One of the most basic human needs is to feel appreciated, and it is one of the scarcest feelings around, especially for many general managers and executive team members. I know, I have been there for many years.
They are saddled with a challenging yearly budget, a large and complicated hotel operation, a multicultural cadre of human resources in every department, hotel guests, suppliers and travel agents and a host of other subjects that need fitting into every 24 hours!
In the days of old the General Manager was more of a social position, mingling with the guests and making sure that all was to their satisfaction. Human resources were secondary, and operational policies were strict and followed to the letter.
Today’s hospitality industry is much different as we all know. OTA’s rule a huge chunk of our room inventories, marketing and sales are closely intertwined with revenue management, food and beverage trends change often, guest expectations are at an all time high as are the public means to check their satisfaction. Salaries increase along with the employees expectations for a better working environment. Shortfalls in cleaning, maintenance and upkeep are there for all potential customers to see on social media. Guests are looking for not only a great stay for a meaningful stay at an establishment that cares about the environment, community involvement and other causes.
Surely the management teams, striving to excel at all the complex challenges, deserve professional assistance in their fight to make budget, improve the profitability, ROI and their operations. Expressing and showing appreciation for ongoing management efforts in the operations is very much recommended, but assisting them with professional assistance is no longer a shame.
In today’s complicated and operationally complex hospitality industry it is commonplace to see asset managers involved and helping hotels and their executive teams improve their operations. Asset managers of course cost money, but invariably bring tenfold payback.
Professional asset management can bring calm to an operation and act as a bridge between owners and their management teams or operators. They can not only assist with invaluable advice based on experience but can bring recommendations encompassing all aspects of the operations from audits, physical and financial, that the team has no time for. Asset managers can take up the slack left by the disappearance of many of the ‘controller’ positions, and act as monitors for the management team in areas such as hygiene, food procurement, production and storage, stocks of beverage and food, maintenance and upkeep, service standards and many more. They monitor sales and marketing, segmentation and targets to arrive at better ADR’s and investment in better returns from higher value customer segments.
One vital area that asset managers take care of is scrutinizing the financial results and bringing to attention line expenses that need investigation and correction. Monitoring these expenses is time consuming but over the course of my asset management career I have saved countless thousands of dollars in an area where the general manager and team just do not have the time to take care of.
The modern asset manager is an additional set of eyes for both the owner and also the general manager, a support system that can help him achieve even better results and that can earn him or her the real appreciation that they are so deserving of.
Asset managers should be looked at as a way to improve the operations, find new ways for revenue streams, cut down on unnecessary costs, monitor the monthly results and critique positively. Sure, asset managers cost money, although probably less than a middle manager, but can the independent operators afford not to hire one to assist their operations, especially when it is almost certain that their expense will be repaid so many times?