By Kaitlin Dunn, Writer, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
Nick Molitor never thought he would end up with a career in hotels when he started working in a restaurant in high school, but his passion for hospitality soon led him to major in hotel and tourism management at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After working in the field for many years, Molitor obtained HSMAI’s Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME) credential in order to keep up with the ever-changing field that he has grown to love. Now the director of account management at IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Molitor recently shared his professional story with HSMAI — including how he is coping with being stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis.
How did you get started in the industry?
I got started in hospitality before college, where I worked in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher and then as a server, but I eventually decided I’d rather go into hotels, so I studied hotel and tourism management in college. After I graduated from UW Stout, I worked at Embassy Suites in Minneapolis, working on a complex sales team as sales manager. After working at Embassy, I then went to IDeaS, where I still am today. I started in marketing development, then moved to inside sales, and then worked in various roles on the account management team.
Why is revenue something that keeps you interested every day?
It’s still evolving. There is so much opportunity when it comes to looking at hotels and how they’re implementing revenue strategies. There is always an opportunity to do things differently and do them in more impactful ways, and there are especially big opportunities to impact the bottom lines for hotels. It’s always fun to see hotels implement a system that I worked with and see the results.
Why did you decide to get your CRME?
I got certified in 2016. For our team on the revenue management technology side, it’s important that we maintain our education and understating of revenue management and where it’s going, in order to be sure that we are all maintaining a strong connection to the field and keeping a high level of expertise.
How has having the CRME been helpful to your career, especially during this crisis situation?
I think one of the things that’s been true about trying to manage all of this is that the fundamentals become really important, and that’s where the CRME comes into play. There wasn’t a course on managing a pandemic, but understanding the fundamentals and things like holding or decreasing rate — those are the kinds of things that the CRME can lend to going through this crisis.
Overall, it’s been great to be a part of the community of CRMEs and to be a peer of everyone there. It’s also great when meeting new people who don’t know anything about you to have this nice stamp that lets them know that you have a level of expertise in the field.
What have you been doing during this crisis differently than before?
Now that we’re approaching May, we’re starting to shift a bit back toward long-range planning. Typically, we try to look six, 12, 18 months out and plan our approach, but when you’re dealing with the immediate impacts of a pandemic, long-range planning becomes impossible. Between mid-March and mid-April, it was a big shift to focusing on managing day-to-day things and communicating with our clients on what we’re doing and what we suggest they do. We’re finally seeing a shift back from being in a war room environment to looking long-term again and anticipating the recovery.
What has been the biggest challenge of adjusting to working from home full time?
We’ve had to adjust our routine now that I’m not going into the office and our son isn’t going into daycare. Trying to manage the workday with a toddler has been a unique experience. Making a new routine seem normal and making sure we get outside and exercise has been really helpful to us. I thought that we’d be back by early April, but now that we’re approaching the end of April, I don’t know how much longer this will last.
What are you most looking forward to after the quarantine ends?
I’m really looking forward to going to a happy hour and just having a drink and appetizer out on a patio and being able to enjoy the summer. That sounds really nice to me right now.
Are there any industry resources that have been helpful to you during the crisis?
From the beginning, HSMAI has done a nice job partnering with other industry partners and putting together nice content. I’ve sat in on a few webinars and it’s been nice to see the perspectives on how people are managing. STR has also done well in sharing their data and keeping it open so we can keep tabs on how the industry is doing.
Learn more about HSMAI’s CRME certification program.
For additional information, insights, and tools, visit HSMAI’s Global Coronavirus Resources page.