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David Chitlik

The decision to appeal a hotel's property assessment for tax purposes is only the first of a series of judgments before the case is resolved. Who will defend the appeal? Based on what facts? How far is an appellant willing to go to gain a remedy for the assessment? In order to be successful in this effort, particularly if the appeal involves a large amount of money or is extremely complicated, the hotelier would be wise to seek out expert guidance. With this decision, new questions arise of where to find that guidance and how much it will ultimately cost. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. Revenue management has moved far beyond the Microsoft Excel expert in a small back office and now involves multiple stakeholders from several departments, all influencing overall revenue strategy with each of their key areas of function. Today's hotel leaders are tasked with converging the traditional roles of sales, marketing, meetings & events and revenue management with an inclusion of other departments like F&B, banquets and finance. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

Over the years, the pool of data sources hotels utilize within their business strategies has grown exponentially larger. The propagation of its importance within the development of short- and long-term vision and strategic planning has also become more commonplace than in years past. Innovative breakthroughs in technology and analytics mean organizations continue to see more opportunities to leverage data in meaningful ways. However, the alternative side is the steep volumes of data can be dauntingly large and intricately complex. Organizations that focus on using the right types of data -- with an infrastructure that can effectively leverage it -- can confidently reach ambitious profit goals. READ MORE

Gino Engels

It's easy to feel intimidated by today's travel distribution landscape. Travelers are changing the way they buy, new players are disrupting existing monopolies, OTAs are buying each other, and hoteliers have access to so much data that it's become a full-time job to interpret it and put it into use. The key is to find ways to interpret this data, act on it quickly and leveraging technologies that can help with this. As long as you continue to strive to understand the market - and, most importantly, your guests - you'll be able to tap into the opportunities that, as a whole, make all the difference to your bottom line. READ MORE

David Lund

What information can I get from my monthly P&L to understand my business and make better decisions?" and "What's going on in my business?" The latter is the better, more applicable, piece for an operations manager who has a healthy sense of curiosity and a leader who wants to make a difference. These are the muscles you need to develop as a hospitality financial leader. It is not up to someone else (accounting) to chase you down and to get you on top of your numbers. It is the other way around. The sooner you see the opportunity in all of this the better for you and your career. It is not difficult. If someone stands in your way, find a way around them. Most leaders will not naturally do this, will you be one that does? READ MORE

Bhanu Chopra

You may have a sizable stock of inventory. You may also have revenue managers who know how to leverage pricing strategies. Moreover, you may have access to a variety of channels to reach your target market. But, is that all you need to ensure high revenue? Despite having all these goodies, your hotel's revenue-making potential can suffer on account of revenue leakages, which often go unnoticed. Avoiding them will make an immense difference to your hotel's bottom line. But, before we get there, let us understand these glitches in detail. READ MORE

David Lund

This aricle is an overview of a six-month financial leadership project that I recently completed at a full-service hotel. The project consisted of six half-day hospitality financial leadership workshops delivered in-house and monthly 1-1 leadership coaching appointments with the 15 managers assigned to the program. Each month of the project we completed a group workshop and each manager had a coaching meeting with me. The project goal had five measurable elements. It was to get the managers and leaders of this hotel to complete their monthly departmental financial forecasts, track their results throughout the month, adjust their spending on labor and supplies according to business volumes, review their month-end statements for accuracy and finally write their departmental monthly hotel management commentary. In other words, get the core management team to do these tasks each month while improving forecasts and the hotel's financial results. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Hotel organizations dutifully churn out reports filled with the ever-growing volume of data technology has made available, creating information overload for the managers tasked with analyzing them. By streamlining the process and sticking to the numbers that truly matter, managers make smarter decisions that have real impact on their hotel's business. The more management shares effective data with the staff, the better performance will be. Monthly or quarterly review of certain numbers can be used as a tool to motivate employees. As the saying goes, people do what you inspect not what you expect. READ MORE

Bhanu Chopra

You may have a sizeable stock of inventory. You may also have revenue managers who know how to leverage pricing strategies. Moreover, you may have access to a variety of channels to reach your target market. But, is that all you need to ensure high revenue? Despite having all these goodies, your hotel's revenue-making potential can suffer on account of revenue leakages, which often go unnoticed. Avoiding them will make an immense difference to your hotel's bottom line. But, before we get there, let us understand these glitches in detail. READ MORE

David Lund

In the hotel business payroll is the number one cost. STR recently reported that labor made up 50% of revenues for a sample of over 4,000 hotels of all types and sizes. This should not be even a little bit of a surprise to anyone. Many hotels are well north of the 50% mark. We have all become accustomed to serious REVPAR growth year over year which has taken the bight out of wage and expense increases. But what happens when the REVPAR bubble bursts. We all know it's not a matter of "if" it bursts it's when will it burst. READ MORE

Nicholas Tsabourakis

Latest developments in technology and added pressure in the market have advanced Revenue Management to acquire a more strategic role with emphasis in maximizing all components of the customer journey. And while there are still challenges in the adoption of such a business practice it is an exciting time for Hotel Revenue Managers. Technological advances have led to systems with enormous potential in handling the complexities of managing various revenue streams due to their abilities in advanced problem solving, reasoning and perception. This will elevate the role of RM and empower it to reach its full potential whilst allowing the whole organization to benefit from its concepts. READ MORE

Paul van Meerendonk

The evolution of revenue management has taken hotels from dynamic pricing of transient rates to a holistic strategy of maximizing profitability across multiple revenue streams. True hotel profit optimization leverages multiple hotel functions to ensure goals are aligned to achieve optimal results. It encourages hotels to intelligently decide which business to accept across multiple revenue streams at all times, based on greatest overall value to the asset. This holistic approach to revenue management goes beyond guest room rates and maximizes profits from the strategic management of other key hotel revenue streams; like sales with group bookings and meetings & events teams with catering sales. READ MORE

David Lund

The first thing you need to know about reading a hotel financial statement is there are basically 2 different statements that you will want to get comfortable with. The two different statements are the income statement, some call it the P&L for profit and loss statement and the second in the balance sheet. Now I know what you're thinking, balance sheets are for the accounting types and they are complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am going to give you a new understanding and share a secret about the balance sheet and the relationship to the P&L. READ MORE

David Chitlik

The decision to appeal a hotel's property assessment for tax purposes is only the first of a series of judgments before the case is resolved. Who will defend the appeal? Based on what facts? How far is an appellant willing to go to gain a remedy for the assessment? Deciding to appeal seems straightforward, but before the decision is made, the hotelier needs to understand that appealing a property assessment can be more art than science. It's showing convincingly that an appellant's opinion of value outweighs that of a professional assessor who works under strict laws, rules, regulations, guidelines and interpretations, many of them nuanced by the tax jurisdiction. READ MORE

Bhanu Chopra

The hospitality industry is one of those industries where the people running the show of hotel business cannot lay back and earn easy revenues. Revenues of a hotel may fluctuate like weather depending upon a number of factors like demand, competitor rates, climatic conditions, security & political situation, holiday season, events etc. Revenue managers are always on their heels to ensure that the hotel operates at maximum occupancy throughout the year. Every empty hotel room is a loss of revenue as the operational cost of running a hotel remains broadly the same for 50 customers or 100 customers. READ MORE

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Coming up in June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.