My perfect Hotel Revenue Manager

The top 10 skills of the perfect Revenue Manager

After almost 13 years in Revenue Management I have had the chance of meeting, working with, recruiting and training quite a lot of people in the field.

I have had the privilege to get to know brilliant individuals and teams driven by rare passion and dedication towards their jobs. From these amazing and inspiring professionals, I learned a lot… above all I learned what are the qualities that make Revenue Managers stand out.

Here is a list of the top 10 skills that make My perfect Revenue Manager:

  1. Plays to win.
    Is focused and results driven, is competitive in the best positive way. Works restlessly and strives to achieve and overcome results. Aims to be the best he/she can possibly be.
  2. Is knowledgeable in every situation.
    I am always amazed by the archives of Revenue Managers… they are divided by subject, micro subject, year, month, version (!). The perfect RM organizes folders, files and documents to access every critical piece of information in the blink of an eye and be ready to answer every question that may come his/her way…Anytime. (and I mean anytime)
  3. Sets the right priorities.
    No matter what the workload, the perfect RM can set priorities and execute in a timely manner meeting all the deadlines. He/she knows when it is time to follow up or when tasks can be postponed. Managing a calendar of activities/ tasks/ deadlines / meetings / reviews is an art for many! The perfect RM never says “I am too busy” but rather “Not now, let’ do it on…”.
  4. Manages stressful situations.
    The pressure of the job lies on the fact that it is measurable in every single index. The perfect RM feels the pressure but does not let it overcome; can deal with different stakeholders at the same time and takes his/her own responsibility and fights to overcome obstacles a keep focus towards the objectives. The perfect RM works to turn challenges into opportunities. Plans ahead or reacts instantly to reach the goals.
  5. Global and long term vision.
    Sees beyond rooms and embraces total revenue management. Understands current and future trends, learns from the past and the future alike. Revenue management is not about what is happening now and managing OTAs. It is about understanding what is happening now, considering what happened before and merging it what will be happening in the future. The perfect RM approach is “I need to know where we have been, to understand where we are now and agree on where we want to be next”. And as some of my great mentors say, it is not about “rooms” only. He/she taps in every revenue opportunity of the hotel and considers the whole impact on total revenues when making critical decisions.
  6. Strong communication and leadership skills.
    If you Google image “Revenue Manager” you will get a series of funny nerd faces wearing big glasses, standing behind their computers surrounded by towers of paper! In a way, I agree with the busy desktop and tons on papers and files but as for the nerd part…Revenue Managers are cool! It is true that maybe 10-15 years ago they were much more like those Google portraits but right now and after the evolution of the discipline, it is more critical than ever to be able to communicate, present with confidence, influence the audience to align all stakeholders and have them all moving towards the same direction to reach the revenue goals.
  7. Adapts and sets the tone based on the situation.
    The perfect RM can translate complex concepts into easy ones; uses a different language based on the audience: from the colleague working on a different department to the GM, to the Owner.
  8. Is always up-to-date.
    As an ever-evolving discipline it is crucial to stay on top what is happening in the industry. He/she is a hungry reader of blogs, posts, feeds, news or whatever may be relevant or impactful for the job.
  9. Takes risks (but measures the results).
    “We have always done things this way” is certainly not part of the perfect RM vocabulary. Risk taking and experimenting new ways to increase revenues is key to the success. The perfect RM is a pioneer by nature, explores the possibilities, acts and measures results.
  10. Grows talents but also learns from them!
    “They say that no man is an island” to quote the line of one of my favorite songs that fits perfectly with the concept. The team and the ability to coach, drive and mentor is critical to ensure continuity and backup plan in the lead absence. But it is also even more important to listen and learn from the people that are being coached…

To wrap up, somebody may think that in my top 10 favorites’ list I missed a skill…

I actually did not, and if you are still wondering where the Analytical skill is… that is not in my top 10! I take for granted that the Revenue Manager is an analytical person and can easily read data and crunch numbers.

But I also strongly believe that in 2017 it is time we start re-thinking the role and go beyond the outdated “Tech savvy”, “Spreadsheet ninja” or “Excel guru” that are still quoted as essential skills in some job searches.

Surely Analytical is a core skill of the job but I think we should just give it the priority it deserves… it is like looking for a driver: you look for someone holding a driving license – somebody who knows how to technically drive a car. However how far can you go if your driver misses out on the other skills like focus, risk taking, team playing, communication and competitiveness for instance? Will you win the race at the end and beat the competition?

Probably not.

[Originally posted on LinkedIn. April 9th, 2017]

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