How to Have a Successful (and Sane!) Budget Season: Webinar Recap

Author: Avanti Joglekar

In the first episode of Rainmaker’s ongoing webinar series, Lydia Patterson, Sales Engineer with 15 years of experience in revenue management, operations, revenue training and leadership roles with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, shared her insights on how to get through the 2018 budget process (and survive!)

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1. Leverage Year-Over-Year (YOY) Insights to Understand How Your Business Is Changing

First, getting a broader view into your property’s overall hotel performance & room night trends across multiple views is key to understanding what’s happening on a broader scale so you can make the best decisions for next year.  Is your business growing or declining overall? Understanding the big picture changes via analyzing annual trends helps you really understand how performance is shifting. For example, is it growing into peak period or shoulder period? Additionally, you want to track events that are relevant for your hotel. These events include the larger national events but also local ones such as city-wide fairs or festivals, and make sure that you have the events properly accounted for in your 2018 plan.

Making use of every single tool and data point you have access to will help you make realistic and defendable assumptions about your hotel’s future performance. And resist the temptation to “boil the ocean” -- that is, use your data and focus it to make a deeper dive to understand historical performance and where you go wrong with your forecast. Take advantage of industry bench marking tools, associations and industry news to establish realistic expectations.

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2. Identifying Opportunities to Achieve YOY Increase Goals 

When looking into mix opportunities, evaluate your current partnerships. When you look at the performance of your current partners, from top corporate and travel agent accounts, are those accounts really who you expected they would be? Are they holding up their end of the bargain, meaning are you getting the business when they promised to deliver it? Does their DOW pattern, ADR, room type use, and ancillary spend compensate for the promises made? Another place to uncover mix opportunities is to identify new partnerships. Are there current accounts/travel agents where a deeper partnership would be mutually beneficial and lead to potential growth?

Don’t just focus on pricing to drive ADR. There may be great opportunities lurking in different mix of business by room category, & don't forget considering the potential to market to guests and opportunities to involve the whole team. Revenue management is essentially a team sport, so anyone who has the potential to impact revenue can be useful. For example, ask the front desk what guests would be willing to pay more for. And finally, make sure to take advantage of training on the tools your hotels use, and make sure that your team is capable of using the tools to their fullest and that the reports generated from these tools are doing the work for you.

For more details on these practices, check out the webinar replay by clicking below:

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