Pay next: “Start in operations.” Having a working knowledge of the industry is invaluable. ‘

Sean kreiman is Vice President, Asset Management at CHMWarnick, specializing in hotel real estate. At CHMWarnick, Sean helps the Asset Management team identify opportunities to improve operating performance and hotel asset value.

Sean kreiman Sean Kreiman, courtesy photo

What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle in your particular role? How did you overcome these obstacles? One of the most rewarding aspects of the hospitality industry is its dynamism, given the operational nature of the business. In turn, this is also one of the biggest challenges of my role which requires continuous monitoring of conditions and reassessment of strategies in order to improve financial performance and optimize asset value. I have been able to continue to develop and learn from good mentors, as well as foster collaborative relationships with the operators I work with and together, the sum of the whole is greater than its parts when it comes to solve problems and work towards a common goal.

What is your current job with the company that you are most satisfied with? I enjoyed the opportunity to work on very interesting and rewarding projects such as overseeing the redevelopment and repositioning of the old W in Washington DC and most recently helping to open several styling products. upscale living in markets such as Charleston, Denver and Philadelphia. These projects have provided the opportunity to continue to learn and take on challenges while working with some of the brightest and most talented hotel operations teams and property groups in the industry.

What’s the best piece of advice that has helped you succeed?

Some of the best tips have also been the simplest: don’t be afraid to ask questions, take initiative, and be passionate.

I’ve found that if you’re willing to put in the effort and raise your hand – especially when you step out of your comfort zone – you will be rewarded.

People respect initiative and when they know someone is giving their all they tend to want to help. When new analysts or interns join us and this question arises, I almost always recommend that they raise their hands and ask questions – at this point in their careers silly questions don’t exist.

Would you advise a young person to embark on a career in CRE? I would highly recommend the CRE industry – and the hospitality industry in particular – to someone who is focused on developing their career path as long as they are passionate. The hospitality orientation within CRE is both exciting and unique with many ways to gain experience and enter the industry. One can enter via an operational path where you have the opportunity to gain hands-on functional experience working in a hotel, resort or restaurant, or through the investment and transactional side of the industry. The path that has been recommended to me, and that I have shared with others, is to start with operations. I have found that having a working knowledge of the industry is invaluable as it has given me a better understanding of day-to-day operations which allows me to better discuss strategy and align with operational partners and brand managers . Please share an initiative that you are working on and that you are most proud of. Working on the redevelopment of the iconic W Hotel in Washington DC from 2017 to 2019 was a pivotal project in my career. As a company, we had the opportunity to plan and execute a $ 52M renovation based on the investment goals of our client, who recently pulled out at an attractive price. The project was incredibly rewarding and gave me the opportunity to work alongside some of the best builders, architects, project managers, hotel brands and designers as we ended with a truly fantastic product.

What lessons do you think we have learned from the COVID crisis Essentially overnight the hospitality industry, the industry I focus on, has seen a complete change in our business model and as an industry we are still learning how to move forward. The obvious negative impacts – demand, labor and supply chains – will continue to be affected in the short term, but will eventually revert to a new version of normalcy. In the meantime, an exciting aspect of the recovery is the rapid strategic changes we are making to an operating model that historically was much harder and slower to implement. We’ve learned that this industry and the people who are part of it are resilient and that customers always want to be able to travel and have unique experiences. We are uniquely positioned to deliver these experiences while making changes to the operating model that will increase asset value, ultimately leading to more development and investment in hotel real estate.

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