Tag Archives: real estate

U.S. hotel revenue gains expected in 2013

Reprinted from an article by Danny King today in Travel Weekly:

Steady growth in U.S. hotel demand won’t be tapering off soon, according to reports released Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Smith Travel Research (STR).

Growth will keep a steady pace through next year predominantly on room-rate increases, according to PWC.

Revenue per available room for 2013 will rise 5.6% in 2013 on a 4.8% increase in room rates, PwC said. Occupancy will hit 61.7%, which would mark four straight years of occupancy increases from a 54.6% rate in 2009.

As for 2012, PwC maintained its forecast for 6.5% RevPAR growth. U.S. RevPAR increased 8.2% last year.

Such forecasts were echoed, albeit cautiously, by hotel leaders speaking at the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York on Monday morning.

“Performance still looks really good, but we’re worried about Europe, and we’re increasingly worried about domestic politics,” said Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson on a conference panel. “Let’s hope that, like last year, business continues to perform strong.”

Dave Hogg – “Good news!”

Leave a comment

Filed under Dave Hogg, Uncategorized

Maximizing House Profit using Flex/Flow Calculations Part 3: How to calculate Flow performance.

At this point, it is fair to say that you know the difference between Flex and Flow and you have an idea where your goal should be for each.  If not, please review Part 1 and 2 of this series.  With that knowledge and understanding under our belt we are ready to discuss the calculations.  First, I am going to give you the formulas and then I am going to play out 3 different flow scenarios with some brief explanations of each.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite (or at least it should be)…Flow.

To calculate what your house profit target (HPT) should be based on your flow goal is really simple.  Multiply the revenue variance (RV) by the goal percentage (GOAL%) to get the house profit target (HPT).

RV  x  GOAL%  =  HPT

The next thing I recommend is determine if the property met the house profit target.  This gives you the first indication on whether you made the flow % or not.  This is calculated by subtracting the house profit target (HPT) from the house profit variance (HPV) to get the house profit goal variance (HPGV).  Positive numbers for the house profit goal variance are great and negative numbers are never good.

HPV  –  HPT  =  HPGV

To calculate your actual flow, just divide your house profit variance (HPV) by your revenue variance (RV) and that equals the flow percentage (FLOW%).  This gives you your actual flow through percentage.


Now let look at some examples of how this process works.  I am using a flow goal of 70% in the calculations below.

Example #1:  This is a basic flow calculation.

Actual Revenue Budgeted Revenue Revenue Variance
$300,000 $280,000 $20,000
Actual House Profit Budgeted House Profit House Profit Variance
$150,000 $140,000 $10,000

Step #1 is to determine the house profit target.  We should multiply the revenue variance by the flow goal.  In this example, that would be $20,000 x 70% which equals $14,000.  $14,000 is our house profit target.

Step #2 is to determine if the property met the house profit target.  We just subtract the house profit target from the actual house profit variance.  For this situation it would be $10,000 – $14,000 = ($4,000).  In essence we are $4,000 short of our target.

Step #3 is to determine our actual flow percentage.  We just divide the house profit variance by the revenue variance to get the number.  For this scenario it would be $10,000 ÷ $20,000 = 50% Flow.  The 50% flow is less than our goal, but we already had that indication from step #2.

Step #4 is always to analyze the financial statement to find efficiencies and inefficiencies.  In this case it would be to analyze your financial statement, paying particular attention to variable expenses to determine if the property could have saved the $4,000.  There could be a fixed cost overage or something unexpected that caused this as well, but the goal is to focus more on what can be controlled.

Example #2:  This is a flow calculation with a huge flow percentage.  The best of the best sometime question themselves when they get some of these numbers.  The question usually sounds something like this, “it that even possible?” and the short answer is yes.

Actual Revenue Budgeted Revenue Revenue Variance
$280,200 $280,000 $200
Actual House Profit Budgeted House Profit House Profit Variance
$150,000 $140,000 $10,000

Step #1 is $200 x 70% giving us a house profit target of $140.

Step #2 is $10,000 – $140 giving us a house profit goal variance of $9,860.  At this point you know the property far exceeded the flow percentage goal, but by how much?  Let’s see…

Step #3 is $10,000 ÷ $200 giving you a flow percentage of 5000%.  I know what you’re thinking, “Is that even possible?”  It is calculated just like example #1 using difference numbers and it is correct and therefore possible.

Step #4 would investigate the cause for the huge house profit goal variance with so little additional revenue.  This is obviously an extreme case, but you are probably looking for a large item that was budgeted but wasn’t used.  Maybe an electric bill or franchise bill was missed.  It is import to know why there is such a huge shortage because chances are pretty good that the expense has hit in a previous month or will be hitting at a later date which will give you a financial statement equally as bad.

Example #3:  This is a really bad financial statement showing a negative flow percentage.

Actual Revenue Budgeted Revenue Revenue Variance
$285,000 $280,000 $5,000
Actual House Profit Budgeted House Profit House Profit Variance
$136,000 $140,000 ($4,000)

Step #1 is $5,000 x 70% giving us a house profit target of $3,500.

Step #2 is the same as it has been in previous scenarios, house profit variance minus house profit target.  Some of my mathematically challenged colleagues look at the numbers and in their head come up with ($500) because the difference between $4,000 and $3,500 is $500 but that would not be correct.  Our equation is ($4,000) – $3,500. Not to get too far into math class, but because the $4,000 in this case is negative and you are subtracting a positive number you actually get ($7,500) as the house profit goal variance.  Example #2 was really good, now this one is really bad.

Step #3 is to find out your true flow percentage and given what we know from Step #2 it isn’t going to be pretty.  (4,000) ÷ 5000 gives us a flow of -80%.  That is negative 80% flow through because you spent $7,500 more than your goal.

Step #4 is always to find inefficiencies or efficiencies in the financial statement.  Although the property missed house profit by $4,000, the house profit goal variance was negative $7,500 and we should be looking for that amount of expense variances because of the additional revenues generated.  This is the opposite situation from Example #2 because you are looking for double posted bills and things of that nature.  Don’t forget to focus on the variable expenses even if you find a double posted bill or something of that nature.

As you can imagine there are literally trillions of flow situations that can happen, but the formulas are the same no matter the numbers.  I would encourage you to grab a financial statement or two or ten and run these formulas to see how you did.  Are there some inefficiencies that can be improved to meet the goal set in Part 2?

In Part 4 we are going to discuss the scenarios where you fell short of budgeted revenues.  The flex formula is a little different and gets more complicated, but like flow the formulas do not change only the numbers going into it.

Hospitably Yours,



Filed under Expense Control, Justin Shelton

Green is Green


We run a for-profit business.  We search for technologies that will help us improve returns for our investors.  That’s how we first became involved in green technologies – they can be profitable.

This is why we have a white roof on our newest hotel in Hershey, PA.  It would not ordinarily be prudent to go with a white roof in our climate on the 42nd parallel, where the heat gains and cooling losses of a white roof come close to canceling each other out. In the Hershey market, though, it makes lots of sense.  We expect to run essentially full all summer, when cooling loads are highest.  In the winter, we typically take the third floor out of service so that it forms a “blanket” of insulating airspace for the operational lower floors.

That’s how we save the most energy possible in Hershey: reflectivity in the summer, an insulating blanket in the winter.  That is why we installed a white/reflective roof on our new Country Inn & Suites by Carlson®, Hershey, at the Park.  It’s profitable.

Carlson has just announced that it is going to a standard of reusable plates in all of their hotels.  We are ready.  The dish washing system in place.  We were just waiting for the green light to stop buying disposables.  We’re delighted that Carlson has decided to take this approach, because the guests appreciate it when they see businesses taking a responsible approach to the environment.  Our investors also appreciate that our breakfast costs will go down because we won’t be throwing our dishes away any more.  It’s a win for everyone.

In the four most recent apartment communities we developed, we have installed full-building, ground-source heat pump systems consisting of up to 80 wells each.  These provide for all of the heating and cooling needs for the entire apartment complex.  We found that this technology saves up to half-off of our entire energy bill.  We can then include utilities in the rent, the residents are delighted, and it’s a profitable move for our investors.  An apartment complex is fully occupied year-round, so ground source heat pumps are fabulous green technology for that application.

If developers match the green technology with the application, the exercise can be profitable and environmentally friendly at the same time.  That’s a win-win!

Dave Hogg

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

U. S. Business Travel to Grow 5% in 2011

According to a recent study conducted by the National Business Travel Association and reported by Bloomberg, business travel spending should grow 5% in 2011.  They credit both a growing economy and stronger corporate profits.

Business travel in 2010 grew 2.3% in 2010 according to NBTA estimates.  We saw this impact anecdotally in our hotels that cater to business travelers, who started showing up again in stronger numbers in 2010.  This factor helped fuel the nearly 16% revenue increase in 2010 at our Homewood Suites by Hilton (a great brand, by the way).

NTBA points out that international business travel rose a whopping 16.9% in 2010, fueled by export-driven commerce.  That’s a huge gain, and it is an actual benefit of the weaker dollar.  Let’s hope that the federal government someday sees the wisdom of promoting this valuable export as a way to grow the economy and ease our trade deficit.

I predict that NTBA is right about the coming 2011 increase in business travel.  As its spokesman said in the article, “Companies are once again recognizing the value of face-to-face meetings … to build relationships.”

At Springwood, we build our business on relationships, because we believe that relationships drive not just our business, but all business.  There is no better way to build them than face-to-face!

Dave Hogg

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


We are excited to launch springup BLOG. Turn to us for innovative and profitable ideas for the hospitality industry. You can turn to us for our opinion on many other topics of interest too.

As always, we encourage your response. We look forward to connecting you with success in the hospitality business.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized