Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Gutierrez

Raul Jose Gutierrez

Strategic Partner, ITALKRAFT

A sales and marketing maestro in his own right, Raul Gutierrez is widely regarded for his ability to direct the strategic development and management of flourishing businesses. He has flawlessly executed and successfully closed more than $300 million in sales for various organizations throughout his 20-year career in the construction industry. Mr. Gutierrez joined ITALKRAFT LLC in 2012, and manages the luxury kitchen, bathroom and closet brandís overall planning and strategy in relation to purchasing and product development. A savvy businessman, he negotiates long-term deals with raw material suppliers throughout the world, while simultaneously creating installation methods that ensure swift service and maximizes clientsí investments. Through his extensive network of contacts with developers of luxury real estate projects and leading interior designers, Mr. Gutierrez has successfully gained ITALKRAFT access into some of the most coveted condominium and rental projects on the market. It is these personal and longstanding relationships that have aided Mr. Gutierrez in expanding the brandís reach into new markets, including Houston, New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. Adding to his extensive sales capabilities, Mr. Gutierrez opened and managed 18 branch offices in South America, Central America and the Caribbean while serving as a board member for several prestigious construction companies. By spearheading the construction of major airports, hospitals and hotels within these three markets, Mr. Gutierrez expanded these brands into new territories where they are now considered the best in the business. Mr. Gutierrez's career changed direction in 2007 when he decided to exclusively work with kitchens and produced $65 million in revenue. He is a native of Miami and returned to his home after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Mr. Gutierrez is heavily involved in the community and is dedicated to being an instrumental part of the cityís continued growth.

Mr. Gutierrez can be contacted at 305-406-1301 or raul@italkraft.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.