Being a part of Hotel AG has been one of the greatest periods in my business career. The firm is doing very well economically, but it’s the environment and the people that I enjoy the most.
When the recession of late 2008 and all of 2009 happened, I didn’t know if we could stay in business. The firm lost a large sum of money for about 19 months during that economic period. When you look back at decisions you made in the past, sometimes the smallest decisions become cornerstones of who you really are. While many, if not all of our competitors, laid off 50% of their staff, we made a conscious decision to look at the downturn as a period of reinvesting rather than a period of loss. We did not lay anyone off; they had spouses, children, mortgage payments and obligations too. What came out of that simple decision was that we still had a staff and could still handle business. When the market recovered, we were poised to meet the needs of our clients. I will probably always look back at that decision as being one of the best choices we could have made.
We have 2 guiding philosophies in our company: (1) Keep It simple and (2) Keep it Real. See, I believe everyone is a sales person from a doctor, lawyer, office worker or kitchen cook. Everyone is always selling themselves and selling what they do. We fundamentally believe that in the most simplistic of ways, that people hire who they like and who they trust. It’s really that basic. That’s the Keep It Real part. People can see through a phony and see through slickness and arrogance. Many of our competitors spend more time with internal competition that they do externally.
Our platform may not be the best or brightest, but we have very little internal competition issues and very little internal trust issues. Last year, we closed more hotel transactions than any year I have ever been involved in this business. Therefore, in business and in life, keeping it simple and keeping it real is a pretty good objective to have. KT