The Race for Revenue

Revenue Management has become a conceptual buzzword in the hospitality industry over the last decade. Hundreds of companies and brands will tout the latest technology with bells and whistles “guaranteed” to produce a return on investment. In actuality, revenue management comes down to historical data, patterns and communication with your properties.

Bells and whistles are great, but our GMs and associates are the ones with market insight. I’ve come to rely on and greatly appreciate the handful of GMs that I support. I feel that we get so much more accomplished with our one-on-one conversations, versus just a bi-weekly revenue call. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a branded RMH, many times their revenue managers are overloaded and are not able to keep a daily watch on our properties. Revenue calls turn into more of a statistics report that leave GMs feeling a bit overwhelmed, confused, and sometimes discouraged. Let’s face it, there are a ton of hotel terms out there being thrown at us, and it gets jumbled. Not everyone comes from an analytical background and our GMs don’t all possess one size fits all knowledge.

What do our Esperanto GMs possess? A willingness to learn, teach, and collaborate. The ability to have a small portfolio that I’m dedicated to has been so beneficial to the success of some of our properties. We have associates with an astronomical amount of combined hospitality experience. Some of us are numbers people, some of us are operations driven, and some of us are devoted to guest satisfaction. I’ve found that the common denominator is pride in their properties and a bit of competitiveness that goes a long way.

While I could expound on the joys of rate management and how codes, categories and lengths of stay all work together, I’d rather reiterate the fact that organic conversations with our people lead to great ideas. During the pandemic, our GMs have been fearless in trying new strategies. Some strategies have worked, some haven’t. We have been able to put associates on revenue calls, so that they start to get a feel for what is being looked at, what is being booked, and what works. Some of the best insight comes from desk staff. They are the ones who know why a guest booked at a property. They learn the names of our repeat guests. They consciously and subconsciously pick up on preferences and patterns of our guests. Our associates are the ones making the connections and relaying the information, if given the chance.

Covid-19 has changed the landscape of the industry for the foreseeable future. While pricing has become more competitive, there is the adage of you get what you pay for. At Esperanto Developments, one of the top hotel management companies, we don’t want to win the race to be the first hotels at the bottom of the pricing tier. We want to be the hotels that are competitively priced but without sacrificing our service and integrity.

I truly feel that the GMs that I support are top notch in integrity. They get excited about high revenue days and small victories. Every small gain is a victory right now and I feel like it is so important to celebrate what feels like the smallest win. Traditional revenue management is about numbers and data, but to me is always be about communicating with, supporting and celebrating the GMs and associates who ultimately make revenue happen.

Written by Elizabeth Brooks, Revenue Manager at Esperanto Developments Hotel Management Company and a passionate photographer