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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.