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When our ‘vision’ becomes blurred, do we care?

In the past year, we have been engaged a number of times to “fix” hotels. Whether it is for one owner, a large institutional investor, a “receiver” or a “special servicer,” the tasks and challenges are all very similar. Somehow and for some reason the hotel has “lost its way” and is not performing well.

During these engagements, when put to the task of improving performance of the asset, we have consistently found the basic “blocking and tackling” are missing.

Why?

Every owner begins a new hospitality venture with the best intent. Every hotel has a business plan developed complete with all the necessary components to bring the “vision” to reality. 

In each of the hotels I am referencing, people lost sight of the business fundamentals. Let me give you an example.

We recently began managing a large historic hotel in a gateway U.S. city. What we discovered was an asset stripped of its personality in a death spiral that was self-inflicted. For example, the rates being charged at the hotel were as much as US$100 below market. The hotel’s TripAdvisor scores were tragic, with no response from management. Guestrooms and many areas of the hotel were dirty. And the employees at the hotel, many of whom have been there more than 10 years, were hungry for change and leadership. The passionate desire they each had for the place they came to each day, every week, for so many years, was ignored.

Nothing I have cited above costs anything to fix. Everything I have cited above is avoidable. Yet time after time, this happens.

I met with the owner of this hotel last week. He asked me how we have been able to make changes so quickly. My response is, we care. Nothing magical or mystical — we care. We simply give the employees (we call them team members) the tools necessary to show the guest they care. As an owner or manager, when your team sees you care, everyone wins.

I would love to know how you show you care.

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