My curiosity about the hospitality industry began long before I came to HVS. While at Western Washington University studying Art History and Japanese, I worked as a front desk manager of a luxury boutique hotel, as a night auditor at a casino, and as a hostess in a hotel restaurant. Although my formal education and passions were rooted in the liberal arts, I became increasingly fascinated with the hospitality industry and sought to further engage myself in this field. Happily, my varied background earned me this unbelievable opportunity with HVS.

I'd describe my work at HVS as engaging, challenging, and rewarding. As a Project Manager and appraiser, the majority of my time is spent researching and writing appraisal reports for hotels of all sorts, from extended-stay properties to full-service luxury hotels. The work enables me to travel to markets throughout the United States, and the research and site visits combined give me an exciting, intimate knowledge of these markets.

I've consulted on over 100 hotel appraisals during my three years with the firm. Here's a rundown of a "typical" week:


  • Early conference call with managers, vice presidents, and associates of fellow HVS offices
  • Preliminary fieldwork for appraisal of a full-service resort in the Phoenix market
  • Book flight, accommodations, and rental car
  • Call and request interview times with potential contacts in the field
  • Order Smith Travel Research reporting list and highlight the subject property's potential competitors
  • Call general managers of competitive hotels and set up interviews
  • Research county and city government offices
  • Obtain property tax information for a comparative set of hotels in the market
  • Read up on recent literature on the state of the local economy, including unemployment, office, airport, and top employers stats
  • Get a head start on writing the Pre-Analysis section of the appraisal report


  • Return calls and emails, and request property information from the client
  • Place calls to follow up with general managers and city officials
  • Review the information I have on the subject property and input historical operating statements
  • Create maps to use during field work and for inclusion in the final report
  • Prepare fieldwork checklist, including questions to ask the general manager
  • Pack for trip – ensuring to bring business cards, digital camera, and contact numbers and addresses
  • Evening flight to Phoenix and arrival at the subject property

Wednesday & Thursday

  • Drive through the subject property's neighborhood, noting surrounding land uses
  • Meet with general manager of the subject property
  • Conduct interview and ask additional questions during a guided tour of the property (which lasts about four hours)
  • Take exterior and interior pictures and note anything particularly important to mention in my write-up of the physical asset
  • Visit the county tax office and obtain any information missed during pre-fieldwork
  • Visit city offices for information on zoning and new hotel supply in the market
  • 30-minute meeting with general manager of first competitive hotel
  • One- to two-hour meeting with economic development council
  • Meet with two other general managers of competitive hotels
  • Visit the convention and visitors bureau to obtain stats
  • Double check that I've obtained all necessary info in the field
  • Return rental car
  • While waiting for flight, download pictures of the subject hotel and competitive properties for inclusion in the final report
  • Arrive home Thursday late evening


  • Organize my fieldwork notes, answer emails, return calls
  • Review Smith Travel Research Trend request with Senior VP and report on details from the trip
  • Enter any additional financial information obtained from my work in the field
  • Finish writing Pre-Analysis and submit to Senior VP for review
  • Fill out notes in projection models for Senior VP to have available during final review
  • Work with our editors and production staff to finalize the appraisal report for delivery to the client

In the midst of it all I'm wrapping up other reports and projects, as well as making sales calls to generate new business. It's extremely busy, but exciting, and the support structure we have in place is invaluable.

Other aspects of my job include conference attendance and article writing (view my articles). I've also completed nearly 240 hours of education through the Appraisal Institute. I'm very happy to say that concern for the environment and community involvement are highly prized at HVS. My office allows me to work from home, which saves me a lot of time and gasoline, and greatly reduces carbon emissions. We have a strict recycling program in place to make sure nothing goes to waste. My job also supports my community platform, giving me the chance to volunteer at my local hospital on a weekly basis.

HVS has helped me cultivate long-term skills that I'll use throughout my career. I've developed the ability to research and analyze complex trends related to the operating history and earnings potential of hotels. I've acquired an immense amount of experience and knowledge through training with the Appraisal Institute. I've become skilled at making new contacts and conducting interviews from the office and in the field. My work also keeps me continually on top of what's happening in the hotel industry. I'm extremely happy here and would recommend a career at HVS to anyone interested in hospitality, community, and environmental responsibility.