Best Practices for Hotel Management Company CROs Responding to COVID-19


HSMAI hosted a Hotel Management Company (HMC) Chief Revenue Officer Virtual Roundtable on March 25 that focused on the impact that COVID-19 is having on hotel revenue optimization.

In addition to discussing key indicators they are using to track how the hospitality industry is doing, HMC CRO participants shared their best practices, lessons learned, and ideas for preparing to accelerate as quickly as possible. Here are five of their suggestions, presented in their own words:


“We’re lucky enough to still have 90 percent of our corporate team, but completely redeployed our team into a secure division, a support division, and a succeed division. Succeed is focused on ramping back up — procedures, staffing, strategy plans, markets to proceed with, staffing messaging, communicating with properties. It’s been our main focus.”
“Our best practice is the way we now engage with each other. We’ve had to become a baseball team like no other. Everyone has a specific role, but we have to toss the ball to each other in a way we haven’t had to before. Our culture is usually to make sure hotels have final say on strategy, but we’ve had to make some across-the-board decisions for all hotels, immediately going to implementation.”
“We’ve formed a response team right away that has a representative from each discipline across the company that’s a resource for anyone to come to. It’s worked well across the field.”


“We have been focused on a solid post-COVID plan, taking as much information across markets as we can to build that. We’re also synergizing our efforts across markets and sharing knowledge across markets. We’ve been heavily focused on our weekly forecast across all markets, so we’ve come up with a market-level focus for each market as well. We are also gathering a lot of digital information and consolidating it on a common forum.”
“A lot of hotels have been mandated to close, so what we have done is create more efficiencies to share contacts across different markets. We’re having a daily sales, marketing, revenue, and ecommerce call with everyone. We’ve had to move the call center to remote, and that’s working very well, so that it will probably remain like that instead of moving back to a building.”


“It’s been exciting to see my team in the field step up. They’ve been sharing what trends they’re seeing, leads that come in. We’re trying to focus on the good things we’re seeing.”
“The ingenuity I’ve seen from our sales team has been unbelievable. We’ve been able to see who the hunters are. I was blown out of the water a few weeks ago by one of our directors of sales. The ingenuity and the hunting have been phenomenal.”
“We had to lay off a lot of employees last week, but those who have remained showed great compassion and empathy toward those who were furloughed. They’re all having to learn different brands that they never thought they would have to know three weeks ago. This is a great time for cross-training, and they are willing and open to learning.”


“We streamlined our process for responding to leads, so we can respond to them more quickly. Long-term, we are developing several rules as things get rebooked into the second half. We want to make sure we are layering appropriately to avoid displacement.”
“Our biggest change has been the multiple versions of forecasts — making a best case, worst case, etc. It’s helped eliminate some of the day-to-day forecasting and saved us time.”
“A lot of it is having the team go back and focus on the basics of the business. The only function of the sales department is to go out and find business and sell to them.”


“Anything that we can put together that’s hopeful or positive looking forward is more important than ever and is better received by employees. I look forward to putting that together for each property.”
“Out of every catastrophe comes permanent change. We’re looking at where we’ve cut costs and what we can use as an opportunity to cut savings moving forward.”
“We’re focusing on when we are going to reopen and what happens then, instead of focusing on right now when we’re closed. We’re cross-training our revenue team with other departments who can’t work remotely. We’re also making sure we’re educating teams that discounting isn’t the best way to go.”

For additional information, insights, and tools, visit HSMAI’s Global Coronavirus Resources page.