Maki Nakamura Bara, president of Chartres Lodging Group, co-founded the property redevelopment and repositioning company along with now-CEO Robert Kline. She also serves as co-chairman of Kokua Hospitality, a management company based in San Francisco. Bara shared the following advice for hotel developers with LODGING.
Know what you are good at.
“Rob [Kline] and I knew the institutional-quality space and decided to stick to what we knew. We’ve learned that our passion and our expertise is now in the value-added space of branding, operations, and the physical space.”
Know what you cannot change.
“You can’t change the market or location a property occupies, so we look for things that have those two things covered. Basically, we focus on a property that is broken in a great market or location, because we want to be able to add value there. Every deal that we’ve had has had a renovation.”
Don’t look back.
“Some of the best deals we have ever done are deals that we walked away from. We never think about that, or talk about that, but we do have to remain disciplined.”
Don’t bet on the market.
“We are not smart enough to time the market. The market will eventually come back, even if we can’t tell you when. Our job is to create value for these assets regardless of the market lift. The market had to just be a bonus.”