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Does this story sound familiar?

Visit this post at Keystone HDC to see if this is your story?

Welcome to another episode of hospitality property school.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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After spending decades with hospitality property owners and managers I have heard similar stories to the one I am going to share with you. Can you relate?

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A number of years back, I was approached by an acquaintance who was looking for some advice.

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He was a very smart businessman, an entrepreneur who had a number of business ventures on the go including being a Business Realtor.

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He was very analytical and focused on the bottom line but he came across one business for sale, and independent hotel, and was intrigued.

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He thought it had a lot of potential so he bought it himself.

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He calculated the cost of running the business; the occupancy rate required to start making a profit; and a marketing strategy.

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Within no time, the business was coming to his door.

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A year later, he contacted me and asked to meet. He told me he was getting a fairly steady stream of business, but very little or no return business.

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I asked him “What are your guests telling you on their comment cards or surveys?” he told me he did not have comments cards available and that he had never done a survey.

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I then asked, “Are your staff trained to ask for complaints?”

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He told me that aspect was not covered in training, and then he admitted, there was very little training for any of his staff.

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I suggested I could check-in and stay a night and then report to him with what I found.

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His staff did not know me and thought I was just a walk-in looking for a room.

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The receptionist was friendly enough but while checking me in was chatting with one of the housekeepers.

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When I asked for a recommendation for a place to eat, she said: “There is a takeout food place across the street”. 

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That was her only suggestion and ended the conversation there.

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The room was nice enough, nothing fancy but it seemed clean.

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After taking a little time to do an inspection, I found that the window had been nailed shut; there was a hair in one of the bathroom glasses; when I turned on the radio I found it was very loud and set to the country station; and that the mattress had stains on it.

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My sleep was restless, not only because the stains on the mattress but it was uncomfortable and the pillows were flat.

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The breakfast was passable, but nothing exciting and the checkout was fast with very little conversation and no one asked about my stay.

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When we met later that day, the owner wanted to know everything but the first thing I said to him was, “When was the last time you stayed in your hotel?” and he said, “I’ve never stayed in my hotel”. 

 

I recommended that he do that before we have our chat.

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He took my advice and a couple of days later he walked up to the front desk and told his receptionist that you would like to check-in and be treated like a regular walk-in customer.

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Of course, it was a little harder for his employees to think of him as a regular guest but he was able to get an idea of what his guest experience.

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He invited other acquaintances to check into his property and report back what they found and over the next few months, he stayed in every room, taking time to go through them and every corner of his property with a fine-tooth comb.

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Then, he and his employees took the time to create a fully functioning operations manual and all his staff were trained.

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His return business increased dramatically and is revenues increased by 47% in 12 months.

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This is an exercise that many hoteliers I’ve met over the years have told me they would like to do but cannot find the time.

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My response is always been the same “This is your business, your livelihood, you will have to know what’s going on. Make the time”.

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Small to medium independent hotels and bed and breakfasts have so much to gain from this advice. If you have not taken the time or not thought of staying in your property as an option, it’s a good idea to put it on your calendar much sooner than later.

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A different perspective can surely open your eyes.

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Included with this chapter are four different checklists for you to use when going through your property.

  • Hotel Site Inspection Checklist

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  • Guest Room Checklist

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  • Quality of Service Assessment Checklist

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  • Exhibit Checklist

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When you or your acquaintances are going through these checklists – make sure, to be honest, and don’t make excuses.

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If you take this exercise seriously your property can’t help but improve.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC156

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And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Keystone HDC Post Downloads

We add to them every month.

https://KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC140

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

“Is This Your Story?” Video @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/tDTdsQNmxyU

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

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Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School Podcast here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hospitality-property-school

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/tDTdsQNmxyU