How Hotel Schools Impact Property Values
For those in the hotel business, when June rolls around several thousand of todays lodging industry professionals converge on New York City, with their deal making boots on, to attend the NYU Hotel Industry Investment Conference. They come to New York with the hope of learning about trends and attitudes affecting the industry, most searching for an understanding of why investment values are where they are today and where they might be next year. They return home affected by what they learn and that knowledge will likely impact the decisions theyll be making in the months ahead. Should they buy, sell, re-finance today, wait till later, build, and so forth. Of course, many come in the hope of picking up an assignment or learning of a good hotel deal for sale and we brokers are always there to help sate their appetites.
Of course, many of tomorrows lodging industry professionals are not at the conference. They are still doing their undergraduate or post-graduate studies at hotel schools around the country, while others are gaining their early years of actual work experience in the industry and cant afford the time or money required to attend. It is those minds that will coalesce into the opinion leadership of tomorrow, those people who will operate, consult, and determine or create lodging values in the years ahead.
I think of those people more often today, as NYU has provided me the opportunity of being involved in its growing Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Travel Administration, both as a member of the schools Advisory Board and as a part time teacher for portions of graduate school Entrepreneur and Feasibility courses they offer. In those capacities, it becomes ever clearer that it is the young professionals educational and skill levels, combined with our natural American optimism, that will go far to under-gird tomorrows hotel property values. How many of these people might one day call our company and say " Do you have a hotel that I can buy?" I certainly hope many of them do.
Oh, sure, demographic trends, interest rates, capital availability, the level of competition in various markets, and the like, have a meaningful impact on property values. But, without tomorrows entrepreneurs, managers, financiers and consultants developing an understanding of how to access capital, analyze investments, or run a hotel profitably, what good are the money or buildings? I know that many people attending conferences, such as NYUs, appreciate this because they invest their precious time and energy in the lives of students who they may well not even know. Many of the brightest minds in our industry, people with schedules so busy that their Palm Pilots must get headaches from overload, regularly re-arrange their lives to bring insight, knowledge, mentoring and internship opportunities to the coming generation of lodging industry professionals. They know that it is those people who are not at todays educational and deal-making conferences who will provide the new blood and fresh thinking to keep the industry vital and profitable.
So, I hope as we gather at conferences such as NYUs, that we think about what we can do in our own communities to help advance the careers of young people in our midst. Frankly, its smart business because you could come into contact with someone who may well wind up at your company or hotel. Last year, the Wilder Group provided a summer internship to a fellow who was instrumental in helping us close a brokerage deal and earn a six figure commission while he was with us. So, be selfish and help educate the next generation. I need more customers for some of our good hotel listings !
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