Owners, Asset Managers Emphasize Need for Leadership in Revenue Strategy
Hotel owners and asset managers led the charge at RSS 2018 for revenue-focused leadership that would help them and the major brands whose flags they carry. A more holistic Revenue Strategy that maximizes profitability is within reach, RSS attendees said, but it requires greater collaboration among all stakeholders, as well as all departments of a property.
Highlights from RSS show that hoteliers recognize and emphasize the needs in the industry for greater alignment, leadership development and investment in technology.
Aligning the Hotel Industry for Revenue Strategy
The prevailing sentiment about Revenue Strategy, shared by asset managers as well as the brand operators and owners, was that it’s an all-hands approach, not relegated to one silo. Andrew Jordan, Chief Marketing Officer for Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said during a panel at RSS that responsibility for top-line goals shouldn’t reside only with revenue managers and analysts.
“Revenue Strategy is way too important to be left to the revenue strategists,” he said. “When I think about how our organizations are evolving, it seems like something that is not siloed at all. Not only is it about partnering with sales, marketing and e-commerce, but it’s also about partnering with ops first and foremost.”
Doing so requires hotels to align those departments on not only strategy, but also on incentives and goals, said Nolan Wrentmore, Vice President of Revenue Management for Aimbridge Hospitality.
“It’s about putting together a plan of what we all need to do to achieve a certain goal, whether it’s as simple as a budget or STR report results or Net RevPAR,” he said. “General managers are the ops leaders, and they need to be really involved. Everybody has to have that common understanding of what our goal is and how we’re going to achieve it.”
Jordan remarked that a property’s revenue strategists should be more involved than they typically are in the executive committee. Wrentmore completely agreed, adding that revenue leaders need the soft skills to effectively communicate a strategy to asset managers and owners.
“We get into situations where we like to explain what happened yesterday,” Wrentmore said. “We have to explain why our STR Report sucked last week or month — because nobody ever asks us about the good ones — but more importantly, what owners and asset managers want to know is what are we doing about it? What are we strategizing for the future, and when is it going to turn around? People who can explain that are the individuals you need in your leadership team and executive committees.”