Louise Simmons is Revenue Director at M&T Hotel Management, one of the UK’s leading hotel management companies specialising in the management of branded and independent hotels. With a successful portfolio of over 30 hotels including Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and Best Western as well as independent hotels, M&T Hotel Management has a proven track record in delivering exceptional service, advice, management and results.
Louise has enjoyed an impressive career spanning 25 years’ in the hotel industry. Throughout this time, she has built extensive knowledge in all revenue management procedures across a variety of hotels from city centre to resort and golf properties. Her most recent positions have included consulting and project roles for The Hotel Collection, IHG and Village Hotels and senior roles for Hilton, Malmaison, Le Meridien, and De Vere Hotels and Resorts.
The Advantages of Hotel Management Companies in Maximising Revenues
Louise Simmons – Revenue Director
(Factual account of the model, benefits and opportunities, statistics to support profit/revenue conversion?
Hotels have always used RevPAR and their RGI index position as a measure of how well the hotel is performing, however this is only one measure, other than profit conversion TrevPAR is a key measurement (Total Revenue Per Available Room).
M&T Hotel Management ensures the teams carefully monitor this measurement to ensure we are driving Total Revenue Performance and there are five key stages to ensure this is fully optimised –
- Ensure your marketing and product is relevant and appealing for the customer
- Run regular training sessions for the hotel teams to experience the products you sell and understand how best to sell them – this develops an on-property revenue culture
- A robust, effective and friendly reservation process ensures the right questions are asked and we understand the customers’ needs and potential selling opportunities for e.g. a celebration stay should lead on to the reservation agent selling the customer an upgraded room, a birthday cake as well as a dinner reservation.
- Make it easy to book incidentals on line, such as Spa, Dinner & Champagne in the room – you can do this at the time of booking or afterwards with an interactive and personal email
- When the guest arrives, and is in the hotel, display interesting points of sale around the hotel, featuring different areas in the Hotel for eg the Restaurant and the current menu, the Spa with treatments available that day and the latest cocktails available in the bar.
Every part of the customer journey from the initial contact right through to the guest check out should be an opportunity to subtly sell our services and products and ensuing that we are customer focused on their needs, they enjoy their stay and want to come back again!
M &T Hotel Management ensure our hotels have promotions running throughout the year and that the on-property teams can sell to guests not only to enhance the guest experience but also to ensure we are always focused on driving on property incidental revenue. An example would be a recent Prosecco Challenge that we set our hotels. We asked all the front desk teams to compete against each other as to who could sell the most over a two-month period, the loosing hotel had to buy the winning hotel a case of prosecco to share…. It got very competitive, every bottle was counted! It was not only fun for the hotels but it drove extra unexpected revenue and the guests enjoyed it too!
TrevPAR is one of our key KPI’s that as a management company we support in maximising revenue and the below table shows our results YOY, overall, we can see a healthy 3.3% growth in total revenue YOY with slight shortfalls in both April and July due to local events that were non-repeat in the area.
The key to increasing profits is not only driving extra revenue but ensuring the extra revenue is not eaten away by extra costs. There have been many industry articles over the dominance of the OTA websites such as Booking.com, whilst we need their distribution to bring us new customers we also need to make sure those customers are happy to return and book direct next time therefore saving on commission costs. M&T Hotel Management run a book direct campaign that operates throughout our hotels, so far, we are seeing improvements each month, 2.8% in August and 3.2% in September.
To encourage our customers to book direct we have a number of initiatives and activity in place, in particular –
- Our own independent websites and supporting the brand websites, Apps and data collection
- PPC and SEO campaigns
- Database growth and segmentation
- Dotmailer email marketing
- Social media activity and paid advertising, targeted
- Hotel Treats
- Educating our team and our customers
As a Hotel Management Company, we are in a unique position of managing a variety of hotels and brands, those Brands include Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Best Western as well as independent hotels. This supports our Central Management Team by understanding what the key strategies are in all brands; each member of the team has a proven track record at the highest level of the industry meaning the hotels are working with a team of specialists who understand every aspect of the industry.
As a leading hotel management company, we know how valuable staff are, which is why we have devised our own commercial training programmes to attract, develop and retain high quality and engaged employees. We have a series of off the shelf modules that are aimed at all front facing staff with the aim of driving revenue and making key commercial decisions. These modules are not only for our managed hotels they can be tailored to individual hotels with specific needs and we can implement them to our asset managed hotels within Michels and Taylor too.
The module contents include –
- Powerful Pricing – with the aim to evaluate pricing solutions in a positive or negative scenario and then be able to demonstrate sound commercial actions
- Distribution Management – with the aim to gain a broad knowledge on the most effective distribution channels for your Hotel and how to make them work for you
- Business Planning – with the aim to identify the Optimum Business mix for any time period, set attainable goals and actions to achieve this, with driving profit as the aim
- Commercial Culture – with the aim to create and maintain a DNA of top line commercial integrity in all elements of the business, driving TrevPAR and sound business decisions
- TrevPAR Know How – with the aim to have the best tools and practices at your disposal and to be used in line with your business needs driving revenues in all areas of the business
- F&B Commercial Management – with the aim to ensure our F&B staff reach out at all customer touch points, driving revenue and TrevPAR
- Revenue Capture and Total Upselling – with the aim to ensure our teams on property are fully confident in their show rounds, enquiry taking, proposal offering and conversion. Course specifically aimed for the team at each Hotel.
- Front office skills for Total Revenue Results – aiming to improve revenue management skills on the front desk with upselling, how to impact sales and improvements around communication and customer service skills
- Best Practice for better M&E results – this module looks at enquiry handling, Pricing in the market, conversion or sales, customer retention and customer service skills
- Sales and Marketing – several modules that will show best practice with managing accounts, negotiating, identifying leads, account penetration, disciplines of delivering a great marketing message and how to deliver results
To summarise, we have a cross section of hotels and locations across our portfolio, each hotel is individually managed and the teams are encouraged to be creative and entrepreneurial in their approach to driving revenue. As a leading Hotel Management Company we provide the guidance, support and best practice to ensure we continue to drive the best results possible for our owners.