HVS provides every associate with entrepreneurial mentoring, superlative training, and diverse opportunities for professional growth. You don't hit a ceiling here. The firm actively encourages personal and professional growth in line with your ambitions and skills. I consider this a perfect fit for me, and I contribute to the nurturing climate by mentoring new associates and taking on more ambitious projects.

An HVS associate's work week is a confluence of regular tasks performed at irregular intervals. That is, no two Mondays are the same. Most of my time as a Senior Project Manager is spent focusing on a specific consulting assignment while at the same time performing research, analysis, writing, and discussion related to other aspects of my work. I've consulted on over 200 hotel appraisals during my time at HVS. The work is challenging. It's interesting, too.

The following describes my typical work progression on an appraisal report:


  • Morning conference call with Managing Directors, associates, and support staff from other HVS offices
  • Answering emails, writing to clients and colleagues
  • Prep for upcoming fieldwork in Austin, Texas
  • Call my contact at the subject hotel to have an overview discussion about the property, the market, and the competitive set of hotels
  • Review logistical information; contact names, phone numbers, and addresses; forms to send; and lodging arrangements while in the field
  • Conduct initial research on the subject property's neighborhood, demand generators in the market, and competitive hotels
  • Make appointments with officials in Economic Development and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, general managers of competitive hotels, and other important market participants
  • Create maps of the neighborhood, the competitive set, leisure attractions, and major demand generators
  • Wrap up any outstanding travel arrangements

Tuesday - Wednesday

  • Travel to Downtown Austin and arrive at the subject property
  • Conduct interviews with subject property's general manager and appropriate hotel staff to gain information on the hotel's physical plant and operations
  • Discuss the hotel's recent and scheduled renovations, its competitors, its demand segments, and its historical occupancy levels and financials
  • Tour the hotel, including numerous guestrooms, all public areas, back-of-the-house areas, amenities, and food and beverage facilities
  • Visit the Economic Development Board to discuss the economic climate of Austin; locations of major commercial, retail, and housing developments; and Austin's position to lure new business to the city
  • Visit the Convention and Visitors Bureau to discuss tourist attractions, seasonality, recent convention trends and bookings, and visitor demographics
  • Visit the hotels that compete with the subject property and conduct interviews with competitor GMs
  • Travel home


  • Return to the office, catch up on email
  • Discuss and identify competitive set for the STR report with Senior VP
  • Order STR report
  • Start writing the "what" portion of the report, including facts about the market, the hotel, major commercial and leisure demand generators, the airport, the convention center, the economy, and competitive hotels


  • Analyze the information I've gathered and written about to determine occupancy and average rate projections for the market and the subject property
  • Prepare financial projections for the subject property
  • Meet with Senior VP to determine an opinion of value by utilizing three distinct approaches
  • Write the "why" portion of the report: that is, the explanations and reasoning behind our conclusions
  • Start to prepare for the next assignment

In the course of all this, I'll spend time speaking with clients, conducting research, and volunteering in the community. I've written five articles over the past three years (see them here), and I represented HVS at the 2007 ICSC Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I've also completed over 300 hours of classes through the Appraisal Institute. One of the best things about working at HVS is that every minute is well spent. I don't have idle time or idle tasks, but am always working on something of value to my clients, my community, and myself.