Author Archives: Svetlin

HOW TO: Brokers get your For Sale deals in OpenComps

OpenComps aims to create a record of the life cycle of a hotel property – when it was build, when it was offered for sale, when it traded, when it was refinanced, and even performance metrics under different owners, managers or flags.

In addition to recording your sold deals (comps) — demonstrating your hard work and success in handling a transaction — you can also record when you take a property to the market. Doing this can help you reach potential buyers and further establishes your transaction capabilities.

Getting your for-sale transactions in OpenComps is easy. Simply hit the +Add New button at the top of any transaction list to get started. Chose Public and For Sale as your group visibility and transaction type and enter the basic property information.

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Jobs on OpenOpenComps

Introducing Jobs

Over the past 12 years, OpenComps has developed a solid reputation as the place to keep you abreast of what’s going on in the hospitality investment and finance world – who is buying, who is selling, who is building. The site has an active and engaged community comprised of the industry’s top professionals.

And while we are continuing to focus on bringing you the latest and most comprehensive information that can help you buy, sell or develop a property, we thought we should also look to help you find the people that can help you in that endeavor and add value to your team.

We are excited to announce a whole new section of the site – Jobs. In Jobs, you can find job postings dedicated specifically to jobs in the hospitality finance and investment sector. While property-level finance positions are better suited for general hospitality job sites, we felt there is a need for a highly specialized place to find hospitality finance and investment talent.

Below are several screenshots to introduce you to the new section and to get you started with a new job posting. We really want you to give the new section a try, so we have made the first posting completely FREE. Try it today!

Once you activate your job posting, it will become publicly visible online to all OpenComps users. In addition, your job posting will be featured in our daily and weekly email newsletters (currently only in the U.S. editions).

Users interested in your job opportunity can easily submit a job application online. We ask that they answer succinctly three questions – how are they qualified, how much they know about your company and what is their near-term growth plan. Together with their resume, we hope that would give you a good first look into the candidates. You will receive any job applications via email, so make sure you can receive our emails in your Inbox.

To protect the privacy of the job applicants, we will not retain any of data from their application, but we will record their submission. You can monitor these submissions in the Job Activity section and if an email application is missing in your Inbox for whatever reason, you can approach the user on OpenComps.

We hope you will like this new section and decide to give it a try today. We aimed for ease and simplicity in designing the functionality and tools in the section, however, we very much welcome your feedback, including on our pricing structure.

Managing Your Email Newsletters

Last year we started our email newsletters to automatically update you on the latest information available in OpenComps. We have really enjoyed opening another venue to communicate with you on what is happening with OpenComps and to keep you up-to-date with all the great data we are continuing to collect and organize.

We are currently offering daily (Monday through Friday) and weekly (each Sunday) email newsletters focused on the three major markets where we have the most data and activity – United States, United Kingdom and Australia. We would love to expand it to other markets that we also have a lot of data, like Canada, Europe, Mexico/Caribbean/Latin America. Some of it is dependent on our back-end technology and some of it is dependent on your interest and data contributions. Let us know your thoughts and we would greatly appreciate your data contributions for these regions!

We value your inbox sanity and your privacy. You are in complete control of what you want to receive and when. At any time you can change your preferences using the links provided in the footer of each email or online in your Settings > Newsletters. Here are some screenshots:

Also, you should rest assured of your privacy. Like you, we don’t like all the user, email and click tracking that has become so prevalent across the Internet. So, we send our emails with these features turned off.

Finally, our newsletters are a lot more informative and fun if you have a PRO subscription. We hope you will consider unlocking the power of a PRO account with a subscription today.

Related tab example

Introducing Unique Property Identifier – OCID

This week we rolled out an update to introduce a new field — an unique property identifier, which we called OCID. This new feature can be helpful in few important ways:

  • The Related tab — which highlights the chain of transactions that have occurred for a property — will be more stable, better handling changes to the same property, such as brand updates, street addresses and geo-coordinates.
  • Using Advanced Search you can now search for a specific OCID. With that — and using the Saved Searches/Alert system — you can set up an email alerts to notify you of a new transaction for a specific property.
  • OCIDs can be used to refer to a specific property between coworkers and friends clearly and efficiently.

OCIDs are alphanumeric with a length of six (6) characters. The first three (3) characters are lowercase letters, while the last three (3) are numbers. For example, xnk080 refers to 11 Howard in New York, NY.

If you are contributing to OpenComps — or entering your own private entries — you can use the +Add New wizard as usual. An unique OCID will automatically be created for your new property/transaction.

If you would like to add a transaction for an existing property — again, either public or private — locate the last transaction recorded for the property (using simple or advanced search) and use the +Add Related button on the transaction screen. This will (1) speed up your creation of a new transaction entry by carrying over property details such as street address, number of rooms, brand, etc. and, importantly, (2) preserve OCID and geocoding coordinates.

We already have a few ideas for other exciting new features we could do with OCID, but we would love to hear from you with your ideas and feedback.

Introducing Enterprise PRO Subscriptions

One of the great new OpenComps features from last year was the ability to create private entries within a workgroup. This moved OpenComps from just an online research service to a real (cloud) software. With this feature, you can take advantage of the incredible database technology that was developed to keep OpenComps’ public coverage of comps, new developments, for sale, debt comps and full P&L financials, to organize your own internal information of the same type. No more crashing-prone Excel files that store ADR & occupancy, or full P&L financials, or your own set of comps, or a list of the for sale offerings you receive from brokers. No more questions like “Where did we store that information?” and “Who saved over the correct Excel file and ruined all my changes?” Now, you can store such crucial competitive information safely, securely and conveniently in OpenComps and make it available to anyone in your workgroup, from anywhere (desktop or mobile).

To encourage the adoption of private entries and collaborations within a workgroup, we are abandoning the per user pricing for group accounts (and manual administration) and instead switching to a flat-rate Enterprise PRO plan – currently $300 billed monthly or $3,000 billed annually – all self-administered online. The Enterprise PRO plans can handle unlimited number of members based on a specified enterprise email domain (e.g. @superprimehotels.com).

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Secure SSL Connection

Always secure (SSL)! Always on!

We recently enabled secure (SSL) connections to OpenComps. After checking that everything is working as expected, we are now switching all traffic to only secure connections. As you come to our site – whether directly or via one of our emails – always check the (green) closed padlock and/or the https: connection.

Happy secure browsing!

New! Financials… and Pricing

We are super excited to launch today our latest feature: the ability to record and save P&L financials. You can add financials as public or private entries – your eyes only or within your shared group. Let us walk you through the details.

Expanding on our coverage – like developments, debt comps and for sale markers – we feel that with financials, we have truly created the ultimate intelligence-gathering tool for the hospitality investment professional. How often have you collected competitive performance information and save it in an individual Excel file that afterwards only goes to die together with a completed or aborted project? And even though you feel you will forever remember that information and where it is stored (after working so hard to gather and organize it), somehow nobody ever remembers where that information was stored or saved. Now, you (or your workgroup) can save these financials in an easily searchable database with the ability to quickly find and retrieve the information.

Saving financials in OpenComps is super easy and works as follows:

  1. Create a Financials transaction marker for a property – you can create it from scratch using the +Add New button in any transaction list. Or you can jump start a new Financials marker from an existing transaction, just use the +Add New dropdown in any transaction. You can choose to create the marker as Public, Only Me or Shared Group, which would make the marker (and its associated financials) available and visible either publicly to all or privately to you only or within your workgroup.
  2. Add P&L financials to a Financials transaction marker – once you’ve created your Financials transaction marker, you can add P&L financials using the +Add button in the Financials section.

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System Alert! All Systems Good

Web host reports fully restored and operational email systems. Two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled again for standard logins. We still highly recommend that you connect your account to Google or LinkedIn for a more convenient login procedure and as a secondary means of access. We use them only for login auth, nothing else.

System Alert! Email issues

Web host reported issues with their email system which impacted OC’ two-factor authentication (2FA) email service. Temporarily turned off 2FA while email service is again at full functionality. Apologies for any inconvenience. Please feel free to report issues so we can jump on them as quickly as we can.

Highly recommend connecting OC to Google/LinkedIn networks (go to Settings > Profile & Networks > Edit…) so you have secondary (or tertiary) way of accessing your account in cases of email outages or outdated email address in your account (from job switches).

Default behavior of the login script was updated to keep you signed in longer so you don’t have to log into OpenComps too often on your private, personal machine. If you are using a public (shared) computer, remember to Sign Out at the end of your session to protect the privacy of your account.

OpenComps 4.0 – Private Entries

On the heels of us turning 10, we are extremely happy to announce our latest update to OpenComps. We feel that it significantly enhances and changes the purpose of the site that we would like to call this OpenComps 4.01. The new feature is the ability to record private entries.

What are private entries? In addition to creating publicly-visible entries, you can now create entries that can be seen only by you (Only Me) or by your shared private group (My Group). And we really mean the only part! We have worked extra hard to make sure nobody (even admins) can get to your privately-recorded entries. Those entries are yours and yours alone.

While only you can see them, you don’t have to do anything different to search the database and see your entries together with the public entries. For example, look at this search for “paris” and how easily you can filter your search results to show everything, only Public entries, only Only Me entries or only My Group entries:

If you noticed, the private entries are highlighted in the search results if there is no filter selected. The rows for the Only Me and My Group entries are in an unique, highlighted color and they also begin with an icon showing either a single user view or group of users view. Let’s take a look inside the entries:

Also, we hope you noticed that there are three entries for the same property. One happens to be a Public Comp transaction, one is My Group Comp transaction and one is Only Me Comp transaction. For the same search you can now see what is available publicly right next to any available private entries for the same property. Of course, the private entries could be either for the same Comp transaction or another Comp transaction. Or it could be a For Sale tracker, Development or Debt Comp. Because they all have the same address (and geocode to the same location), you can see all entries in the Related tab, which maintains the same highlighted rows format.

From any transaction entry for a given property – Public, Only Me or My Group – you can start another entry for the same property that can be either Public, Only Me or My Group by selecting the appropriate option in the +Add New dropdown. This is the quickest way to overlay a private entry on top of a public entry, or create a different entry type (Comp, For Sale, Development or Debt Comp) to a property. Or you can start from scratch with the +Add New wizard from any transaction list.

If you have Export privileges, you can export private (Only Me and My Group) entries as much as you want. Unlike Public entries, private entries are yours and there are no limits to how often you want to download them in an Excel-friendly CSV format2.

The powerful Advanced Search is fully enabled for you to search either across all transactions or limit to what’s Public, Only Me or My Group. Also, the instant statistics in Insights are similarly recalculated based on your preference for which transactions you want to be included. Please, rest assured that you are not seeing aggregated numbers that are including someone else’s transactions or that your transactions may be included in someone else’s Insights screens. As mention already above, your entries stay private throughout the entire site and nobody can see them or have them included in their aggregate screens.

Recording of private (Only Me or My Group) entries is a feature available to PRO subscribers. In fact, the shared My Group is based on the shared billing group, which is currently set up only by an admin. However, if you happen to be a PRO subscriber and created private entries, these will still stay available to you3 in full detail to see or search across even if you happen to drop your PRO subscription at some point (we hope only temporarily!). You just won’t be able to add new private entries.

We are really excited about this new functionality in OpenComps and we hope you will decide to take full advantage of it and support us by becoming a PRO subscriber. If you need to set up a group subscription, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We would love to hear from you with any comments or ideas about this new functionality. If you would like to discuss it in more detail via a private web-conference, just just get in touch.

  1. 1.0 – initial launch in 2006; 2.0 – site redesign and reactivation of development in 2012; 3.0 – social/newsfeed functionality in 2015
  2. In fact, even Public Your Additions transactions – transactions that you’ve contributed to the public body of transactions – are also excluded from the daily and rolling 30-day export limits
  3. For My Group transactions, assuming you still belong in the shared group.