Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68

PERSPECTIVES

button. But there's more to consider -
recent market trends, historically low
interest rates, prime plus floating interest rate loans and the real possibility
that the new supply is greatly outpacing demand could be the first signals
of a CMBS storm. Couple that with an
unprecedented period of explosive
growth, new brands by hotel giants,
infiltration of Airbnb and online booking, and we could be in for a big change
in the market.
CMBS financing clearly has its charms.
A big one is the absence of a personal
guarantee. Yes, the lender has the means
to collect on its debt, but taking your personal property isn't one of them.
Rates on a CMBS loan may be fixed as
well as lower than conventional loans;
another plus. The CMBS loan may also
be assumable, allowing a hotel owner
to sell their property and transfer the
debt to the buyer, thus avoiding what
usually are hefty prepayment penalties on CMBS loans. And the financial
requirements established by the CMBS
loan tend to force fiscal discipline on the
borrower, which is generally a good thing
for any business.
You know what's coming - the "however" side of the equation.
For one thing, that same fiscal discipline can also be very demanding and
ruthlessly unforgiving. The CMBS loan
requires the borrower to create a highly
structured cash management process so
that loan payments are prioritized above
other financial obligations. That's how

6 8  | APRIL 2018 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

the investors who buy these securitized
loans reduce their risk.
This is a stark difference from many
hotel owner's current operating process
and this should not be treated lightly.
Money brokers often downplay this
important aspect.
It's no big deal as long as the hotel is
doing well. The lender will be paid automatically, and the borrower will have
the cash flow they need to fund other
operating expenses. But if the hotel suffers a downturn, the lender essentially
takes control of cash flow until it returns
to pre-set levels.
In short, the CMBS borrower gives
up a lot of control over the property's
finances. And let's be honest - giving up
control over the money, even temporarily, is like handing over the keys to the
car and switching from the driver's seat
the passenger seat. You are simply no
longer in control.
Again, not much to worry about as
long as times are good and the money
is flowing. But if the hotel market really
has reached a state of overdevelopment,
or if the economy cools just a bit, a slight
dip in revenue could trigger the lender
to step in as described above.
Another worry in the event of a downturn in revenue is that unlike a bank
loan, simply making the payments on a
CMBS loan is not enough. Look at it this
way: under a bank loan, the bank generally stays out of your hair as long as you
make your loan payments on time. You
might have a few off months that cut into

your cash flow and you might even have
to operate in the red for a period, but the
bank's typical principal concern is getting their payment on time. Otherwise,
they don't truly meddle in how you manage the rest of your cash.
But a CMBS loan not only requires
those on-time payments; it also demands
a specific debt service coverage ratio, or
DSCR. You might be making your payments even as your DSCR has fallen a
little under the required level, which
puts you in default. This is something that most who are new to CMBS
don't consider.
Given that many CMBS loans are
highly leveraged at up to 85 percent loan
to value, even a slight blip in revenue can
throw the borrower into default because
of the DSCR threshold. On a variable rate
CMBS loan, the DSCR trigger could also
be only as far away as a slight uptick in
the interest rate.
Certainly, we've all seen what can
happen when excessive optimism
mixes with excessive leverage. The
CMBS lending boom is several years
old now and approaching a trillion dollars. A big chunk of that total is tied to
hotel properties.
The U.S. market is glutted with both
old and new properties, and the juggernaut of virtual travel companies is hammering the traditional lodging industry
in ways no one imagined only a few
years ago.
Put it all together, and it's clear that
hoteliers would be wise at this point to
consider funding channels that are more
suited to the world of 2018 than the one
perfectly acceptable in 2012.
■
Rahul Patel is managing
partner of Patel Gaines,
a Texas-based law firm,
and an adjunct professor
of hospitality law at the
University of Houston's
Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel
and Restaurant Management. He has
represented more than 200 hotels and
is a frequent speaker at AAHOA's events.
He also serves on AAHOA's Government
Affairs Committee.


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - April 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Trends to Watch
Finance
Operations
Marketing
Small Business
Spotlight
Q&A
Perspectives
Travel
Leadership
Strategy
Design
Guest Experience
Food & Beverage
Technology
Operations
HR & Employee Relations
AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
AAHOA @ Industry Events
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert1
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - insert2
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 10
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 18
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Summer Season Offers Opportunities to Drive Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 28
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Maximizing Your Experiential Travel Potential
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 32
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - What Can Hoteliers Learn From Other Industries?
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 38
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 40
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Trends to Watch
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 44
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 56
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Q&A
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 63
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 65
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Perspectives
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 67
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 68
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 69
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Travel
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 71
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 72
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 73
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 74
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 75
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 77
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 78
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 79
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 80
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 81
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Strategy
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 83
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 84
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 85
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Design
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 87
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 88
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 89
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 91
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 92
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 93
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 94
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 95
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Food & Beverage
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 97
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 98
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 99
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 100
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 101
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 103
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 104
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 105
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Operations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 107
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 108
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 109
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 110
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 111
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - HR & Employee Relations
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 113
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 114
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 115
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 116
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 117
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA Club Blue, Platinum, Gold & Silver Members
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 119
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - AAHOA @ Industry Events
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 121
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 122
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 124
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 125
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 126
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 127
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 128
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 129
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 130
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 131
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 132
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 134
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 135
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 137
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - 138
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - April 2018 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0518
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0418
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AAHOM/AAHOM0416
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com