Starting with Professional Revenue Management Despite Staffing Shortages

4 min read
Aug 29, 2023 11:52:00 AM

For hotels, providing both the professional expertise and resources for successful revenue management is often a challenge. This is where berner+becker comes into play. As one of the leading providers, berner+becker offers dedicated revenue managers who work closely with clients as part of the hotel team. This not only facilitates a tailored entry into revenue management for hotels: The combination of outsourcing, consulting, and training allows hotels of every size and location to optimize sustainable revenues and profits.

Lars Becker held various leadership po- sitions in large hotel chains overseeing revenue management and co-founded berner+becker revenue management in 2016, along with his business partner and friend Pontus Berner. In a conversation with GRANT, he explains how hotels can have a straightforward and comprehensive entry into revenue management, its immediate impact on the numbers, and the necessary steps for success.


Lars Becker

Lars Becker

Born and raised on the North German coast, Lars studied at Oxford Brookes University, where he earned a degree in International Tourism Management. His passion for data analysis and his fascination with hotels have always accompanied him, making him one of Germany’s most renowned revenue management ex- perts.



GRANT: How can a hotel start with revenue management? What mistakes should be avoided?

Lars Becker: Initially, data from the PMS is essential. They form the basis for business analysis and strategy development. On-the- books data, segment information, benchmarks, and pickups between periods are crucial. User-friendly solutions like HQ plus or Fairmas can help. The subsequent market analysis focuses on competitors and identifies rate potentials. For rate shopping, we often use HQ revenue and incorporate benchmarking data for urban locations for example via STR. These are essential first steps.
The next steps would include defining strategies per demand period, especially for fairs and events, regular forecasting, precise segment strategies for groups or corporate businesses, optimizing distribution ...
Generally, when discussing “changes,” one shouldn’t start too radical and should approach the topic step by step. It is quite possible to lose money with the wrong implementation of revenue management. Therefore, sufficient time and resources are crucial from the get go.




GRANT: Outsourcing such a critical field as revenue management might not seem intuitive at first. What benefits do your clients gain from outsourcing?

LB: First, it’s essential to understand that when hoteliers outsource revenue management to us, they don’t relinquish decision-making power. We coordinate closely with our clients, especially in the beginning, and jointly develop a strategy that fits everyone. Although we work entirely autonomously on a daily basis, we are also very transparent, allowing our clients to intervene anytime if they feel like something isn’t right.
The most significant advantage for our hotel clients is accessing our professional expertise right from the start: They get experienced revenue managers on their team from day one, who have been doing only revenue management for hotels for many years, plus a whole team of experts in the background. Especially for privately-owned hotels, it’s often challenging to hire experienced revenue managers, and this has only been exacerbated by the current talent shortage. Hiring a subpar revenue manager just because there are no other options can be detrimental. We on the other hand don’t quit, from our clients’ perspective we never get sick, and don’t take vacations. Our goal is long-term collaboration. We’ve been working with our first client, the Central Hotel Kaiserhof in Hannover, for over 7 years and are an integral part of their hotel team.


GRANT: How do you ensure cross-company teamwork in the interest of your clients?

LB: Internally, we assign each client their own revenue manag- er, complemented by a “buddy” for backup. Our systems and destinations experts, as well as the Head of Distribution support the revenue managers at all times. The knowledge exchange that is then happening within our team of over 20 experienced managers benefits us and especially our clients.
Externally, we integrate ourselves as members of the hotel team and emphasize personal client contact. Regular strategy discussions and coordination are simplified through video calls. Daily communication and close collaboration de- fine our approach.



GRANT: What tools do you rely on for market evaluation and analysis? How open are you to clients’ technological conditions?

LB: We assess the client’s infrastructure and largely adapt to existing tools. We’ve developed solutions to extract data from various PMS systems. Clients usually don’t need to purchase new technologies to collaborate with us. We establish some minimum standards like the 2-way channel manager, professional rate shoppers, and recommend benchmarking for larger destinations. Similarly, we collaborate with a business intelligence tool, which we implement at the start of our collaboration.
Contrary to popular belief, collaborating with us and an existing Revenue Management System is not mutually exclusive. We provide recommendations in this regard and can implement a RMS during our collaboration.


GRANT: What commitment, on the hotels part, is required to achieve sustainable success with revenue management?

LB: Either a significant amount of preparation and training time is needed, along with dedicated revenue personnel to stay consistently engaged, or you can opt for outsourcing and have professional resources from day one.




Number of Rooms: 600+
Locations: Heiligenhafen, Büsum, St. Peter Ording, Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg
Hotel Type: Hotel Group
Service: Outsourced Revenue Management
Start of collaboration with berner+becker: 2020

Results of the collaboration

  • Growth of the average daily rate (ADR) by +25% since 2019 or before the start of the collaboration.
  • Long-term occupancy growth in off-peak months of +5%
  • Maintaining over 80% of distribution through direct
  • Stable long-term growth in occupancy and rates



“The Heimathafen Hotels have refined their revenue management since 2020 and adjusted it seasonally. Even in times of changing travel behavior, in collaboration with Heimathafen Hotels, we’ve consistently worked towards optimizing both high and low season periods. The results in terms of occupancy and rate increases speak for themselves, ranking Heimathafen Hotels among the best-performing hotels in the market."

– Andrea Dieck
(Revenue Performance Director, berner+becker revenue management)


"For the past few years, we have been very successful and have consistently had high occupan- cy. For this reason, we wanted to set ourselves up more pro- fessionally for the future. An external perspective is essen- tial to us, as is rate optimiza- tion. It’s also important for us that the collaboration feels as if berner+becker is a department within our company and not an external consultant.”

– Marco Häusler, 
(Director of Operations, Heimathafen Hotels)

This Interview is taken from GRANT#4 – From Zero to Hero

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