The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals


Lodging Leaders brings together the best and brightest minds of the hotel industry to share their stories, insights and actionable advice. Each week, founder and entrepreneur Jon Albano interviews inspiring hoteliers and leading industry professionals that have produced amazing results to help you maximize profits, scale your portfolio, protect your investment, and so much more. Let the collective intelligence of the hotel industry lead you to better results.

The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals navigateright Episode

005 | What Makes a Leader with John Hogan

Dr. John Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a career business professional and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has demonstrated competencies as a strong leader, relationship builder, problem solver and mentor and is frequently invited to speak at franchise meetings, management company and hospitality association industry events. He also acts as an expert witness in both research and testimony in hospitality industry related cases. Background: John has been a part of the hospitality industry his entire adult life. He started out as a teenager at a seasonal summer resort in Vermont and shares that his emotion towards the spirit of hospitality was very profound from the beginning. John studied hospitality at University of Massachusetts and over last 40 years has worked with companies ranging from large, to independent, to niched, to corporate and franchises. He feels it is an exciting, never boring, always changing industry. Leadership: John decided to take on his first leadership role because it felt right to him. In his experience, he learned that one can’t be afraid to make mistakes - because you’re going to. It’s about making mistakes but not the same mistakes. It’s about knowing a good amount about everything but not needing to know everything while learning how to delegate because you CAN’T do it all alone. It is important to TRUST others and give them the tools they need for the overall success of the company. So, what makes an effective leader? According to John, “Management is doing things right whereas leadership is doing the right things.” Leaders know how to take you through to the next level. Are leaders born or made? Some of us have more of an inclination to lead or manage. While others like to be part of a team. Leaders are people who evolve and are aware of the team effort. They’ve got the long term success because they constantly choose to evolve. So, they are not necessarily born. What are the common pitfalls hoteliers face today and how can they be avoided? Many hotels are franchised in the U.S. and Canada today, which is a successful business model. The big problem however, is that hoteliers buy a brand - either red, blue, yellow, and they over-rely on the brands to take care of all problems. Brands will take care of a lot- but their role is not to be successful for you. That’s up to you. Representing a brand has the potential to diminish the spirit of entrepreneurship. In working with local businesses and CVB’s. How does one drive reservations there? Close to 60% of hotels are less than 60-75 rooms. Most hotels are small businesses. But regardless of whether they are independent or franchised, it’s important to collaborate with other small businesses near you. For example, if your hotel specializes in weddings, you may want to collaborate with florists, photographers, or wedding chapels. Think about who your customers are. Who can you partner with in your area to create that win-win? Then, go ahead and create packages. Think about what airlines do: they’ll package a flight, car rental and hotel for you. It’s all about identifying who is coming to your hotel, identifying their needs and meeting their needs. Improving ADR: When asked for tips on improving your ADR, John cited industry veteran Mike Leven's strategy of identifying who is going to be using your hotel and when; determining your busiest day of the week, and finding ways to fill in on low demand days so you can maximize your rate. It’s about taking into account the full year and composing a forecast (which may or may not be fully accurate!) to anticipate trends. Know the WHO, WHY AND HOW.  Don't get involved in silly rate wars because nobody wins, but there is nothing wrong with discounting, as long as it’s intelligent discounting. How can Hoteliers increase their spend for guests?