Carol Verret Consulting 
and Training
Training Seminars
“It’s not the big that eat the small, 
it’s the fast that eat the slow” 

Five Revenue Management Tactics
for Independent Hotels 

“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” 
(Jennings & Houghton, 2005).  

For independent hotels that’s good news.  Independent hotels and resorts may not have all of the resources available to them that their franchised counterparts do but they have the advantage of greater flexibility – independents can gear up or down in a flash!

There are some challenges ahead this summer that need to be monitored for their impact in specific markets.  PriceWaterhouseCoopers have predicted that 2007 summer will be a record year for the number of occupied hotel rooms; however, “…The summer occupancy in 2007 is forecast to be slightly lower than 2006, 69.6 percent, … and approximately a percentage point below the 70.2 percent occupancy in 2006.”  

In addition the study goes on to say that the price of gasoline is finally taking a toll American’s travel habits.  “… The price of gasoline will result in approximately 8,000 fewer occupied rooms per night, or 0.2 occupancy points.”  An 8,000-room decline spread nationwide does not appear to be a lot but for hotels that operate in markets that are seeing significant new supply, the impact on the market will be more profound.

As the demand number becomes more delicate, it was inevitable that “there is also emerging price resistance following hotel average daily rate increases of 5.5 percent and 7.1 percent in 2005 and 2006.”  

There are five basic revenue management tactics that independents can implement to be nimble and responsive in the face of changing demand and rate patterns:

1. Check Pricing Strategy Against Last Year’s History.  How many fill nights on what days of the week in the month did you have last year?  Are rates adjusted accordingly based on those demand patterns as well as this year’s groups, special events, etc?   Do you have the nerve to be the last to fill at the highest rate?
2. Close Discounts.  This may be a no-brainer for some but many hotels leave their 10% discounts open such as AARP and AAA.  The rationale is that it is only 10% -- how much is 10% on a rate of $100 times the number of rooms you have to sell on nights that are historically fully occupied?  Do the math!
3. Engage Front Desk and Reservations.   Know the reservations window for the summer and the walk in potential.  Let them in on the trends mentioned at the beginning of this article.  Set up a system with them to monitor rate resistance.  Give them an incentive to book reservations and walk-ins at your best rate of the day – make sure when you enter the hotel and before you leave, that they know what that rate is for same day reservations and walk-ins! 
4. Stay on Top of the Internet Channels.  If you have a merchant agreement, and it is strongly recommend for independent hotels, use the extranet to cut off allocations when you reach a certain occupancy percentage, no more than 80% is recommended, for all dates going forward through the end of the summer.  Also, ensure that your page placement is on the first page for the dates you have available.   An associate at one of the channels indicated that it doesn’t matter much as long as you are in the top 15.  Check your position and allocations against forecast every day.
5. Check the Offers and Reservation Functionality of the Web Site.   The web site is the most cost effective reservation channel – make sure it is fully functioning every day!  Studies indicate that there is a huge percentage of travelers that go to the Internet distribution channels but do not buy there.  They check out what hotels are at that destination at what rates and then go to the hotel’s web site.    Make it easy for them to buy on your site – how many clicks does it take for a guest to make a reservation?  If the reservation function on the site does not interface with the PMS in real time, how long does it take them to receive confirmation?

While there are many other components of a good revenue management and distribution strategy for independent hotels, these are five daily disciplines that can be implemented immediately to maximize the revenue opportunities from the demand in your market.
The advantage of the independent hotel is the flexibility to adjust pricing strategies and control rates and inventory faster than their franchise counterparts – be one of the fast that eat the slow! 

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 To contact Carol send her an email at or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065.

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 To contact Carol send her an email at or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065.

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

Carol Verret, Consulting and Training
Carol Verret
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
Web Site:
Also See: 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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