Before founding my own professional services firm two years ago, I plied my trade for the past 30 years on large corporate platforms with branded global real estate services companies. These full-service outfits have offices throughout the world and compete with other global, regional and local real estate services companies. Like all professional service firms, service companies have brand identities and reputations of varying degrees. Similarly, individual professionals employed by services firms have reputations of varying degrees. Ultimately, the quality of any service is primarily dictated by the specific professionals that execute such services.
Service professionals run the gamut from attorneys; architects; accountants; telecommunications; information technology; brokers; consultants; engineers; PR professionals; recruiters; etc. All of these services are used by the hotel industry.
Utilizing a lowest cost service provider is not an issue unless at some point in the future a professional service providers’ work needs to stand up to scrutiny such as an audit or legal challenge. Cheap can end up becoming very expensive, and therefore, the selection of service providers should be weighted primarily upon the reputation and work quality of the specific professional who executes an assignment.
Fee and/or brand identity of the platform from which the professional is domiciled are not very important if the ultimate work product is poorly executed with indefensible conclusions and opinions rendered.
High-quality professionals specialize in specific niches. Their educational backgrounds and hands-on industry experiences enhance the quality of their offerings. Some professional service providers are generalist practitioners that dabble in niches or over time focus on specialized areas of practice but do not offer the same level of high-quality expertise as those that hold industry-related university degrees and/or practical sector work experience.
A high-quality professional service provider is credible and unimpeachable. Users of professional services should approach their selection based upon an assumption the professionals and their work product will be used in connection with expert witness testimony.
An expert witness by virtue of education, training, skill and experience, offers expertise and specialized knowledge in a particular subject, sufficient that others may rely upon their specialized (scientific, technical or other) opinions. Such professionals are widely published and routinely retained to present their knowledge and expertise at industry events and educational settings. Their track records are such that their opinions and conclusions have never been rejected or their credibility questioned. High-quality service professionals have their own brand identities and their clients follow them irrespective of which platform they reside on.
Engagement of professional services is no different than most purchases of goods and other services. In life one gets what one pays for and high quality clearly costs more than mediocrity.
During the past thirty years, Mr. Lesser has specialized in real estate appraisals, economic feasibility evaluations, investment counseling, and transactional services of hotels, resorts, conference centers, casinos, and timeshare properties on a worldwide basis. He is President & CEO of LW Hospitality Advisors. Previously he served as the Senior Managing Director-Industry Leader of the Hospitality & Gaming Valuation Advisory Services Group which he established at CB Richard Ellis Hotels. For eleven years prior to joining CBRE, Mr. Lesser founded and led the Hospitality & Gaming Group at Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Lesser was a member of the original team at HVS International when it was launched, spending thirteen years there expanding the firms practice. Prior to his hospitality advisory and transactional experience, Mr. Lesser held operational and administrative positions with Hilton Hotels Corporation and Eurotels-Switzerland. Mr. Lesser can be reached at 212.300.6684 X 101 or Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org
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