Investment and Management Strategies to Maximize Value of a Hotel Property

By Richard Takach, Jr. President & CEO, Vesta Hospitality | August 03, 2014

Hospitality has a glamour or cachet unlike any other form of real estate, even high-end retail. Partnered with communities and appealing to demanding and sophisticated guests, each hotel property has the dynamics of a small city. Thus, investing in, owning and managing a hotel property can be an exhilarating journey. The key to success is to enjoy the experience, while paying careful attention to choices and decisions that must be made along the entire chain of investment and management. The result can be strong daily operations and competitive posture, in addition to enhanced asset value and return on investment.

In this article, we will review in list format some of the key investment and management strategies that go into maximizing the value of a hotel property. In doing so, we will consider the areas of investment and financing, business operations, and management and the competitive environment. Clearly, the factors discussed are not meant to be all-inclusive, but, rather, will focus on common threads we find running through hotel investment, management and valuation.

Investment and Financing

  • Align Yourself with the Right People

Hospitality is at its core a people business. It is no different when choosing our investment partners. Some of the attributes of people that can insure the best success for your hospitality investment include: expertise and experience in working with similar projects; a relevant and solid track record; a "non-litigious" outlook on conflict resolution; an understanding of how hotels make profits and how they can add value to this process; a "supportive" cultural foundation when challenges arise (as they always do); deep value placed upon long-term relationships; and a genuine character based upon integrity and trust.

When third party managers are involved, they must be investor friendly and understand hotel operations from an owner's perspective. In particular, successful hotel operations do not assuredly translate to a successful investment, but, rather, are an important contributor to the overall investment.

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.