Define Strategies for Long-Term Success
We are fortunate to work with some of hospitality’s most respected ownership groups, and over the years, we’ve learned a lot from each other about what makes an effective hotel owner/management company relationship.
Certainly, delivering great bottom line results will make for a successful partnership, but here are a few other tips to pave the way for a smooth ride.
Be transparent: Make sure you have systems in place that allow you to easily share your successes and your shortfalls. Get good at being accountable. If something goes sideways, own it, and present a plan to avoid the problem going forward.
Be Timely: From smartphones that help us run our entire lives, to TV on demand, we’re accustomed to getting what we want when we want it, so don’t make an owner wait for information. Whether it’s the monthly revenue report or an emergency situation, keeping ownership in the loop boosts your credibility.
Insist on clearly defined goals: Hotel owners’ priorities can vary tremendously. Don’t assume you know what’s important to them. Of course, they want to make money, but are they looking to achieve that through transient market share shifting? Making a bigger play for group business? Is there work to be done on elevating guest satisfaction scores? Are costs out of whack? Is the online reputation being managed effectively? Be sure you have agreed-upon goals for achieving the big-picture objectives.
Insist on clearly defined goals: This is so important, it bears repeating. Setting the right goals is hard work, but if you invest the time and energy to collaborate on defining several strategic goals, rather than 100 small, tactical goals, you will be rewarded with long-term success. Remember that there are numerous routes to the same destination, so make sure that you and your management team are using the same set of directions.
Focus on things that will make a difference: You’ve worked hard to select the best operator for your hotel, and you have clearly defined goals, so now it’s time to take a step back and let them sweat the details. If you see a big opportunity, it’s essential that you share it, but even the best GM will lose focus with daily input from both ownership and the management company. Count on your well-chosen management company to guide the GM on achieving the strategic goals that have been set out.
Create and support an affirmative property culture: It may be difficult to measure a hotel’s culture, and even more difficult to measure improvement, but make no mistake that it contributes heavily to achieving those goals you can measure. Start by choosing a management company whose culture closely aligns with yours and establish benchmarks to assure that the culture is being defined and built to reflect your business values. If your own company culture is not well defined, choose a management company you’d like to emulate and get an extra bang for your management fees.
Managing a hotel is a partnership between the hotel owner, the management company and the property management. In all partnerships, there will be occasional misfires, but the best always find a way to realign for the success of the business. Choosing a management company that is receptive to the hotel owner’s leadership and transparent about executing on agreed-upon strategies, will help ensure both short and long-term success for the investors.
President and COO