The Lodging Leaders Podcast: Powerful Business Strategies for Hotel Professionals

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Lodging Leaders brings together the best and brightest minds of the hotel industry to share their stories, insights and actionable advice. Each week, LodgingMetrics.com 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

007 | A Franchisor’s Perspective with Doug Collins

Doug Collins is President of DC Hospitality, a hotel brokerage firm based in Atlanta, Ga. DC Hospitality was formed in 2014 and offers comprehensive brokerage services to the hospitality industry throughout the country. He is also CEO of Hospitality Lodging Systems, owner of the Budgetel and Haven Hotels Lodging hotel chains. Collins served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta based America’s Best Franchising, a position he held since the company’s inception in January of 1993 to February 2014. America’s Best Franchising operates almost 300 properties, with a total of more than 20,000 rooms, under its four upper economy hotel brands – America’s Best Inns & Suites, Budgetel Inns & Suites, Country Hearth Inns & Suites, and Vagabond Inns & Suites – plus its upscale 3 Palms brand for independent hotels. Most properties are located in the United States, with locations also in India, Argentina, China, and Nigeria. Prior to joining America’s Best Franchising, Collins held positions as Chief Financial Officer and then as President of Days Inn of America, one of the world’s largest hotel franchise systems with more than 1,800 properties. From 1980 to 1990, Collins served in a variety of capacities with Imperial Hotels Corporation, including as President and as Vice President of Finance. He was responsible for the ownership, operation, and growth of approximately 60 properties for this publicly-held firm. Collins earned an undergraduate degree in business at Georgetown University and an MBA in finance/investment at George Washington University. He was accredited as a certified public accountant (CPA) and practiced with the Grant Thornton firm in Washington, D.C. Jumping to present day, Doug's Hospitality Lodging Systems (HLS) assumed sole worldwide franchising and management of the Budgetel Inns & Suites brand (http://www.budgetel.com) last November, but the resurrection of the Budgetel brand isn’t the only item on Hospitality Lodging Systems’ agenda. HLS also launced a new soft brand, Haven Hotels, earlier this year with their first Haven property in Dallas, TX, and their second one due to be announced in the next couple months. Haven hotels will positioned in the mid through upscale segment and allow properties to keep all or part of their identity while also having access to services such as reservations, and help with their revenue and reservation management to improve their profitability. What makes Budgetel special is that it offers a brand website essential reservation system and access to major travel sites and their agents around the world. This is essential in today’s growing technological world which is in a state of rapid and constant expansion. How Can Hoteliers Help to Drive Revenue? According to Doug, taking advantage of tools given to you through your affiliation and paying attention to what is happening in your community is what drives revenue. Remember, that you don’t want to do this alone. Don’t get caught up in what’s happening in the moment and don't be the last guy to pay top dollar for a hotel. Be very aware of what other hotels in your community are doing. In What Ways Can Hoteliers Improve their ADR or Overall Profitability? Doug claims that you can improve your ADR by staying on top of it. Be involved in working the rates based on what’s going on (holidays, special events, etc). The hotel business is a “real time” business. Retaining customers is also effective for business. It is the hotel’s responsibility to capture the customer and turn them into a ‘repeat guest.’ How can hoteliers aim to do this with OTA’s (Online travel agents)? The fact of the matter is that OTA’s are here to stay. Hoteliers must work and manage their relationships with them. Nevertheless, when the guests come to the hotel, it’s all about customer service. Capture email addresses and be sure to make follow ups via email. Reach out as much as possible without being too agg...