Since announcing its rebrand in March 2021, Raines, a hospitality management, development, and investment group that operates in the Southeastern United States, remains focused on growing its third-party management business in the region. The company recently added its first property in Florida and sixth managed hotel: the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Pensacola West I-10, owned by Season 21, LLC. That property brings Raines’ total portfolio to 22 hotels. At the Lodging Conference 2022 in Phoenix, LODGING caught up with Brittney Jones, vice president of sales, marketing, and revenue management for Raines, to discuss the company’s strategic growth plans, its signature approach to hotel management, and more.
What differentiates Raines’ approach to managing hotels?
On the management side of things, what we really pride ourselves on is that we’re small but mighty. We have the expertise of larger management companies, but we’re able to provide a hands-on approach and access to our managing partners and vice presidents. We’re all easily reachable, and we visit the properties a lot; I think that’s what owners are looking for nowadays.
So you have that close connection with owners on a day-to-day basis—what are some best practices you can share for handling today’s staffing challenges?
We’re definitely experiencing the same challenges as everyone else regarding recruitment and retention. What we’ve really tried to focus on is our culture—trying to set ourselves apart with a culture that ensures people are excited to come to work every day. As a subjectively smaller company, our employees also have access to our managing partners and our vice presidents. It’s also really important to get the group together to mingle and network, like getting our sales representatives and general managers together. That’s been a big focus for us, aside from how we can be different in the benefits space. We have increased our paid time off and sick days, and we’re working on a flexible hour schedule.
On the technology front, is there anything innovative that Raines is bringing to the table?
In terms of technology, we’re always trying to figure out what’s the next best thing to invest in and making sure we’re utilizing the right platforms. We recently made a switch in accounting systems; we invested in IMS (Investment Management Services) Relation Services (there’s a portal via our website that our investors are able to access to get their P&L, see their returns, etc.); and we also partnered with Spider, which is helping us to be more efficient in revenue management.
For the year ahead, what is your outlook, and what are your growth plans?
Overall, we’re very positive. We want to continue focusing on our growth, especially through third-party management. That’s something that we’ve recently tapped into over the last couple of years, and we want to continue to put our name out there in that space and grow very strategically, ensuring we’re partnering with the right owners, in the right location, with the right brands, and at the right time. We also want to make sure we’re able to focus on individual properties and owners, giving them the dedicated attention that they need.