Thursday, October 06, 2011

Funcky Revenue Managers

How do you know an R&RRM when you see one? Look for these 5 essential traits:
1. They think their job is a lot of fun. You remember fun, don't you? Sometimes cranky bosses suck the fun right out of the workplace. An R&RRM is vibrant, enthusiastic and doesn't let a ratty old pessimist spoil the day. The R&RRM thrives on a fast-paced, competitive work environment and they're in it to win it. In fact, for them, it's a lot like a gambling junket to Vegas every single day. The R&RRM's are playing the odds, and the old, dependable forecasting rules have changed. To them, fun at work is not a myth but their reality.
2. They relish risk-taking. R&RRM's embrace the philosophy of high risk = high reward. In the finance world, pursuing a riskier investment strategy generally results in a much higher return on your investment. With the wholesale rate reductions that occurred in our industry in 2007-2009, the hotel industry has a lot of ground to make up. Even with ADR in some markets recovering at a double-digit pace, rates are still not close to 2007 levels. R&RRM's fully understand what we mean by "value proposition." They recognize that the lowest rate does not always reflect value in the guest's mind (and it doesn't do much for your profit line, either). R&RRM's rarely develop strategy based on price point alone; in fact, they are generally the first in the marketplace to introduce a rate increase. And they are savvy enough to do it by market segment and by demand. Risky…you bet! And if you don't have the stomach for it, then an R&RRM is not for you.
3. They're a little rebellious and like to go against the grain. R&RRM's aren't "yes" people and they aren't here just to take orders. Be prepared for them to challenge the conventional way of thinking. They have done the research, watched the market and they are giving you the most comprehensive revenue enhancement advice you can get…usually with a little twist. This may not always be comfortable for conventional managers. Just remember, the title GM or DOSM doesn't automatically make you Miss Cleo. If you want your Revenue Manager to perform at an optimal level, avoid knee-jerk negatives and ask questions to clarify how the recommendations were developed. Remember, this is what you hired them to do; otherwise, why bother filling the position with a Revenue Manager. Just hire an analyst.
4. They exude confidence and are comfortable and articulate in a team environment. They are not simply clerks, providing research for others to make important business decisions that impact the future of the hotel. R&RRM's are integral partners with the entire revenue-generating team and are valued for their insight and advice. They can be counted on to provide creative, sometimes unusual, solutions for problem-solving though they may not always follow the usual structure when doing so.
5. They embrace creativity and dream big. R&RRM's have elevated visions of success because they know how to seize the moment (see #2). And they are arrogant enough to believe that their hotel should be the market leader. Therefore, they are always searching for the best niche, that subtle point-of-difference…anything that gives them an advantage. And they are intuitive enough to see it before their competitors because, let's face it; most of the hotels in the comp set don't have an R&RRM.

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