Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Richard Roderick

The BLLA Events Team sits down with Richard Roderick, Partner & Executive Vice President at Lockton, as he prepares to attend the 2023 Boutique H...

The BLLA Events Team sits down with Richard Roderick, Partner & Executive Vice President at Lockton, as he prepares to attend the 2023 Boutique Hotel Investment Conference on June 7-8.

BLLA: What are you hoping to get out of your participation in the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference?

RR:The Boutique Hotel Investment Conference, like all BLLA events, is an exceptional event for hospitality professionals, providing valuable opportunities to expand knowledge, grow networks, and explore potential collaborations with industry stakeholders. Attendees have the opportunity to showcase their value-added services, increase industry exposure for brand recognition, and attract potential investors. Interacting with peers offers insights into successful strategies while educational sessions and expert presentations provide the latest industry trends and best practices. The conference is an essential investment for anyone seeking to succeed and advance in the hospitality space.

BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry?

RR: With over two decades of experience providing insurance brokerage and risk management services to the hospitality industry, we recognized that a unique approach was necessary to succeed in the boutique hospitality industry. Representing an investor with a significant investment in a distinctive boutique lodging space, we employed an individualized approach that offered greater value compared to the one-size-fits-all approach offered by other competitors servicing the hospitality sector. By delivering a bespoke experience that exceeded the investor’s expectations, we established our reputation as a leader in the boutique hospitality insurance market.

BLLA: What is the mission statement of your company?

RR: To be the worldwide leader in providing risk management services for businesses in need of customized solutions.

As partners in the business, we are the stewards to assure our clientele that what is communicated is delivered, with a sense of urgency and relentless follow-up.

BLLA: What does boutique mean to you?

RR: “Boutique” conveys a sense of exclusivity, uniqueness, and high quality and it connotes smaller, specialized, and distinctively crafted offerings with a focus on providing a unique and personalized experience. This translates well to the hospitality community where patrons are often looking for personalized experiences, unique design, and distinctive amenities that create an experience that allows the traveler to discover the locale and themselves.

BLLA: What are the top three trends that you see in the boutique hotel investment space?

RR: The top three trends are:

  1. Niche and experiential offerings: Boutique hotels are focusing on unique and niche offerings to differentiate themselves from larger flag chains. This includes creating immersive and experiential guest experiences via quaint eco-friendly properties, wellness-focused, and emphasizing local cultural themes.
  2. Technology integration: Technology is playing an increasing role in the boutique hotel space, enhancing guest experiences, and streamlining operations. Operators are adopting innovative solutions including incorporating smart room features, mobile check-in and check-out, digital concierge services, and leveraging data analytics for personalized guest recommendations and targeted marketing.
  3. Sustainability and social responsibility: Environmental sustainability and social responsibility are important considerations for the boutique hotel community and its clientele. Guests are increasingly seeking eco-friendly and socially responsible accommodation options, and boutique hotels are responding to this trend by adopting sustainable practices, such as green building design, energy-efficient technologies, waste reduction, and community engagement initiatives.

BLLA: Why do you believe boutique hotels are a good investment?

RR: Boutique hotels can be a good investment due to their unique and differentiated offerings, potential for higher returns, flexibility in operations, opportunity for creativity and innovation, and potential resilience in economic downturns through the support of the local community.

Investors are:

  1. Seeking opportunities to invest in boutique hotels in down markets with familiar marque properties available at a discount. 
  2. Seeking opportunities that offer distinctive and authentic experiences to attract travelers seeking more personalized and memorable stays.
  3. Looking for boutique hotels that embrace technology to improve operational efficiency, enhance guest satisfaction, and stay ahead in the competitive hospitality landscape.
  4. Increasingly looking for boutique hotel projects that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility to align with changing consumer preferences and to support long-term viability and success.

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