General Manager, Vincent Singletary, shares his story on what drew him to the hospitality industry and tips on how to be a successful General Manager.
Here at Kipsu, we are fortunate in that we get to work with hard working and dedicated hospitality professionals each and every day. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know some of them personally to see what motivates them to be their best and how they empower their team to meet the high expectations the hospitality world holds.
We interviewed Vincent Singletary, the general Manager at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Agoura Hills. The Homewood Suites by Hilton Agoura Hills has been part of the Kipsu community for a few months, and does an amazing job of providing topnotch service to all of their guests.
Vincent discusses what drew him to hospitality, advice on being a great General Manager and how he empowers and motivates his team members.
What inspired you to go into hospitality?
My mother worked in hotels so I feel like I grew up in the hospitality industry. I used to attend her company holiday parties and I was fascinated by the team environment: It felt like one big family. Throughout my career I have been driven by the success, progress, and guest satisfaction that come from being a part of a happy and motivated team.
How do you empower all of the members on your team?
Every day I choose to lead by example. I want my team to know I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything that I am not willing to do myself. Every day I get out on the property, grab the carpet cleaning machine and head to a room to do some cleaning. It keeps me connected with the staff and the property and reminds everyone that no job is too small or insignificant. I also always encourage my team to reveal their thought processes when it comes to decision making. Understanding how someone got from A to Z helps me to know them better and to have a more complete picture of our successes and areas for improvement.
What are some tips for being a great General Manager?
A positive attitude is the key. Everyone feeds off of your energy. It’s not unlike me to go dancing in to the housekeeping office in the morning to get the team pumped up and to let everyone know that we may be facing challenges but we are going to get through it together. Consistency is also very important. You need to be there for your team every day to share in their successes and to participate in the areas that we can improve.
Can you highlight some stories you are proud of where you or the team you manage went above and beyond when delivering guest service?
Due to our location we were (and still are) shelter for many displaced fire victims. That was a very difficult time for a lot of our guests and we did our best to ease their stay with us. Although we are usually a pet free property we allowed guests to bring their pets with them (dogs, cats, and guinea pigs too!). We also solicited donations and threw a holiday party for our displaced guests, offering them some small comforts during that difficult time.
One of our fire families is still with us and when their young daughter’s bike inexplicably
disappeared from where it had been locked up on our property we stepped in immediately to replace it for her. We also have a complimentary coffee truck stop by four times a year as a small token of our appreciation for our guests.
These are a few particular instances where I felt like we went above and beyond, but the truth is, I, and my team take every opportunity we have to offer an exceptional experience to our guests. Above and beyond is second nature at our property, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.