Tips for Choosing the Right Third-Party Hotel Management Company

It isn’t easy to run a hotel, and operational expertise has become more vital to bottom lines than ever before. With all the technology requirements and systems, the human resource demands, and the strategic capabilities necessary to remain competitive, professional management companies have become a required point of entry for many properties.  Before putting your property in the hands of a manager, consider these five tips from the top:

1) When shopping for a new management firm, try to determine if you will have access to the top leaders of the management company.  MMI’s VP of Operations will be more involved with your hotel on a day-to-day basis, but you can always reach our most seasoned executives, too.  You should be hiring for the company’s breadth of experience, and you should have access to all of the talent when you need it.  MMI’s corporate team of nearly 20 folks averages over 20 years of experience and all of them can be contacted directly.

2) When evaluating a management company, ask for successful case studies that are relevant to your hotel.  There are major differences between hotels, even if they fly the same flag.  Make sure that the management company candidate has a track record with hotels that are comparable to yours in every meaningful way.  The operating environment for a downtown, independent hotel is completely unlike the operating environment faced by an extended-stay, franchised hotel at the local lifestyle center.  Fortunately, MMI has worked in many markets supporting hotels of various sizes, shapes, and service offerings.  MMI is especially unique in its ability to successfully position independent properties in heavily franchised markets.

3) One of the things you should ask a new firm is how much input you will have when it comes to selecting key hotel personnel.  Some owners are more hands on than others.  If it is important to you that you have a good working relationship with the people who are handling the day-to-day operations of your asset, clarify ahead of time the role you want to play in their selection.  No two hotels (or owners) are alike.  We partner with our owners to share decision-making as much or as little as is desired.

4) Check the references of the company that’s going to manage your hotel to clarify if expectations were met.  Speaking to references is commonplace when we consider job applicants and the same goes for hiring a management company.  Several references on our services can be found here and here.

5) Carefully dissect your management contract before you sign it.  Contracts vary substantially, especially when it comes to fees.  It is important for a management company to have transparency when it comes to a fee structure, with not travel charges, back charges, hidden fees, or other allocations.  If you run into issues when negotiating the contract and don’t feel good chemistry, it’s time to move on.  With no two contracts being identical, we at MMI approach each third-party relationship individually and walk our owners through the process so that they are fully aware of our simply approach.