What is a Revenue Manager in a Hotel?

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Over the last 30 years, the dependence of a hotel on the revenue management team to drive successful business operations. This is based on two factors, the invention of revenue management technologies that can analyze large amounts of transactional data, and the identification of the revenue manager role as a key resource in the hotel’s management structure. 

The revenue managers role, job description, and responsibilities vary from brand to brand, property to property, and from type of property. Revenue management roles all perform are multifunctional roles that go beyond forecasting reports, room rates, and inventory. 

Revenue managers are the business drivers who lead pricing strategy committees, generate rate and selling strategy training for property managers, and direct sales and marketing teams to optimally position the property(s). Every decision impacts hotel revenue and profitability. Naturally, this position requires the ability to influence people in addition to impact revenue and profit.

What makes a successful hotel revenue manager?  

To form the perfect candidate, two skill sets combine. First, there are complex skills that need a clear grasp of revenue management strategies for the hotel industry.  Secondly are the soft skills relevant to how the hotel revenue manager operates within the wider management team are equally important.

In many industries, soft skills can be applied to the position, but motivation, leadership, authority, negotiation, organization, and the attitude of a team player are of particular importance and relevance to hotel revenue managers.

For hard skills, hotel revenue managers have to have a clear understanding of the pricing and demand management techniques for perishable inventory.

This is radically different from the inventory sectors that are not perishable. Perishable objects include hotel rooms, hospital beds, airline seats, tickets for sporting events, seats for theatres, etc. The basic difference is that if you don’t sell the room tonight, that revenue can’t be “made-up”  because you can’t sell it again tomorrow.

Hotel Revenue Manager – Soft Skills

Soft skills can apply to many professional roles across many industries. These selected below are of singular relevance to hotel revenue managers. 

Motivated

Determined and committed with a strong drive to meet goals. (Augmented with mutually agreed upon performance-based goals/rewards)

Leader and Influencer

A leader at the peer level. Possessing a keen ability to influence and manage up (the revenue manager will likely have no direct reports)

Team Player:  

Works effectively as a member of the management team  

Communicates well with peers 

Articulates revenue management strategies, ways to execute those strategies, and expected results 

Technically Savvy: 

Detailed understanding of how applications support and augment the revenue management function

Observational: 

Good listener with strong observational skills

Can anticipate business needs

Able to read situations, identify change events, understand environments and respond accordingly

Influencer:

Can convince management teams to take action based on data

Negotiator:

Able to develop and maintain business relationships with third-party distribution partners

Organized:  

Capable of prioritizing between revenue-generating actions and time-consuming tasks with low-yield impact

Sound ability and knowledge to develop operations standards and strategic processes

Hotel Revenue Manager – Hard skills 

These are not special to the hotel industry, but are of utmost significance. As previously noted, revenue managers must have a concrete understanding and knowledge of perishable inventory and the pricing and demand management strategies needed for this particular collection.

Although vehicles, consumer electronics and many other products without a fixed shelf life are examples of non-perishable inventory, perishable inventory poses other challenges. A deep understanding of the perishable set is crucial for the hotel revenue manager as once a hotel room night passes, it’s gone.  

This position and duty manifest include tasks that will draw on the hard skills of the revenue manager. For an efficient revenue manager, deep and broad analytical abilities are a must. But he will also need an equal understanding of all areas of a hospitality and tourism service , especially all of the revenue-generating functions of the property:

  • Producing property-level business reporting on a regular, weekly , monthly and quarterly basis of all related performance KPIs.
  • Provide a dynamic periodic forecast of projected performance, variances and comparisons of budgets
  • Analyze the overall monthly hotel results and include suggestions for enhancing long-term strategies in a summary study.
  • Set standards of best practice for: analysis of rivals, environmental scanning, market modeling, management of distribution yields, management of business mix yields, management of stay yields, availability of inventories by channel, price control and new pricing concepts
  • Track daily overbooking levels and opportunities
  • Monitor booking speed on an ongoing basis; respond to unforeseen variances
  • Conduct benchmark comparative analyses and follow industry developments
  • Establish and sustain a 12-month calendar of rolling demand
  • Management and monitoring of tactics and methods for all third-party distribution networks
  • Manage and oversee branded sales channel tactics and strategies
  • Evaluate, assess and price group monetization strategies, including the contribution of function room and group space to food and beverages
  • Check the input and accuracy of data points periodically, such as segmentation, monitoring of denials, etc.
  • Perform a quarterly review of property performance and establish strategic and tactical initiatives
  • Assess the performance and contract rates of distribution partners (OTA, transient, leisure, tour operator, corporate, consortium, crew, groups, etc.)
  • Track delivery costs by channel and, where applicable, change the channel mix
  • Promoting and calculating revenue from upselling
  • Track and factor non-room revenues into the overall strategies and procedures of revenue management where appropriate. This entails space for meetings and banquets, restaurant, bar, spa, golf, etc.

Experience We must also discuss experience, qualifications and ancillary skills to complete the desired profile of an entry-level hotel revenue manager. Some instances include:

  • Two to four years of experience in hands-on hotel operations with some accountability for prediction and pricing
  • A bachelor’s degree, preferably in hotel management, ideally with substantial coursework in a quantitative area.
  • Enjoy statistics, studies on operations, economics or informatics
  • Extremely tech-literate with an exceptional grasp of Excel

Skilled in hotel technology, including:

  • RMS, CRM, PMS, CRS, distribution channels (OTA, metasearch, GDS, channel managers, etc.)
  • Familiar with integration models and business models for the above

Getting started in a revenue management career could take several years working on a revenue team and gaining substantial experience in the industry and learning the strategies employed by other successful revenue managers.