Who's Watching Your Asset?
By Steven Belmonte CEO, Vimana Franchise Systems LLC | January 12, 2010
Sound familiar in your business? Unlike Waldo, owners wear many hats - especially multi-property owners and those with supplemental real estate investments outside of hospitality. Managing a vast portfolio can't be done alone, so oftentimes these owners hire a management company to oversee day-to-day operations.
But who's watching the watchdog when the asset isn't performing and investment objectives aren't being met?
Enter the role of the asset manager. Selecting an asset manager from among a sea of look-alikes, however, is a risky business for owners and institutional investors. Neither party, not even those who own a lodging property on a temporary basis, wants to turn over a hotel's operation to someone who is a rank amateur at the task.
Asset Management Defined
Understanding the role of an asset manager can be confusing. To many, there is a fine, almost invisible line between an asset management company and a hotel management company-especially when a hotel management company offers asset management services. The differences, however, are distinctive, as the asset manager provides more of a protective layer between owners and third-party management companies.
An impartial, third-party asset management company becomes the eyes and ears of owners, identifying quickly if the management company is overseeing the property skillfully and professionally, meeting operational efficiencies and charging appropriate fees. Likewise, an asset manager acts as a knowledgeable intermediary between the owner, the franchise company and management company to generate the best returns on their investments.