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Habits of Highly Successful Revenue Managers
Ramped Up for 2008
 

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November 2007 - Life used to be relatively simple for hotel revenue managers – the daily disciplines were relatively straightforward – check the reports, balance the inventory, check the channel contributions, review fences and hurdles, etc., etc.   In most hotels, the process has become more complex and the disciplines are multiplying almost exponentially due to the complexity prompted by the impact of Web 2.0 on the competitive hotel environment.

As if that were not enough, the new PKF econometrics model that estimated the impact on the industry of a potential economic recession was released this past week.  “A recently released analysis by PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR) found that if an economic recession were to occur in the United States during 2008 – 2009, it would result in a 6.1 percent decline in rooms revenue for the U.S. lodging industry through 2010.” 

Both of these developments have intensified the ‘habits’ of revenue managers at the property level and beyond.   In many properties the revenue manger is also the sharing the ecommerce role with sales and marketing.   Independent hotels that often don’t have resources available to them that some of their franchise competitors do, will have to stay on the cutting edge of both of these developments if they are to be successful.

While a recession may or may not happen, the competitive impact of user generated content or Web 2.0 on the hotel industry is a definite reality that is not going away.   If the hotel does not have an ecommerce manager or a large sales department, the monitoring function of the hotel’s online presence and ecommerce initiatives often falls to the revenue manager.   

Highly successful revenue mangers are motivated by the challenges of both opportunities.  Some of the new Habits of those Highly Successful Revenue Managers are:

  • Monitoring the hotel’s online presence.    User generated reviews sites are multiplying rapidly.  As a recent survey showed, the reviews play a larger role in the decision making process for the consumer than price (Yahoo Travel Survey 08/07).  How the hotel is presenting to the travel community through the various sites upon which it appears and is reviewed is critical.  There are third party monitoring programs at various price points and levels  of complexity that can assist in this but properties with small budgets can set Google alerts for the property name so that every time something is posted on the internet about the hotel, it is directed to the Revenue Manager’s  Inbox.  This may be the ‘rawest’ of data but it beats no data at all!
  • Monitoring all links to the property.   A recent study attempted to direct an online RFP through various property web sites and found that nearly half of the links on the property web site for RFPs  either didn’t work or were directed to an email address that was no longer valid.   Links on various directories on which the property is listed may also be old and directed to email addresses that are no longer valid --  this was a finding in recent research for a client.   It would be nice to believe that the web master would check the links on the web site but the reality is that it is not their job.   People leave the company but there is no audit of everywhere that links to their email appeared in the hotel’s link strategy.
  • Managing the relationships with the OTAs.   Expedia estimates that for every dollar spent on this web site there is another dollar spent on the hotel’s web site or other direct contact such as phone.   The implication of this is that the OTAs have now become hotel  ‘search engines’ used by consumers to research the hotel options at their destinations.  Couple this with the fact that the OTAs now also have increasingly robust review functionality, and their influence is growing.  This makes those Merchant Agreement agreements for exposure and page placement even more important.  However, merchant agreements proliferate in some markets.  This may prompt the OTAs to establish levels of Merchant Agreements such as Gold, Silver or Bronze or some variation, in order to manage the increasing demand for Merchant Agreements.  It makes it even more important to establish and maintain close relationships with the Market Managers, ensure rate parity and explore opportunities for greater exposure though packages, for example.
  • Contingency Revenue Management Strategy.    No one, not even PKF, can predict with any certainty the implications for the hotel industry of the current ‘nervous’ economic climate .   Therefore, smart Revenue Managers and Directors of Sales, for that matter, will take the time to develop contingency plans in case of the worst possible case scenario mentioned in the PKF study earlier.  The contingency plan should include market specific hotel intelligence as well as micro economic information with regard to how vulnerable the local market is to downturns in the various sectors of the national economy.   The contingency plan would include certain developments that would ‘trigger’ pre determined adjustments in the RM strategy.  For example, if a current RFP account announces production cutbacks or layoffs at a facility in the local market, this triggers certain actions in the allocation of inventory and rates given the anticipated reduction in that account’s room night production at the hotel.  It is far better to have a contingency plan that is not needed than to need an alternate strategy and have to develop it at the last minute when it may be too late.
The habits of highly successful revenue managers have become more complex in just a short period of time.  The truly good RMs will embrace the change – those who fail to adapt to change  risk the fate of all who fail to ‘read’ changes in the environment and adapt.  Anyone remember the dinosaurs?



Happy Turkey Day!  Carol Verret Consulting & Training also offers Creating a Culture of Customer Service training for managers and associates. 

Carol Verret And Associates Consulting and Training offers training services and consulting in the areas of sales, revenue management and customer service primarily but not exclusively to the hospitality industry. To find out more about the company click on www.carolverret.com. To contact Carol send her an email at carol@carolverret.com or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065.  View the Hotel Sales Blog at www.hotelsalesblog.com

copyright © Carol Verret, 2002-2003 -2004 -2005 - 2006 - 2007


 
Contact:
Carol Verret, Consulting and Training
Carol Verret
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
carol@carolverret.com
Web Site: http://www.carolverret.com/
Email: carol@carolverret.com
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Also See: Five Tips to Improving Hotel Customer Service with User Generated Reviews / Carol Verret / October 2007
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – A Seismic Shift in 2008! / Carol Verret / September 2007
GMs – How User Generated Review Sites Can Make you a Better Manager! / Carol Verret / September 2007
Web 2.0 and Hotel Sales Strategies for '08; What Are Your Clients Saying About You? / Carol Verret / August 2007
“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” -- Five Revenue Management Tactics for Independent Hotels / Carol Verett / June 2007
Developing New Hotel Business Using Client DNA / Carol Verret / May 2007
The Jigsaw Puzzle – The Fit of the Revenue Management and Internet Group Sales Pieces / Carol Verret / April 2007
Client DNA - The Gold Standard for New Business Development / Carol Verret / March 2007
The 'I Hate Cold Calls' Web Cast - The New Paradigm of Sales! / Carol Verret / February 2007
Hate Cold Calls? - Discover the New Paradigm of Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2007
Issues in Hotel Sales Training - Metics for Success / Carol Verret / December 2006
Is the Party Over?; The Challenge of Decreasing Hotel Room Demand / Carol Verret / October 2006
The Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People Ramp Up for 2006! / Carol Verret / September 2006
Identifying the WIIFM Factor – The Essential of Hotel Sales Success / Carol Verret / August 2006
Revenue Management for Hotel GMs – What You Don’t Know Can Jump Up and Bite You! / Carol Verret / July 2006
Feeding the Revenue Elephant; Hotel Revenue Management / Summer 2006
The "Tipping Point" - Identifying the Touch Points in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / May 2006
The "Tipping Point" - Touch Points Make a Difference in Customer Service Training / Carol Verret / April 2006
Selling Up! Taking Group Room Revenue to a New Level / Carol Verret / February 2006
Revenue Management 2006; The Risks and Rewards / Carol Verret /January 2006 
Revenue Management and Group Sales - The Partnership Not the Disconnect / Carol Verret / November 2005
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People / Carol Verret / September 2005
Triple Witching Hour - The Marketing Plan, Revenue Management Strategy and RFPs for '06 / Carol Verret / August 2005
"Smile" is a Learned Behavior - Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret / July 2005
Revenue Management Systems -- Considerations for Evaluation / Carol Verret / June 2005
Disconnect -- Aligning the Revenue Management and Sales Strategies / Carol Verret / May 2005
Independent Hotels & Resorts; Ride the Wave or Float with the Tide? / Carol Verret / March 2005
Hospitality Sales Training Companies Reach Across the Competitive Playing Field to Combine Live Seminar Expertise with  the Convenience of the Internet / Carol Verret / January 2005
Revenue Management - The Challenge for Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2005
Hotel Sales Departments -- Issues in Processes and Functionality / Carol Verret / November 2004
The GM'S Role in Revenue Management / Carol Verret / October 2004
Transforming the Hotel Sales Organization; Alignment with the New Realities of Sales / Carol Verret / August 2004
The Revenue Management Strategy - The Pre-Plan Marketing Plan / Carol Verret / July 2004
Hotel Revenue Management this Summer - a Game of Skill, Art and Most of All Nerves / Carol Verett / May 2004
What Do Meeting Planners Want? Hotel Sales Managers Want to Know! / Carol Verret / May 2004
Revenue Management -- The Integration of Revenue Drivers / Carol Verret / March 2004
CYBER SALES -- Hotel Sales in an Internet World is the New Reality / Carol Verret / February 2004
The New Realities of Hotel Sales - Focus on Revenue Generation / Carol Verret / January 2004
Hotel Sales -- Innovation in the Face of Limitations / Carol Verret / November 2003
The Good News & the Bad News; Improving Economy = New Hotel Development / Carol Verret / October 2003
Leadership - General Managers Managing the Sales Process / Carol Verret  / October 2003
When the Crystal Ball is Cloudy; Marketing Plans for 2004 / Carol Verret / July 2003
Partnership of Sales and Technology; Using Tech Tools to "Sell" the Hotels / Carol Verret  / July 2003
Back to the Basics? The Basics of Hotel Sales Have Changed! / May 2003
Creating Sales "HUNTERS": The Skill Sets Required in the New Hotel Sales Environment / April 2003
Heightened Security Requires New Strategies in Hotels Sales / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Mar 2003
Revenue Recovery - Building The ‘A’ Team in Sales / Carol Verret / January 2003
Contingency Marketing Plan – War In Iraq! / Carol Verret / November 2002
Playing the Rate Game - Positioning -- Positioning -- Positioning! / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Rate Game - Playing to Win / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Challenge of Marketing Independent Boutique Hotels / Carol Verett / August 2002
Hotel Sales in a Limited Service Environment - The Rules Have Changed / Carol Verett / August 2002
The General Manager’s Role in Sales -Chief Marketing Officer of the Hotel / Carol Verret / April 2002
100% Market Share Penetration is Not Good Enough / Carol Verett / January 2002
The Key to REVPAR Recovery –  New Business Development / Carol Verett / December  2001
Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan - And Just Start Over / Carol Verett / September 2001
How to Use Consultants Effectively –  A View From the Other Side  / Carol Verret / August 2001
How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing?  / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001
The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001
Generation Y:  Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November  2000
Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000
Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000 
FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and  Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000
Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000 
Measuring Effectiveness of  Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000
Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000



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