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 brand’s 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 clients’ 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 brand’s 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 city’s continued growth.

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

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.