2017 is going to be a game changer for hotel DOSMs.
This year, you need to maximize every advantage you have to meet your revenue targets and outperform your comp set. It’s easy to start off the year with a burst of explosive energy, like a sprinter at the start line. But staying in front of the pack throughout the year requires you to maintain a disciplined daily routine of revenue-centric tasks.
That’s why we’re bringing back our annual Tambourine DOSM Checklist, which suggests daily activities that will make it easier for you to achieve your revenue goals.
Here are the 10 things we recommend to hotel DOSMs for 2017:
1. Assess Your Top 20 Sales Opportunities
Successful DOSMs scrutinize their monthly and yearly group business goals and know where they stand on any given day. Leave the fluffy weekly sales meeting to the other hotels. Keep track of the progress towards your group sales goals by meeting with your team everyday. Review top opportunities, get a no BS status on critical deals and determine what the sales person can do that day to edge them closer to winning that piece of business.
Do you know your current closing percentage? And how long the average deal takes to close? You should! A daily check-in is paramount to hitting your room night goals each month and the rest of the year.
2. Improve Your Product
With all the sales and marketing strategies and technology you have in place, at the end of the day, it’s an exceptional guest experience that will attract bookings again and again. So, it makes sense to get your head out of the computer and leave your office to simply walk your property at least once a day. Be mindful and try to see the property with fresh eyes. TALK TO GUESTS! Scrutinize any flaws or opportunities for improvement. Notice what’s missing or what is possibly holding your property back. The restaurant’s uninspiring menu? Cluttered spa entrance? Dismal hallway lighting? Outdated staff uniforms or procedures? No amount of brilliant marketing can cover or compensate for property shortcomings, so it’s up to you to start there first. Submit a report to ownership at least once a year detailing the product shortcomings that are affecting results.
3. Review the Metrics Owners Care About the Most
Every day, you should be checking key performance indicators that hotel owners and asset managers consider high priority, such as MCPB (marketing cost per booking), DRR (direct revenue ratio), and your STR index vs the comp set. Monitoring these KPIs will help you and your owner understand how your sales and marketing team is actually contributing to the hotel’s revenue targets. Plus, these numbers will ultimately drive performance each day. Most hoteliers tend to wait until a slow season to pay attention to these metrics, then scramble to frantically catch up when the numbers reveal how behind they are in reaching the hotel’s goals.
4. Check In On Guest Sentiment
In addition to speaking to real life human guests, online guest reviews are another direct link to your hotel’s future success. They tell you what went wrong (and right) in the past, and what you need to do moving forward. Even if it is someone else’s job to read and respond to guest reviews, successful DOSMs need to know what guests are saying as well. Do the same with mentions of the hotel on social media, such as photos taken by guests and posted to Instagram or Facebook. These posts can be extremely revealing and can show you what guests consider the highlight of their stay and in some cases, what they were disappointed by. Notice what comes up most often, then outline how you and other management staff can make improvements.
5. Empower and Encourage Your Team’s Creativity
Today’s travelers are drawn to what is different and remarkable. This requires your team to come up with fresh and innovative ways to market your property and wow guests. Brilliant brings bookings. Encourage your marketing and sales staff to bring a new idea to the table everyday. Then, actually give them the freedom and permission to run with the concepts that seem the most feasible. The key is to not belittle or reject ideas, no matter how outlandish or lousy they may seem at first. That will only discourage innovation. It may take many tries before uncovering an idea that could lead to a breakthrough idea. Empowering your staff goes a long way in boosting job performance and team morale, which will undoubtedly reflect on hotel revenues.
6. Speak to Meeting Attendees and Guests
Pardon us for repeating ourselves: Resist the urge to stay glued to your computer or attend your own meetings all day. Get out and talk to guests, especially attendees of groups and events! You are a host, first and foremost. So, talk and mingle with the people who really matter — your guests. Chat with guests in the lobby or walk the meeting space and chat with attendees during their downtime. Start a conversation and see how things are going. Ask what could make their stay or meeting experience even better?
Discover what really matters to them. Jot down and collect their responses and use that as inspiration to drive your sales and marketing efforts. All of this intelligence can be used to attract more bookings or group business in the future.
7. Meet With Your Revenue Manager
The most successful DOSMs confer with their revenue manager each day, not simply once per week. Just like your top sales opportunities, you need to stay on top of your hotel’s pace reports, upcoming low periods, performance vs budget and the strategies to drive more revenue from ancillary products. The days of sales/marketing operating in separate silos from revenue management are firmly over… check out this brief article on how to connect all the departments that affect your property’s revenue.
8. Wrap your property in local color
The desire for unforgettable and authentic travel experiences isn’t going away anytime soon. Modern travelers want to experience a destination like a local and are replacing trips to major attractions with visits to mom-and-pop shops, farmers markets, art walks and hidden local spots. And, they’re looking to pick a hotel at the epicenter of all those things. Don’t sit back and simply rely on your concierge to stay abreast of all the local activities that are possible. Stay on top of it by skimming the publications that locals tend to read, such as weeklies like San Diego Reader or city magazines like Seattle Met. This will give you ideas for possible partnerships, room packages, or unique off-site group options.
9. Study Your Comp Set
In the battle for bookings, never take your eyes off the competition. In addition to monitoring rate, checking in on your comp set gives you insight into the smart moves they’re making to draw more direct bookings and more group business. One of the easiest ways to keep up with competition is to follow their social media accounts, not just for the property itself, but of each sales person, too. (Each sales person at your property should follow their counterparts at competing hotels.) What is getting the most engagement? What are they bragging about? What value are they bringing to LinkedIn? Then, read their latest guest reviews and find out what their guests love and hate about their experience. Use this data to gauge what their customers and guests respond to and determine if you can use their successes to inspire change at your property, as well.
10. Stress balance and reduce stress
Smart DOSMs also find ways to reduce stress at work. They hire positive, high achieving staff and fire negative, poor performers. They set expectations clearly with those below AND above them. They eliminate vendor fatigue by consolidating their needs with as few vendors as possible. They surround themselves with people who can get things done with little to no hand holding.
And most importantly, they know that despite their non-stop, 24/7 job, work should never be their only source of pride and enjoyment. The most successful DOSMs have vibrant, fulfilling lives outside of work, balancing the demands of their work life with family, friends, exercise and travel.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com