Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Ashbel

Boaz Ashbel

Managing Director, Aztec Group

As Managing Director of Aztec Group, Inc., Boaz Ashbel focuses solely on hospitality acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and debt and equity financing. His area of expertise involves a variety of hospitality property transactions and financing, including select and full-service hotels, convention-oriented resorts, as well as condominium hotels. Mr. Ashbel's 25 years of hospitality experience includes acquisitions and dispositions, debt, mezzanine, and equity financing, joint venture creation and capital restructuring, market research, economic impact analysis, financial analyses, appraisals and operational reviews for a variety of existing and proposed hotels, resorts and other leisure-oriented properties. Prior to joining Aztec, Mr. Ashbel founded Ashbel Realty Advisors, Inc., which facilitated the acquisition, disposition, joint ventures, and debt and equity financing for hospitality properties. Over the past 15 years, he has been involved as a principal in a number of hospitality related projects, gaining a keen understanding of operational and ownership related issues. Mr. Ashbel gained considerable experience at Landauer Associates, Inc., Pannell Kerr Forster, and Laventhol & Horwath where he directed hotel related valuations and appraisals, as well as feasibility studies and developmental consulting for projects located throughout the Caribbean, South Florida and other international locations. Mr. Ashbel graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration. He is a former Vice President of the Cornell Society of Hotelmen, a Tourism Committee member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and an active Florida Real Estate and Mortgage Broker. Please visit www.aztecgroup.com for more information.

Mr. Ashbel can be contacted at 305-854-5000 or bashbel@aztecgroup.com

Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.