Considering a Hotel Brand Conversion? Top Questions to Ask Before You Re-Flag
Written by Javier Coll, Apple Leisure Group
Through the inevitable economic and geo-political fluctuations that impact travel, the most profitable hotel properties have been guided by management teams with real market awareness – those who understand when and how to revise their strategies, re-imagine their properties, and restructure operations. These hotels have consistently found the right moment to adapt by aligning with new hotel management partners, launching new services and raising capital to upgrade physical structures. They have excelled at predicting the needs and desires of travelers and guests.
So, what does adaptability, market awareness and customer focus look like for hotel owners today? One approach has increasingly worked for properties wanting to stay ahead and in sync with guest desires: brand conversion. While the conversion strategy is not new, it will likely take on new importance in the months ahead, and will be critical in places where new construction is poised to oversaturate the market. For existing owners considering a brand conversion, here are some of the key questions to ask:
- Are you following the marketplace, and your competition? In the Caribbean marketplace, occupancy, average daily rates and revenue per available room are down over the past year, but showing signs of a slight rebound. However, there is no guarantee that this movement will continue, and given the history of the market and the number of new rooms increasing, it is more likely than not that a downturn is coming. As a hotel owner, you need to take action before the market turns. The process of carrying out a conversion to a new brand and an experienced hotel management partner can take several months, and your goal should be to reposition your property early.
- Are you listening to your guests? Converting your property to a strong brand with experienced hotel management leaders brings lasting benefits, but choosing the right partner means understanding what really drives guests to visit your region and property. Ultimately, you may want to use your brand conversion to change the way that you deliver services and experiences. In the Caribbean, guests are increasingly driven to the all-inclusive model, and existing beachfront resorts that are looking for new management partners will need to understand how a change to an all-inclusive approach can boost profits.
- Is your property ready for renovation? Hotel and resort owners and managers understand the value that a renovation can bring. If planned and implemented well, property renovations can bring strong financial benefits. The right brand conversion partner can bring the vision and support you need to make an effective renovation happen quickly and efficiently.