Social media is all the rage in the hotel sector right now, but it sounds like some people might be taking things a bit too far.
Recently, a colleague and I were discussing one major hotel executive who said he’s heard of Wall Street types using social-media sites to aid in performing research on potential hotel deals. The executive is the epitome of a reliable source, but I hope this is one instance where he’s mistaken.
It’s one thing to use a TripAdvisor review or view someone’s Facebook wall when deciding where to take the family on a summer getaway. But when there’s potentially millions of dollars at stake? Baaaaaaaaad idea.
Jochen Schaefer-Suren, partner and head of hotels and leisure at Internos Real Investors in London, takes a decidedly more low-tech approach when evaluating possible hotel deals. He actually goes on site. Gasp!
Using review sites, such as TripAdvisor, could result in a false impression of a hotel. The reviews you read, he said, represent the very satisfied and the very unsatisfied, and leaves out a whole lot in the middle. He advised via email this morning, though, that social media can be used as an “indirect” research tool.
“I never bought a hotel where I didn’t visit the hotel myself or sit down with the GM,” Schaefer-Suren said during a telephone conversation. He added, “This is living real estate.”
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