Measuring for Success: Rating Your Management Company

By Jed Heller President, The Providence Group | October 28, 2008

In an ideal relationship, you want your managers and management company to take credit for what they have done right and take responsibility and action when something isn't working. You also must be able to measure the results of the management company's service and, when appropriate, your general manager's performance. Just as you hold any employee accountable, you must hold a management company accountable, which will help your organization run more effectively and efficiently.

Plan for Success

Recently, I was hired to review a property in West Virginia where communication was minimal and management results were marginal at best. One huge problem struck me immediately - no one had set goals for the management team. There were no expectations, and in turn, no tangible results to measure.

The first thing I did was help the company set up a 2006 budget and marketing plan. We also scheduled regular reports and meetings, which serve as roadmaps. If you don't have them, how can you be sure that you are headed in the right direction?

Many business owners don't realize how important a business plan can be. It can be used to analyze the performance of your business so you can determine strengths and weaknesses - and assess what must be done to improve. As a roadmap, a business plan helps set your course and guide you to where you want to end up.

It can also guide conversations with management and your management company. With a solid business plan, you have an objective and a target. This also allows everyone to become more knowledgeable about the organization as a whole.

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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.