The investors and private owners of hotel real estate: “Overcoming the challenge from product driven to service driven”

May 27, 2020 •

4 min reading

Hotel brands: How to find a suitable hotel operator?

  • How to guarantee sustainable success and high profitability?
  • How to implement a predefined brand model to the business?
  • How to understand the operators’ value in advance?
  • How to obtain the most suitable marketing mix?
  • How assure the management fees are worth?
  • How to…?

Many questions arise on finding the most suitable hotel operator to run your hotel real estate. From an investor or owner point of view, it has not become easier to choose. Hotel brands have been evolving and growing rapidly over the last decade hence, the alternatives to choose are unlimited.


According to an interview with Tess Mattisson, Senior Director European marketing Choice hotels, ‘the days that the hotel brand can scale a predefined ‘brand bible’ are over’. A hotel has become much more than “the look and feel”. Hotel brands are moving from being product driven to service driven.


Hotel franchise and Brand Management : What Role for the Brand?


The rise of many new soft brands and boutique collections confirm the rising importance of service. The contemporary consumer is keen on more personalisation, authenticity, experience, technology, sharing, etc. These consumer trends have marked the industry. Operators understand this well and have become more flexible in their negotiations by offering the opportunity of less product standardization and more services. Since services have become that important, the question the investor or owner should ask is what services to expect from the operator and how the operator translates their services to the needs of the building? This could be ‘loyalty programs, staff training, revenue management, IT systems, improved purchasing power, more easy financing to lenders, rooms distribution network, sales & marketing support, brand awareness, specific customer profiles, a proof of concept, etc.

With a large inventory of hotel brands and boutique collections and the increased importance of services, the investor or owner have much more need to be guided by professionals.

Hotel operator search at EHL Advisory Services

EHL Advisory Services offers investors and private owners of hotel real estate a professional search and selection of a suitable operator. This consists of different phases, aimed at identifying, evaluating and concluding the operator that fits best the needs. The operator search and selection process typically involves the following activities:

  • Understanding of owners’ needs and market
  • Redaction of a tender document
  • Outlining the management contract details
  • Preselection of suitable operators
  • Aligning hotel owners and operators’ goals
  • Support during contract negotiations
  • Selection of the hotel operator


EHL Advisory has assisted many investors and private owners in selecting their operators, in business such as freshwater cruising, train catering, office building catering, hotels and also restaurants. EHL Advisory Services understands the needs and the interests of owners and operators and their respective strengths and weaknesses.


Some of our business cases

  • A large multinational opens 25 hotels, each new property needs an operator.
  • A private investor bought a hotel and need an operator to run the business.
  • An owner of a building is evaluation a hotel concept with a suitable operator.
  • A city owes hotel and restaurant properties and is looking for several operators.
  • A portfolio manager of a real estate funds needs advice on suitable operators.
  • A private owner requires a confirmation check of the brand he has in mind.


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