October FOCUS: Revenue Management

October, 2020

Revenue Management: Maximizing Profit

Hotel Revenue Management continues to evolve at a blistering pace. Driven by technological innovation and new distribution channels, there are some dynamic opportunities for expansion in this fast-growing field. The technology is primarily designed to help revenue managers further refine their operations and pricing models to maximize hotel profit. For example, hotels can't be all things to all people, so a key strategy is to precisely identify their target audience. By employing geo-targeting techniques and analyzing behavior such as previous bookings, on-property purchases and online shopping practices, there is an increased capability to define guest demographics. By segmenting customers in more specific ways, hotels are able to create more personalized experiences which, in turn, allow managers to optimize their room rates. It is also an effective way to fulfill the unique needs and preferences of the individual. Another methodology is to consistently monitor the competition's pricing strategies. There are software tools that analyze a competitor's current rates, and then allow a hotel to make its own pricing adjustments. It is also a useful means to conduct forecasting models. Other technologies that are being integrated into a revenue manager's toolkit include Artificial Intelligence in the form of automated algorithms, and Voice Recognition (VR) for data inquiries, rate changes, and booking behavior. Predictive and analytic software programs are also being leveraged to provide more forward-looking data, instead of the usual reliance on historical performance. These metrics allow managers to be more proactive - rather than reactive - with their revenue strategy. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine these developments and report on how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.

This month's feature articles...

Cassie Bond

There are myriad of uncertainties for revenue managers at hotels worldwide. From managing an internal team, managing ever changing expectations, all while maintaining a sustained level of profitability, there's a lot to consider. Cassie Bond, CHRM, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Strategy at Chesapeake Hospitality discusses what revenue managers should keep top of mind while strategizing a way forward. READ MORE

Yatish Nathraj

Critical changes need to be made in the hotel industry before travel in the United States returns to normal. Property owner's, franchises and vendors need to work together to find scientific solutioned that will ease the fears of traveling guests. Better cleaning policies are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to guest concern's about getting sick. READ MORE

Renie  Cavallari

Frugal Innovation (FI) is the ultimate human-tool to think differently about resources & develop inexpensive solutions to solve dynamic problems. Most of these solutions come out of necessity & adversity vs. pure innovation, stemming from a lack of capital and R&D. FI is an active-thinking-lab that creates solutions through repurposing resources that are likely right in front of you. READ MORE

Bram Gallagher

While the importance of F&B revenue has declined in middle-priced hotels, upper-upscale hotels have retained high levels of F&B revenue. The most important difference may well be meeting space, which acts to secure relatively stable F&B activity even in times of economic distress. Social distancing as a result of COVID-19 may limit the use of meeting space. READ MORE

Mario Candeias

In a world where science took over daily pricing decisions, costs and ease of operating sophisticated software, the longtime it needs to be updated with reliable databases that allow exact and meaningful forecasting and decision-making, became an obstacle to optimize pricing decisions and profitability as a whole. An endogenously developed and tailor-made Excel model & dashboard is a reliable and cost-effective answer to the above. It's cooler, too. READ MORE

Sheryl E. Kimes

A few weeks ago, one of my friends asked me why Revenue Management (RM) mattered anymore since there was no revenue to manage. Then, I started noticing that many hotel companies were laying off many of their RM team members. That got me thinking and as an RM person, of course it sort of rankled me. Does RM still have relevance in the post-Covid world? READ MORE

Trevor Stuart-Hill

Over time, increasing complexity in the areas of revenue management, marketing and distribution has driven the need for specialization, both in terms of technology and human capital. While each discipline can impact property performance independently, superior performance can only be attained through close collaboration and clearly defined common objectives. READ MORE

Theresa Hajko

With the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic and the catastrophic impact it has had on the Hotel industry Revenue Managers have had to sharply adjust their strategies to the changes and become even more resourceful in their approach. Read how Spire Hospitality continues to adapt their game plan to the constantly changing playing field during these critical times. READ MORE

Bonnie Buckhiester

Today we are witnessing market extremes; those that have very little demand, and those that bizarrely have a ton of demand. With traditional market segments evaporating overnight, hoteliers cannot afford to wait for a third generation revenue manager to take a leadership role in their organizations commercial thinking. This means fully embracing digital marketing and searching out new (or little-used) performance indicators. READ MORE

Todd Szymczak

The global pandemic has been catastrophic for hotel business. Economic costs and consequences have been most severe. More than just a disruption, these staggering numbers reveal an industry in deep distress. How much of that distress will lead to lasting damage? What will be the short-, mid- and long-term impact of the pandemic? And what liabilities and opportunities exist for hotel owners and investors? READ MORE

Doll Rice

Hotel management professionals can learn valuable lessons about their teams, their properties, their priorities and their processes in a crisis, and one of the richest areas for new insights is in revenue optimization. This article discusses some of the revenue optimization lessons being discovered in a pandemic-altered industry landscape. There are plenty of reasons to believe that pandemic-driven revenue optimization lessons will leave the industry stronger and better than ever. READ MORE

Kell Sloan

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents huge financial and operational challenges. With no end in sight, the overriding concern for many properties will be about the long-term survivability of the property. The key to survival will be cash flow. Revenue Management utilized properly can improve operational performance and keep the cash flow coming. READ MORE

Mike  Chuma

When a ship encounters a storm, do crew members abandon ship? Not if they want to survive. Instead, they batten down the hatches and use know-how and navigational tools to steer the vessel to calmer waters. The same is true of hotel revenue management. To navigate this year's perfect storm of mass cancellations, record-low demand and downward pressure on rates, hoteliers must draw on their experience, fortitude and technology tools of the trade. READ MORE

Chris Hurn

The SBA opened its PPP loan forgiveness portal on August 10 and borrowers navigating the PPP Loan forgiveness process are finding it confusing, complex and time-consuming. With all of the confusion surrounding the process, hoteliers should make sure they understand the basic criteria for PPP loan forgiveness and following some actionable tips can help hoteliers work more smoothly through the process. READ MORE

Brian Quinn

As the travel industry braces for the long-term impact from the COVID-19 crisis, the extended stay and apartment-hotel segment is seeing increased demand comparatively. Drawing on his wealth of experience, Domio's Chief Development Officer Brian Quinn shares why apartment-hotels are thriving in today's environment, as well as how the sector provides attractive solutions for developers. READ MORE

Adria Levtchenko

Sometimes, in industries like hospitality and health care, where there can be so intimate a connection with another human being (guest or patient), we may underestimate the importance of maintaining esprit de corps within our own group. This article discusses some key elements to ensuring that those ties that bind remain positive and strong within our organizations as we navigate what remains an uncertain future. READ MORE

Ryan McAndrew

The hospitality industry is not having the V-shaped recovery we all hoped for. While hotel occupancy rose steadily throughout the summer and had returned to mid-March levels by August, occupancy rates are not providing the full picture of distress. The view on the ground offers a sobering perspective, as hotel investors and operators across the country continue to announce delayed reopenings and in some cases, permanent closures. READ MORE

Merrick Dresnin

In this pandemic-laden world, budgets have been trimmed, revenue expectations lowered, expenses have been brought under control and staffs have been reduced. How do we move forward in these challenging times when we have regressed in so many ways? How do we thrive when we have less resources and support? It can and has to be done. The following will help companies think through this dilemma, adapt and succeed. READ MORE

Rana  Kay

The latest studies show that consumer confidence is exhibiting a decline following a slight uptick in June. Diminishing optimism regarding short term financial recovery, coupled with health and safety concerns is projected to slow the recovery of the travel and hospitality industry. Establishing a comprehensive communications and marketing plan is critical to cultivating consumer confidence as we welcome guests back through year end. READ MORE

David Nuenemann

What can a professional consultant bring to the table at this point in order to assist hoteliers to retain their position in the market and ultimately secure their business? While a generic answer is certainly not applicable here, there are a couple of steps and examples that can be worked on now, together with a third-party, in order to succeed. READ MORE

Maggie Lang

COVID-19 has changed everything in the hospitality industry. But the pandemic has also opened the door for brands to reimagine operations and the ways with which we deliver service and experience. From cleanliness and putting health and safety first to creating community and improving service delivery, forward-thinking brands are leveraging digital technology to enhance guest experiences and build connection. READ MORE

Justin Taillon

The hospitality and tourism industry is facing uncertainty. We should work together as a community to bring patrons to our communities but our existing community organizers are DMOs. We rely on them to leverage resources and collaboration wisely for the betterment of our communities. These organizations complement our business operations and extend our resources to local global markets alike. Yet DMOs are facing closure due to financial realities. READ MORE

Lesley Hughes-Wyman

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, longterm. When the lines between work and home became increasingly blurred, a new frame of mind-and business approach-was required in order to navigate our new realities. While virtual communication is an important facet of 21st century life, nothing compares to face-to-face collaboration. As the future of work processes continues to evolve, there's much we can learn from the trial-and-error approach that 2020 required. READ MORE

Kerstin  Bremser

With touchless treatments in high demand, Prof. Kerstin Bremser explores automated dry hydromassage tables – which use sophisticated water jets to create custom massages while guests stay dry by lying on a natural rubber surface. These devices offer an alternative to hands-on massage and have been clinically studied to treat all manner of muscle aches and pains, including sciatica and chronic low-back pain. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

The right communications strategy will make all the difference when it comes to welcoming guests back through your doors. It starts with sharing your safety protocol, updating your guest communications, meeting the moment with new offerings, and using social media to share your new spa experience in a way that guests simply can't refuse. READ MORE

David Ashen

David Ashen, president & CEO of interior design and brand consulting firm dash design, could be called a road warrior, given the number of nights he spends in and out of some of the most interesting hotels across the globe. In this case study-style article, Ashen highlights three of his favorite hotels from his many travels and explores what makes them magical and memorable. READ MORE

Ruben Mejia

Hotel managers will need to make sure that health facilities are safe and clean for guests. The future of gyms in hotels will look different, such as limitations on the number of people that are able to workout at the same time or be in the same fitness class, and stricter cleaning schedules for hotel staff. SportsArt has created a full safety checklist that hotels should consider when opening their fitness rooms… READ MORE

Olivier Perrigueur

Technologies like smart lighting and shade controls play an increasingly important role in a property's ability to attract new guests and retain loyal guests. This is part of a macro trend that blurs the lines between home, work, and leisure. Lighting and shading can be differentiators throughout your hotel, and critical amenities in guestrooms, public areas, and restaurants, setting your property apart as guests decide where to spend their money. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

Magid research shows that consumers are hesitant to get on airplanes or stay in hotels, and instead are choosing to take short trips, if they are traveling at all. For those companies looking to win back consumers, the key will be regaining their trust. Rick Garlick offers hotels five effective solutions in gaining consumer trust. READ MORE

Chris Hurn

With economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic numbering nine times greater than the 9/11 attacks, the PPP recovery loan program has become a lifeline for the hospitality industry. However, due to shifting criteria, the complexities of PPP can be difficult to understand. Chris Hurn, founder and CEO of nonbank lender Fountainhead Commercial Capital breaks down the basics of the program and what hoteliers should expect from the proposed PPP extension. READ MORE

Patrick Hardy

The global impact of COVID-19 has required hoteliers and their corporate teams around the world to adapt quickly and recognize the importance of a robust disaster plan. But, what kinds of plans need to be created, and how should they be maintained and implemented in the "new normal"? This article provides a basic examination of the essential elements of a robust emergency response and business continuity program. READ MORE

Torsten Sabel

In times of crisis, priorities shift and hoteliers tend to make managing their online reputation a low priority. But actively influencing your reputation and your visibility on the internet is paramount, especially during a crisis as serious as the coronavirus pandemic. Implementing a reputation management strategy by following these essential steps is vital to protect your image and to emerge even stronger after the crisis has passed. READ MORE

Coming up in June 2023...

Sales & Marketing: Integrating Technology

The Sales & Marketing department is responsible for maximizing a hotel's revenue by developing programs to increase occupancy and to make profitable use of its meeting and leisure facilities. Increasingly, managers are utilizing sophisticated digital technology to help them achieve those goals. Virtual Reality is being integrated into booking engines which provide potential guests the opportunity to tour a property from afar, including wedding, event and food & beverage facilities. Voice Search has also become a popular marketing tool. Using smart home devices, it's now possible for customers to book hotels entirely through voice commands. Chatbots are becoming more ubiquitous as hotels seek to refine their online customer service. Chatbots can answer common questions, push key marketing messages, increase direct bookings, and even guide customers through the booking process. Finally, hotels are already preparing for the debut of the Metaverse and planning how sales and marketing departments will fully participate. The June Hotel Business Review will focus on the sales and marketing strategies that some hotels are adopting and how they are benefiting from them.