Revenue managers to ‘adapt and adopt’ in 2018
Planning ahead and being flexible in the face of disruptors like calendar shifts and new supply can help revenue-management teams and their properties be less vulnerable to changes, sources said.
Plenty of unforeseen events, recurring shifts and emerging disruptors swept through 2017 and kept revenue-management teams on their toes.
But these six executives from hotel companies across the globe who manage and develop properties also learned some lessons for 2018. Each is looking ahead to the new year with plans in place to help maximize revenues around calendar shifts, weather-related events, pressures from increased supply and alternative accommodations.
What are some events or trends that you can identify and plan for now? And how can those be revenue managed in 2018?
Jonathan Capps, VP of Revenue, Charlestowne Hotels (Charlestowne Hotels, a management company, works with 43 properties, both boutique and franchised brands, across 13 states).
“When entering a new year, we are always looking for two major types of demand generators. The first is repeat events in markets, which include items like marathons, festivals, school calendars (college graduations, parents weekend, alumni weekends) and sporting events. The other type of demand generators we are looking for are one-time events. This last year was a great example of that with the eclipse … we had a few markets fall within the path of totality, and as an once-in-a-lifetime events that fell on a weekday, it presented an incredible revenue opportunity for these hotels.
“The revenue management behind these generators is rather detailed and stressful, and to take full advantage of the opportunity you need to be well out-in-front of this … identify these events as early as possible. Staying in contact with local governing bodies, chambers, visitors bureaus, etc. will usually allow you to get this communication prior to public knowledge. Once we’ve established the events happening, we then use our own data, any competitive market data and sometimes data from other markets that have hosted the same or similar events to set pricing restrictions… (for) longer events … make setting length-of-stay restrictions and pricing interesting. The final factors considered are cancellation and deposit policies. With these events often booked in larger booking windows, and many guests holding rooms before actually having tickets, or committing to a trip, properties need to consider whether to put stricter policies in place to protect revenue over these days.”