Listening to Customers: Georgine Muntz on the Secret to Success for Visual Matrix

Georgine MuntAs a Texas-based CEO, board director, seed investor, and strategic advisor to founders, Georgine Muntz is a driving force behind multiple high-growth, industry-leading companies. Currently, she’s CEO of Visual Matrix, a leading provider of hotel operating software and solutions. The role feeds her passion for investing in female-founded or led software companies, so it’s no surprise she’s thrilled to be leading one of the only female-led technology companies in hospitality.

Georgine shares with Adrienne Weil, vice president of strategic partnerships and business development for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), what Visual Matrix is all about, the innovations that are changing the company’s approach, how the industry is evolving, and more.

Can you give a bit of background on your company?

Our history goes back to 2000, when Visual Matrix was founded as a way to bring quality and affordable property management software to the midscale hotel market. Our founder recognized that software on the market back then either lacked significant features and worked poorly or was so expensive hotel owners in the space were denied the advantages and benefits of technology that larger hotels enjoyed. We filled a need and eventually became the most-loved software provider for Best Western hotel owners, capturing more than 70 percent of that business and expanding into other similar-sized hotels and to more than 30 countries.

What innovations have changed the way Visual Matrix approaches its hospitality clients over the past few years?

Efficiency and simplicity through automation is key for us. We build our software based on what really matters to our customers—real tools for real problems. We offer features like a built-in revenue manager that keeps rates optimized 24/7, guest texting options, one-button night audits, and many other intuitive features that are also packed with functionality. MOP is a great example of that. It’s a mobile-operating platform for front desk, housekeeping, and maintenance teams that puts all the real-time information they need at their fingertips, wherever they are in the hotel. We acquired MOP last year because we’ve always operated on the belief that every hotel, regardless of its size or scale, should be able to have access to the best technology in the industry.

How did you first hear about AHLA and what made you want to get involved with the organization?

I first heard about AHLA from the team at Visual Matrix. Our COO Charlie Rhodes and CTO Jason Hughes both highly recommended we get involved with AHLA and participate in all the great conferences and events the association offers. Jason quickly joined the HTNG committee for PMS Express, and we signed up for the conferences. We had such an amazing time meeting, dining, and celebrating with our clients that we’re really looking forward to this year’s conferences and continuing to empower hoteliers with technology that makes the hard work of delivering the best guest experiences easier.

How do you see the hotel industry evolving over the next five years?

Consumer culture has changed a lot over the past few years, and I suspect it will continue along the same course. The hotel industry is just now starting to adopt technologies that have been around in other industries for years, so the next logical step for hospitality is to get faster at picking up and rolling out new technologies in a way that will allow us to bring the very best in guest experiences with every single stay. Consumers today expect technology to play a bigger and bigger role in the guest experience. But hospitality is a crossroads industry. The best technologies are going to be those that make running the business of a hotel smoother and faster, so that hoteliers can focus on guests without worrying about what’s happening behind the scenes. And that’s where we’re focusing our time.

What do you like most about being in the hotel industry?

My absolute favorite thing about this industry is the people. I love their collaboration and the welcoming nature that make this industry tick and so special. They bring you in and make you feel like you belong, that you’re part of the family. I’m learning so much and sharing all I can to help improve all things technology, so our amazing clients can focus on their guests and building their businesses. When they succeed, so do we.

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Adrienne Weil is vice president of strategic partnerships and business development at the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Weil is responsible for the design and implementation of a comprehensive growth strategy to stimulate incremental growth in AHLA’s premier partner program.