Revenue Management
Bob Lowe
  • Revenue Management
  • How to Connect to a Credit Card Processor
  • Every hotel needs to accept credit cards as a payment method, and to do that you need a credit card processor. As you select a processor, you should look at what they can do for you and how you will connect to them, because not all are created equal, and the choice you make could have a far- reaching impact. First, will you connect directly to them or connect through a switch, gateway or other intermediary? You may be constrained by the choices your property management system (PMS) or even your hotel brand offers, but it’s good to explore those choices and make the decision that works best for you. Read on...

Ravneet Bhandari
  • Revenue Management
  • Pricing With Confidence
  • You’re a revenue manager. You follow all the rules. And you’re very diligent at it too. When setting the asked for room price for any specific day, you check your hotel’s historical rate records, examine what your comp set is charging, and even notice that Beyoncé is in town on that night, so you pump up the rate a few bucks more. Seems like the right thing to do, right? Read on...

David Lund
  • Revenue Management
  • How to Include 'Flow Thru' in Your Financial Statements
  • Flow Thru, this is my abbreviation, is a catch all phrase that measures how much made it through your business comparing one period to another. What made it through, from revenues to profit. Another term to describe this measurement is retention. A good analogy to grasp the concept of flow thru is to compare it to your paycheck. Imaging I give you a $1000 a week raise. The question then is how much will end up on your pay vs. how much got eaten up by higher taxes and other deductions. The same goes for additional revenues in your business. If revenues are $50,000 higher this month than the same month last year, how much of the $50,000 will make it through to the profit line. How much will flow? Read on...

David Lund
  • Revenue Management
  • Do Your Hotel Financial Statements Pass the Test? Part 2
  • Do your hotel financial statements give you the information you need to effectively manage your hotel? Are you able to see if your profits are where they should be in an enhanced top line statement? Do your statements measure flow thru? Do you record your rooms business by proper segments and track the rooms occupied, rate and revenue in each segment? Do you record customers served in F&B and do you separate meal periods? Do you record liquor, beer, wine and mineral sales on your financials separately? Do you measure labor productivity in your financials? Do you record hours of work in your financials? Do you have payroll segmented by management and hourly classifications? Do you have a separate supplemental payroll and benefits statement? Do you track arrivals and departures? Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • The Devil is in the Details
  • There’s arguably no other four-lettered word that has made quicker—and more impactful—moves in the hospitality industry than “data” has. With the ascension of the Internet igniting a brisk evolution of big data, the hospitality industry now orbits within an increasingly interconnected and technologically-savvy world. Keeping ahead of the curve in the midst of the Internet of Things (IoT) means hotels are not only evolving in how they meaningfully connect with their guests, but they also have to develop short- and long-term revenue strategies to capitalize on the new industry data and insights available to them. Read on...

Lily Mockerman
  • Revenue Management
  • How Today's Revenue Management Systems Can Help Hotels Manage Tasks
  • Today’s revenue management systems can help any hotel quickly and efficiently manage revenue tasks that would otherwise present a challenge. It can be difficult to stay on top of distribution across multiple channels when there are plenty of other issues facing a property at any given time. In the Revenue Management world, the differences within independent or branded environments can often be significant regarding how each respective entity deals with revenue management. Often, we’re asked about differences in working with each type of property as it relates to strategies or RMS systems, and how TCRM approaches these unique challenges. Read on...

Tom Engel
  • Revenue Management
  • Sharing Hotel Investment Knowledge in the Middle East
  • As an American working with colleagues in other parts of the world, nuances about collaboration in the business is key. This takes experience, savvy and know-how. Hotel investment decisions, opportunities in the Middle East and opportunities for those from the Middle East looking elsewhere are shared from the eyes and insights of a seasoned hotelier and hospitality-focused financial advisor. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Big Data for Big Pay-Off
  • Big data has been a starting player on the strategic revenue roster for years. In fact, years before big data exploded into something like a phenomenon, hotels were increasingly incorporating industry data into their revenue technologies and strategies. The opportunities afforded through the effective use of big data have grown to such an extent that today’s flourishing hotels must increasingly leverage larger amounts of available data to seize their most lucrative revenue opportunities. Read on...

Lily Mockerman
  • Revenue Management
  • Analytics, the 'Holy Grail' of Revenue Management
  • Analytics continue to be one of the most-discussed topics in the Revenue Management industry and as the backbone of any solid revenue management discipline, this makes sense. With that said, how do we really use analytics, and why is this measurement so important to building a solid revenue management foundation? Perhaps the most obvious answer is that humans – the drivers of revenue management – measure experiences through perception. This may not be intentional, but we are emotional and irrational creatures by nature. Analytics help us take an unbiased approach to our business in more rational and data-driven ways. Simply put, analytics give us the foundation needed to arm hoteliers with the ability to price efficiently and effectively without experiential bias. Read on...

David Lund
  • Revenue Management
  • Do Your Hotel Financial Statements Pass the Test?
  • Do your hotel financial statements give you the information you need to effectively run your business? Do they have an effective summary statement with departmental profits, flow thru analysis, proper room segment statistics, labor productivity, do you have payroll segmented by management and hourly classifications, do you have separate supplemental payroll and benefits, do you track arrivals and departures? Most statements I see do not have most of these critical elements. They’re lacking these incredibly effective elements that can easily be added. How would these elements add insight and value to your business? Let’s explore this Read on...

David Lund
  • Revenue Management
  • Creating Financial Leadership in Your Hotel
  • Hotel forecast magic. The how to vs. the want to. Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to get the non-financial manages in your hotel to do their forecasts? It’s like pulling teeth, it’s so hard to get the leaders in your hotel to willingly come to the plate. What if you’re asking for their forecasts in the wrong way? Here is what I learned and I want to call myself out on this because it took me 20 years to figure it out. Maybe it will work for you too and you won’t have to waste 20 years. Read on...

Jeff Navach
  • Revenue Management
  • Eliminating Acquisition Costs to Get Heads in Beds
  • What if I told you there was an easy and effective way to bypass the OTAs, reduce fees, and capture audiences you aren’t currently accessing? And I’m not talking about a new idea or outrageous untested concept. I’m simply talking about a change in the way you think about digital marketing. It’s a process that the OTAs have deployed for years that hotel marketers can do every bit as effectively as the OTAs. Hotels continue to confront a familiar problem: How to attract direct bookings and reduce the impact of OTA fees. We all know how profitable it is when bookings come straight through the hotel, but there simply isn’t enough reach to drive the same demand as the OTAs. Read on...

David Hogan
  • Revenue Management
  • Understanding the EMV Fraud Liability Shift
  • Even though it’s been almost 18 months since the U.S. migrated to EMV smart-chip based payment technology, many businesses – for various reasons – are still hesitant to get on board. Many hotel property management system products don’t support EMV acceptance, even though almost 80 percent of credit cards are now issued with smart chips. In fact, credit card issuers prioritized which cards were issued with chips first, which included high-limit international or travel cards – the types of cards being used often in hotels. Without the ability to accept EMV transactions, business owners – including hoteliers like you – are seeing liability shift chargebacks for which there is no defense. Read on...

David Chitlik
  • Revenue Management
  • Tax Assessments Based on Value in Use, or Value in Exchange
  • Regardless of property type, tax assessment valuation would appear simple enough. A generally accepted definition of market value is: The probable price, as of a specified date, in cash, or in terms equivalent to cash, or in other precisely revealed terms, for which the specified property rights should sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, with the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and for self-interest, and assuming that neither is under undue duress. Read on...

Paul van Meerendonk
  • Revenue Management
  • Driving Maximum Profit Through More Direct Bookings
  • Driving Maximum Profit through More Direct Booking: In today’s ultra-competitive hotel environment, every dollar counts. Any competitive edge that translates into a stronger bottom line is sought out, and every piece of hotel business is evaluated to determine its true worth. With rising costs associated with acquiring new guests through third-party platforms, hotels are rightly considering their most effective booking channels and looking to maximize business from owned assets like their own website. Read on...

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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.