Accommodation managers are responsible for the day-to-day management of establishments that provide accommodation for all kinds of people, from holidaymakers and students to NHS patients and older people who need constant care and support.
Generally, these guys are employed to oversee everything. They make sure that the accommodation under their control is managed effectively and all operations are run in an efficient manner.
Effective management involves maintaining health and safety standards, supervising and training staff and dealing with budgetary matters.
Accommodation managers are employed by both private and public sector organisations, including hotels, youth hostels, NHS hospitals, care facilities, homeless shelters, serviced apartments and university halls. These guys are almost like specialist facilities managers who focus their efforts on establishments where people sleep, eat and find shelter.
If you enter this profession, you’ll be responsible for planning work schedules and staff rotas, facilitating training and development sessions and overseeing performance management and employee welfare initiatives.
Furthermore, you’ll be ensuring that high standards of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained whilst making sure that all operations comply with health and safety regulations. In order to keep your establishment in tip-top condition, you’ll also be responsible for scheduling periodic maintenance, repairs and renovation work.
Accommodation managers also play an integral role in ensuring the financial success of the establishment that they are managing, so you may be responsible for budgeting, accounting and financial reporting too. All in all, your primary objectives will be to provide quality customer service and achieve revenue, cost-saving and profit targets.
Salary & benefits
Trainee accommodation managers tend to earn between £16,000 and £25,000 per annum, while mid-level managers with more experience earn between £25,000 and £40,000.
Senior management personnel with more than ten years of experience can earn annual salaries ranging between £40,000 and £100,000.
A significant percentage of private sector companies (e.g. hotels) provide in-house benefits, such as meals and accommodation, for staff at all levels. Personnel at junior levels may also receive overtime pay.
Accommodation managers usually work in planned shift patterns, making sure services are provided round-the-clock. Most employers put in more than 40 hours on a weekly basis. Work is mainly office-based, with little or no travel across locations being required.
Candidates with undergraduate degrees or HNDs are generally preferred. However, you can also enter this profession via an apprenticeship or by working your way up the career ladder from an entry-level customer service position.
If you do choose to do a degree, you may be fast-tracked into a managerial position. Studying subjects such as hospitality management, catering, business studies, human resources or tourism management may give you an edge over candidates with unrelated degrees.
Candidates with relevant work experience are highly desirable, so getting holiday work or an internship in a hotel (or a similar establishment) would definitely be worth doing if you’re serious about a career in accommodation management.
Training & progression
Large hotel chains, resorts and other tourist companies offer structured graduate development schemes, conducted over a period of 12-24 months, while small and medium-sized companies, independent operators and academic institutions tend to provide a combination of formal in-house learning sessions and supervised on-the-job training.
Professional credentials can be obtained by personnel employed in community housing, student accommodation and other long-term residency facilities. These are administered by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Similarly, the Institute of Hospitality provides advanced qualifications aimed at graduate and management trainees in the hotel, leisure and hospitality sectors.
Career progression is primarily driven by performance, experience, academic background and professional qualifications. Graduate trainees in the commercial sector tend to start as assistant managers and progress into general manager roles after a few years of hard work.
Alternative career options include moving into other areas of hospitality or conventional management roles outside of the hospitality industry. Some experienced managers may even start their own hotel chain or focus their efforts on running an independent establishment.