Revenue Hub Interview: “Who We Are”

We are delighted to welcome Revenue Hub as an Expert Partner of Topline RevPros.

In this “Who Are We” video, we have Cameron Peterson, Co-founder and Director of Sales & Marketing, and Connor Vanderholm, Co-Founder and Director of Revenue Management, breakdown our goals and what we bring to the hospitality industry.

Here is the video chapter timeline:

1:33 Guests Background Introduction
3:38 Who Are Topline RevPros
5:44 Service Offering
7:29 Typical Customer Profile
9:44 Role of Consultancies going forward

Below you will find a transcript of the interview with Cameron and Connor

Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and human editing so may contain slight modifications compared to the video/audio

Trevor Grant
Hi, Cameron and Connor, welcome to revenue hub. Great to have you guys. How are you both

Cameron Peterson
Doing great, thank you so much for having us.

Connor Vanderholm
Yeah, we’re excited to be here. We’re doing really well.

Trevor Grant
Excellent. Good to hear that. Look guys were delighted to have Topline RevPros join Revenue Hub as an Expert Partner. Thanks for coming on board. Great to have the opportunity to chat with you find out a bit more about you guys personally, and also Topline RevPros. So I guess let’s kick it off, don’t know, who wants to go first? One of you pick and tell us a little bit about your background so we can get a flavour of who you guys are where you’ve been coming from?

Cameron Peterson
Yeah, so I’ll go first. So I’ve spent the last 12 years in hospitality started off in Sales and Marketing for a boutique hotel and worked my way through Group Sales. I ran event venues for several years across the United States and then eventually made it over to revenue management for Hilton. So that’s kind of where our whole group intersected at some point or another. We all worked for Hilton along with other brands, because in the past have worked for both Wyndham and Marriott as well. So I have, I’d say, a varied experience in hospitality because unlike some of our other founders, you’ll hear that they have alot of operational experience, which is awesome. And personality wise, I just lean towards sales and marketing. And I really enjoy Group Sales and Event sales and that side of things. So that’s where a lot of my experience comes into play with our founding group.

Connor Vanderholm
Yeah, and my experience is mostly revenue management. I did spend a year on property at full service Marriott position there. But then once I got into revenue management, I just loved it so much that I couldn’t leave it. And I worked again, similar to Cam, I met her at Hilton Corporate transitioned and worked for Marriott corporate, then worked for a management company called Aimbridge, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them also very large corporate, and then worked for other management companies as well. But all very much centred on revenue management. That’s really where my heart is.

Trevor Grant
You are a new, very new company. So tell us tell us about the journey. Tell us about what you guys have been doing.

Cameron Peterson
I’ll let Connor kick this off, all right.

Connor Vanderholm
So yeah, it really is a new company in its formation, but really, the roots of this have been going for a long time. We’ve had several ideas, all of our members have discussed this and, planned to a certain extent, what they wanted their own company to look like and what they could bring to the table and this this company: Topline Revpros. It really is a merger of two different visions one of a revenue management company that’s centred on independent contractors being contracted with specific hotels, and then Cams vision of it, which is more holistic, including sales support. So remote sales support, talent acquisition and training and development. So we really came together with that first meeting, knowing each other and saying, hey, we know what the brands are doing well, because we’ve been doing that, we know what our franchise ownerships really are looking for and there’s a there’s not a great parallel between those two. There’s some definite distance between what’s being offered and what’s being desired and so that’s really where we focused our attention on and really where we feel we bring some serious offering to the table that can help out these franchise ownerships

Cameron Peterson
Definitely, yeah. I agree. I like how Connor describes us. So I let him take that question. It’s easy for all of us to be really focused on revenue management, and that is a huge offering for us, because that’s where all five of us, like I said, intersected and have knowledge. But I really love that we have rounded ourselves out with offering sales support, training and development, talent acquisition, because that’s just not something that’s out there with our competitors. So, I think that gives us a different view on things because we’re looking at your hotels as a whole, we’re not treating just one area of your operation.

Trevor Grant
So just to just to kind of strip that out a little bit then and understand. So your service offering is, as you said, it’s not just and there are a lot of revenue management consultancies out there, but it goes above and beyond that. So you’ve got the revenue management element, you’ve got the sales element. You spoke there about talent, acquisition as well and then Training and Development. Training and development, so what areas does that touch? Without it seeming obvious by the title?

Cameron Peterson
So for training and development that will be a little bit broader because obviously will offer revenue management and sales support training, but we also have experts coming on our founder team from the Operational area, Front Desk and General Manager. So we’ll be able to offer extended training to them as well. Because, you know, the major brands in United States they have training and it’s a lot of click training that people have to go through in order to gain access to systems but it really isn’t that conversational training that what you would have with us as far as – let’s walk through how you would really utilise this and what the real function of this for your job role is, versus memorising click patterns, right? So that’ll be the kind of difference, so our training development be a little bit broader than our service offerings.

Trevor Grant
Sure, that makes sense. In terms of customer profile, in the US market it is very different to the European market, there’s very heavy brand chain led hotels as opposed to a lot of the independent properties. So, I’m assuming that would make up a large part of your profile, but do you have a specific focus? Are you looking at a typical customer profile?

Connor Vanderholm
So we’re really focused on franchise ownership companies that you know have between one and 50 hotels so small to medium sized companies. We have a broad understanding and expertise and all the major brands Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Wyndham, Choice, and so we can service all these different branded hotels, we have expertise with their systems. Because we have a lot of corporate background, we know the training and we’ve been trained very well in those systems and can really lend a hand where maybe a hotel ownership company hasn’t had a revenue manager that that has been that experience. But in addition to this, we also look and cater to the independent market, and part of our service offering includes some revenue management systems that we feel are very cost effective and that we can manage for independents that maybe haven’t had a revenue management system that’s autonomous, or, they’re looking for something newer, something that’s going to be more user friendly, because the one that we like to use is very, very user friendly. It’s mobile first. so, if a General Manager needs to look at something, make a change really quickly, if they can do it on their, on their phone up on their way up to the room to flip some beds, right, and that’s something that we can definitely bring because a lot of these smaller independent hotels maybe they never dabbled in revenue management and we know from personal experience, what a great return on investment that will bring them and if we can put that together in a very affordable package, it really becomes a no brainer for them. So, I would say definitely focused on brand flagged hotels, but also independents.

Trevor Grant
I guess we’re in an interesting period anyway, with this COVID scenario. Different countries and different states are all responding differently to it. But from an industry perspective, and where you guys sit, I’d be interested to know, where you feel the role of Consultants and Consultancy Services is going to play into the hotel and hospitality sector as we start to then eventually move out of this COVID scenario. What’s your take on that?

Connor Vanderholm
I think I’ve already seen that it’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of the pie, right? Where consultancy is being seen as a very cost effective way of getting revenue management and sales support done. And that’s really what select service and smaller hotels are looking for as cost effective way to get that expertise. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire a revenue manager for maybe a Fairfield Inn, that’s got 100 rooms, it just isn’t cost effective, you’re going to have to pay them way too much. But you can still get that which is why in the United States, I can speak to better than the rest of the world, we’re very brand heavy, so a lot of them take these services and get it from the brand themselves and it’s, again, very cost effective. So in our markets, it’s very commonplace, but when it comes to smaller firms offering those services what I’ve seen is a lot of individuals who have maybe 10 to 15 years of experience in revenue management, offering those services on their own, they’ll get 10 to 20 Hotels they manage themselves and maybe they expand into a larger Corporation, there are certainly some that we’ve collaborated with and that we can compete with that are larger corporations that do just what we’re trying to do. So I think it’s going to play a huge role in 2021 and onward, as hotels realise that they have other options, aside from just the brand services that are both cost effective, and frankly, have better tech and can bring better reporting and tools to the table. So I think that’s really where we’re trying to focus and we’ve generated a lot of excitement based on the conversation with ownership groups, because of the tech and what we’re trying to do from a hotel portfolio, multi brand portfolio perspective versus I’m going to have Marriott do all my Marriott Hotels, Hilton do all my Hilton’s and I do all my IHG hotels. Were able to bring all of those we partner with, some serious tech players, that are able to bring all those reporting into one format, which is a huge value for an ownership group. Because they’re able to really see the strategy across the entire their entire portfolio and nobody’s being left, you know, in the dark or, you know, without being having eyes on it consistently.

Cameron Peterson
Yeah. Just to add to what Connor was saying, these roles that we are working from Topline as a remote position, they’re not going anywhere. So revenue management, sales support, you still need training, you still need talent acquisition, none of that is going to change within the hospitality industry. Right now, there’s obviously a lull in the United States we have demand that is unexpected leader demand that’s kind of tapering off now we haven’t really got back into a group with a huge amount of group demand or negotiated demand just yet. So that all has shifted due to COVID but in the future, as we are already starting to see that rebound in certain markets, those roles are still going to be vital to a hotel success and like Connor was saying we partner with management groups that have multi brands and that’s where a company like ours makes a lot of sense to them because we’re much more cost effective than necessarily bringing in someone individually at each hotel, and the tech that allows them to see their entire portfolio, like Connor was saying in the palm of their hand and be able to keep a pulse on everything that’s going on at their hotel, which is really something that the major brands in the United States just can’t offer at this time because they’re too focused on keeping their piece of each business.

Trevor Grant
Yeah, I could see why you guys looked at setting up Topline RevPros. Sounds like it’s well thought out. Sounds like you got some good offerings there. Guys, very conscious of your time. we’ve been talking for nearly 15 minutes now so I think you’ve given us a good insight. Thanks again for coming on board and finding the time to join us today. Any final thoughts or comments from your side or have we got across everything that you wanted?

Connor Vanderholm
I would just say to anybody listening, perhaps you do have your service offerings through the brands, and we certainly have a great expertise in that since that’s where our training comes from, but just to let you know that you have options and this is a great time to explore those options. You know, there’s a lot of technology that’s emerged from this pandemic and that’s really come to the forefront, which others are able to offer, that maybe you aren’t getting right now. So I would just encourage you to look around and see what options you have to both alleviate your budgets as well as to tech up. So that’s kind of what we try to bring to the table and we would encourage you to look at it.

Trevor Grant
Perfect. Well, thanks again guys and great, really appreciate you joining us. Great to have the opportunity to talk with you and look forward to bringing some more content to our community and raising awareness of what you guys are doing and how we can help support you get the voice out there. Thanks again.

Connor Vanderholm
Likewise. Thank you, Trevor.

Cameron Peterson
Thank you so much.

Thank you to the Revenue Hub team for providing us the opportunity to speak about our company and what we are looking to accomplish within this industry. Please subscribe to Revenue Hub’s YouTube channel here and we look forward to many more podcast interviews in the future!