Hotel revenue management plays a central role in protecting, forecasting, and strengthening a hotel’s cash flow and overall financial position by enhancing the cash position of the asset. Additional revenue generated by a revenue management system directly flows into the amount of cash available. This higher rate of cash flow—combined with detailed forecasts which enable expense management—has a number of benefits critical to operating through this era of business disruption.

Cash Is King

From giving the hotel greater day-to-day liquidity and meeting operating cost requirements to having money in the bank for investments, an RMS’s increased revenue and expected business performance insights can’t be overlooked. Setting and centralising revenue management standards across a hotel group also improve overall portfolio performance. Data collection and comparisons between properties by brand or region allow hoteliers to determine how to best price their properties within different markets.

Accurate forecasting data, market research and analysis also allow hoteliers to execute realistic feasibility studies for all future opportunities. Estimating future project successes before outlaying capital investment will help any hotel group in the fortunate position to be considering acquisitions to make decisions likely to increase the group’s long-term cash flow and value.

Hotel owners and operators must do everything in their power to protect their property’s cash flow and stave off a forced sale. With smart revenue management strategies and technology, hotels can generate much-needed cash flow, improve financial results, and provide the data and analytics required to navigate this crisis.

Improve Asset Valuation

But assessing the value of a hotel is challenging even at the best of times. Valuations require both deep expertise and a much more short-term analytical process than employed in the past. Now, uncertainty surrounding the pandemic makes things far more complex.
Furthermore, pandemic-related risks and restrictions prevent appraisers from conducting in-person fieldwork such as site inspections, interviews, and market research. While many elements go into a valuation, two key ingredients are future operating cash flows typically estimated over ten years—and the anticipated net proceeds from a future sale.

This requires access to market projections as well as the hotel’s performance data. But reliable projections are proving elusive in today’s unpredictable market. Further complicating matters are temporary hotel closures, scaled-back room inventory, staffing and services, and the added costs of maintaining a clean, safe environment.

Under these conditions, hotels that have invested wisely in revenue management expertise and technology are distinct advantages. A seasoned revenue manager can draw on deep analytical skills, familiarity with internal and external data sources, and the data-modelling capabilities of an advanced RMS to produce timely, detailed, and frequent forecasts—and reforecasts.

Accuracy, speed, and agility are critical because forecasts guide sales and marketing strategies and pricing and inventory decisions. Operations use forecasts to manage expenditures, staffing, and resources, and the chief financial officer, management company, and owners to project future revenues, expenses and net income.

All these functions help drive incremental revenue and reduce costs, thereby contributing directly to increasing asset value. On the other hand, errors and inefficiencies in forecasting can lead to bad decisions and missed targets, ultimately resulting in a forced sale at a below-market valuation.

Invest for the Future

Every dollar a hotel earns today generates cash flow to help keep the lights on and every dollar saved strengthens the bottom line. With lower demand for rooms, food & beverage, and meetings & events, hotels must redefine target markets and determine new sources of revenue.
By optimising all revenue streams, hotel operators can find incremental revenue and savings in untapped areas. By factoring total revenue and costs into decisions, they can reduce losses and increase profitability. As demand rebounds, the returns on these strategies will gain momentum, generating additional cash flow for the business and helping expedite recovery. For example, IDeaS RevPlan enables smarter operational planning, forecasting, and budgeting of all revenue streams—beyond guest-room revenue alone.

It’s a tool hotel finance leaders have fallen in love with because of the wide view it provides across the entire business, at all functions, to find the right financial levers to pull, at all times.

There are many ways you can take action to minimise operating costs. Much like a reputable investment firm, a versatile, robust RMS will help minimise losses during a downturn. But over the long term, you are trying to create value for your owners and other key stakeholders by increasing and scaling top-line total revenue performance. This is why revenue management should never be thought of as a one-time, short-term investment, but instead as a long-term strategy that will pay back exponentially year over year.

Free Course: Revenue Management Foundations Course

In this free revenue management course, you will learn the foundations of revenue management like forecasting, essential factors that influence the forecast, set optimal pricing and much more. Ready to enhance your revenue management skills and knowledge?

This free revenue management course will lay the foundation upon which you can build a solid commercial success framework for your business. Click here to learn more about the course.

Regardless of where the world goes next, there will undoubtedly be more downturns in the future. Your hotel organisation’s ability to grow successfully will depend on your capability to remain agile and adaptable, come what may. Now is the time to invest in scalable revenue solutions that will work with you every step of the way and generate the most optimal revenue opportunities for your properties.

More Tips to Grow Your Business is a knowledge platform for the hospitality & travel industry. Professionals use our insights, strategies and actionable tips to get inspired, optimise revenue, innovate processes and improve customer experience. You can find all hotel & hospitality tips in the categories Revenue Management, Marketing & Distribution, Hotel Operations, Staffing & Career, Technology and Software.

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This article is written by our Expert Partner IDeaS

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