Hotel Maintenance: Four Key Areas That will Increase Property Value

By Fred B. Roedel, III Partner & Managing Member, Roedel Companies, LLC | April 24, 2011

To maximize the return potential of a hotel investment requires a number of factors to come together. They include building a good building in a good market, developing positive free cash flow via strategic operations and last but not least, maintaining the asset.

The current and long-term value of a hotel asset is ultimately a function of its ability to reliably and consistently produce positive free cash flow. As we all know free cash flow is simply a function of revenues and expenses. If a hotel is not well maintained it will not be able to be a market leader in rate and its operating expenses will ultimately increase.

A proactive maintenance program doesn't have to be all encompassing all the time, but is a key element when it comes to maintaining the value of a hotel asset. The four maintenance areas we consistently focus on are:

1. Exterior Envelope

If you are a boater then you know there is nothing worse than a boat that leaks. It takes all the fun out of the experience. The same is absolutely true for any building, including hotels. The damage and issues that can result from moisture are well documented and the costs to correct and fix moisture damage can be daunting. About three years ago we were hired to work on a hotel that had moisture issues in the exterior walls. After a significant amount of time and energy was spent investigating the issue, it was agreed that it could only be corrected by opening up all the exterior wall areas, replacing approximately 50% of the steel studs and installing both a new exterior wall and a new interior wall. Had the hotel been well maintained such actions would have been unnecessary.

When we inspect hotels' envelopes we investigate the following areas:

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.