Got a PIP from Your Hotel Brand?
Here’s What to Do Next
A PIP, or Property Improvement Plan, is a document from a hotel franchisor that details the refurbishments needed to help your property maintain brand standards. A PIP usually originates when a member of a brand’s quality team reviews a property to identify which areas are below par. Once your franchisor issues a PIP, compliance is mandatory to maintain your hotel flag and the deadline to complete these improvements is usually within 12 to 24 months.
A PIP can include:
- Cleaning or refinishing
- Updating furniture or finishes
- Updating operating procedures
- Equipment updates
As the hotel owner, you can request extensions of the PIP time constraints or waivers of any specific improvements if you believe there are valid reasons. Some waivers can also include keeping some hard surfaces, delaying customizations, or pushing out the replacement of some furniture.
Once you and your hotel brand determine the PIP’s final scope and timeline with extension and waiver requests approved or denied, you must make the changes required by the PIP to maintain your status as a franchisee. Moreover, your brand will want you to report back as you complete the work.
Got a PIP? Do this next…
Not all hotel owners welcome a PIP, especially a lengthy one, since they must navigate the refurbishment process and re-invest in their properties. However, the best approach is to consider it a chance to refresh your property, better compete with other hotels in your area, and polish your asset, which your guests and employees will notice and appreciate. After all, you should be able to raise room rates after completing a PIP. Working with the right team to complete the PIP, you can achieve an attractive ROI and make it a positive experience.
Here’s how to take action on your PIP after you have received one from your franchisor:
- Schedule a discussion with your brand reviewer and walk through each line-item on the PIP. Ask questions and be sure you understand what the brand expects.
- Request and obtain any waivers. The reviewer can walk you through the process of obtaining a waiver.
- Engage an interior designer/architect, procurement company, and general contractor to complete the items on the PIP.
- Ask your designer to prepare a Responsibility Matrix that divides up specification, purchasing, installation, and construction and all tasks among the different parties involved so you cover the entire scope of the PIP.
Your hotel brand may also have requirements for who does what on the Responsibility Matrix. For example, they’ll often require a certified and/or approved interior designer, procurement company, or manufacturer that is part of the brand program. Choose wisely – not following the franchisor’s requirements or recommendations can slow down the process and create more obstacles.
By the way, getting all parties to agree to the Responsibility Matrix is an important step you don’t want to skip. Afterwards, the construction, design, and FF&E quoting work can occur.
Keep in mind that within most municipalities, an architect is required for any code changes, especially if means of egress change, or bathroom changes affect accessibility. The designer must create a submission for the brand that describes or shows all proposed changes and details specifications for the materials and products. Each brand has specific requirements for the submittal.
Once the brand team approves your project design submittal, your procurement provider can place orders with vendors. Although lead times can be several months on certain FF&E items, you will likely begin receiving some product just a few weeks after purchase orders release. That’s when the rubber meets the road and your PIP renovation starts to feel “real!”
At Innvision, we work with many brands to keep our clients’ hotels up to brand standards. We’re experienced in dealing with complex PIPs and handling all design and procurement scopes. We will work with you to complete your hotel refresh quickly, effectively, and affordably.