It reminds me of a car I had in my youth, it was a Jeep Eagle Talan. When I bought the car 2nd hand I loved the car and could not stop driving it and washing it. I fixed that car up with what every the local NAPA Auto Parts Store had to offer sparing no expense. That car got me through my time in Providence at the Biltmore Hotel and later helped myself and a good friend of mine go cross country to the Marriott Nashville where I got a job as a Front Office Manager. While in Nashville I noticed the Jeep Eagle Talan looked good but was running rough. I was promoted a year later to a Sales Job in New Orleans so I decided the car would be best used by my buddy because I was working and living in the French Quarter so I did not need a car. After a year I decided to move back to Nashville to take a House Keeping Manager job and when I saw the car I realized it just did not trill me the way it did 6 years ago and I sold it to my friend. Faster forward 20 years and I am in the Florida Keys at the Resorts and as I am walking through the parking lot I see a Jeep Eagle Talan. As a bartender comes walking out of the break room to her car (the Jeep Eagle Talan) and jumps in and starts the car up. It was running rough but it still looked like a cool car to drive and own. Later that week I ran into her and said “how do you like the Jeep Eagle Talan”? She said “I always wanted one and although it might be old, I see potential in it and I am going to fix that car up and make it look like the day it was born”. I looked at her and said I know you will because you have the passion for the Jeep Eagle Talan.
The Jeep Eagle Talan analogy above is very much related to Superior Small Loading owners and how many feel about their Hotel or Motel. They have owned the Superior Small Lodging for many year and when they first bought the Superior Small Lodging they fixed it up and but their own stamp on it. As time went on business and clientele changed they see less desire in the property or say “its I put $20 in the rooms I will only get $5 back from it”. That my friends is very short sighted when owning real estate or a Superior Small Lodging business. Looking back I should have fixed that Jeep Eagle Talan back up before I sold it. I should have sold it for more money but I just let it go. As Superior Small Lodging owners for every $20 you put into rooms or public space you should see a 7 to 10 times return. If you invest in items the guests experience or visually see they will spend more in room rate and will increase your guest review and add more guests by telling 20 potential guests about it. Roofs, plumbing and other items are a must but new beds, bedding, paint, couches, chairs, appliances and other visually items make guests say they are investing my money I am spending at their Superior Small Lodging.
When I had the pleasure to work for Starwood Capital Group and Barry Sternlicht through an asset Manager named Roy I learned from two true visionaries in the hospitality industry. We took 11 million in renovations and made the resorts look like they had 50 million to the guests eye. When we sat down weekly Roy would ask if we do this will the guest experience this and what will be there reaction, Barry will want to know. Barry wanted to spend all the money on what guests could see, touch and feel. We found inexpensive items and ways for guest to see, touch and feel the new resorts after years of neglect.
My advantage when speaking with Roy was I knew how to make sure the guests could see, touch and feel because of my Uncle Bob and my father Gerry and there vision of guests experience through health club membership drives in the 80’s and 90’s. My family owned a health club and every two years the health club memberships would come due or to be renewed by our guests/ members. My Uncle Bob would start planning an addition to the health club 6 to 8 months prior to all members renewal. He would make announcement of the planned expedition and have a visual board of what it will look like in the lobby entrance of the club 90 days or before all membership were due. The retention rate was very high with our members and may would tell neighbors and friends about the expansions and we would grow our membership. I remember as a child in the family it was always stressful to see if the expansion would work or not but owning a business is all about taking risks. Because the members or guests could see their money being spent for improvements they did not mind the $20 or $40 increase in monthly membership dues. Much of the same goes for hotels/ motels and Superior Small Loading when renovating. If you have a family that has been coming to the same Superior Small Loading for 20 years and the same room for 20 year and the Superior Small Loading has not changed really anything in 20 years it tell the customer you do not really care. Most of your customers have been in there homes for 20 years and have most likely have changed out bedding, future, kitchens and bathrooms 2 or 3 times to keep up to date and comfortable why not your Superior Small Loading?
As Superior Small Loading owners, managers or assets managers it does not take 11 million to update the furnishings in a 7 to 50 room hotel. Here are a few suggestions if you are thinking about updating your Superior Small Loading.
- Hire a professional, even if it is a young college interior designer fresh out. You might have the best taste in the world or at least think so but realize this, you are spending money that “all your guests should enjoy” not Liberace or Paris Hilton. So many times I walk into a Superior Small Loading and ask the owner why did you spend so much money on 17 different kinds of duvets or 20 different chairs and desks. Many say because each room is unique unlike the “Chain Hotels”. I have said this before a Superior Small Loading is unique in very way so cookie cutter or consistency can be a good thing to keep guests happy and have them better understand the Superior Small Loading value. Listen to the designer and realize that the world loves vanilla with a little bit of chocolate.
- Make sure the guest can see, feel and touch the improvements you are doing and listen to their feedback openly. As I mentioned above make sure the guest can really see the improvements from new buses and flowers to new pool chairs with umbrellas these are all items the guest can see and use. If the guests says the bushes are ok but should be taller and these are your favorite and you feel the height is fine STOP and step back from your personal input. Realize yes you own these Superior Small Loading but the guest is paying you for the use of it and there opinion matters more. So many times Superior Small Loading owners get offended or upset when guests speak out about the owners design. This is why you need a professional or someone that is impartial to your taste.
- Take pride in your Superior Small Loading and realize that if this is a business and you are planning to sell it you are selling the real estate and the intangible assets such are the Superior Small Loading name and reputation with guests. So you are ready to get out the Superior Small Loading industry and want to sell, great but if the next owner has to put a bunch of money into the place that means they want a bunch of money off the sales price. As in the analogy above with my car no one wants to have to gut out a Superior Small Loading structure because the owners have not taken pride or care of it. FYI- it also brings down the reputation of the entire Superior Small Loading family.
AMC continually acquires fine furnishings and room décor from 4 & 5 star hotels http://amcliquidators.com/home/
Renovation Company in Orlando; http://www.bammgroupllc.com/
Industry experts, top designers http://www.asid.org/
NEWH is a networking resource for the hospitality industry; http://newh.org/chapters/south-florida/board-directors/
All the best,
Oigidecht Hotels and Resorts