When I started earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, I was yearning for a career in operations, and being the general manager of a luxury hotel was my goal. However, my curiosity about hospitality real estate and financial investment began quickly as I started working. My first job in hotel operations was in Sales & Marketing at the Buddha Bar, Ritz-Carlton in Bahrain. I was provided the opportunity to be involved in strategic projects that made me eager to learn more about all wings of the hospitality industry. I started my MBA in Hospitality Management and moved into revenue management for Starwood Hotels at the same time, alongside my studies. I worked in a fast-growing environment and strengthened my ability to quickly analyze numbers and markets to make decisions. Having completed my MBA, I really wanted to take a step forward and embrace new challenges. I decided to move abroad and was extremely fortunate to find an opportunity to work at HVS in Cape Town. As of May 2018, I’m a Junior Consultant, performing feasibility studies and market-area analyses, valuations, repositioning strategies, lease reviews, and operational assessments, as well as providing strategic advice in Africa.

Here's a rundown of a "typical" week:


  • Morning meeting to discuss new leads, consulting proposals, and status of ongoing assignments
  • Reply to phone calls and emails
  • Put together a weekly social media content plan for THINC Africa 2018
  • Perform preliminary desktop research for the feasibility study of a full-service hotel in the Nairobi market
  • Request interview with potential contacts in the field (GMs, HODs)
  • Read up on recent literature on the state of Nairobi and Kenya’s economy, including transportation links, key demand generators, and announcements about upcoming projects
  • Liaise with the client to book flights and accommodations for Nairobi
  • Look at our internal database and previous jobs to obtain the performance of a competitive set of hotels
  • Get a head start on completing the Data Print Tables


  • Reply to phone calls and emails from clients
  • Read the local and international news
  • Follow up on ongoing projects and invoices
  • Go through a client’s comments on a draft report for a valuation and update the report
  • Create maps to use during my fieldwork in Nairobi and for inclusion in the final report
  • Prepare fieldwork checklist, including questions to ask the interviewees
  • Evening trip to Nairobi and arrival in the morning at one of the competitive hotels

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday - Fieldwork

  • Travel around the proposed subject property's neighborhood, noting surrounding land uses
  • Conduct interview of the client and ask additional questions during a guided tour of the site
  • Visit competing hotels and interview their General Managers and/or Director of Sales
  • Meeting employees at the city offices for information on plans for the growth and development of industry and infrastructure
  • Visit the sites for all other upcoming hotel projects
  • Gather additional information regarding airport expansion plans, convention center development, commercial buildings, and retail areas development/ absorption
  • Take a few hours to organize my fieldwork notes before my flight back


  • 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

On the following Monday

  • Start detailed feasibility analysis
  • Once the numbers have been finalized, start working on the detailed report and after completion; run it by the Editor before final submission to client

In the meantime, I’m completing other reports and take time to write market snapshots, as well as following up with potential clients on their proposals. It is a cyclical job; as Africa slows down at the end of the year, days gets quiet and I have time to focus on data gathering, research, and writing articles before the busy days start again.

Other aspects of my job include active involvement in the preparation and execution of the annual Tourism, Hotel, Investment & Networking Conference Africa, a growing and already well-respected conference that is hosted by HVS Cape Town. Writing the Hotel Valuation Index Africa is also a challenging but exciting part of my job, as data in Africa are not as easy to obtain as in other parts of the world. My office allows me to work from home from time to time, which saves me time and gasoline and allow me to be more efficient when I need to cross-check analysis or proofread reports. Although work is challenging and can get very busy, Cape Town offers an amazing work-life balance.

My job at HVS provides me a unique platform to network on a frequent basis with the key players and decision-makers of the industry. Additionally, travelling throughout Africa is certainly one of the most challenging but best perks of the job. Overall, the perspective earned as a result of the varied projects that I consult on is priceless.