Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gallagher

Bram Gallagher

Economist, CBRE Hotels' Americas Research

Bram Gallagher is an Economist for CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research, the Americas research arm of the world’s largest commercial real estate firm. He maintains performance forecasting models for 60 major U.S. hotel markets, performs consulting work for a destination marketing organization, creates tools for hotel developers, and examines the effects natural disasters have on hotel occupancy. His background in statistical modeling and understanding of how markets operate have allowed him to reveal powerful, new insight into the future of the lodging industry. After earning his PhD in Economics with a focus in Econometrics from the University of Georgia in 2011, Mr. Gallagher worked as a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and Berry College. Taking his expertise in microeconomic and econometric theory with him, he left the academy for a research position in the lodging industry in 2015 to better learn how economics is practiced. His research interests are in analyzing hotel performance data combined with local and national economic data to produce actionable intelligence for the hotel manager, investor and developer. He believes that reducing and characterizing uncertainty around future outcomes spurs present decisions. Mr. Gallagher has presented his findings on occupancy taxes to AAHOA, a paper on natural occupancy and rental adjustment at the conference of the American Real Estate Society, and thoughts on novel forecasting methods to his colleagues. He has had his research published in several CBRE reports, as well as in Hotel News Now. He has also published a generalization of the Arrow-Lind Theorem in the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research. Please visit http://www.cbre.com for more information.

Mr. Gallagher can be contacted at 404-812-5189 or bram.gallagher@cbre.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.