The 2023 Elite Revenue Manager | Ossama Kamel Daoud
Today Revenue Management | The critical crafts required for a next-generation revenue manager
The Revenue Manager Career Path
Revenue Management is a rewarding discipline that requires strong leadership and analytical and strategic skills. Good revenue managers are innovative, creative and passionate, interested in the whole commercial part of the hotel and how the hotel operates and functions, and have an interest and desire to drive change in the hotel.
“How to become a revenue Manager? The role of the Revenue Manager is growing in significance in the hotel sector.” Said Ossama Kamel Daoud
What business areas should the revenue managers focus on in the hotel?
Increasingly employers and professionals within hospitality operations recognize the importance of revenue management and its impact on the success of their organization.
Considering the constantly changing and competitive environment that organizations operate in, it is surprising that it has taken so long to introduce the full-time role of ‘Revenue Manager.’
Unlike many well-established roles within the hospitality industry, since its recent introduction, the path for career development for those working in this role is still evolving (not sure about the flow of this sentence).
We argued that every employee has a part in revenue management within their organization. Still, the specific role of the revenue manager provides the catalyst for regularizing and coordinating the revenue management activity with specialist analytical skills.
A successful revenue manager must be a well-rounded individual with multiple skills. Typically, the core skills are perceived to be:
- Attention to detail
- Excellent numerical and analytical skills
- Computer literate
- Strong Excel capabilities
- Understanding of distribution channels
- Ability to make decisions from multiple data sources
- Understands the business P&L
- Ability to work under pressure in changing environments
As the discipline encompasses many focus areas, the above skills are the foundations. In addition, the following traits and capabilities are also now considered essential:
- Relationship skills: The most effective revenue managers spend considerable time managing people and building relationships – almost as much as they do operating revenue!
- Creative thinking: Effective revenue managers are long-term strategists and are often responsible for corporate change. Therefore, they rely on innovative thinking to develop and implement new ideas.
- Valuable sales ability: Revenue managers inevitably spend a part of their day ‘selling’ rate and yield recommendations to their colleagues, who will need to adapt their pricing strategies before they can have an impact.
- On-property experience: It is beneficial to have an on-property background and understand the impacts of RM decisions at a hotel level, with consideration for all operational areas.
- Training ability: Because hotels have relatively high staff turnover, training and development skills are critical to successfully implementing revenue management recommendations. Suppose hotel teams do not understand the factors that go into offers. In that case, they may disregard the pricing, yield and distribution guidelines and therefore fail to optimize revenue opportunities.
- Strong communication skills: Revenue managers must be excellent communicators (and listeners) who present their ideas effectively.
- Technically confident: Revenue managers must embrace current technology and distribution techniques to ensure these systems are profit-enhancing and not labour-consuming!
Which hotel department is the Revenue Manager usually based in?
Revenue managers need to understand reservations, marketing channels and pricing strategies well. In addition to these attributes, the revenue manager should understand the legal issues associated with pricing.
The revenue manager should be an integral part of the decision-making process in a hotel and provide direction and strategy based on facts, data and analysis.
The revenue manager should have expertise in managing the various systems (Central Reservation Systems, Property Management Systems, Revenue Management Systems, third-party extranets, etc.) and be capable of synthesizing data and making sound business decisions to affect results positively.
Who the revenue manager should report to?
Interestingly there is little agreement in the hospitality industry regarding who the revenue manager should report to. A study undertaken by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) found that in response to the question, ‘to whom do you directly report?’
- 36% said to the general manager.
- 23% to others’ on the property. Should there be another question here?
- 16% to the Corporate VP.
- 16% to the Regional Director of Revenue Management.
- 9% to the owner / CEO
Revenue managers have an increasingly complex role; they are vital to establishing the appropriate pricing policies and maximizing revenue opportunities. Once seen as a natural development from sales and marketing, the need to understand and operate statistical accounting tools and the complexities of algorithmic-based software requires a different skill set.
The increasing reliance on revenue managers also provides exciting career development and progression opportunities.
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