Bill: From 10-20 hotels is when you should really start thinking about bringing it in-house, but there’s three main pain points that go along with that. So 1 is reporting, how to streamline it. You need some sort of tool or revenue management platform that will make your revenue managers’ lives efficient. If they’re still doing everything manually with spreadsheets and having to go into these brand systems and pulling the data manually, there’s a problem there. They’re not going to be able to either revenue manage all the hotels on a daily basis or they’re just going to be doing it super inefficiently.
The second pain point is training. If you have 10-20 hotels, you have a mixed bag of lots of different brands, maybe some independents. There’s so many different systems out there, so many different certifications out there, it takes a really long time to ramp a quality revenue manager up to the point where you would trust them across all those systems. And owners, right, it’s not your core confidence to know all these systems. If I asked Raj to make a rate change, best of luck. It’s just not going to happen. So that’s a huge, huge pain point.
You really can’t possibly do it yourself… you’re either going to have to hire a real revenue leader who already knows a lot of these systems… the challenges with that is that a lot of revenue managers come up and learn one brand, or two brands, or they come up through the brand systems, and they might be master of that one system, but it’s going to take a lot of time for them to learn all the others. If you’re fortunate enough to find someone who’s actually certified in a number of systems, that’s great. I mean, they’re pretty valuable people, it’s probably someone you want to consider, but it’s going to be much more challenging to find that person. So what’s an alternative to all of this? Again, working with a company who can help you get there, so like, we’re actually working with a management company right now that’s in that 10-20 hotel space, and they are basically taking their hotels from a lot of the brand services, handing them over to us for maybe 6 months or so, in that process they are actively looking for revenue managers to bring in-house. The process will be that we will slowly off-board the hotels to that person, and based on their skillset, right, maybe they’re more knowledgeable in x brand, so those will be the first to off-board. And then we will help mentor them on the other brands with the end-result that this person eventually has entire portfolio or they got to be able to have their entire portfolio. The other nice thing about that is that the hotels kind of stay on our platform so that when they’re doing the revenue management, if they need help, if they have questions, they’re still able to lean on us for advice.
Third, is when you have 10-20 hotels, you’re probably looking at a revenue management team of about 2-3 people. And I can speak from experience, when you are that small, turnover is a huge fear- you’re going to lose a lot of sleep over that. Especially when you only have 1 guy- what happens when that guy quits? Or, what happens when you have a manager who’s managing 10 hotels and you onboard 5 more. What do you do? You can’t just throw an extra 5 onto that guy’s plate. I would look for somebody as a partner that has your back for when issues like that occur, someone to lean on. And if you have that, I think it takes off a lot of that fear, and I think you would see a lot more companies bringing it in-house.
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