The In-Depth Guide To Hotel Management And How To Be A Great Manager

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Feb 14, 2022 | Hotel Management | Reading Time: 9 minutes

Hotel management is right at the top of the hospitality industry’s buzzwords list. And that’s not surprising.

Here is just a sample of activities a hotel manager constantly needs to supervise:

  • How front desk operations checks guests in and out.
  • Cleanness protocols.
  • Overbooking reports popping up in your email.
  • Stakeholders inquiring about financial budget reports.
  • If the concierge has your restaurant’s menu items updated.
  • Housekeeping’s personalized gifts for your VIPs.
  • Inventory checks to review.
  • Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram messages popping up from potential guests.

The list is endless and, with so much going on, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.

Never fear, though! We’ve curated important aspects of hotel management that you can’t miss out if you wish to optimize your hotel manager skills. Here are all topics:

  • What is hotel management?
  • Synergistic Effect
  • How does hotel management work?
  • Soft Skills to be a great hotel manager
  • The first step toward successful hotel management
  • Advantages of hotel management software
  • Omnichannel Costumer Service Solution
  • Hotel management certification

Hotel management

Think of hotel management as an orchestra, and the manager in the lead as the conductor.

Even though the conductor isn’t playing the instruments himself, this person guides the drummer, the flutist, the trumpeters, and the saxophonists.

If you’re in hotel management, you’ll have the eternal job of fine-tuning your staff and improving areas beyond your expertise by guiding the experts you delegate to “play for you”.

Synergistic Effect

One thing becomes clear when we compare the two trades—the end performance always depends on every part doing its job perfectly.

Hotel management involves everybody in your teams. It doesn’t matter if they play in the last row, irregularly striking that metal triangle.

With so many parts coming together, it’s no wonder leaders in the hospitality industry have endless questions about hotel management. In fact, not even Google will give you a straightforward answer.

How does hotel management work?

In this article, we try to be as thorough as possible about everything hotel management encompasses. But, of course, you decide to which degree your hotel needs each of these operations and where the gaps are.


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Here are the most important:

Marketing

Everybody is on the Internet. So, to ensure your ideal potential guests find you, an informative, mobile friendly, and alluring website, plus engagement on social media are just the beginning.

From phone calls and emails to ads, Google messages, organic search results, and WhatsApp, no one can deny your hotel is much more than your geographic location, it’s made up of all channels guests are using to find you. Your success will be directly related to a solid online presence.

Sales management

Granted, hotels are about selling rooms, but there are endless possibilities when it comes to profiting.

Sometimes it requires an upfront investment, such as upgrading areas for events, other times, an outrageous mini bar goes a long way.

Intelligent hotel management constantly finds alternatives to increase profits, especially in ways that don’t directly involve increasing room rates.


Listen to Hotel Cast episode #17 to learn about Sales Techniques with Jutta Moore,  Revenue Management Consultant and Director of Moore Hotel Consulting.


Distribution

Your audience includes frequent customers, occasional leisure travelers, and guests on business. Distribution channels are the means your potential guests can use to book a room.

So, you have to be smart about how to best distribute vacancies in which channel.

A keen eye on where the competition is headed, plus data from the same period in the previous years, are just some aspects to be carefully considered before distribution.

Revenue Management

Predicting customer behavior is a must when it comes to managing your budget, availability, and rate smartly. The following data, for example, should always be all systems go no matter the season:

  • ADR (Average daily rate)
  • TrevPAR (Total revenue per available room)
  • RevPAR (Revenue per available room)
  • CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)

Bookings

Not having a booking engine can be an upfront barrier when travelers access your website.

Diversifying the channels through which travelers can book with you helps you run on a better capacity.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Booking.com, Kayak, and Expedia help increase your visibility, but their commissions can take a chunk off your profits.

For better or worse, you’re stuck with OTAs. It’s better to pay commissions over something than be stuck with empty rooms.

Just keep in mind that travelers don’t want any fuss when it’s time to book a room, so what are the systems and channels you’re using for people to book directly with you?

A booking system can help you relocate vacancies with different channels, maximize reservations, and give you a competitive edge with more independence from OTAs.

 Housekeeping

Housekeeping isn’t really about making beds, it’s a staple of a great guest experience.

When spotless is the expected standard, it’s your attention to detail that will make a difference from the moment your guests sweep the card to unlock their rooms.

There has been a complete twist on how guests see housekeeping after the pandemic—while before it was regarded as a nuisance, it’s now something that inspires trust.

Some hotels have even rescheduled housekeeping times so that guests could have a peek of what happens behind the scenes.

There are other higher scale aspects to housekeeping. If your audience is made up of a younger crowd, there might be a chance you can gain a lot from “Make a Green Choice” programs.

On the other hand, you need to track records from guests and supervisors before making changes definite, though.

Small-scaling will work in your favor in case changes end up being disadvantageous, as this Washington Post report points out.

hotel management housekeeping cleanerstanding near table with pastries

Soft skills to be a great hotel manager

Whether you run a small inn, a chain hotel, or a luxury spa, there are soft skills every hotel manager needs in order to run a business successfully.


👉 Recommended: Are You a Hotel Manager or a Leader? David Arraya Is Asking You


Adaptability

In the hospitality industry, a hundred things happen in a single hour, and a good leader keeps tackling every new challenge with the same energy and enthusiasm you had in the first flush of the morning.

Being an adaptable leader will also teach your staff to practice autonomy and feel that juggling tasks and coming up with maverick solutions is okay and even expected of them.

Interpersonal skills

In his book Nudge, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler says,

“Loss aversion helps produce inertia, meaning a strong desire to stick with your current holdings.”

Sometimes, all your employees need is a little nudge, but understanding what is at stake from their point of view and in which direction to steer them is something that only a leader with great interpersonal skills will easily grasp.

Communication

Guiding, delegating, and motivating are part of what hotel managers do to build sharp teams.

To communicate with your staff effectively, you need to truly listen to what  they say, have an open mind,  inspire them to do better, align expectations, be transparent,  specific, and concise.

Don’t put yourself in a place where you’re always talking and never leave room for feedback because this creates a toxic work environment that may increase turnover.

Remember, your staff is qualified and knowledgeable about the how-to part of the job. So, learn the scoop of everything in your subject matter on a technical level so that you can evoke credibility when you speak.


👉 In this insightful chat with Calvin Stovall, Chief Experience Officer of ICONIC Presentations, LLC, we discussed communication with practical examples. Listen now!


Work ethic

As a leader, you are a role model even when you’re alone. Know what you stand for and against before your work ethic is put to the test.

“Adversity is a crossroads that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. Every time he chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequences.”

The quote above from John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, reinforces that your actions and your character are intrinsically related.

If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. People lose their respect when they see leaders compromise, and that’s difficult to regain.

Learning

Taking up new things to learn shows you’re someone driven. The world is fast evolving, and leadership should always keep an eye on better things ahead, especially in the hospitality industry.

Another bonus to leaders who apply themselves to learn new things is that they aren’t surprised when new technology changes the game, and they have a better framework of how to use it in their favor.

In hotel management, sharing what you’ve been learning opens a great communication channel with your teams to motivate them.

The first step toward successful hotel management

If you’ve been redirecting your brilliant staff’s brain power toward filling sheets, sorting overbooking, and letting guests know that yes, you do accept pets, this might be a sign of wasted skill sets and poor planning.

Here are just some areas which can benefit from automated systems:

  • E-commerce
  • Sales
  • Guest services
  • Distribution
  • Revenue management
  • IT
  • Accounting
  • Customer Service
  • Back office

Advantages of hotel management software

Hotel management is a round the clock job, and you always feel pulled in different directions. So, imagine how much you could gain if:

With all manual tasks taken care of, hotel management can really focus on growth—which your guests will notice.

Additionally, the only people who know the nuts and bolts of your business (your staff) will have room to come up with creative solutions you’ve never dreamed of.

So, here are some automated systems that can help you achieve that:

RMS

If you manage a hotel of any size, you know the principle of higher rates on busy seasons and lower on low seasons.

A Revenue Management System helps you enhance revenue by monitoring key metrics  that include seasons, but also your daily rates, competitors, traveler patterns, big events, climate changes, and more.

This is not only a tool to optimize rates, but your inventory accordingly. If you’ve been scratching your head trying to take all this into consideration, this is a tool that works within your context.


👉 Recommended: 3 Things Revenue Managers Must Do Right Now by Asksuite


PMS

Essentially, Property Management Systems are software tools that help you manage your business in different capacities and with different complexity.

This software can tackle from front-desk ops and distribution to revenue and back office management.

It’s the type of system that helps you have a macro view of how everything in your business interconnects, with an engaging interface that can easily be taught to your staff.

CRM

CRM systems are some of the most popular solutions for improving guest service. These tools will collect data from staying guests and draw next-level solutions, as well as help you enhance guest loyalty.

This might be an oversimplified explanation, and it is simple. But, without a CRM system, how can you ever organize and analyze who your guests are and their travel patterns? It’s a must if you want to better connect with your guests.

The sky’s the limit with CRM tools. You can just find out 60% of your guests are older than 50, or that less than 3% are lactose intolerant. You might earn a guest’s undivided loyalty by reminding them of their wedding anniversary before they do—and why not plan a stay with you to celebrate?

Virtual Assistant Omnichannel Costumer Service Solution

On average, most questions a hotel gets from customers are standard, usually related to the facilities, availability, and location. This means that managers can reduce operation costs right upfront by adding a chatbot to their website.

This tech has come a long way from its prototypes, and people like how quickly chatbots answer them.

While a chatbot winnow out irrelevant questions can save up much of your time, an omnichannel customer service solution will help you centralize all questions in one place.

Centralized inquires coming from Instagram, mobile, Facebook, Google Message, email, and website help the customer experience feel completely seamless to the traveler, giving you more efficiency and a brother view to prioritize targets.

Hotel Management Certification

Many people in the industry inquire about hotel management careers and certifications, so we bring you a brief list with some institutions to help you create impact and drive your organization and yourself.

EHL

EHL offers bachelor’s degrees, graduate school, and short hospitality courses. It’s stayed ahead as the world’s best hotel management school for the third year now, and it’s certainly the option for those seeking an impressive resume to endorse their career in the hospitality industry.

International Hospitality Institute

This global hospitality certification empowers professionals with excellent serving and leadership skills and a unified code of conduct for the industry. Certifications include Operational Manager, General Manager, Hospitality Expert, and more.

E- hotelier

E-hotelier offers 15 endorsed certifications, in which you can learn at your own pace and availability. Certifications include courses on leadership and management styles with implementable teachings to your career.

Isenberg School of Management

With over 75 years forging hospitality professionals, the University of Massachusetts offers real-world preparation. You’ll find degree options in hospitality and tourism management, including bachelor’s degrees, online certifications, and PhD.

Hotel Management

The past years have triggered many fast-paced changes for all businesses worldwide, the service industry is no exception.

However, the service industry does have the upper hand in the sense it’s been focusing on customer satisfaction for the longest time.

Consumers demand attention and expect an unbelievable experience or adieu. Focusing on creating value for the customer is an enterprise which will involve everyone and every facet of hotel management.

This article should help you find the gaps in your business and whether you need to start by enhancing your leadership skills, using technology in your favor and reducing manual labor, or investing in your staff’s certification.

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