RJ Friedlander is the Founder & CEO of ReviewPro, the world leader in Guest Intelligence for the hotel industry. He recently negotiated the sale of ReviewPro to Shiji Group, a publicly traded company that is 15% owned by Alibaba and one of the largest hospitality technology companies in the world. Prior to ReviewPro, Friedlander worked extensively in the Internet and technology sector in Europe, US and Asia and spent 10 years at Grupo Planeta where he was the CEO of the Group’s Digital Media Division.
RJ is an advisor and investor in a number of technology companies, widely recognized as one of the top experts in hotel technology & online reputation management, and is on the advisory board of The Hotel School at Cornell University.
Lodging Econometrics has tracked the hotel industry since 1998. Its global database includes new-hotel pipelines as well as renovations and brand conversions. Hotel franchisers once eager to launch new brands are focused on converting existing hotels because it’s a faster way to recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 pandemic than through new construction. In Episode 346, Lodging Leaders explores the increasing number of conversions in the U.S. hotel industry and what owners and operators need to consider before repositioning an asset.
In the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., financiers anticipated a swell of distressed hotel businesses. Some raised rescue funds to respond to what they thought was a pending crisis. Though there are financial rescues taking place, the level of such activity is far below what industry advisers and fund managers expected. Commercial real estate investors positioned to act in the early days of the pandemic held off and are now just beginning to unleash their cash hoards totaling billions of dollars. Episode 345 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the state of capital investment in the hotel industry.