While the hospitality industry has an ongoing need for managers at all levels, the need is even greater for revenue managers who possess the long-term mindset, capabilities and operational understanding.
The revenue management role can be distinguished by the following behaviours:
• Communication skills
For revenue managers it’s about a continued team approach. The revenue leader must point the way and by doing so, demonstrate that success is worth the risk. A key trait of an effective revenue leader is that they must not only be good with analytics, but must also be effective influencers in sales, marketing and operations.
Managers who are likely to move into true leadership roles understand the value of cultivating interpersonal relationships. These relationships exist between staff and guests and also among all staff members. This helps unite a team in the common goal of delivering the optimal guest experience based on service and mutual respect.
Revenue leaders of the future must be effective communicators:
• They need to be able to clearly communicate the revenue strategy to all level of staff in the hotel be they the operations team or the sales and marketing team.
• They need to be practical and deliver step-by-step plans that all hotel staff members will understand and embrace.
• They need to be implementers and push for change by their actions, and lead by example.
• They need to have the ability to motivate their staff and inspire them to achieve the hotel goals.
On one level, revenue managers have a deep understanding of the industry, hotel services, competitor set, and hotel history. On the other hand, they create a clear vision of the future. They are in a position to inspire others and develop a shared vision, representative of deeper aspirations. Successful revenue management supports the attraction and retention of people who share a stake in the business’ growth and success.
A change is coming
Like any business, the future of a hotel is in its ability to grow in performance year on year. We all understand that growth comes from the top line and there is no doubt that revenue management has a significant influence on the top line.
While the evolution of revenue management will present many opportunities to today’s revenue leaders, it will also bring many challenges. In addition, it will likewise call for the evolution of revenue leaders. Consequently, future revenue managers will have to progress far beyond the current, stereotypical “number-crunching” skill set often assigned to the revenue management role.
One of the reasons that sales and operating departments so consistently produce top-tier leaders is because these individuals often possess the people skills and leadership experience required to engage an entire hotel. This need for such attributes is not going away.
It appears there may be an imminent restructuring coming to the hotel world that naturally involves the practice of revenue analytics rising in prominence. This will likely result in efficiency and growth for companies that embrace it.
Today’s hotel revenue managers may be tomorrow’s corporate and hotel leaders or even the next hotel general manager. But before that happens, revenue managers need to improve their leadership, motivational, analytical and communications skills.
About the author
Ahmed Mahmoud has more than 18 years of international hospitality industry experience, specializing in revenue management implementation and execution. He began his career in 1992 holding a variety of management positions with such top hotel chains as Accor Hotels, Hyatt International and Starwood hotels. In 2006 Mr. Mahmoud founded revenueyourhotel.com, a website dedicated to revenue management and designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Ahmed also offers consulting and online training to both independent hoteliers and hotel chains. He is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events in addition to his successful roles as an educator, author and consultant.