This had me thinking in class about Superior Small Lodging and its owners throughout the state of Florida and Maine. Many have their Hotels/ Motels in areas they think they know and many times say they are experts in these areas
where there Hotels/ Motels are located. Just a few months ago I meet with an owner in the mid of the state of Florida. The owner had a 30 room hotel/ motel that had been family owned for over 60 years and said they are very proud of
their Hotel/ Motel over the phone to me. When I visited the Hotel/ Motel and walked the rooms with the owners they kept saying to me “I know this stuff in the room is old but we will update the furniture soon”. Personally I knew the furniture was dated but overall the Hotel/ Motel was kept in great shape in my mind but after the tour I was worried because the owner kept saying things to bring the hotel down or demean it during the tour. I asked the owner “who do you
consider your competition”? and the owner replied “well we all get a long around here but I would say these 3 Hotel/ Motels” and the owner pointed them out on a map for me. So doing my due diligence knowing the company might have an opportunity to manage the Hotel/ Motel I set out to site tour the competitors that day, to see what their facilities and rooms looked like for a S.W.O.T analysis for the owners management proposal. Imagine my surprise when I walked
into the 3 competitor hotels and found there facilities and rooms in much worse shape, un-kept, and not clean at all. I reported back to the owners of Superior Small Lodging on the S.W.O.T analysis and about how much nicer there Hotel/
Motel rooms and facilities conditions are compared to the competitors they showed me on the map. They were astonished by my findings and together we decide to focus on guest service and cost savings rather than mediate renovations plans. They could wait another year, get the money they truly needed for proper renovations and renovate all guest room furniture, lobby and pool area, not just guest rooms. Overall we did not get the management contract for the Superior Small Lodging but we helped an owner find pride in their hotel/ motel which mean more to me then managing it for them.
As owners or hotel managers the first thing you should do is “know your competition” and then know your “Farm Area” (be an expert in the area of the city or town your hotel/ motel resides in). So many owners or hotel managers think there assets are in much worse shape than others but never visit the other hotels because there competitors are longtime friends or they are just too lazy to get in the car once a year and make the rounds. Take the time to do a S.W.O.T analysis for your business, all it costs is your time and a pieces of paper. If you do not know what one is here is a good link to read; http://sydniecranford.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/my-own-swot-analysis-on-the-westin-hotel-downtown-ottawa/ or you can Google “S.W.O.T” and there are many websites with templates for you to use. My suggestion is a S.W.O.T analysis of your Superior Small Lodging first then hit the road with pen, paper and a phone that has a camera (yes, a camera, a picture says 1,000 words so take a bunch at each hotel/ motel). If you do not feel comfortable visiting the Hotels/ Motels in your “Farm Area” or competitors then pay an employee to hit the road for you. This should not take more than a day of site visits. I suggest setting up appointments but you can walk-in and ask to see a room and look around the Hotels/ Motels. Personally it is better to see how the competitor owners or employee sells the Hotel or Motel to the guest on a site tour. Not everything can be seen with your eyes, the Hotel / Motel could over service you do not know about that set them apart from your Superior Small Lodging or put you way behind your competitors.
I hope this helped you are inspired you. All comments or suggestions welcome.
Oigidecht Hotels and Resorts