Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Richards

Kevin Richards

Chief Operating Officer, Legacy Ventures

Kevin Richards joined Legacy in 2011 to launch the firm's hotel management division. Mr. Richards oversees all managed hotel assets and is a central player in the company's hospitality development work. Mr. Richards has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, which began in earnest with hotel general manager roles early in his career with Winegardner & Hammons and Prime Hospitality. Prior to joining Legacy, he served as vice president of Asset Management with Lodgian, Inc., an owner and operator of over 100 hotels in 34 states, where he contributed to capital planning and investment strategies, implementation of property improvement plans, brand conversions, and renovations for the Lodgian portfolio. Mr. Richards is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business and Economics. Founded in 1996, Legacy Ventures began as a real estate development company specializing in hotels, resorts and restaurants. Projects range in size from $10 million to $100 million and often involve complex financial structures or public-private collaborations. Legacy Ventures has an in-house design and construction team that includes architects, interior designers, engineers, and general contractors. In 2012, Legacy Ventures formed its hospitality division to manage or asset manage hotels. Today it manages seven dynamic full-service properties representing 1,500+ guest rooms with annual revenues exceeding $85 million. In addition, Legacy Venture's restaurant division created and operates six distinctive branded restaurants and leases an additional four. Legacy Ventures responds thoughtfully to the built environment as a cohesive team of planners, developers, hoteliers and restaurateurs. Legacy Ventures innovates with a multi-disciplined approach to create timeless places - delivering exceptional customer experiences through an engaged and passionate team, yielding measurably better results for partners and investors. Legacy Ventures' promise is: “Thoughtfully Enhancing The Built Environment.™ Please visit http://www.lvmgt.com for more information.

Mr. Richards can be contacted at 404-801-3260 or krichards@lvmgt.com

Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.