As a kid growing up in Southern California, and later graduating from the Stater School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, I never thought that I would have a reason to be driving to Van Horn, Texas. This place is in the middle of nowhere! In fact, I had never been to Texas prior to accepting a job at HVS’s Dallas Office. So, why am I excited to tell you about my recent trip to Van Horn, Texas? Because I love learning about a myriad of small towns and big cities throughout Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and eight other states in which I have been lucky enough to work. And, those opportunities were only afforded to me as a result of my job at HVS.

My occupational background was primarily in restaurant operations prior to working at HVS, although I had worked briefly at the Statler Hotel and graduated with a Real Estate Minor. However, through the HVS training program, I was able to quickly become more and more comfortable with my role and the various tasks it required. As of April 2018, I have been with the company for about three years, completed 300 hours of appraisal education, and consulted on more than 120 appraisals, market studies, and feasibility studies, and, I am still learning and improving. One unique aspect of work at HVS is that each project is different, be it the asset’s location, product type, renovation history, accounting systems, etc., so each project presents its own set of challenges. Another unique aspect of HVS is that the people that you work with and are supervised by are some of the best in the world at what they do. Thus, you are constantly learning and adapting to meet and exceed the challenges that each project brings as a team.

Here is an example of a "typical" week:


  • Fly from Love Field Airport to El Paso and pick up my rental car
  • Head out on my 1.5-hour drive to beautiful Van Horn, Texas
  • Drive around Van Horn interviewing management of competitive hotels
  • Interview the General Manager of the hotel I am appraising
  • Tour the subject hotel, verify the GM’s statements, and confirm I have all the property-specific information I need
  • Head out to interview the remaining competitors, local officials, and brokers around Van Horn
  • Start driving to El Paso to catch my flight, calling my supervisor to confirm the competitive set for the property (hands-free device, safety first)


  • Order the Custom Trend for Van Horn from STR after confirming the competitive set with my supervisor
  • Organize my data and pictures from Van Horn and translate that into a rough draft of the Pre-Analysis for Van Horn
  • Check an email from a developer in Dallas that is interested in a two-scenario market study for an upper-upscale hotel near the Dallas Central Business District
  • Open the STR Reporting List for Dallas and determine a viable competitive set for the Dallas CBD project
  • Ping my supervisor via Skype and have an open discussion about the competitive set with an industry veteran of more than 15 years about my choices
  • Discuss the size of the set, the incoming supply, and the varying product types of the two scenarios then order the trend from STR
  • Once agreed, I order the trend from STR
  • Go to the gym for 1.5 hours around lunch time
  • Revise and edit the Pre-Analysis from Van Horn, making sure to explain the relevant points, then send it to my supervisor
  • Receive an email that one of the market studies our team completed recently in North Dallas is going forward!
  • Write the rough draft of a Pre-Analysis for the North Dallas market study (upper-upscale, convention center hotel in an up-and-coming North Dallas area)


  • Review a few emails asking if I can take on a few more projects: 1 in Texas, 3 in Arkansas
  • Review my schedule and the due dates, decide I can take all but one of the projects (it’s a bit too much given my current bandwidth)
  • Update my schedule with the new projects so I can stay on top of each project I have and be aware of the various deadlines
  • Review and edit the Pre-Analysis for the project in North Dallas, then send to my supervisor
  • Receive the Pre-Analysis for Van Horn back from my supervisor, make the suggested updates, then submit it to editing
  • Start organizing my trips for the three new projects I picked up today, reaching out to the point of contact to set up a date and time to inspect the various properties
  • Purchase a flight to Little Rock and book a rental car
  • Reach out to the local officials in Arkansas to set up a time to meet, but end up interviewing one of them on the phone, as he is unavailable to meet when I am in town (and we both have time now)


  • Receive the custom trend back from STR and begin the process of valuing the Van Horn property
  • Research taxes in Culberson County, review the hotel’s tax history, and verify my new supply research
  • Gather occupancy and average rate data and reconcile to STR Trend
  • Spend about 2 hours reviewing the trend and finalizing my forecast of occupancy and rate for the market and Van Horn property
  • Run to the gym for about 1.5 hours, grab a quick bite to eat on the way back
  • Collect comparable operating statements and compare the expenses of the Van Horn property’s expenses, making adjustments as needed
  • Input a collection of financing and valuation parameters based on market data to arrive at a value for the Van Horn hotel
  • Research recent hotel sales in the area and throughout the state to confirm my value is within a reasonable range
  • Write the rough drafts of the Post-Analysis for both the North Dallas project and Van Horn project


  • Work from home to save gas and reduce emissions
  • Review the value for Van Horn with my supervisor
  • Revise my Post-Analysis for the Van Horn project based on those changes
  • Review the Post for both the North Dallas project and the Van Horn project and send to my supervisors
  • Go on a 30-minute run while waiting for my supervisor to review my work
  • Make the revisions requested by my supervisor on the Post for Van Horn and submit to the editing team
  • Begin the linking process for Van Horn to prepare the final appraisal document