Investment in the hotel sector was at the core of discussion at the last Global Lodging Forum. On this occasion, four professionals presented the particularities and challenges of this operation. Read a few key points covered at this round table.
- "France is brimming with resources and there is scouting in different places. With the disruption going on in the hotel industry, people are looking for a strong heritage, places with a history, they try to get closer to the heritage and invest the means. The hotel industry is a trade requiring common sense. Thus I did to the hotel what I hoped to see there. It is important to like people and know how to receive." Jean-Philippe Cartier, CEO/Founder H8 INVEST- H8 Collection
- "Many investors enter the hotel industry as part of a personal endeavor. A real estate investor who was in accommodations and offices made it happen here. Today the share represents close to 10%, it is an asset in and of itself. We had an operational approach and want to know the product better; we also hope to accompany this market that is evolving enormously." Alice Lombard, Sécrétaire Générale, FDM Management
How would you define your business plan for acquiring a property? What are the driving elements?
- "I believe it is very instinctive. A place's potential may be considered with respect to how it is perceived. There must be some conviction in the location. All of our assets are exceptional (facing Pont du Gard, Mont Blanc…). They were "sleeping princesses". We are located in places where experiences are lived. Our French customers are thrilled. Each hotel must have its history, a soul. There must be a national heritage nearby. France's hotel industry is developing. I think it is scandalous that the subject has become so secondary." Jean-Philippe Cartier, CEO/Founder H8 INVEST- H8 Collection
- "We use methods and look at an asset with respect to its capacity to generate cash-flows. Our analysis is more rational and less emotional. This also relies on the conviction that the asset is in its market and well positioned." Alice Lombard, Sécrétaire Générale, FDM Management
- "You begin with a budget. Identify what the best brand will be and the ability to valorize this asset. It is important to be forward thinking and introduce the human while asking what potential there is for goodwill." Jean-Luc Guermonprez, Directeur Pôle Hôtellerie, Vinci Immobilier
What are the current possibilities for improving the profitability of hospitality investment?
- "The hotel industry is a laborious and binary business. We all try to increase our turnover. For some assets, F&B can act as the growth engine, although it was once considered a necessary evil. Today it can generate more flow and create a space for life." Bertrand Pulles, Directeur Associé, Extendam
Is the activity too seasonal? Do you rely on external elements? Is the notion of the cycle problematic?
- "We pay careful attention to cycles. In ten years of hotel operations there are necessarily a couple of bad years. But it is important to reason in the long term in order to have sustainable activity." Jean-Luc Guermonprez, Directeur Pôle Hôtellerie, Vinci Immobilier
- "It is important to think in the long term, but this is true for everything. We are not real estate investors, but investors investing in SMEs that are people first and foremost." Bertrand Pulles, Directeur Associé, Extendam
- The arrival of AirBnB upsets our customers, but not more than other problems; on the contrary, it is something that is pushing hoteliers." Jean-Luc Guermonprez, Directeur Pôle Hôtellerie, Vinci Immobilier
How is a new offer developed?
- "We work ahead of operations on a whole area that is not visible. It is necessary to identify real estate potential and convince organizations of the interest of developing a hotel within a global strategy of urbanism. We manage to convince them. It is easier to bring in a third party when you already have a partner." Jean-Luc Guermonprez, Directeur Pôle Hôtellerie, Vinci Immobilier
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