Greg Friedman, CEO of Peachtree Group
Greg Friedman, CEO of Peachtree Group
The Hotel Moment podcast — episode 78

Status update: How can hoteliers keep performance high in today’s economy?

In this week’s episode of the Hotel Moment podcast, Karen Stephens, Revinate CRO, and Greg Friedman, CEO of Peachtree Group, crack open the window to long-lasting financial performance for hoteliers. Friedman analyzes which metrics hoteliers should focus on, how to capitalize on demand drivers, and what ways to shift operations in response to changes in the market.

Listen in, and discover how to unite your revenue and asset management teams to support your profit goals, while keeping guests happy in the process. You’ll also learn what to look for when investing in a new hotel or property.

Red, yellow, and blue lines to indicate soundwaves.
Headshot of Karen Stephens

Meet your host

As Chief Marketing Officer at Revinate, Karen Stephens is focused on driving long-term growth by building Revinate’s brand equity, product marketing, and customer acquisition strategies. Her deep connections with hospitality industry leaders play a key role in crafting strategic partnerships.

Karen is also the host of The Hotel Moment Podcast, where she interviews top players in the hospitality industry. Karen has been with Revinate for over 11 years, leading Revinate’s global GTM teams. Her most recent transition was from Chief Revenue Officer, where she led the team in their highest booking quarter to date in Q4 2023.

Karen has more than 25 years of expertise in global hospitality technology and online distribution — including managing global accounts in travel and hospitality organizations such as Travelocity and

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Intro – 00:00:02: Welcome to the Hotel Moment podcast, presented by Revinate, the podcast where we talk to leaders in the hospitality industry. If you’re looking for trends, perspectives, and stories from leaders in travel and hospitality, you’re in the right place.

Karen – 00:00:18: Hello, and welcome to the Hotel Moment podcast. I am your host, Karen Stephens, Chief Revenue Officer of Revinate. Today, I’m very excited to be joined by Greg Friedman, the CEO of Peachtree Group, an investment firm for commercial real estate. Greg has more than 23 years of hospitality experience, demonstrating not only true leadership, but an impressive skill set in deal structuring and financing. Greg has led the Peachtree Group in more than $8 billion in hotel acquisitions, investments, and development since co-founding the company in 2007. Welcome to the podcast, Greg.

Greg – 00:00:52: Thank you, Karen, for having me on your podcast today.

Karen – 00:00:56: Well, we’re excited to have you here, you know, we talked to a lot of professionals that are operators on property — digital marketing — and this is our first time with an investment firm. So thanks so much for sharing a little bit about your world with us today.

Greg – 00:01:10: It’s interesting times from an investment perspective and part of our ecosystem as an organization because we are a vertically integrated private equity firm. And we invest, obviously, very heavily across hotels, but we invest across other commercial real estate property types, as well as some stuff outside the commercial real estate industry. But we are unique in the sense that we do have an operation platform that operates the hotels that we invest into. So we operate over 90 hotels across the U.S. We develop hotels from the ground up as well. As well as — we do a lot of direct lending to other hotel owners and operators. So we feel like we have a pretty really unique view of the industry just from the fact that we invest both on the credit side and the equity side. We’re vertically integrated, as I mentioned, so we operate and develop. And so we really have that 360-degree view of the marketplace.

Karen – 00:02:02: Yeah, that’s a really interesting way to think about it. Because as you mentioned, you’re doing the investment side, but you also offer hotel management services as well. So can you explain that a little bit more? So you make the initial investment, and then you help those owners increase the value of the property? Or how do you think about that?

Greg – 00:02:18: We operate primarily for hotels that we own. So we don’t really do a lot of third-party management on the operation side. Our operation platform originally, when we set up the company, so going back to 2007, myself and, I have two other partners, we started Peachtree. And originally, we were just going to be in an investment vehicle across hotels as well as other commercial real estate assets. And then we quickly hit the financial crisis. And so we realized instead of hiring third parties to operate our hotels, we needed to be able to play defense in the middle of the great financial crisis. So we internalized the operation side and the development company and so forth. And the reason I say that is today, the way we approach it is when we’re making an equity investment into a project. So if we’re going to go out and acquire a hotel or develop a hotel from the ground up, most of the time, 99% of those investments we will end up operating it within our hospitality management platform. Which, Patrick Short runs that business for us and does an incredible job. But, we’ll utilize our platform and leverage the experience and expertise across our team there, drive better revenue management strategies, help control expenses, and drive great guest experiences as well along the way to ultimately drive a great outcome on the investment side.

Karen – 00:03:43: Okay, that’s great. And so when you’re thinking about making that initial investment, what do you look for in the hotel? And how do you evaluate where you’re going to place your next bet, so to speak?

Greg – 00:03:53: So we have different investment strategies depending on the different buckets of capital that we’re investing out of. And so we have a strategy that’s focused primarily on going out and buying underperforming assets that in a lot of cases are underperforming because they are deprived from a CapEx perspective. Maybe they’re under-branded. I say under-branded meaning that the brand that’s on there today doesn’t really represent full value of what this asset could be if you changed brands. So a lot of times we’ll buy assets and reposition them with different brands. We also, in a lot of cases, find assets that are just being, from a revenue management perspective — and you probably see this first hand all the time, where just their revenue management strategies or operating strategies are just not optimized. And we see the ability to go in and buy these assets and really optimize the operational side. So we have that value-add strategy that’s focused on leveraging our operation platform, and our development company to complete renovations or brand changes. And so that’s one strategy. And then the other strategy is to go out and buy more stabilized assets, where that strategy is focused on finding assets in really good submarkets, which create demand drivers that we feel are sustainable for the long term. There’s limited risk of new supply coming into those markets. And that’s our stabilized strategy on the equity side for hotels. And we do a fair amount of development where when we’re developing hotels, we tend to focus on high-growth submarkets, areas that we feel like are growing quicker than inflation. And that tends to be like the Southeast, Texas, Arizona, these kinds of submarkets where you have a positive migration story. And you have really good underlying fundamentals in those markets where you have good demand drivers and supply is not keeping up on a growth in demand. And those markets we’re looking to develop new hotels, which we currently have two dozen different development projects in different stages of the development process that’s under construction, which right now we have eight or nine hotels under construction and another dozen and a half or so hotels that will be breaking ground over the next couple of years.

Karen – 00:06:15: Wow, that’s exciting. Can you talk to us a little bit more? When you say demand drivers, what do you mean by that? So when you’re talking about high-demand drivers, what does that mean?

Greg – 00:06:23: So, you know, really finding markets really where you see a huge need for hotel rooms, where you’re seeing guests that are looking for hotels to stay at. And when we look at demand drivers, a lot of times we’re looking at the corporate segments because a lot of our hotels rely on corporate travelers, the group segment, group travel, leisure segments. We get a fair amount of leisure travelers in our hotels because one thing to just qualify. The type of hotels we invest into, because we’re speaking of hotels sort of broadly, we’re not focused on the large luxury type hotels. We’re not focused on the budget-type hotels. We tend to focus more on that mid-tier flex service, in some cases, limited service, extended stay hotels, as well as some of these compact full-service hotels that are branded under the Marriott, and Hilton flags. These hotels tend to have pretty good balance of the type of guests they’re going after. But ultimately, we’re looking at what’s driving demand in these submarkets. And each submarket is different. But in most cases, you can see the different corporations that are driving your need for demand. You can see potentially the soccer fields that are driving demand on the weekends. And you can see just other drivers of demand in those markets. And so we’re underwriting how sustainable are those drivers of demand. Because in some cases, I’ll use like go back to the great financial crisis coming out of, like South Florida, especially like Fort Myers, that whole area, and Naples and so forth. That market was —- back in 2005 to 2007 —-was doing really well because of all the building of new homes. And that was the big driver of demand. And when we went through the housing crisis and there was no more people building new homes, and then you have leisure demand just pull back, that market was just decimated back in 2009, 10, 11, and even 12. It took several years for Fort Myers to really recover and rebound because it was really focused on that demand from housing, which proved not to be sustainable in an economic, obviously recession like the great financial crisis. And so that’s the reason we really study what’s driving demand and the stickiness of that demand in the near term, especially in today’s environment where we face an economic recession. We want to know how that demand is going to hold up in an economic recession. But also we’re investing typically over a five to seven-year period of time. So we’re going to look at how that market should or the demand should hold up over a five to seven-year period of time. So we want to see that it’s very sustainable and continue to grow or stay stable. At a minimum so that if there is an economic pullback, we may lose a little bit, may have short term, but long term we should pick it back up.

Karen – 00:09:12: Right. And I think that hit on something really interesting there. So you mentioned you started this business in 2007, when a lot of people were freaking out about the economy, and a lot of real estate was tanking. And now you’re focusing on the corporate segment and a lot of group segments, which is making its way back. Obviously, the leisure segment coming out of COVID, that was really the only thing in hospitality that was starting to move was leisure and revenge travel in that kind of segment. And now we are starting to see corporate and group come back. But it sounds like your company is really placing a lot of bets. That’s where the meat of your investments are, if I’m getting that correct, is kind of in that segment. Because five to seven years, you see that. Is that the reason why you see that as being ever more increasing and stable as we go forward?

Greg – 00:10:00: Absolutely. Most of the markets we invest into, I would say 60% to 70% of the demand is coming from corporate group-type travel is what’s driving the demand or more. In some of the hotels that we invest into as well. There’s no question we see that travel continue to recover. Leisure demand has performed really well, and recovered the quickest. I was, to your point, going back to the summer of 2020, you started seeing leisure demand come back and it’s only remained relatively robust, although it’s starting to pull back. In certain markets like South Florida today, like in Miami, for instance, it’s not as robust as it was back two years ago. But we do believe that the leisure segment will be there. And we do have hotels that sit in markets that are very dominant to leisure demands. But most of the markets that we do invest into, it is very balanced. And although it’s balanced from a standpoint of corporate group, leisure, and other segments, I would say it’s very heavy towards the corporates and group side is what’s driving demand. And I think coming out of COVID, and this really wasn’t the question, I think if you look at our industry, it’s shifted a little bit. I mean, some of it’s normalizing back to, what it was pre-COVID. Some of it’s changed just because the return to office has been very polarizing across the U.S., which is interesting. Which is interesting because you look across the world, most countries, people have returned back to the office. The U.S. continues to struggle to get everyone back in the office. And that’s had an impact on the lodging space, because in some cases, it’s basically slowed down the recovery in some of these corporate-heavy markets because people are not back in the office. So it doesn’t make sense to travel there. And then on the flip side, it’s created new demand channels, because you’re seeing more group or more group need from standpoint of these organizations where people are working remotely. Now we need to get everyone back together. And the natural meeting spot is to meet at a hotel versus meeting at a corporate office. And you’re continue to see people consolidate their office footprint down, which also bodes well for hotels, especially if you have some level of meeting space. And the need just to, as an organization, if you’re going to try to retain some culture to your organization, you’re going to have to meet more together. And that’s going to probably induce more travel because most people have, if you’re working remotely, have moved away from the city they lived in because it’s a lot cheaper to live elsewhere, than some of these major cities just given the cost of living.

Karen – 00:12:36: Well, that’s so funny. You’re hitting exactly on Revinate. So let me just say that. So we’re 500 employees. We’re remote first in the United States. So we still have an office in Amsterdam and we have an office in Singapore. We have a small office in Bend and we have a location in San Francisco, but it’s much smaller. And that horse has left the barn, so to speak. Everybody is spread out. And now we spend probably everything we used to spend on real estate, commercial real estate office space, in meetings and groups. So all the different divisions, because you’re absolutely right. Being home-based is great for a lot of reasons, but in terms of maintaining culture and being able to make decisions quickly and set strategy, that’s something that’s really best done in person. So I think you really hit on it there for hotels, fill that need that corporations need going forward. So that’s really interesting.

Greg – 00:13:29: Yeah, it’s good for our business, right? Like we’re benefiting. Also, unfortunately, office is going, you know, you hear about commercial real estate chaos and distress. And most of that distress right now exists across the office sector because it’s going through so much secular distress. I mean, there’s obviously a lot of balance sheet distress or stress in the marketplace because of, you know, higher interest rates. But media is mostly talking about the office segment when you really listen to what they’re saying. But it’s fitting us, so I’m not necessarily complaining about it because, you know, the performance for hotels continue to improve overall and we continue to have robust performance, which I like to see coming out of COVID.

Karen – 00:14:05: Yeah, that’s great. So you hit on something there with interest rates. And I saw a post that you put up on LinkedIn talking about your views on the Fed not really lowering substantially the interest rates again this year. And then, well, I think what was interesting about it, you talked a little bit about your company having a bit of a crystal ball or a longer-term view five to seven years out. So can you talk a little bit about how you see interest rates impacting the sector? And I think we’ll probably have winners and losers in that scenario, depending on how you’re positioned.

Greg – 00:14:37: So I think just a simplistic way to sort of point it out is, we went through this like 0% interest rate environment over the last 12 years, right? So like the 10-year treasury, on average, it was closer to 2%. It was around 2.2% on average over the last 12 years or so. And then we transitioned going back to the first quarter of 2022 till now, where all of a sudden you’ve seen the interest rates so far have climbed, you know, about 500 basis points. The 10-year treasury is now double from where it was over the last decade or the last 12 years or so. So you’re closer to 4.2%, 4.3%, I think, today. And so at least from our perspective, we’ve entered into a new cycle from a standpoint of where rates are going to reset too. And we think when you look over the next five years — so when we’re looking to make investments, you know, we look at where we are from an interest rate perspective. And part of the reason why — people don’t necessarily take the same view as us, but the reason we do this is, we view the 10-year treasury rate as the risk-free rate. So when you look at the 10-year treasury rate, if I’m an investor, I can go buy a 10-year T-bill, basically. And I know over the next 10 years, I can make 4.3% or whatever the rate is, the state rate is. So if I’m going to go invest in real estate, that’s illiquid. You could argue there’s appreciation there, but there’s risk there associated with an illiquid investment because in time of, if I need to go raise liquidity, it’s easy to go sell a T-bill. It’s very hard to go sell a piece of real estate. It takes time. And so you need some risk premium spread. And that risk premium spread, historically, varies based on property type. And that risk premium spread is usually on average for a multifamily asset. It might be, call it 250, 300 basis points over the 10-year treasury rate versus hotels, which may be 350 to 500 basis points, depending on the type of hotel asset. So there’s these risk premium spreads that you need to get paid in order to invest into a hotel asset. And the reason I point all this out is we think that there’s a lot of repricing risk across all commercial real estate assets. That’s adding to that, goes back to that balance sheet stress, where I think there’s a lot of mispricing on values. And that’s part of the reason the transaction markets, since really the first quarter of 2022 has fallen off the cliff, is because there’s no consensus on what assets are worth, because no one is totally confident that your treasury rate’s going to stay where it is right now, or everyone’s believing rates are going to come down. But there’s no catalyst in the near term for rates to drop from our perspective. If the Fed drops rates back to where we were over the last decade, you would see inflation just go through the roof. It would totally erode everything the Fed’s done over the last 18 months. Now, you look at just the data of the consumers, you look at their disposable incomes relative to debt service and things like that — the consumer, although they’ve softened up a little bit, I mean, they’re still in a really good place. The underlying job market continues to be relatively good. So there’s really no near-term catalyst, barring something just out of left field breaking from an economic perspective really for us to hit a hard landing. And without hitting a hard landing in the broader economy, we just don’t see how the Fed is going to be able to reduce rates anywhere near to where we were over the last 12 years. Hence, we think rates are going to stay more elevated. We think inflation — inflation’s obviously come down. We’re in a disinflationary environment. We’re not in a deflationary environment. Different too. And inflation, we think it’s going to be closer to 3%. It’s closer to 3% right now. And when you look at where the 10-year treasury rate is, going back to it, that really supports us having a 10-year treasury rate over the next five years, closer in that 4.5% range. And when you price that out across all commercial real estate assets, that means values are going to be much lower, assuming you’re not able to grow your net operating income. The good news for hotels, though, is hotels trade at higher cap rates in general. We have higher risk premium spreads. Unfortunately, during COVID, we didn’t overly compress in cap rates, like you saw across all these other property types like multifamily, industrial, self-storage. Not only did they get the benefit of the treasuries went up 1%, the 10-year treasury did, for a moment in time. And not only did they benefit from that perspective, but they also benefited from their risk premium spreads actually compressed from their historic range in the middle of COVID because so much money was allocated to those property types. Hotels never really got that benefit, which is a great thing for us because we have less repricing risk for other property types if we stay in this higher interest rate environment, which we expect. And so I think hotels as an investment class, it’s probably one of the most compelling assets to invest in when you look across commercial real estate. Because we have that less repricing risk as it relates to cap rates, not to mention the lack of new supply. There’s an imbalance of new supply that’s been built over the last several years. And supplies projected over the next five years continue to grow well below historic averages. We’re projected to be 30% to 40% below historical averages. And supply is expecting to grow at 1% of our total supply or less each year for the next three to five years versus demand, which is projected to continue to grow at 2% or more a year. So there’s really good underlying fundamentals at hotels. And then the third factor that makes hotels amazing from an investment perspective, super compelling today is you look at all of these different property types, there’s a ton of dry powder on the sidelines. And I’m sure you’ve heard about, there’s a record amount of just dry powder from private equity firms that want to invest in commercial real estate. They’re all looking for distress. Most of them are too afraid to go invest in the office trade because of the secular distress. No one wants to take the risk there. And so, offices getting very little allocation and all this capital is getting, continues to get over-allocated into the multifamily space, industrial, and some of these other property types. Hotels make up 7% of the commercial real estate ecosystem, yet only 4% of the dry powder is allocated to hotels versus multifamily that makes up about 35% of the commercial real estate ecosystem. Yet, I think it’s closer to 52% of the dry powder on the sidelines today is allocated to multifamily. So it’s very hard to invest in multifamily and really be able to drive outsized returns because there’s too much capital still chasing that trade. And you still have the headwinds of higher interest rates on those property types because they trade at such a lower cap rate versus hotels that have less headwinds on that repricing risk, as I mentioned. And you have less capital allocated to hotels. We’re undercapitalized relative to our percentage of the commercial real estate ecosystem. So that means there’s more opportunities set to find the ability to drive outsized returns and outcomes on the investment side. So it’s much more compelling to me to be on the hotel side of the day. I know that wasn’t your question, but I’m pretty passionate. That’s it.

Karen – 00:22:22: No, it’s very interesting. I want to make sure everybody, when you say dry powder, you mean money. So that’s what you’re saying

Greg – 00:22:27: And that’s correct. Yeah.

Karen – 00:22:28: Yeah. So that our listeners can follow there. So what you’re saying is that there’s so much opportunity in hotel investment space. So it’s 7% of the commercial real estate in the United States, but only 4% of the capital that’s going that direction. So the opportunity to invest, if you can invest in the hotel sector, that’s going to be a pretty good bet. Going forward if I can summarize that. You said a lot of smart things, and I summarized it quickly, but that’s what I heard.

Greg – 00:23:00: Yeah, Karen, I think you’re right. I think one way to put it is that, it’s just, there’s not enough capital chasing hotels. So there’s more inefficiencies within the trades on hotels. So there’s more opportunity set there versus when you’ve got an overallocation of capital like multifamily and everyone’s chasing that trade. If there’s a good opportunity, you’re going to have way too much capital chasing it. You’re going to end up making the returns — it’s going to compress down the returns very quickly. And that’s part of the reason even the risk premium spreads today, when you look at the risk premium spreads compared to historical averages across multifamily, it’s still trading a good 75 to 100 basis points thinner than where it’s historically been. Whereas hotels are already back at our historic range on risk premium spreads because there’s the lack of capital facing our trade. We’re undercapitalized. So you could argue that it’s a lot easier to go out and find a great hotel opportunities than to go beat your head against the wall and trying to find a multifamily or an industrial opportunity because everyone’s chasing.

Karen – 00:24:05: Okay, got it. Wow, that’s really interesting to think about it in that way. So if I’m a hotel owner today, what growth strategies would you think I should employ to stay competitive in whatever market I’m in to make sure that my asset is making as much money as it can? So how would I think about it just as an individual owner of a hotel?

Greg – 00:24:25: Great question. I think the challenges with the hotel business —it’s an operating business, right? It’s real estate. It’s operations. So you got to go out and buy great real estate. I’m a believer in — because it’s all about the location to a certain degree. But then more importantly, once you own a hotel, you actually got to operate it and drive the revenues. And so you really got to have a strong revenue management strategy. You got to be, if you’re not the operator of that asset, you got to have a strong asset management team to oversee that to make sure you’re not missing anything. Because hotel rooms are perishable. You can rent a room tonight. If you don’t rent that room tonight, it’s not like you can get revenue or also. Or you can’t go retroactive and get revenues from it after the fact. So you’ve got to have strong revenue management. You got to be very proactive on your sales efforts. You got to have strong branding. I’m the big believer in the different brands. And I think Marriott and Hilton, they provide a lot of value because they provide that distribution across the world. So you have a huge customer base or potential customer base. More importantly, you got to complement that with having direct sales efforts and having a very aggressive revenue management strategy. And that’s the way we approach our hotels. And then the other side of it is you get all these revenues. And the mistake I see sometimes from other groups is they get all these revenues and they’re over-penetrating the market and they’re doing better than their competitors. But then they have way too much in expenses. So you got to, beyond focusing on getting heads and beds and maximizing your revenues, you really got to make sure you have a strong focus on controlling expenses. Because even though you get all these revenues, you’re not going to benefit from it if you have way too much in expenses. So you got to control expenses and have an aggressive stance there as well as making sure the other challenge outside just the operational side of hotels is I see having not the right capital partner if it’s debt. Most hotel owners, they have a lender. So they’ll have debt on their property. And if the interest expense is too high, that can really impact your ability to be successful. If you have way too much debt against the property, that’s another challenge I see across the space. And so making sure you don’t over-leverage your assets, you have the right type of capital structure. And you also have a plan in place because fortunately, most commercial real estate has moved towards shorter-term loans where loans are maturing every 3 to 10 years. And you need to have a plan place to be able to manage because, unfortunately, hotels show the brunt of every economic cycle at some level. And so you’ve got to have the ability. And going back to just hotels in general, like our capital market execution on the debt side is not as fluid as you see across some of the other property types historically. So you really need to be in a position to manage through multiple cycles and realize that you’re going to have disruptions to your cash flows over time and you’re going to have CapEx needs and you’ve got to manage accordingly. So you need to make sure you have a lot of reserves on the front end when you buy assets, but also you’re constantly reserving capital for future CapEx needs to stay competitive, as well as managing your debt. As I mentioned earlier, making sure you don’t have too much leverage and you’re in a position to extend out debt along the way.

Karen – 00:27:53: Right. That’s great. One thing you really hit on there was revenue. I think it’s the cost of revenue, right? So we talk a lot about the importance of not paying too much commission on bookings. When you’re using OTAs and other channels to fill your hotel, you’re paying a high commission on that. So one thing we’re always talking about is capturing that guest data so that you’re able to remarket and get bookings back in direct or use that data to build like a profile so you can understand how you drive traffic into your hotel without paying high commissions on it. And then the other thing, I think you hit it in another question, but a new buzzword, it shouldn’t be that new, but what we talk about now more often than not is net operating income. So we were, a lot of times in hospitality, we think RevPAR and we think all these things, but it really comes down to net operating income to see how healthy you are as a business. So I think that’s something else for hotel owners to consider.

Greg – 00:28:43: Yeah, and at the end of the day, I hate to say it, net operating income is more impactful than all the other benchmarks. Because if you don’t have the net operating income, then you’re not making money. If you’re not at the levels that you expect you to be at, it’s hard to continue to stay in business because you’re not able to deliver the outcomes that all the stakeholders are expecting. And that’s, unfortunately, the way it works.

Karen – 00:29:06: That works. Yeah. And if you wouldn’t mind, let’s just give everybody what is net operating income at the highest level? Like, how do we do that now? What does it mean?

Greg – 00:29:14: Yeah. So your net operating income is your net income at the operation level before debt service. So it’s all your expenses. So when you look at everything from operating costs to property taxes, insurance expenses, it’s all those expenses before your actual debt service. That is your net operating income. And it includes also your FF&E reserves and management fees and things like that as well. And so when you go to sell an asset or if you’re looking at finance asset, everyone’s focused on. If it’s a lender, if it’s an investor looking to buy an asset, they’re focused on the net operating income and they’re looking at the percentage of that NOI relative to the total revenues and so fourth to see if it’s suitable. Because there are certain ranges depending on different property types, you know, where it should settle out, you know, depending on — and a lot of times people look at gross operating profit, which is before like property taxes can vary and insurance costs can vary based on some markets. But ultimately, they’re going to apply a cap rate to that net operating income or a debt yield to size up a loan. If you’re getting a loan from a lender or if you’re selling an asset, they’re going to buy at a certain cap rate. So if you have a million dollars of net operating income and assuming they’re buying at a cap, which is where a lot of these limited and select service hotels trade at, well, that’s worth 12.5 million. And if you’re able to grow the NOI from a million dollars to say $2 million. Well, now the assets worth 25 million. So that extra — think about it from a million with every extra $100,000 of NOI, I mean, you’re adding, call it roughly about a million 250 of additional value to that asset. So it’s pretty impactful being able to control those expenses and drive that additional NOI.

Karen – 00:31:09: Right. So you heard it here first. That’s how you create the multiple. That’s really the basis of where the multiple comes from. So for our listeners out there, if you want to impress your ownership. Get your brain around NOI and understand how that works. And understand, I think too, it’s important for people working in hotels, might be managing a revenue management, understand how your particular function contributes to driving the NOI. That’s really key. Because if everybody kind of understands how that works, then you’re going to increase the value of the asset, which is going to make your owner very happy. At the end of the day.

Greg – 00:31:46: Exactly.

Karen – 00:30:34: Cool. Great. Well, just a couple more questions for you. So what would you say to people out there? Again, this has been very interesting to hear kind of the finance side of the hospitality industry. So if I’m new in my career in hospitality and I want to pivot and get into the financing side of it, what would your advice be in terms of how you get that experience?

Greg – 00:32:09: There’s obviously multiple ways to go about it. I think it’s a natural transition. You want to move from operations more into the investment or finance side of the business. The asset management side is a very good place to naturally grow into because it sort of collides together where you have the investment and finance side along with the operation side, asset management. So, that’s a really good area to move into and try to transition your career into that role, as well as there’s a lot of groups like us. We’re always looking to bring on new analysts and new individuals that can help underwrite investments because we make investments both on the equity side as well as the credit side. And someone that has a strong operational background across hotels are usually valuable, as well as if they have a very good understanding of how to utilize Excel and modeling and they have a very financial-driven mind as well. And then there’s other cases where individuals are more qualitative. They’re not as quantitative in how they approach the business, and there’s nothing wrong with that as well. And the qualitative side, if you’re strong qualitatively, it may very well be you’re better focused on going out, looking at the development side of our business, or where you’re helping pick sites and helping try to figure out what is the right configuration and right brands to utilize for different locations. Or it might even be that you’re better on just purely the acquisition side, where you’re out looking for great hotels to buy that are maybe being mis-operated and so forth. And if you have a strong qualitative side to you and you have the operational knowledge, you’ll be able to walk assets and quickly pick up on deficiencies on the operating side or needs from a CapEx perspective and things like that. So there’s multiple ways you could approach our business if you wanted to transition from the operational side to the finance or investment side of the business as well.

Karen – 00:34:10: Yeah, that’s great. So I think that’s really encouraging for anybody out there who loves hospitality, but also has an interest in finance and this side of the business. It’s a whole new avenue to open up to. So that’s been great. Greg, thank you so much for your time today. My guest has been Greg Friedman who’s the CEO of Peachtree Group, and I really appreciate the conversation. Thank you.

Greg – 00:34:29: Thank you, Karen. I appreciate it. Talk soon.

Outro – 00:34:33: Thank you for listening to the Hotel Moment Podcast. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. And if you’re watching on YouTube, please like the video and subscribe for more content. For more information, head to The Hotel Moment Podcast is presented by Revinate.

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