The Career Path of a DRM

By Adam Hayashi, CRME, Vice President of Revenue Management, AccorHotels — member of HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board

Of AccorHotels’ almost 90 properties in North and Central America, 70 have an on-site director of revenue management (DRM) — with about half of them having been in the job for more than three years. The next steps up — regional director of revenue management, vice president, and so on — don’t turn over very often, which means we have to seriously think about what kind of career path the DRM position offers. 

I led a conversation about how to keep DRMs interested and engaged during a recent conference call for HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board. Here are some of our takeaways:

Move them around. “If you leave them in the same position in the same hotel for too long, they can get a little complacent,” one member of the Revenue Management Advisory Board said. “What I find is moving people around, even if it’s internally — to different types of hotels, to different types of challenges — keeps them more engaged and helps them grow, and it helps others grow as well. We also have done internal promotions, where they go from one hotel to two or three hotels, with supporting analysts. That is seen as a growth opportunity.”

Grow their responsibilities. “There were a few cases where we found we could move the stronger directors of revenue to also oversee digital marketing — so, shifting where the accountability lies with other sales and marketing functions,” a board member said. “We even entertained the idea of a director of commercial strategy, which aligned with the corporate structure, and would almost be equivalent to a GM. You have to have the right people that are really strong, but being able to do things like that helps with retention, for sure.”

Recognize their experience. “There were individuals that had been in their position a long time, that were very strong and very well regarded by their general managers, their regional vice presidents, etc., and we wanted to recognize them,” a Revenue Management Advisory Board member said. “Even though we didn’t necessarily have slots for them, we did give them a title change to ‘Lead Cluster Revenue Manager’ or ‘Area Director of RM’ with some additional responsibility, which includes mentorship — working with the younger revenue managers, bringing them up to departmental standards, as well as developing new revenue-management contacts.”

Expand their possibilities. In my own position with AccorHotels, I’ve helped launch a Revenue Advisory Committee (RAC), which is made up of five of our strongest, most experienced DRMs. We hold hour-long monthly calls, during which we discuss the direction of revenue management within Accor. Our RAC members also help lead the planning for our internal conference, and visit properties outside their own regions to get a sense of what it’s like being a regional director. Each DRM will serve a two-year term on RAC — and in the process, they’ll explore how their career path might evolve.

Categories: Revenue Management, Forecast, Strategy
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