Streamlining Renovations: Six Important Best Practices

By Fred B. Roedel, III Partner & Managing Member, Roedel Companies, LLC | August 07, 2011

Renovation projects are successful only when a host of elements come together. The processes and systems that companies develop over time to improve their overall operating performance are often times referred to as Best Practices. Whether you think the term 'Best Practices' is a fad or not, successful companies are often that because they do certain things very well. We have been in the business of owning, operating and renovating hotels for over 40 years and the following is our list of best practices when it comes to successfully renovating hotel properties in an operating property.

  1. Establishing the right team
  2. Developing a clear vision and objective for the project
  3. Defining standards for the time, cost and quality of the project
  4. Developing the correct and complete scope of work
  5. Well coordinated construction process
  6. Involvement and communication

#1 – Establishing the Right Team

The first step, and possibly the most difficult, is to establish the best group of people to be involved in the renovation. One of the best ways hotel owners and investors can ensure that projects are completed within a defined budget is to pull together the right team of people who have the right hotel experience and will work together to oversee the entire renovation process. We have done this for years and the base team members we include are the operators, designers and contractors. For us, not including some level of construction expertise early on in the process, has historically lowered the reliability of meeting the time, cost and quality projections of a project.

#2 - Objective / Vision

Developing a clear vision and objective for a particular project is critical to keeping a renovation project on track. We spend a great deal of time and energy making sure we truly understand our market, our customer and the brand we are involved with when undertaking a renovation project. From there, we develop and agree on the project objective and vision. If you don't invest the effort to clarify and agree on an objective and vision, you may well find yourself off on tangents that consume valuable resources of time and money.

#3 - Performance Standards

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.