Tips for Hotel Operators and HO Associations to Communicate with Owners in Private Residence Clubs
By Olivier Bottois Managing Director & COO, The Whiteface Lodge Resort & Spa | January 14, 2010
Just as hotels operate more smoothly with focused guest communication, a private residence club must also provide consistent, informative communication to its homeowners. Homeowners have a stake in the success of the property from both a resort and a real estate perspective; anticipating and addressing their concerns is crucial to productive hotel-homeowner relationships.
From a real estate perspective, homeowners are entitled to receive information from the hotel on a regular basis, and they should hear about achievements, from accolades to new amenities, to generate a sense of pride in owning at a successful property. Homeowners should also be treated as hotel guests with additional benefits, such as a private Owners' Lounge or advanced notice about promotions. In monthly newsletters, encourage homeowners to reserve early for high occupancy periods and ensure they have updated information about services and promotions.
Hoteliers should generally expect to convey information regarding the hotel's operation and brand standards, and try to be innovative and personal when doing so. For instance, in addition to the monthly newsletter, consider hosting a reception while homeowners are in residence. Most private residence clubs have different structures, and the hotelier's role varies depending on how the entities are set up. While it is not generally his or her responsibility to provide ownership information (i.e. calculation of annual fees or offering plan questions), hotel operators should be well versed in homeowners' topics or issues in order to facilitate relationships between the entities. They should assess which topics should be delegated to the HOA Board versus topics that are related purely to hotel management and operations. Streamlining communication through multiple avenues reduces the amount of time a hotel operator spends tending to homeowner issues and puts homeowners at ease, as they receive relevant information on a more frequent basis.
In this era of ownership, hoteliers need to become aware of this new facet of the luxury hotel business and integrate homeowner communication into their daily business dealings. Building a positive foundation with homeowners will prove beneficial to all parties.
The relationship between management and residence owners at fractional private residence clubs is a complex one-it requires special attention to issues that are new to most hoteliers. With this in mind, here are the important things to consider when communicating with residence owners:
1). Communicate Consistently & Frequently