Are Your Hotel Assets Optimizing Company Value?

Hotel Asset Management: A stakeholder take

By S. Lakshmi Narasimhan Founder, Ignite Insight LLC | July 28, 2013

The Confusion

One of the most confusing terms used in the business world and more so in the hospitality industry is Asset Management. Boardroom meetings reverberate to the sound of this and related buzzwords. Do you have an effective asset management strategy goes the refrain. Many times, the person asking the question is as puzzled as the person being addressed. This confusion is born out of the fact that traditionally an asset is considered the domain of the bean counters or accountants - how to account for them, how to physically verify them, how to charge depreciation on them and so forth. But asset management as a strategy is far removed from the mere act of accounting for the purchase and use of an asset. In fact, so much hinges on how the word "asset" and the term "asset management" are understood to realize its worth and value.

What is an Asset?

While the layperson's understanding of an asset is: "any item of value," a more technical definition would be: "items on a balance sheet showing the book value of property owned."

Narrowing the technical definition and simplifying it, assets refer to the tangible, intangible, short and long term property and investments owned by a business.

Primary Role of an Asset

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.