Why Contract with a Management Company — and Why Live Oak Hospitality Management?
Why – because business savvy and hotel management savvy are not the same thing. The reason that you are in a position to own a hotel probably has a lot to do with how successful you have been in the past. You probably became an expert (if not THE authority) in your business. You knew that you needed to seek out the best and brightest to help you grow your business. There are intuitive decisions that you make in your “native” business on a daily basis and the financial implications of those split second decisions can be huge.
The hospitality industry is different from other types of businesses, largely due to occupancy and revenue fluctuations, specialized management needs, and the time and energy it takes to do these things well. The difference in 3 or 4 percentage points in occupancy, as well as having the right kind of occupancy can mean a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our senior management team has amassed more than 70 years of operating experience with both independent hotels and some of the largest franchise organizations including Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Choice Hotels. We run hotels — that is all we do — seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Complicated decisions concerning hotels with financial implications come to us naturally.
If you would like to improve your top and bottom line, improve your quality of life, or maybe even improve your golf handicap, let’s discuss how Live Oak Lodging can help you make the most of what you have created.
Services We Provide :
At Live Oak Lodging, the ball that we keep our eye on is Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). In today’s hospitality world, you cannot become fixated on either the average daily rate (ADR) or the occupancy percentage. Each hotel requires a unique mix of each in order to reach its highest potential RevPAR. Our hotels practice yield management on at least a daily basis to be sure that we are employing the correct strategy for each changing day.
Sales and Marketing
The sales and marketing efforts at each hotel begin with the preparation of the annual Marketing Plan. From our years of experience, we have some favorite marketing “tricks” that we have found to work very well. However, since each hotel is unique, marketing plans and their related tactics and strategies are customized for each hotel, each year. An in depth market analysis is undertaken each fall that culminates with an annual revenue forecast for the upcoming year. Only after this is complete is an operational expense budget prepared. This is the road map that will guide the hotel through the coming year.
Because a hotel cannot reach its full potential without an aggressive sales and marketing effort, our Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing works directly with, and on behalf of, each hotel. The Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing assists with the identification of key decision makers, makes sales calls, and closes business, when appropriate, for the hotels. Additional support is provided through monthly marketing emails, flash sales, ongoing coaching, and hotel specific Google Alerts.
Cost control begins with the preparation of a realistic budget. All costs are defined and measured as a factor of Per Occupied Room (POR). This allows management to be flexible with their expenditures as revenues fluctuate — both up and down — and still hit their targeted House Profit. A sound Purchase Order system, timely financials preparation and analysis, combined with national purchasing agreements allow our hotels to consistently outperform others in their segments.
Because it is possible to manipulate Gross Operating Profit (GOP) by simply moving expenses into an area such as General and Administrative, we measure our managers and ourselves by the House Profit line. Technology provides real time access to payables and receivables at all locations. Unique cash controls are implemented and maintained at each hotel while the corporate office maintains final approval for payment on each and every invoice.
Strategic planning and review can indicate savings potential in utility contracts, property tax disputes and valuations, phone system utilization reviews, and the elimination of third party maintenance contracts. In many cases, the advertising that worked for a hotel just a few years ago is now a complete waste of money. A careful line-by-line review of your general ledger is the only way to uncover many of these ongoing costs.
Even a casual review of any guest-driven feedback site including Trip Advisor, Facebook, Expedia, or Google will reveal that Live Oak Lodging hotels enjoy positions at the top of their respective markets. We feel that the direction and performance of our hotels are driven by our guests’ responses. Guest feedback is solicited at each and every opportunity. Despite now being more than 11 years old, the Hampton Inn in Marble Falls is still consistently ranked in the top 10 of all Hampton Inns in the state of Texas.
Our hotels respond to all posted comments and insure that successes are celebrated and short comings are immediately addressed. This strategy has propelled our properties to leading positions on TripAdvisor.com in their individual markets.
Guest scores and profitability are directly related to how well the asset is maintained. Regularly scheduled deep cleaning and preventative maintenance protocols are the only way to keep a hotel in top shape. Again, since each hotel is different, each cleaning routine must be customized. One common thread that runs through all of our programs is total team involvement. Housekeeping deep cleans each room at least four times per year. Then, the maintenance department makes any needed repairs and touches up paint. This room is then inspected by a management level employee prior to the room being returned to inventory to ensure that is in “like new” condition. The overall program is monitored by random (but documented) monthly inspections by the General Manager. Regular property visits by corporate staff confirm that the program is being properly followed.
Proactive preventative maintenance of HVAC equipment, boilers, and laundry equipment not only lengthens the lives of these significant investments, but it also limits or eliminates costly (in dollars and guest satisfaction) downtime and repairs and can significantly reduce ongoing operating costs.
Employer of Choice
The goal of Live Oak Lodging is to be the employer of choice in every market in which we operate. This is achieved by providing our associates with enterprise class benefits, a competitive wage, training, respect, stability, and finally the tools that are necessary to do their jobs well. All line level employees gain certification in their respective fields (guest room attendant, front desk agent, maintenance worker, etc.) through the American Hotel and Lodging Association. This certification will follow them to their next employer should they ever choose to move on. We have found that an educated and informed employee is an engaged employee.
We understand the cost of employee turnover and manage it effectively. This starts with pre-employment drug screens and follows through in the provisioning of a benefits package, which includes affordable (for the owner AND employee) insurance, matching 401(K) contributions, paid vacations, personal days, and more.