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What gives me the right to tell you how your property should be run?

Stay with me and I will tell you.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Since the founding of Keystone Hospitality Development Consulting in 2012, I have been asked many times about my experience and expertise.

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I decided that for today’s episode I going to share my story.

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I grew up as our forces get a military kid in Canada and we moved a lot.

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I actually went to twelve different schools in my first twelve years of school, living in many different provinces in that vast country.

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In our final move as a family, we moved to the beautiful city of Halifax Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada where I continued my education after finishing school I worked with the city of Halifax for a couple of years but I always had a bit of a travel bug so whenever the opportunity arose I would travel.

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In the early nineties, a friend of mine contacted me. He just bought a hotel as an investment and you want to know if I want to come to help run it.

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Now, I had no expertise, no knowledge, nothing when it came to operating a hotel and he had less but I thought how hard can this be? You check in people, make sure the beds are made, and say goodbye to them when they’re leaving. As it turned out, I was totally wrong.

 

Operating a hotel when you do not know what you’re doing can be overwhelming.

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We had no idea how to set up a proper booking, system the organizational structure was nonexistent, and marketing we’re basically depending on word of mouth.

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For the two years I was there, I watched as the hotel fell deeper and deeper into disrepair, saw high turnover in staff and return business becoming nonexistent. I decided to cut my losses and I left for another position.

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Two months later, the owner sold the property taking a huge loss. The experience stuck with me.

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When I left that position, I went on to become an independent tour guide offering tours in and around the city. This was something I really enjoy and after a year I expanded and started offering tours not only in the city of Halifax but throughout the province, across Canada, and then internationally.

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I ran bus tours, train tours, and cruise ship tours.

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After a couple of years, I began designing and offering my own tours and began designing tours for larger tour operators. This included site inspections and reviews of properties worldwide. While doing my tours and designing tours for other companies, I spent thousands of nights in hotels, resorts, inns, and bed & breakfasts worldwide.

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Many of the properties I had the pleasure of visiting had it all.  Spotless facilities, staff so organised that you might have thought they were all mind readers, over and above customer service.

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I also stayed at properties that lacked.

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For years, these properties, I just crossed off my list knowing that a good word from me could mean a contract for them worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

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There were many times I felt that with a little effort or the right direction these properties could be more successful but that was not up to me.

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Eleven years ago I was lucky enough to meet a lovely lady from Germany and two years later were married. I have since been spending time on both sides of the Atlantic.

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We both like to travel so we started spending more time in properties as a guest and I began to look at them differently. I realised that many independent properties did not have a team or a branded organizational structure to fall back on.

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Instead, many property owners were learning as they went along. Sure, there are hospitality property training schools out there but very few I have met had the time or were willing to spend the money to attend.

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I began to look more closely at properties that were doing it all right, studying their procedures and asking a ton of questions.

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It did not take me long to see that the successful properties had a lot in common. They had an organizational structure in place that ran like a well-oiled machine and what I mean by this they had an operations manual that covered every how, why and what for all their procedures, any problem, and responsibilities.

For examples

  • How to clean a room consonantly the same way every time

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  • How to handle customer complaints

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  • How to train employees

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  • They all had employee development as a priority. In most cases, the employees were considered the number one priority for successful properties.

Now, you might be questioning this observation, thinking that your guests have to be your number one priority, but think about it, if your employees are not fulfilled or feel they are being taken advantage off, are they going to consistently give a 100% to your guests?

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  • They were up to date in their marketing.

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  • And they saw their property through the eyes of their guests.

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Obviously, there is a difference in hospitality properties styles based on which country you might be visiting but I realised the basics are the same.

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That is when I spoke with some old colleagues and floated the idea of becoming a source for smaller, independent properties.

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That is when Keystone Hospitality Development Consulting was born.

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We decided on our mission statement

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“We want to contribute, with patients and caring to a strategic vision for every hotel, resort, inn, and bed & breakfast, wishing to create a happy and fulfilling experience for their clientele and employees.”

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Now, if you’ve been following us for a while, you might have noticed I use the term hospitality property quite often when referring to hotel resorts inns our bed and breakfast and that is because, as I mentioned before they all need the same basics.

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First, we created a blog and began posting weekly, then we launched a hospitality property school podcast.

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Next came the training tutorials, starting at the basics, how to open a bed and breakfast how to open an independent hotel.

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Then we offered a full training program that was available as a complete package or as one of four series:

  • Designing Your Own Hospitality Property Organizational Structure

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  • Employee Development for Your Hospitality Property

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  • How to Successfully Market Your Hospitality Property

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  • How Your Customers See Your Hospitality Property

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We also realize that video was becoming very important in marketing and if properties are not showing off their property with video, they are already three steps behind their competition.

So, we offer:

  • Review Video Creation

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  • Hospitality Property Promotional Video Creation

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We have a bookstore, with four books available:

  • How to open an independent hotel

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  • How to open a bed and breakfast

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  • How to improve your independent hotel success

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  • How to improve your bed and breakfast success

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Before I carry on, have you seen all the Keystone HDC post downloads to help grow your business? We add new ones every month and they are free. You can find them at

KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com/KHDC140

 

 

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We saw that if a property was not on social media, again they’re probably falling way behind the competition.

So, we help property set up their:

  • Facebook

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  • Twitter

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  • YouTube channels

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  • Pinterest or LinkedIn account

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Either individually or together as a package and we’re also establishing a hospitality property school group membership site.

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It’s been a busy seven years and I know we’re just scratching the surface.

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What is the future going to bring?

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Things are constantly changing the hospitality property industry and we’re going to stay top of these changes for you.

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We are your support and we want you to benefit to the fullest.

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I hope this story made sense and our motivation are clear and I want you to feel free to reach out with your questions, blog post and podcast ideas.

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We’d also like to hear all about your property, please tell us by leaving a comment below.

 

As a thank you for checking out this episode, we have extended a special offer just for you.

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You can find more about it by visiting the upgrade your success special link below.

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“Upgrade Your Success” Special

http://upgradeyoursuccess.gr8.com

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

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC147

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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:

“How Keystone HDC Started & Who is Gerry MacPherson?” Video @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/kX71QPaMX3g

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Say hi on social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

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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

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

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YouTube

 

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