If you want to become a hotel manager, then you must possess more than a working knowledge of the hotel industry. Being a hotel manager requires you to closely monitor almost every aspect of the business – service, kitchen, maintenance, cleaning, front desk procedures, etc.
In addition to maintaining close contact with your guests and employees, you must also develop close working relationships with others within your community, the media, and the tourism and hospitality industry in order to promote your business.
The Duties of a Hotel Manager
The key duties of a hotel manager include:
- Ensure that their lodging facilities are adequately meeting the needs of its clients or users
- Ensure that the services the hotel offers are being properly promoted and marketed
- Ensure that the reservation, booking, and other similar processes are effective and efficient
- Ensure that the hotel is up to par in terms of maintenance, safety, and other expected standards
- Ensure the satisfaction, comfort, and goodwill of each guest
- Create and execute business strategies for short term and long term success
In order to be successful, you must develop excellent research skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills, and general management skills.
How to Achieve Your Goal of Becoming a Hotel Manager
Education is Critical
Although there are a handful of situations in which experience may be substituted for formal education, most aspiring hotel managers will be well-served by obtaining a higher level education.
Just a few of the options you can choose from include training programs, associates degrees, and certifications; however, most employers are seeking candidates who have a four-year degree in hospitality management or a similar field.
If you aspire to eventually enter upper management, post-graduate studies may be beneficial. Regardless of which route you choose to take; it is imperative that you ensure the program you choose is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs In Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).
Be Willing to Assume an Entry Level Job
Determination is not a skill that can be taught in the classroom, and in order to gain the experience you need to become a hotel manager, it may be necessary for you to assume an entry level job for the meantime. This may mean becoming customer service representative, receptionist, or cook.
It is these “low level” positions that will enable you to learn the ins and outs of a hotel’s daily operations. Make a concentrated effort to learn everything you can about your position and other entry level positions within the establishment.
In the hospitality industry, a premium is placed on experience, and it can be invaluable to obtaining the position you desire.
Concentrate on Developing Your Interpersonal Skills
Having superior interpersonal skills is imperative because hotel managers must understand and satisfy their guests’ needs, as well as those of their employees. Examples of required interpersonal skills include listening skills, managerial skills, delegation skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.
Effective communication skills are also critical because a hotel manager must interact daily with guests, employees, as well as upper management and investors. They may be occasionally called upon to give presentations to stakeholders and upper management.
Begin Developing Your Organizational Skills
In order to assume the position of a hotel manager, having superior organizational skills is crucial. A hotel manager must have knowledge of accounting, sales, marketing, administration, and computer skills. The hotel departments and services that a hotel manager is in charge of include:
- Reception/Front Desk
- Guest Services
A hotel manager’s role will also vary in complexity depending upon the size of their venue and staff. A small bed and breakfast in New Orleans, Louisiana may employ only 15 people, but a major, name brand hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada may employ thousands of people.
Regardless of the size of your staff, you must be able to effectively oversee and manage multiple operations and employees at once.
Learn How to Effectively Manage Finances
There are many financial aspects that are involved in managing a hotel. Just a few examples of these financial aspects include allocating budgetary resources to different departments, establishing restaurant and room service prices, estimating the costs of resources, and dealing with vendors.
Guests must be satisfied with their experience and the quality of services offered, but hotel managers must also ensure that a profit is turned in order to satisfy stockholders and owners.
Find a Mentor
A business mentor is a person who has worked their way up through the industry and is willing to offer the benefit of their hard-won expertise and knowledge with up and coming employees.
For example, Marriott Hotels likes to promote their managers from within their lower level ranks, and for this reason, they provide mentors to employees who aspire to move upwards.
Even if the hotel you work for does not provide mentoring services, consider asking your current manager or a favorite professor if they would be your mentor.
Look for an Internship
Ideally, you should look for an internship while you are still in school; however, even if you are a recent graduate, you can still benefit from what an internship has to offer. Just a few of the benefits an internship offers include:
- Expanding your knowledge of the hotel management business
- Allowing you to apply knowledge learned in the classroom in a real-world setting
- Gaining valuable work experience that will look good on your resume or CV
- Access to valuable networking contacts
- Obtain references for future job opportunities
- Get your foot in the door with a company
According to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), new graduates who partook of an internship program while in school were more likely to obtain an offer of employment than those who did not.
The university you attend should have an internship program that can assist you in finding the right placement.
Tips for Success
If you want to be successful in obtaining a position as a hotel manager, it is imperative that you love what you do. As with any industry newcomer, there will be long hours to work with little pay.
For those who are just starting out, many experts recommend beginning your career with a well-established hotel chain. These companies tend to be more well-organized and structured and offer an excellent environment to begin your career.
They also offer the most opportunities for advancement. If you want to advance in your career, then you must be open to relocating.
Finally, be prepared to do anything. If you are hired as a duty manager, be willing to go unclog a toilet in the middle of the night. If the graveyard shift is what is currently offering the most leadership opportunities, take advantage of it.
Always be prepared, and always be willing to have the attitude that you are the individual who can be relied on to do things that others do not want to do.
There are multiple steps involved in becoming a successful hotel manager; however, with a positive attitude and determination, it is a goal you can readily achieve. For more information on how to become a hotel manager, start looking into educational programs in your area today.