiting price leadership more than merely an average daily rate in the higher levels. Read on...

Nitin Shah
  • Revenue Management
  • How World Economic Issues Are Affecting the American Hotel Industry
  • The good news is that globalization, cable news, the internet, and social media come together to give us instant and constant worldwide connectivity. However, the bad news is that these same technologies make all of us interdependent like never before on economic, political, and social events around the world. For hotel owners, the result is an industry that is more competitive, challenging, complex, and volatile -- and less predictable -- than ever. To demonstrate this, let’s look at how current global economic developments are having an impact on four aspects of the lodging business in America. Read on...

Sheenal Patel
  • Revenue Management
  • Thinking Differently About Data, Technology and Revenue
  • The hotel business can be mired in the way things have always been done. Hotel managers input data into spreadsheets without analysis, information from different business areas isn’t centralized, and hotel owners only address problems once they become chronic. Decisions are made without rigorous data to back them up, and a stagnant mentality can prevail. It doesn’t have to be that way—and in our company it isn’t. When we founded NVN Hotels 10 years ago, our intent was to challenge the status quo. By coupling a data-driven approach with guiding principles that empower employees to have ownership and enact change, we’ve created a culture that expects and rewards excellence, which ultimately increases revenues and propels growth. Read on...

Breffni Noone
  • Revenue Management
  • Developing the Revenue Management Talent Pipeline: An Industry and Academia Partnership
  • It is no secret that revenue management is facing a talent shortage. Current revenue management practice requires a focus on managing the profitability of all of a hotel’s revenue streams, and hotel companies are looking for emerging revenue managers who have the skill set required to meet that challenge. Amidst growing concern that hotel schools do not make the cut in terms of graduating students who are prepared for the demands of this new era in revenue management, I suggest that a strategic industry-academia approach is needed to develop a viable, and strong, revenue management talent pipeline. Read on...

Steven Pinchuk
  • Revenue Management
  • What Happens When Two Immovable Forces Seem to Conflict?
  • There appears to be an inevitable collision between two titans. Traditional segment based RM, which is not currently structured to consider each individual customer’s background and both their tactical value and lifetime value, currently does not work with the new breed of customer centric customer triggered one to one personalized marketing. Today an unknown customer usually gets the same price and availability as a known customer. This article will propose a solution that should be acceptable to both of these titans – where they will actually work together. Both pricing and availability can be more personalized without changing existing RM systems. Read on...

Robert Mandelbaum
  • Revenue Management
  • Shifts in Hotel Revenues Reflect Changes in Development and Guest Preferences
  • Historically, hotel revenue managers, aided by sophisticated computer programs, helped their properties determine the proper balance between the volume of guest rooms rented, with the price charged to rent those rooms. As revenue management has evolved, other factors have been added to the equation. Now, it is not just rooms revenue that is evaluated. Hotels realize that an occupied room has the ability to generate other revenues within the property. Using data from our Trends® in the Hotel Industry survey we are able to analyze historical changes in all revenues earned by U.S. hotels. Read on...

Robert Rauch
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Strategies for Boutique Hotels
  • The market is poised for boutique hotels to make an impact on the hotel industry like they never have before. With an expected soft landing of the economy in 2017 (2-3 percent RevPAR growth max) it is more important than ever for independent hotels to ensure that they have proper revenue strategies in place. Competing with the big brands for market share can sound like a herculean struggle but with execution of the proper procedures, a boutique hotel can stand apart from the crowd. Understanding where your business comes from is the first step of proper revenue management. Read on...

Liz Uber
  • Revenue Management
  • How do You Identify a Good Piece of Business?
  • Finding “good” business is not enough, by itself, to ensure the long-term success of a hotel. Instead, you must find good business to bring to your property that is also the “right” business for that particular location. Although this might sound like a fairly simple task, identifying the right business for the right hotel can, in fact, be a complicated endeavor. It involves a thorough evaluation of each opportunity, along with many fluid components at the property, and the market in which it is located. These factors can include the operations of individual departments within a property. Read on...

Ahmed Mahmoud
  • Revenue Management
  • The Most Overlooked Hotel Revenue Stream Measures
  • The ultimate goal of each hotel is to generate more revenue, achieve higher guest satisfaction, and a higher rank vs. its competitors, but when hoteliers implement the revenue management concept it needs a set of tools to help achieve the goals critical to maximizing a hotel’s profitability. It might be “A dark science --combining high technology and black arts”. While revenue management professionals devote significant effort towards advancing strategies and tactics to optimize revenue, many revenue managers still lag when it comes to establishing and measuring agreed upon success criteria. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Revenue Management Health Check: How Does Your Hotel Measure Up?
  • It is commonly accepted today that revenue management is critical to the successful operation of any hotel. However, while the adoption of this strategic approach to pricing - and the advanced systems that support this - are becoming more widespread, there is still no industry standard for how to evaluate revenue management outcomes. This lack of universal criteria around how to assess revenue management can pose challenges in trying to sell the success of a program within a hotel, as well challenging how to accurately benchmark a hotel’s revenue performance against its competitors. Read on...

Daniel Wise
  • Revenue Management
  • Bringing Revenue Management Tools to the Masses
  • Hotel revenue and profit optimization solutions have come a long way since my time as a revenue manager at Best Western several years ago. During those days, I discussed frequently with my co-workers how, while there were clearly benefits to implementing an automated revenue management platform, the technology solutions available at the time were not ideal for the mid-market sector of the industry, let alone independent hoteliers without the power of a flag behind them. Read on...

FEBRUARY: Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer

Nisha Thakkar

While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey

These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan

As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso

Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Coming Up In The March Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Human Resources: Inspiring a Journey of Success
In an increasingly competitive environment where hotels are competing to attract, and more importantly, to keep top talent, Human Resource managers are realizing the need to focus on improving their Employee Experience. Smart managers are embracing the idea of Employee Wellness which translates into a system of physical, mental, emotional, and purposeful well-being. Some organizations are even providing free counseling for their employees and their dependents. The goal is to nurture, support and engage with their employees in a way that increases productivity, improves customer service, enhances loyalty, and creates a more harmonious work environment for all. Along with this development is the need for more effective, ongoing training. Many HR managers rely on external training firms for this, but there is a growing trend which taps the experience and expertise that already exists within the organization. For example, younger employees likely have greater knowledge of social media which an older generation might struggle with. Harnessing this peer-to-peer learning can be an efficient and cost effective way of increasing skills, and as a result, the knowledge transferred is likely to be more acceptable and relevant. Finally, HR managers need to foster an environment that empowers people and taps into their full potential, inspiring a personal journey of success. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the strategies and techniques that human resource directors are currently developing in order to achieve success.