Larry Broughton

Episode 34: Find the Right Role for Every Team Member, with Larry Broughton

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In this episode, you will learn about how to create a fiercely loyal team from Larry Broughton.

Larry Broughton is an award-winning hotelier and entrepreneur, CEO, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and former US Army Green Beret. As Founder and CEO of Orange County, California-based broughtonHOTELS, CBS News has called Larry the nation’s foremost expert on leadership and entrepreneurship, while the host of Travel Channels hit show, Hotel Impossible, says he is among the top hospitality experts in the country. His upbeat, creative approach to business and life has been featured in newspaper and magazine articles across the country and he has been a recurring guest expert on news and TV programs on every major television and cable network, including MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, CBS, and Travel Channel. Larry’s awards include: Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year®; the National Veteran-Owned Business Associations Vetrepreneur® of the Year; Coastline Foundations Visionary of the Year; and Passkeys Foundations National Business Leader of Integrity.

More on Larry’s background

Thank you so much for joining me, Larry.

Hey Nicole, how are you?

I am fantastic.

Thanks for having me on your show.

I am so excited to have you, and I know you’re going to share just a lot of really great information for our guests, and I can’t wait to dive in and learn from you.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed that that’s how it goes.

I’m sure it will. Before we dive into our questions, I would love for you just to share with our listeners a little bit more about your background, and your journey, and how you got to where you are today.

Well, it’s a sordid past. I know it’s a G-rated show.


I grew up in western New York and loved that part of the country, but growing up I kind of knew that there was something else out there. To make a long story short, I ended up enlisting in the military. As you had mentioned, I was in Special Forces, and traveled around the world with them. It was a great opportunity, but it really opened up my eyes to the way the world runs, and how governments are operated. I thought I wanted to get into the political arena, or to the State Department somehow.

I got out and went to school. My first job out was at a little no-tell motel in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco. Back then the college education program was still a great value, but I took a job at this little 44-room dive of a motel because it paid $5 an hour. I went in at 11:00 at night, got off at 7:00 in the morning, and then went to school during the day. After I had been there for a few months, an investment group came in and bought this hotel or motel, with the intention of turning it around and creating this kind of cool little rock and roll motel.

That was kind of one of the early, one of the first, what’s now considered boutique hotels. That was kind of my entry into the hotel industry, but to make a long story short, I ended up becoming a partner in this hotel company. During about a 14-year period, we picked up 14 hotels in the San Francisco Bay area. I was a partner in that company and we were considered the Vanguard or the creators of the Boutique Hotel industry, along with Kimpton Hotels, and what was then the Ian Schrager Hotels.

That was kind of it. I’d realized from my experience there that the hotel industry and hospitality industry offered a lot of things that I loved. Real estate, finance, leadership, marketing, team-building, personal development. It really was an amazing industry that just met all my needs, so 30 some years later, I’m still doing it.

That’s really awesome. I love how you talked about all the things that it offered. The real estate, the finance, the team building. A lot of folks that I talk to are in the hospitality industry or the travel industry talk about how much they love to travel. I think that’s a natural attraction for folks like us that work in this industry, but on top of it, you have all these other aspects of it, the leadership development that you mentioned, so I think that’s just really cool.

I think we’ll probably touch on this during the next few minutes, but I think that yes, it is important, I think, for some people, you’ve got to love travel, you’ve got to love people, but that’s just not enough. I’ve seen way too many businesses go under because they build their whole future on the idea, “Well, I love to travel, and so I’m going to get in the travel industry, or I love to cook, so I’m going to open a restaurant.” That is just not enough. You’ve got to understand all the dynamics of the business.

Yeah, that’s a really good point. Actually, that’s one of the things that I find the most fun about the tourism industry, and the work that my agency does in the industry is that we get that entrepreneur side, we get that business side, but we also get the fun of working in the industry, and getting, whether it’s international visitors to visit, or getting people that travel domestically, and get a weekend getaway.

How to Create Fiercely Loyal Team Members

Really excited about this conversation. I’m going to read some numbers that I got off of your website, if you’ll allow me for just a few minutes. I think they’re extremely impressive in terms of what your group does. For our listeners’ sake, because they haven’t done the research like I have as prep for this show, I’d like you to talk a little bit about how broughtonHOTELS is different, and how you differentiate yourself, but there’s some pretty impressive numbers on your website where you talk about how you impact the hotels that you work in.

broughtonHOTELS’s occupancy indexes of 117%, ADR indexes 109%, RevPar indexes 120%. I love this one, employee turnover rate of 30% versus the industry average, 75%. Then another one of my favorites, your customer satisfaction rating of 89.5%. This is an incredibly competitive industry, and I’m just wondering how do you do it?

Listen, we could do a whole show just on this, to be really honest with you. I guess it goes back to I recognized early on, we have to make an emotional connection with our guest absolutely, but also with our team members. Thirty some years ago, when people looked at the hotel, or the tourism, or the hospitality industry, whatever you want to look at it, it was a commodities-based business.

[bctt tweet=”“You have to make an emotional connection with your guests AND your team members.” – @larrybroughton”]

How many butts can I get on a bus? How many heads can I get in beds? That’s what they looked at. When you look at the hotel industry, which is a very emotional, intimate industry as a commodities-based business, you never build fiercely loyal guests, you never build fiercely loyal team members. When you recognize it in the tourism industry, in a hospitality industry, it’s a very intimate industry. People are getting naked in our rooms.


There are not a lot of legal industries where that happens. We’re creating the fuel that goes into people’s bodies. We’re making food. If they’re going on an airline tour, or they’re going on a bus tour, they’re putting their lives in our hands. When we understand that there’s emotional risk involved there, then we look at our business a little differently.

The way that we’re able to have those kind of stellar numbers, by the way, for those people who don’t know, when you talk about 117% occupancy index, or 109% Average Daily Rate index, that means that we’re performing 17% better on our occupancy than our competitors. It means we’re performing 9% better on Average Daily Rate. It means that when you combine those two, our property’s performing 20% better than the competition. I just want to make sure that people understand that.

In order to maintain, which is really the most costly part of running the business, and that is the payroll, the compensation, the training that goes in for our, I use this word intentionally because it’s what we call them, our team members, not our employees, our team members, and if we can maintain a 30% turnover rate versus the industry, which is 75%. In the restaurant business, it’s even more than that, it’s 100%.

We do that by really developing our team members, letting them work in their strengths, building a work environment where they want to come into work, where they’re excited to be here. When people are working in their strengths, then sparks fly, productivity goes up. I remember my dad. Before we got on this call, you and I were having a conversation, and it turns out we know several of the same people, so some of the people listening to this may know my dad.

My dad did not necessarily enjoy the job that he had working in a plant back in Olean, New York. I could tell that he was, I don’t know, it was one of those things. I’m almost embarrassed to say this. I could tell, now with hindsight, this guy wasn’t giving 100% when we was there because he wasn’t really enjoying what he was doing. It’s not really what he wanted to do.

Yes, he was making a living for his family, but crying out loud, imagine if you’re an owner, or a leader of an organization, and every team member got to come in and do things that they’re good at, then you’re going to build fiercely loyal team members, which is going to translate into fiercely loyal guests, fiercely loyal clients. That’s kind of how we do it in a nutshell.

Jim Collins, one of my instructors at Stanford University who wrote “Good To Great,” and “Built To Last,” is famous for saying, “You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the right people on the right seat on the bus.”


By that he means the bus might be yes, the team member believes in the mission. Yes, they are a good fit for the organization, but they might just be in the wrong job. Once people are working in the right job, then people feel good about themselves.

That’s really great. I love that point, and I’m just curious if you can take that just a little bit further, and give an example because actually two of my oldest daughters work in hospitality right now. One’s a busser, and one’s a server. They work at the same resort. It’s a small inn and golf course right in Canandaigua in upstate New York. I picked my 16-year-old up from work the other day, who’s the busser, and this is her first job.

She goes, “Mom, I had a great day at work.” My question was, “What makes a great day?” I’ll tell you her answer to what makes a great day. She loved her co-workers, she gets along really well with them. She was busy. She felt fulfilled that she was successful in the job she was given. I’m curious if you have examples like that, and how that translates for you and your team?

I’ve got dozens of them. Frankly, without even getting specific, I think we’ve all had these experiences, haven’t you? Where you’ve gone into a hotel, you’ve gone to a restaurant, or any kind of retail experience, and the person you’re interacting with is grumpy, they have no social skills, they’re dismissive, or sometimes even down right rude, right?

Years of therapy have taught me that hurt people hurt people, right? It might be that yes, there’s something going on with these people, however it probably means that they just are not a good fit for that position. They might be better working in the stock room, or working in the accounting department, or working in the maintenance department, and not be interfacing with guests.

To take it a step further, I’ll give a specific example. I also do a lot of coaching and mentoring outside of the hospitality space for entrepreneurs and leaders. I sometimes will do consulting gigs where I’ll go into an organization, do an assessment on the organization on these things that we’re talking about.

How do we make sure we have the right people in the right seat on the bus? I had a partner in a company at the time, and so we went in and realized, without going into great detail, I’ll really shorten this thing up, we realized that the person who was leading the sales department did not like their job. Always felt like they were a bad fit.

With the person who was leading the accounting department, same thing. When we did assessments for them, we found out that their skills really matched the opposite role, and so we went in, we flipped those two positions, put the accounting person in the sales role, the sales person in the accounting role, and all of a sudden they felt fulfilled, they felt excited, like your daughter. They felt like they were contributing to the organization all of a sudden, they were working inside their strengths.

Those people, this was probably seven year later, those people are still in the organization. The organization’s growing, flourishing, and people enjoy working with these people again.

That’s awesome.


Go figure.

Here’s the problem though. You’ve got some business owners and business leaders on this call or on this podcast right now, right? How often do we hire just a warm body because we need somebody right now, or we hire off a resume? We look at what they’ve been doing the entire time. Think about this, you’ve got kids that are about ready to go into college, go into the job market right?

Often times people will take their first job, and maybe it’s a busser, and then they’re just going to move up the chain in the industry. How do we really know that they’re a good fit for this industry, if all we do is just hire people off of a resume? What we’re often times doing, I’m out there, I might go to a bank and see somebody, maybe a bank teller. They’ve got great customer service skills, or I might be at a shoe store. I hired somebody from a shoe store before because they just had that joie de vivre about them. They loved dealing with people, right? Then we put them on the right seat on the bus. You can’t hire warm bodies. We can talk about this a little bit later, but really there are some specific things we need to be looking at when we are hiring people.

Yeah, that’s a really great point, and actually it reminds me of a conversation I had recently with one of the larger attractions in the area. The developer, he owns a four-season attraction. It’s skiing in the winter, it’s a water park in the summer. They do zip lining all year long. One of his biggest challenges, actually, is recruitment. He said it’s changed a lot in recent years. It’s gotten harder.

His take on it was that, for him, he’s hiring kids, either college students or for the seasonal work, and he said a lot of the really motivated kids are busy. They’re either already have jobs or they’re doing summer activities, they’re in sports, they’re studying abroad — they’re not here. I think that’s on a lot of folks minds. How do we find those right people? It sounds like you’ve really got a good formula.

Well, it’s a team effort. Every leader in the organization knows that they are talent scouts for the organization. It’s not just up to me. We’re always looking.

Everyone’s a talent scout. That’s great, great advice.

Why You Must Develop Your Team Members

Well, I want to kind of switch gears just a little bit because one of the things we like to talk about on this show, and when we talk about creativity, our challenges that we face. Creativity that kind of appears in the face maybe of adversity or of a challenge. Do you have a challenge that comes to mind that your organization has faced, and maybe an example of how creativity might have come from that?

Oh my gosh. So, yeah I think you’re right. If we are alive, then we have been faced with challenges and obstacles in our life. Probably the biggest one, if I’m just going to be totally transparent with you, and I will be, the biggest challenge we face as an organization was going into the last, let’s just be honest, depression that we had. Let’s be honest, it was a depression. It was not a great recession. If you look at all the indicators, it was really a depression.

Why was that a difficult thing? Well, for the obvious reasons, right? We know what happened in the hotel, and the hospitality, and the travel industry, right? Leading up to that, in 2007, I had purchased three hotels. We purchased them all at the peak of the market. The difficulty was simultaneously navigating those rough waters of the “Great recession,” about which really crippled many hotel companies.

Many hotel companies lost their hotels. We kind of hung on because of what we were talking about earlier, we had some great team members, we tended to have superior performance in the properties, but still it was a very difficult time. I had one banker in particular who literally told me, “Larry, I’m going to eat your first born,” when we were trying to renegotiate one of our loans. It was pretty ugly.

I was a personal guarantor on three multi-million dollar loans. There was that going on, and at the same time I was going through a divorce with young kids. That had a huge impact on the organization, because it was hard for me to keep my head in the game when I’m dealing with a divorce and all the financial implications that go along with that. This was six years ago so my daughter was 10. My son must have been seven. That was a very, very difficult time.

The result was that I had to get my head in the game. I had to fight through it, and I had to make sure that I had right team members in the organization. It helped me realize that, I knew this, but this is really just a bigger task, that the bigger the adversity, the bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity to grow.

I focused on personal growth, and I also encouraged my team members in the organization to be focusing on both personal and professional development during this time. All of this reminded me, I was reminded by this by the State of the American Work Force survey that’s done by the Gallup organization each year that finds that the primary reason people leave their jobs is they feel like they’re not being professionally developed.

[bctt tweet=”“People leave their jobs when they feel like they’re not being professionally developed.” – @larrybroughton”]

I was just feeling like crying out loud, if I can become a better version of myself on the other side of this divorce and on the other side of this depression in order to be set up better for the future, if I can make sure our key members are doing the same thing, I’m going to be building fiercely loyal team members, and they’re less likely to migrate elsewhere if somebody else offers them a job. That might be long-winded answer, but I’m just being honest with you.

Oh I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I mean you’re right, if you’re alive, you’ve had adversity and challenge in your life, and I just think that that’s so just such an awesome perspective that you decided to look at it as the opportunity that it was instead of throwing up the flag and saying, “Okay, uncle, uncle. I give up.”

I’ll tell you, let’s be honest, we all probably know people who have done this, right? I mean I did account a while ago. Since the 2008 crash, during those first six months, I know six business owners who took their own life during that.

Oh my goodness.

Since that time, I know probably another dozen at their own hand. The sad part is as business owners, as leaders, so much of our self-worth is tied up with our net worth that when our net worth plummets, then we feel like we have no value to the world or the organization. I really wanted to get beyond that.

I wanted to make sure that our team members knew that. That we can fail, we can make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that we’re bad people. You know? Let’s learn from it, and have a warrior spirit, and come out fighting the next time.

That’s awesome. Actually, can you expand a little bit on your values for your business because I read them on your website, but I know you’re pretty clear on what your business values stand for, and how you see success.

Yeah, well I think that really success comes from beyond the bottom line. I’m not just looking to make money, although yes, we do want to make money, but I am a big believer that if you want to do great things, you’ve got to be great people. Our motto or our mission for the organization is, “Authentic people delivering creative solutions.”

We’ve all done business with people where we feel like they’re fake, they’re not sincere, or they’re pretentious. You just don’t build healthy, long-lasting relationships with people like that. We really wanted to make sure that our clients, our investors, our partners understood that what you see is what you get.

That’s one part of it, but the other thing is, we have a very rapidly changing, very dynamic business. Our businesses are at the whims of things that we have no control over. The economy, geopolitical changes, weather, right? We better be creative, so there could be problems all day long, right? People are pointing, “Oh there’s a problem over there. That’s just not working.”

Okay, that’s great. Yes, there’s a problem. Yes, that’s not working, but how creatively are we going to address this? We’re authentic people delivering creative solutions. I really want to make sure that people are great people in the organization, and that they feel good about what they’re doing- I want to serve.

I want to make sure that we’re not just taking from our communities, but that we’re serving our communities through philanthropic work, through volunteer work. It might be a little airy-fairy for some people, but it seems to work for us. I think the proof is in the pudding. The numbers also work. I think it’s an awesome business model.

Crying out loud, if we can make people just great citizens, great family members, and make money at the same time, it’s a great company.

That’s really awesome. When I was first introduced to you and was doing some background reading, that’s really what piqued my interest in learning more about you and your business was that whole idea of authenticity. I’ve read through some of your case studies you have on your website about some of the properties that you’ve turned around and how you’ve done it.

What really stood out to me is how you do involve the whole community in what you do, and I think the best example, in terms of what I read, was the Wrigley Field or the Wrigley… the hotel property you opened in Chicago. The theme that you took on in that particular neighborhood. I don’t know if you could share a little bit about how you did that, but I just really love how your business model is to be authentic, and then you reflect that in your properties.

Listen, a lot of us and a lot of people in this industry are working hard to pay the bills, put our kids through school, pay their rent or pay the mortgage. We wish that we could volunteer more, right? We allow people to get involved in the volunteer charitable organizations through our efforts as an organization.

For those who don’t know Chicago or the Wrigleyville area, it’s not the most prestigious part of Chicago. It is going through a Renaissance revitalization, and the whole Wrigley Field is going through I forget how many hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe a billion dollars, of work there, and that’s going to benefit the entire community.

Every month we stop what we’re doing — I think it’s the second Wednesday of the month at 11:30 — and we make PB&J, peanut butter and jelly sacked lunches for children’s homes that are in the area. If you and I have a meeting here, and it’s time to make sandwiches, we stop our meeting, and we go out there and make sandwiches and sacked lunches, and then we distribute them to a children’s home and a foster home organization here in Orange County.

We do that at our different properties. I just think it’s so important just to serve. Crying out loud, this is what I learned during my deepest, darkest times in my life. I think this serves anybody who’s in the hospitality industry or the travel industry because our job is to serve people.

[bctt tweet=”“In the hospitality industry, our job is to serve people.” – @larrybroughton #Podcast”]

When you don’t know what to do, when the world is crashing down around you, when you don’t know how you’re going to make payroll, or you’ve got a guest or client who’s just totally pissed off and screaming at you, and you hang up the phone, you take deep breaths, and then you just go serve somebody. It’s best to serve somebody.

Something happens. The earth shifts. I don’t know. Something happens in the moon and the stars, but all of a sudden we’re able to get centered, and I’m just a big believer that the universe is conspiring for greatness for all of us, and no better place to do it than, I think, one of the most intimate industries out there, and that’s the travel and tourism industry.

That’s really awesome. Love it. Thank you very much. That’s great. No, I love it. The listeners obviously can’t see this, but the view I have of your office, because we’re on this Zoom meeting together, are these Army men climbing the wall.

They’re repelling up the wall, yeah.

They’re repelling up the wall, and as you’re telling me this story, I can just envision the hard work, but also the passion and the determination, and it’s reflected right there on the wall behind you.

Tenacity is one of those things that I think is really overlooked. I just think every day I walk in the office and I see those three guys climbing up the wall there, and it is just, to me, it’s a reminder that this is going to be a challenge. It’s not always going to be easy, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

That’s right. Absolutely. I say that all the time.

Upcoming projects for Larry

I really appreciate our conversation. A few more questions, if you would indulge us. I’m wondering if there’s a exciting project that you’re working on now that you might want to share.

Oh my gosh.

There’s probably so many.

My life is always about exciting projects. I’m reworking one of my best-selling books called Victory. It was written for the Military Veteran Entrepreneur market, but I’m rewriting that right now for the General Entrepreneurship market. We have a development partner. We’re building a hotel up in Silicon Valley, California called The Park James Hotel that we’re expecting to be open about a year from now, so early or mid-year next year, maybe June of 2018.

I’m also developing a hotel concept, which about ten of these that will honor the tenacity, the selflessness, the caring spirit of hometown heroes. I’m really excited about rolling that thing out.

Oh that’s awesome.

A lot going on.

Yeah you do. I can’t wait to hear more about the hometown heroes hotel concept.

Yeah, that’ll be fun.

That will be fun. We’ll have to have you back on once you roll that out so you can tell us all about it.

That would be great. I’d love that. That would be great.

Why Collaboration Leads to Success

I’m going to switch gears just a little bit because this podcast, one of the things I love to talk about is collaboration.

Oh my gosh, yeah.

Specifically, I see a lot in the travel and tourism circles. What I like to refer to as coopetition.

Love it.

That’s where competitors actually come together to cooperate and create programs or projects that are bigger than what they can do on their own. I’m wondering if you can think of a time when there might have been a collaboration between competitors or collaboration in general that has worked for you?

I love this as well. Crying out loud, some of your listeners do this every day. I mean if you work for a CBB, or an events base, or destination marketing organization, then you do this every day don’t we? It’s what we put our own personal agendas aside to create success for everybody in that market. Isn’t that what Destination Marketing is about? Isn’t that what CBBs, or Conference and Business Bureaus or visitor’s centers do?

[bctt tweet=”“Put personal agendas aside to create success for everybody in your market.” – @larrybroughton #WhyCollaborate”]

That’s right.

I don’t know. Something’s come to mind that’s not exactly how you answer your question, but about 10 years ago, we were interviewed to be a third-party operator for a very iconic hotel in Los Angeles. Big hotel. I’ve mentioned I’d been doing this for 30 years. I started broughtonHOTELS 17 years ago. It was part of another management company for 14 years prior to that.

When I was at my former organization, we looked at his hotel, and wanted it, and salivated over it, and thought, “Oh my gosh, it would be a great bit for the portfolio. It’s really underperforming. It’s a tired dog of a property. If we renovate it and put our magic fairy dust on it, it’s going to be an awesome property.”

When I started my own company, that property had always been on my radar. About 10 years ago the new ownership group had contacted us and said, “Hey, we’ve heard great things about you. Will you come and look at his hotel? We’d love to interview you, along with a bunch of other companies to operate this hotel.”

We went in and did a series of meeting, and was just not really feeling the vibe with these guys, so I had a side conversation with the Chief Operating Officer, and said, “Hey, you’ve got to help me understand what’s going on here because I don’t think you guys are really understanding our vision for this.”

The Chief Operating Officer of the ownership group is very honest with me and said, “Well, listen, we’re not feeling it either. We’re not connecting with any of the hoteliers that we’re interviewing. We just don’t think that there’s going to be a good fit.” He asked me who do I recommend? I recommended one of our competitors to go on and operate it because I just wanted to see this property succeed.

The company was hired, and they went in and tried to turn this thing around, and just stumbled all over themselves, and just couldn’t do it. Finally, this hotel group came back to us two years later and said, “You know what? We made a mistake- We should have brought you guys in to begin with. We really appreciate you bringing this other hotel company in.”

What they did is they fired the old company. I gave them a fee, a referral fee, the other company, just so they would work with us. As it turns out, this is, for us personally as a management company, it’s a piece of business that’s worth two and a half million dollars for us because we collaborated.

It’s not like I threw my hands up and said, “No, I’m not going to help you out on this. I’m not going to give you a referral to one of our competitors.” It’s not like I went to the competitor and said, “Ah, I’m not even going to tell you about this potential hotel project.” It all comes around.

When we just serve and cooperate with people that are in our market place … I’ve got a coaching client that I really encouraged years ago. I’ll say the industry because it’s very unlikely he’s going to hear this. He had a dog care facility, a doggy daycare facility, and I kept encouraging him, go meet with your competitors. Just say hi to them. Let them know that you’re here if they ever need anything.

This guy’s down in the south, and I think there are three competitors in the same market place. For two years I kept asking him to go do this, and he wouldn’t do it. Sadly, one of those facilities catches on fire. One of his competitive facilities catches on fire. Thank goodness no dogs were lost, but the facility was totaled.

The owner of the facility had to call a bunch of other, of the competitors, to place the dogs. Guess what? He didn’t get any of the other referrals. The person who owned the business that burned down, referred them to the two other competitors. Never even referred them to this guy because he had no relationship with them.

I think there’s nothing wrong with knowing the competitors. Get in a master mind. As long as you’re not sharing pricing models and those kinds of things, or it’s not price fixing, there’s nothing wrong with sharing best practices. I love, I’m just going to use the word, competition. I think we all get better. We have to be on our game when we know that people are pushing us a little bit.

We shouldn’t be afraid of that, because we end up becoming better versions of ourselves. I promise you this, if we’re not pushing the limit, somebody’s going to sprint right by us, going to come right under the radar, so we’ve got to become a better version of ourselves every day.

[bctt tweet=”“Develop partnerships based on motivation, integrity, and capacity..” – @larrybroughton #Podcast”]

I agree. I think that’s just a fantastic example with the doggy daycare owner. In particular what I like about that is it is all about relationships. Even the story that you told about making the referral to one of your competitors, that also is about a relationship. It’s somebody you knew. You wouldn’t have referred them if you didn’t know them.

Exactly. Exactly, yeah. It’s my reputation on the line. If I would have referred a crappy person to this ownership group, then they never would have come back to us.


It would have been a reflection on me.

Exactly. I think that’s fabulous. That’s great. Love it. Well, before we wrap up, I have just one more question to ask, but Larry, can you tell our listeners where they might find you, or how they can get in touch with you if they want to find out more?

Sure. I am all over social media, it’s larrybroughton, so it’s @larrybroughton on Twitter, but really, I’ve got a website that they can go to,, or they can go to, either one of those, but, it’s got a lot of things on there about the hotel company, about the TV stuff that I do, about coaching and mentoring, about the speaking business that I have. You can order books off of there, so that’s probably the best place to go.

That’s great, and it’s very comprehensive. I spent a lot of time looking around, so I encourage listeners to go check it out. Well, as we close up, my final question is just any thoughts that you have for our listeners in terms of looking for great partners in the real estate world. We just talked a little bit about relationship building, even talking about reaching out to competitors, but any words of wisdom?

Sure. Sure. I’ve had some really great partnerships. I’ve had some really bad partnerships, so I’d say before you ever jump into the business bed with somebody, date them, and by that I mean do projects together first, do joint a joint venture together first. Make sure that their strengths compliment your weaknesses, and vice versa. Then overly communicate with your partners. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Try to stay in your own lane of your strengths, and your experiences, and your areas of expertise. Constantly recognize the accomplishments of your partners. Offer words of encouragement to them. I think this is an important element, whether you are getting into a partnership, or you’re hiring a team member, that is hire people, get into business with people who share the same core values, and I hope that goes without saying, right?

Get into partnerships and hire people on these three things, motivation, people have to be highly motivated. Your partners need to be motivated, your key members need to be motivated. Secondly is integrity. You’ve got to have integrity, right? Honestly, there are a lot of highly motivated people without integrity that led us into this last depression that we’re in, right?

You’ve got to have highly motivated people, full of integrity, and then they have to have capacity. The capacity to grow, the capacity to become better versions of themselves because if you’re growing an organization, or you’re developing a partnership, it’s not because you want to be the same, it’s you want to get bigger, you want to grow, so they have to be able to grow with you, right?

We know a lot of people who are just kind of stagnant in their growth, so hire people, and develop partnerships based on motivation, integrity, and capacity.

Those are awesome. I love it when you can boil it down to three things. That’s really great. I love that. Actually, there’s some themes that come out in these conversations I have episode after episode. That overly communicate comes out time, and time, and time again, and it is just so, so true. Then the whole idea of finding people who have strengths where you have weaknesses, and making that match, so that’s fabulous. Then, of course, those three, motivation, integrity and capacity. Those are really awesome. Thank you very much, Larry. I’ve really appreciated our conversation, and I’ll look forward to talking with you again soon, and learning more about the Hometown Heroes Hotel Concept.

All right. Very good. Thanks, Nicole. I really appreciate it. It’s a lot of fun.

Ways to contact Larry:

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