Revenue Management
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...

S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
  • Revenue Management
  • The Buffet A La Carte Balance in Hotel Restaurants
  • As someone who has poured money into a restaurant as an investment vehicle, the owner is looking at a good return on that investment. Restaurant profits cannot match rooms accommodation profits and in most cases tend to be between one third to one half of rooms profits. It is thus critical that the restaurant product is well thought out and harnesses resident hotel guest patronage complemented by non-residents. A well balanced buffet and a la carte offerings in the hotel restaurant will go a long way in delivering that patronage factor as well as producing that return on investment the owner is seeking. A win win situation that owners and stake holders hold dear to their hearts. Read on...

MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.