5 Tips for Leveraging Your Revenue Management Efforts
By Drew Salapka Vice President of Sales and Revenue Generation, Hotel Equities | September 29, 2013
As a growing field in the hospitality industry, revenue management requires expertise in both art and science to leverage its potential. The art of working with people and building relationships remains the heart of the business and it is the first tip for leveraging your revenue management efforts. Revenue managers have access to new systems almost daily and therefore they may grow too reliant on the scientific aspect of the position. To complete the list of five tips, revenue managers need to be bold in their actions, have a focus on the future, keep an eye on the economy, and consistently evaluate all of the systems currently in use.
Today, technology currently dominates much of what is done across all hotel industry disciplines with revenue management as a prime example. Sometimes it seems that the major brands release new revenue management tools and strategy directives on a daily basis. Revenue managers embrace new cutting edge systems and reports because they facilitate faster data analysis and the ability to sharpen strategies more quickly. However, a danger exists when the basics that have served us well and made us successful in the past are forgotten. Some new tools allow the properties to operate almost on auto-pilot. Removing human intuition from the process poses a real danger.
1. Building Personal Relationships
Building personal relationships is something that technology will never be able to replace. Build relationships with associates at the hotels within a portfolio, with key people at the brands, and with contacts at various online travel agencies (OTAs).
Begin by expanding relationships with managers and associates at individual properties. As revenue management continues to move to a more centralized system, the revenue management department can sometimes be located hundreds of miles away from the actual property it represents. Rapport must be built with the people on the front lines at each property because they are the ones who can help to implement a successful revenue management strategy.
The communication process begins at the top with the general manager and director of sales. Constant communication with property leaders ensures that everyone is on the same page and that the strategy is translated to the entire team. Not only is input from the property leadership team mandatory, but the collection of information and insights from other associates is important. The front desk handles the majority of the property's reservations and they are critical members of the team. If they do not have a complete understanding of revenue management, or if they do not have input into planning, they can be moving in the opposite direction from the strategies being put forth.
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