Wischermann Partners has maintained its vision of creating and maintaining excellent standards in some of the country’s most innovative properties for the past 15 years. Paul Wischermann, CEO, explains how the company has grown since it launched.
Congrats on your 15th anniversary! How has the business changed since you founded it in 2002?
The core of our business hasn’t changed in terms of what we need to take care of. If we take care of our people, then they will take care of our guests. But, many other things have changed when it comes to how bookings come together today—including loyalty programs, booking windows, and other things. Certain trends come and go, but at the end of the day, there are guest expectations and we’re trying to exceed those.
You have a penchant for managing trendy and innovative properties. How did you fall into that niche?
We’re focused on upper-upscale and luxury hotels. These are high-design hotels, which today include details related to lifestyle trends like craft cocktail boards and common spaces where people can congregate. These trends are definitely here to stay, because people like to spend time together versus being in their own rooms. In this high-quality type of hotel, we have to give the people what they want when they want it. We live in a time-strapped society, and we need to prove that we understand this.
How can a hotelier be sure she or he partners with the right management company?
The most important thing is that the vision between owner and operator align. If you’re trying to position yourself in an upper-upscale, lifestyle environment, you should find a a management company that has that market segment in its core competency. Food and beverage is often the differentiator, so how the hotel’s restaurant and bar concepts have been working, how they have been executed, and how they match up are also key. Additionally, marketing on-property programming is becoming more and more important, as are digital marketing and building a focus in the community. Those are all important things not every management company is able to provide. So you must match up your expectations with the core competency of an operator.
What is key to success in the hospitality industry?
We should be focusing on helping people succeed, building careers, and providing a great environment where they want to be.
Photo Caption: Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Minneapolis, is one renovation project in the Wischermann Partners’ portfolio.