In baseball, a 5-Tool player is one that excels at the skills of throwing, catching, running, hitting for power, and hitting for average. While they are rare, these players are considered the top athletes in the game and therefore command the highest salaries. In Revenue Management the same is true for the most aggressively recruited and highest paid RMs. They are the ones that have the perfect combination of skills which allow them to take any hotel company’s RM function to the next level. Here’s a brief introduction to the 5-Tool Revenue Manager.
Technology Titan. Most hotel managers believe that RM is the process of loading rates and booking limits into systems while making sure that those systems are running smoothly. That is a narrow, but fair definition of what most RMs spend their day doing. The Revenue Managers that escape that definition are those that leverage technological tools to free themselves of the clerical side of RM. They know their systems inside and out and are not afraid to experiment with new processes and releases. The most evolved of Techie RMs can also engage in projects that involve non-RM systems such as CRMs, data-warehouses, and even some POS.
Data Detective. Knowing where and how to get the data you need to analyze any problem will make you the most indispensable member of any hotel team. Unfortunately, many RMs are only responsible for creating and distributing reports that hold as much data as possible about the performance of channels, markets, rate codes. etc. Many of these reports are remnants from the early 2000’s when executives where thrilled that they had any reports at all. The best RMs have removed themselves from many of these “clerical” obligations by setting themselves up as the “go-to” person that knows where the best data is, how to get it, and when and how to use it.
Algorithm Aficionado. At the heart of all data-driven decision making is the algorithm. While you don’t have to be able to code your own rate optimization engine, you should be able to understand how they work and be able to intelligently speak about the mathematical logic behind Revenue Optimization. Unfortunately, less than a fraction of 1% of today’s RMs have ever been exposed to this topic, which is the reason why we push for its dissemination.
Consummate Communicator. The ability to express an idea using numbers, charts, emails, and presentations is fundamental to anyone who aspires to be taken seriously as a top RM. The biggest challenge in the hotel industry is that most RMs did not have to communicate much on their way to their RM role. They were either back-room analysts or in Reservations, which meant that they usually did not have a seat at any strategy sessions. RMs that excel at their job have the ability to understand how their colleagues digest information and ideas and craft their communication around everyone’s needs and limitations.
Master Mentor. Returning to the baseball analogy, it’s a fact that most great baseball managers were never great players. In fact, that’s also true for most sports. In RM, however, we don’t have that luxury. For most hotel companies, those that DO also have to TEACH. Again, most non-RM hotel managers see RM as a “black-box” where decisions are made but no one knows how. That is why it is critical for RMs to have the skills to educate their colleagues on having an optimization mind-set. Some call this an RM culture. Yet, the ability to mentor is not a skill that is even hinted at in the vast majority RM job descriptions.
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Robert Hernandez, Statistical Analysis and Data Mining for Revenue Growth Robert is an expert in the field of mathematical Hotel Optimization and Analytics. He has spent the last 17 years building data-driven forecasting and optimization models for companies in over 20 different industries, from tech to tourism. Robert possesses a very unique skill set including cross-disciplinary experience, advanced mathematical and analytics skills, data transformation, industry-specific knowledge and business-process improvement expertise. Robert began his career at the Walt Disney Company in Revenue Planning. Read More+