Transforming the legal profession: smart solutions to drive hospitality’s next tech revolution

Technology is transforming every aspect of the hospitality industry, from online booking, guest apps and in-stay experiences to management tools, industry analytics and more. One crucial area that is often overlooked however, is a hotel’s legal department. While this is undoubtedly one of the most important parts of a company’s structure, many legal processes and procedures are still completed manually.

Legal departments could be on the verge of a digital revolution however, as cutting-edge solutions create new ways of working. This is the view of Nisha Menon, Radisson Hotel Group’s General Counsel for Asia Pacific, who believes that hospitality companies that embrace legal tech could become much more efficient, while reducing the risk of significant, unforeseen expenses.

Based in Singapore, Nisha oversees all legal, employment, disputes and corporate governance issues for Radisson Hotel Group in Asia Pacific, including hotel agreements for the portfolio. With almost 15 years of experience as a legal advisor, she has been involved with major projects, cross-border deals and joint ventures across Asia Pacific.

With such extensive expertise, Nisha understands how the current system of hotel contracting and contract management is a hidden pain point for hotel groups. Issues such as a lack of uniformity and confusing wording in documents can cause a company to lose between 5% and 40% of value on any given deal¹ – a staggering statistic that becomes even more amplified for a group that deals with hundreds of management or franchise agreements.

By employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) however, Nisha believes that the hospitality industry could eliminate these inefficiencies. AI-enabled contracting software could create algorithms to recognize patterns and identify anomalies, enable data driven pattern efficiencies which can be applied to business, making documents more standardized, easier to organize and reducing the risk of human error. Automated solutions could sort through large volumes of documents, read them quickly and accurately, and extract and analyze data. The process of data analysis is an important one; a multinational operator with a large number of partnerships, such as Radisson Hotel Group, could easily keep track of any terms and clauses that could contain concealed costs and importantly support to enable operational efficiencies.

“Accurate legal contracting is critical for any hotel company, but especially for a major player like Radisson Hotel Group, which is in the process of exponentially expanding its portfolio. As part of our digital transformation strategy, we are examining how we can manage contracts more effectively, inspect their contents and discover any potential issues that may cause problems for either party further down the line, while supporting optimal application of team resources, giving individuals the right tools to optimize their roles and enhance productivity.” Nisha commented.

Radisson Hotel Group is currently undertaking a historic expansion drive, focusing on Asia Pacific’s exciting emerging markets. Overall, the company expects to increase its portfolio exponentially in the coming years. Target markets include China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, which will see the introduction of a wide range of industry-leading brands and innovative new concepts.

This is running in parallel with the group’s digital transformation, which was implemented in 2019 and featured the launch of EMMA, an advanced global technology platform. This is already moving the business forward, by allowing Radisson Hotel Group to harness big data and improve every aspect of its operations, with an integrated system for property management, reservations, distribution, sales, catering, loyalty programs and more. The group is also piloting new guest experiences, such as online check-in/out, and ways of boosting productivity, including revenue management and pricing tools.

For Nisha however, the introduction of smart solutions to support legal teams could have as big – if less obvious – an impact on the hospitality industry as online booking tools and mobile apps.

“The legal profession needs to embrace technology. Failure to do so could have serious implications for a company, including reduced productivity, looser security and the danger of human error, which, in the worst-case scenario, can lead to malpractice suits. With so many manual, time-consuming procedures potentially being automated, legal teams would be free to focus on other important work. It really is an exciting time,” she concluded.

To learn more about Radisson Hotel Group, please visit www.radissonhotels.com.

PH Rental Demand Soars Propped Up By New Normal of Work

Local rental demand has seen a stable increase in the second quarter of 2021 from the same period last year, according to Lamudi. Keeping up with the aggressive appetite of the market, the company offers brokers the chance to post unlimited rental listings until October 31, 2021.

Activity is heating up in rental housing markets across the Philippines, Lamudi observed in its latest data.

The increased demand, driven by the new normal of work, offers a promising opportunity for landlords and investors. Supporting this vibrant demand from the market, Lamudi is offering brokers who subscribe from August 2 to October 31, 2021, the chance to upload unlimited rental listings until the end of the promo period. For as low as P799 a month, real estate professionals and property owners can unlock the exclusive, limited-time offer.

Aggressive Rental Market

At the height of the pandemic last year, several companies in key sectors turned to large residential spaces near their offices and industrial plants to house employees.

According to Lamudi’s data, the share of leads for rental properties priced at P200K to P500K in Luzon (outside Metro Manila) and Visayas saw a significant increase in the second quarter of 2021 from the second quarter of 2020, with Luzon showing a double-digit hike.

Meanwhile, the affordable condo for rent market priced P5K to P15K sustained a lead share above 15 percent since the first quarter of 2021. With the return to office gradually picking up, more workers are expected to gravitate towards condo rentals near their workplace to avoid the hassle and health risks associated with long commutes or limited transportation options due to community restrictions.

Mobile, Agile Lifestyle

The pandemic exposed the enduring demand to be close to transportation networks. In the rental market, more are searching for properties near the proposed Metro Manila Subway, according to Lamudi. Districts near mass transit such as Ortigas Avenue, West Rembo, and Western Bicutan are likewise popular among renters.

Ortigas Avenue offers easy access to MRT-3, as well as the soon-to-be-constructed MRT-4, eyed to connect Metro Manila and Rizal. West Rembo is near the newly-opened BGC-Ortigas Bridge and the Guadalupe and San Joaquin ferry stations. Meanwhile, Western Bicutan hosts the FTI station, the terminal at the South Main Line of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

With the rental market flexing strong demand, Lamudi projects bright spots for property investors and opportunities for brokers to maximize the strong rental market through digitizing their business.

To avail of the offer, sign up at https://bit.ly/UnliRentalListingNL.

Whisky and Watches: Rediscover the finer things in life with Federal Land Conversations

Fine watches and excellent whisky. These are two of the most popular choices of sophisticated people with discerning taste.  

To rediscover the world of time and spirits, Federal Land hosted a webinar series titled Federal Land Conversations – Living the Finer Life. The webinars showcase lifestyle and investment workshops aimed at reigniting passions and appreciating finer things in life.

The three-part webinar series is hosted by Carl Cunanan, Editor-in-Chief of Calibre Magazine and C! Magazine. As a prominent watch connoisseur, Cunanan also shared his expertise on watches during the first featured Federal Land Conversations. This was followed by a virtual whisky appreciation with whisky professional Kris Ong, founder of dramboxph and the Philippine liaison of Scotch Malt Whisky Society.  The third webinar will be all about the creation and appreciation of luxury cars airing on August 18. Carl Cunanan and Lexus Philippines Brand Manager Jade Sison will share the story of how to first-rate craftmanship and cutting-edge technology in every Lexus vehicle.

It is time

In the watches webinar, Carl Cunanan walked the audience through the wonderful world of watches, why they are considered a significant part of history, how they bond generations together, how they are prompting people to go back to the touchpoints of physical craftsmanship and attention to detail.  

Buying a watch may sound simple, but there are many things to think about before getting one, specifically the “complications.” Complications involve anything past the hour, minute, and second hand. The word complication includes functions such as the day-date, perpetual calendar, chronograph, power reserve, moon phase, repeater, tourbillon, to name a few. These all add value to the watch depending on how one wants to use it.

While some may prefer a simple wristwatch, others would choose a handcrafted luxury watch that serves as a legacy or investment. However, Mr. Cunanan cautioned that these expensive timepieces require a different level of understanding—from the brand, product, model, source, and future valuation if they are bought with an expectation of financial return.

“Treat watches as an investment, but if you want to know the value it will have in the future, you must do your homework. Not because it came from one brand, its price will skyrocket,” Cunanan said. “Watches as an investment are not only an investment in money. They are an investment in time, an investment in passion, an investment in your soul. Spend wisely,” he advised.

Just like property investments, watches are not only about the price but what one is buying them for, the value in the future, and the experience that can be received from them. The precision craftsmanship and unparalleled design are also the very pillars of Federal Land’s properties.  

In the same way that the market for high-end condominiums like Grand Hyatt Manila Residences South Tower and The Seasons Residences is different from those who want a simple corner home, watches also cater to different market segments. 

“If you look at the whole pyramid of needs thing, the further up you go, it’s more about you and what defines you than it is about the basics. But neither is right or wrong. It’s a matter of preference,” Mr. Cunanan said.

Water of life

Kris Ong took the audience through the whisky tasting process and explained the various influences of one of the world’s favorite barreled spirits known as “the water of life.” 

Whisky was first used as an internal anesthetic and external antibiotic. It originated in Ireland and Scotland and was made from different types of grain such as barley, corn, rye, and wheat. 

To pair whisky with food, Mr. Ong said it should be with complementing or contrasting flavors to create a balance or a proper counterbalance. For instance, a bourbon (whisky with 51% of grains made up of corn) tends to be on the sweet side and would be best paired with a saltier meal like a steak. A cream-based dish like Laksa, a whisky on the lighter side, or a bit more acidic would help cut through the fat. Adding a few drops of distilled or bottled water to some whiskies may also unleash more flavors.

When buying a whiskey, Ong stressed to never leave it under the sun for too long as the heat can diminish the drink. He also explained that a newly opened bottle of whisky could last for more than a year, but the air in the bottle creates oxidation. It will not ruin the whisky but may change the flavors, sometimes for the better. To preserve its original taste, an opened bottle should be consumed within a year. The contents may also be transferred to a smaller container to lessen the air.  

Whisky-tasting opportunity is available at The Peak of Grand Hyatt Manila, located at Federal Land’s Grand Central Park community in Bonifacio Global City.

Luxury living 

The next webinar under the Federal Land Conversations – Living the Finer Life will be all about vehicles, particularly Lexus Philippines’ line of luxury cars. It will be held on August 18, 2021, via Zoom Webinars.

Federal Land has lined up webinars to air in the following months. One will be about learning the basics of real estate investing considering your life stage. Another webinar will explore interior design for modern living, the latest design trends and hacks, and how to create live-work spaces at home to balance personal and professional life. There will also be a webinar that will show how to cook delectable dishes and take appetizing shots for posting and sharing online.

To join Federal Land Conversations – Living the Finer Life webinars, visit www.federalland.ph to register.

Federal Land welcomes S&R Marikina into its community

Newly opened S&R Marikina

World-class membership shopping retailer S&R opened its new store in Marikina along Sumulong Highway, providing members with big savings, great deals, and a more convenient shopping experience.

The newly opened S&R Marikina is a two-storey 5,000 sqm shopping space, strategically situated close to major roads and accessible to communities within the city and nearby province of Rizal. S&R Marikina opens within Federal Land’s mixed-use community, further enhancing the development’s existing retail and residential offerings.

S&R is a membership-shopping club modeled after the warehouse membership shopping chains introduced in the United States.It provides an expansive selection of imported and local items in value packed sizes to cater to your personal and business needs.

Aside from commercial centers such as S&R Marikina and BlueWave Mall, Siena Towers is situated in Federal Land’s mixed-use community in Marikina City. It is the latest residential high-rise offering that features affordable and well-built living spaces, and lifestyle amenities that address health and wellness – suitable for individuals and families who want the charm of suburban living and the conveniences of urban modernity.

Introducing the GUESS Originals Summer2021 Collection + GUESS Originals KIT Program

The Summer 2021 GUESS Originals collection is returning with its newest essentials line coined the GUESS Originals Kit Program. The program continues to be refreshed seasonally with essential core fits and colors featuring premium fabrics and timeless designs for both men and women.

The GUESS Originals capsule and Kit Program includes the brand division’s most contemporary denim styles and is available beginning July 16, 2021, in select GUESS retail stores and guess.com.ph. GUESS Originals Collection The Summer GUESS Originals Collection for both men and women takes inspiration from the California surf scene and features surf inspired graphics from the archives. The relaxed California lifestyle inspires the pastel colorsand softer washes in this delivery.

The summer collection feature timeless silhouettes with a fashion-forward approach. The men’s collection offers an array of tees, tanks, sweat shorts, slim and straight leg denim in light, dark, and black washes. Jogger pants, hoodies and crew neck sweatshirts return in gray, black and white tones and provide a laid-back look to your style. All denim pieces from the GUESS Originals seasonal offering also feature the iconic triangle logo on the back pocket. The women’s capsule incorporates a selection of tanks and crop tops in pale banana yellow and jet black. Knit sets in the form of button ups, provide ultimate comfort to your wardrobe.

A two-piece matching crop top and short set in daisy prints are the ultimate go-to summer styles that are both lightweight and fashion forward. The denim options are available in the form of cropped mom jeans, high rise, carpenter fit denim and the debut of a retro-inspired wide leg style. GUESS Originals Kit Program Each style featured in the GUESS Originals collection pairs back to the core styles offered in the Kit Program. Each silhouette included in the program emphasizes premium denim and heritage styles from the brand’s design archives.

The Kit pants are an assortment of elevated light will cargo pants, light chino khaki woven pants as well as light to dark stonewash denim. The Kit Program also includes chambray shirts and pocket tees for men. The women’s GO Kit Program offers a variety of ribbed tanks, bodysuits, mid-thigh shorts, as well as a light and dark stonewash denim jacket. Pricing for the GUESS Originals collection + GUESS Originals Kit Program ranges from P 1,698 to P 3, 898 for tops, bottoms, dresses, hats and denim.