10 Traits of an Ideal Revenue Manager

With recent improvements in technology and a focus on acquisition cost, the defining characteristics of today’s ideal revenue manager have changed—and through our work at Charlestowne Hotels, we’ve identified a new wave of skill sets needed to hire industry-leading talent. What was once focused on finding analytical entrepreneurs who were self-sufficient and data-oriented has now shifted to finding someone that is a cross-disciplined, inventive leader. This traditionally introverted person now needs to step out from behind the Excel sheet and take the lead on implementing strategic change.

While we are interested in those who display an expertise in their subject matter, it’s imperative we look for a candidate who can also participate in a meeting that incorporates all disciplines. Revenue managers don’t need to be asset managers, marketers, or a director of sales, but they should have a general understanding of each department inside the operation. The responsibility to generate revenue comes with the obligation of knowing how that demand was generated and how it flows to the bottom line. Identifying this talent in an interview is probably the easiest, as you can often ask pointed questions regarding the candidate’s experience interacting with individual departments. It’s not always a prerequisite that they’ve had this type of comprehensive interaction—especially if they measure up in all other hiring categories—as we are most interested in whether they at least show an interest in learning how these outside factors impact revenue. What we don’t want to hear is, “They handle their department, and I’ll handle mine.”

Originality is not often a word associated with the revenue discipline, as this profession is often built on learning from history and building data models, but Charlestowne approaches this a little differently. Being in charge of a large amount of revenue can often be pressure-packed, and with so many systems out there, the person responsible for the analysis should also be inventive. As one of the key hotel team members, they should have an understanding of the inner workings of the property and what generates business. An inventive revenue manager can apply their data to finding new channels, developing new campaigns alongside their marketing counterpart, or simply challenging traditional rate structures, room differentials, or sales strategies. There is a noticeable difference between revenue managers who follow history and “how it’s always been done,” versus those who bring original ideas and creatively challenge the status quo at their property. Think of where we’d be today if someone had not thought to charge different rates on weekends versus weekdays, or that two beds are worth more than one in certain markets.


Being cross disciplined and creative requires backbone, as this industry is made up of many traditionalists who will challenge new ideas. This is why we look for candidates who exhibit leadership. When an innovative idea is generated and needs to be applied to another discipline (i.e. suggesting the hotel should add valet parking), we need a leader who is going to tactfully deliver their recommendation and then follow through with its implementation. Leaders not only drive change, but also hold themselves accountable. A revenue manager who is accountable is one who will put the work in and stand behind their analysis. You can often uncover this trait by using an assessment like a Myers-Briggs or StrengthsFinder, coupled with asking experiential questions related to their experience leading a team and/or interacting with senior leaders.

To conclude, while revenue managers should first and foremost be data tacticians, hiring those with the aforementioned traits will provide us with strategic influencers who can move this industry forward.

About the Author
Johnathan Capps is vice president of revenue for Charlestowne Hotels.

Previous articleGroup Bookings Brighten Hotel Outlook
Next articlePriceline Predicts Rise of ‘Travel Besties’