Beyond the Bottom Line: Prioritizing Guest Experience for Hotel Investment Success
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    I’ve stayed at a lot of different hotels in my lifetime, from budget hotels where the beds were squeaky to luxury hotels where the lobby was scented. 

    But here’s the thing – just because a hotel stay was priced higher doesn’t mean I always had a more positive experience there, and vice versa. There were budget stays that I absolutely adored, and luxury stays that I wouldn’t touch again with a ten-foot pole. 

    So what makes the difference between a “meh” hotel stay and one that you can’t wait to go back to and that you want to shout from the rooftops? That’s exactly what we love about investing in hotels. 

    As hotel owners and operators, we get the opportunity to shape the experience for our guests – to delight them, to put a smile on their faces, and to give them a home away from home.

    If you’ve got the travel bug like I do, or even if you only travel occasionally for work, you have likely experienced a wide array of different hotel experiences and probably have your own list of favorite hotel stays.

    In this article, let’s dive into best practices in hotel management together. Specifically, we’ll highlight actual guest testimonials from their experiences staying in hotels within our portfolio, key strategies for effectively managing hotels, and what you as a passive investor need to know when investing in hotel syndications.

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    Strong Guest Service & Impeccable First Impressions

    Let’s start first with one of the most important elements of effective hotel management and operations – service. We know that, even before guests walk into the lobby, they have certain expectations about the property, the staff, and their room. 

    That’s why we work hard to build efficiencies into every corner of our hotels, both onsite and behind the scenes, so that we can deliver excellent service to each guest, even before they check in.

    Our guests deserve the best, and it’s up to us to hire and train the right team, as well as to build and scale the needed systems and processes, in order to deliver an unforgettable experience to our guests. We do this in a number of ways, including:

    • Frequent property walks to verify and identify quality standards are being upheld and issues are being addressed in a timely manner
    • Friendly interactions with guests and team members to drive connections and loyalty, and to increase internal and external service levels
    • Tight and efficient operations when it comes to housekeeping, in order to maintain immaculately clean properties and to ensure guests can check in on time (or early!)
    • Front desk staff members trained to delight our guests, answer calls in a timely manner, and provide excellent customer service to each person they encounter
    • Preventative maintenance to ensure that our properties are in tip-top shape and that we catch any potential issues before they become a problem

    By providing friendly and helpful interactions, clean spaces, and prompt service, we are able to delight our guests. Here are some reviews from actual guests who have stayed at some of the hotels in the Goodegg Portfolio:

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Great hotel! Rooms are spacious and very clean. Dee (at the front desk) is AMAZING and extremely helpful. She truly went above and beyond to take care of all of our needs!

    SpringHill Suites – Terre Haute, IN

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Staff from the reception area, to kitchen, to housekeeping, to maintenance were VERY helpful and accommodating. Everyone kept smiles on their faces and were friendly and engaging.

    Homewood Suites – Munster, IN

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    The staff member responsible for the breakfast area, and the food, was POLITE, and KIND. She obviously took great PRIDE in her work.

    Holiday Inn Express – Fort Knox, KY

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    The Right Location & Amenities 

    On top of great service, guests also want a hotel that’s in the perfect location, offers the amenities they’re looking for, and feels like a home away from home. 

    This is why it’s so important, when we look to acquire a hotel asset, to do a thorough analysis of the submarket and the reasons people travel to the area, so we can assess whether the hotel is in the ideal location and whether it offers the things prospective customers are looking for.

    For example, a number of hotels in our portfolio are geared toward business travelers. These hotels are either a short distance from a downtown metro area, or else they’re within close proximity to suburban offices, factories, or industrial sites. This makes it very convenient for business travelers who want to stay close to their place of work.

    Another example is proximity to hospitals. These hotels cater to traveling nurses and hospital staff, as well as people visiting and taking care of friends and family staying in the hospital.

    Once we understand the core reasons someone might travel to a specific location and choose to stay at our hotel, we look at the hotel amenities to ensure they match what guests expect. 

    For most of the select-service hotels we invest in, geared toward business travelers, the guests are often looking for limited amenities (like a self-serve market in the lobby), which helps us to reduce costs and keep expenses low.

    When you nail the balance between the right location and the right amenities, you see stellar guest reviews, such as the ones below from hotel properties in the Goodegg Portfolio:

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Exactly what you would expect for business travel. Nothing additional was needed for my stay. Friendly staff in all interactions on every shift. 

    Holiday Inn – Terre Haute, IN

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Perfect location for surgical services that were needed. Exceptionally clean. Very pleasant staff.

    Homewood Suites – Munster, IN

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    The hotel was super clean from the room to the fitness center to the laundry facilities. I would definitely stay here every time I have to do business in this area.

    Candlewood Suites – Fort Knox, KY

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    A Stellar Team – Both Onsite & Behind The Scenes

    In order to best serve our guests, which in turn improves the NOI (net operating income) of the asset) and thus improves the returns for our investors, we must have the right team in place, both onsite at the hotels and behind the scenes supporting our staff.

    For our onsite team, we work hard to develop, train, and empower General Managers (GMs) and line level supervisors to be responsible for providing the best service and product for our guests. This means ensuring that managers and supervisors have the proper training and support, but also ensuring that they have the freedom and flexibility to serve guests as they see fit.

    As part of this, we ensure that GMs at all our hotel properties hold daily huddles with team members to properly communicate and prepare for each day. We also ensure that the Manager on Duty program is implemented so that each building is secure and safe for guests and team members.

    Day-to-day operations then roll up to a monthly executive summary to highlight performance and to forecast labor and expenses directly impacting GOP (gross operating profit) and NOI (net operating income) performance. 

    As for the behind-the-scenes team, this includes:

    • Human resources and legal teams
    • Sales teams and brand executives
    • Revenue management and strategy teams
    • Finance and operations teams

    Everyone works together to ensure that the hotels are operating at optimal levels and providing the best quality of service to our guests. This includes continual monitoring of the data, including STR reports, market segmentation, price resistance, future pace, and channel production – to ensure that we are outperforming comparable properties and making adjustments as needed.

    When we achieve synthesis in operations between onsite and behind-the-scenes teams, that’s when we create the unforgettable experiences guests rave about.

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    The staff made this trip so memorable – the best customer service EVER!!!!!!

    Holiday Inn Express – Fort Knox, KY

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    This was hands down the BEST Hilton property I have ever stayed at. The staff made you feel so warm and welcomed, just like family. Their attention to detail and customer service is unmatched. I cannot speak highly enough about the staff.

    Homewood Suites – Munster, IN

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I was so impressed with this hotel that I almost wish it could stay a secret! The entire hotel was very clean and well-maintained. The staff was very friendly, professional, and helpful.

    Candlewood Suites – Fort Knox, KY

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    What Passive Investors Need To Know About Hotel Management

    The beauty of being a passive investor in a hotel syndication is that you get to be part of the amazing reviews you see above, all without having to do any of the heavy lifting. You don’t have to push the housekeeping cart, staff the front desk, or analyze monthly revenue numbers.

    However, just as when you invest in any syndication, you want to make sure that you know enough about the asset and the team to fully understand the risks and ensure that the investment is in alignment with your financial goals.

    As we touched on above, you can do your own due diligence on things like location and amenities, and if you live close by, you can even go and stay at the hotel to experience the service yourself.

    Keep in mind, particularly if you’re more familiar with multifamily investments, that the metrics for measuring hotel performance are different from those for multifamily, and that the benchmarks are often different as well.

    Whereas with multifamily, we’re aiming for around 95% occupancy in many cases, with hotels, sometimes 60-70% average occupancy is great. On top of that, keep in mind that multifamily rates stay locked in for months or years at a time, whereas hotel rates can change daily.

    Understanding these key differences and adjusting your expectations will allow you to stay more meaningfully connected to the performance of the asset throughout the hold period and ask the right questions.

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    Next Investing Steps

    If you’re considering diversifying into hotels, or if you’re looking to learn more about hotel management for your existing investments, we’re here to help!

    As part of the process, we invite you to join the Goodegg Investor Club, so we can keep you in the loop on insights, as well as opportunities to invest alongside us in real estate syndications, if that’s the right fit for you.

    You can also check out our open deals page to learn more about our current or upcoming opportunities.

    Learn More

    If you’re not yet ready to invest but are curious about how all of this works, we invite you to dip your toe in the water with us through our free 7-day email course – Passive Real Estate Investing 101

    You can also get a copy of our book – Investing For Good – or check out our Life & Money Show Podcast.

    To learn more about us and our experience, be sure to download a copy of our track record, which shows the projected and actual returns we’ve achieved across all the deals we’ve exited to date.

    Connect With Us

    If there’s ever anything we can do to help you on your journey, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call / text us at (888) 830-1450

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    Annie Dickerson

    Annie Dickerson

    Annie Dickerson is an award-winning real estate investing expert with 15+ years of real estate investing experience. Annie is the Founder & Chief Brand Officer of Goodegg Investments – an award-winning boutique real estate investment firm.

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