Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Allen

J.Carter Allen

Managing Director, HVS Houston

J. Carter Allen, MAI, is the Managing Director of the Houston office of HVS, a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and a state-certified general appraiser. While Mr. Allen's expertise is focused on markets in Texas and the Southeast, he has consulted on hundreds of hotels and resorts throughout the country.

Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management with an emphasis on Hospitality Finance and Development and a minor in Finance from the university's Bauer School of Business. He has also completed an advanced set of courses in the analysis and valuation of real estate through the Appraisal Institute.

As an undergrad, he served as President of the University of Houston's student chapter of Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals. Mr. Allen also served as President of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and went on to consult for Pi Kappa Phi Properties in Charlotte, North Carolina, before joining HVS.

His experience also spans front-line work at The Houstonian hotel and operations and management internships with JW Marriott and CenterPointe Hotels. As part of The Abilities Experience, Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropic arm, Mr. Allen biked 4,000 miles across the country in 2007 to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. He continues to support the charity and has since run the Marine Corp Marathon and participated in Summit Vision, a four-day excursion in the mountains of Colorado focused on reaching some the highest peaks in the state and proving the inability to see does not affect one's vision of possibility.

Mr. Allen can be contacted at 713-252-5595 or callen@hvs.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.