Anthony Melchiorri, hotel fixer and host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, loves dishing out advice. From sharing best practices to tackling operational issues, he’s here to answer your questions.
Got a question? Send it to AskAnthony@lodgingmagazine.com.
I recently took over a hotel and am trying to decide if I should partner with a management company. Are management companies worthwhile? How do you choose the right one?
There are many important parts that go into planning, opening, and running a hotel – the real estate deal, financing, the brand, and, of course, who manages the property. Picking a management company is like picking a spouse; you are in it together, creating a symbiotic relationship and weathering challenges and successes that will hopefully lead to a happy and prosperous collective future.
When I hire a company to manage one of my hotels, I first visit one of their properties without them knowing to see firsthand how they perform from a guest’s perspective. How do they bring the brand to life? Does the management style translate to a positive and memorable guest experience? Does the staff seem happy and productive? Would I want to stay at the property again?
Transparency and communication are key to a successful relationship with your management company. I have been in situations where the management company wouldn’t allow the hotel general manager to communicate directly with the owner of the property. This hindered much more than just communication; it created a lack of trust. This lack of trust then fostered a natural apprehension in the workplace, something that could have been avoided by clear communication.
On the same level, if you are an owner and you are hiring a management company, you’re doing so for a reason. Ensure that you are clear on what your expectations are. If you still want to remain somewhat engaged in the operation, communicate what aspects that involves. However, take care not to become overly involved and thwart the management company’s efforts.
Finally, you should analyze the challenges and goals for your property and do your research to find the right management company to tackle your unique situation. Ensure their values and operation skills align with your vision for the property.
At the end of the day, the management company is your partner and you are entrusting them with your asset. It’s imperative that you make the right selection and allow their expertise to bring value to your asset, the team you employ, and your bottom line.