Top View: Julien Naouri, Senior Vice President, Investment Sales - JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

Top View: Julien Naouri, Senior Vice President, Investment Sales - JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

Julien Naouri joined JLL Hotels & Hospitality in 2020, bringing 12 years of marketing, transaction, development, operator selection and valuation expertise. Prior to joining JLL, Julien spent 10 years as a Director with Savills Hotels and CBRE Hotels based in Singapore and Paris where he focused on Capital Markets assignments.
Notable assignments Julien has conducted include:
  • USD 1.1 billion of sales across Japan including the sale in Hyatt Regency Osaka, the Crowne Plaza Portfolio and the Hilton Odawara.
  • USD 500 million of transactions across the Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean including the W and Sheraton Maldives, Anantara Ubud in Bali, Le Meridien Saigon and the Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

Julien attended the EHL Hospitality Business School in Switzerland from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Administration and he is a registered Real Estate Salesperson with Singapore’s Council for Estate Agencies. In this exclusive interview, he shares insights into his brilliant career path and tips on success for future leaders.

Julien Naouri  Senior Vice President, Investment Sales JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
Can you give us a brief about your position and responsibilities?

JN: I’m a Senior Vice President in the JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, Investment Sales Asia team based in Singapore. Focusing on key markets in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, I’m responsible for managing details relating to every aspect of hospitality investment analysis and transaction execution from the pitch and underwriting stage through marketing, due diligence and closing to achieve clients’ transaction execution goals and effectuate a smooth transition. 

What are the current trends/challenges in your area?

JN: The hospitality industry in Asia is seeing a significant surge in investment despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors are seeking opportunities in hotel development, especially in countries with stable economies such as Australia, Japan and Singapore. However, the industry faces several challenges, such as changing consumer behaviors and preferences, rising labor costs, and increasing interest rates. Additionally, the pandemic has made it difficult for hotels to operate profitably, resulting in many investors adopting a wait-and-see approach before committing to new investments. Nevertheless, with the growing middle class and increasing tourism in Asia, the hospitality industry is expected to rebound, presenting new opportunities for investors. 

What does it take to grow to the executive level in your field?

JN: To grow to the executive level in the hospitality brokerage business in Asia, one needs to possess a blend of skills, experience, and qualities. Firstly, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the hospitality industry in Asia, including local customs, cultural differences, and business practices. Networking and building strong relationships with clients, hotel owners, and industry professionals is equally important for success in the brokerage business. Developing a reputation for integrity, professionalism, and trustworthiness is critical as your reputation is vital to your success in the industry. As an executive, you need to identify opportunities for growth, manage risk, and develop new products and services that meet the changing needs of your clients. 

Any learning sources/techniques you would recommend?

JN: There are various learning sources and techniques I can recommend. Firstly, attending industry events and conferences is an excellent way to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the industry. Online courses, webinars, and workshops are also valuable resources for learning, providing flexible and accessible opportunities to improve knowledge and skills. Reading industry publications, such as journals and blogs, can also provide valuable insights into the latest hospitality industry news and trends. Finally, and again, networking with industry professionals and peers can be an excellent way to exchange ideas and knowledge, as well as build relationships and contacts that can help in one's career development.

What would be your next career step?

JN: The natural next step in my career as a broker in the hospitality industry in Asia would typically be to progress to a more senior role, such as a team leader. As a team leader, one would be responsible for supervising a team of brokers, providing guidance and support, and ensuring that the team meets its targets and objectives. I will also include managing client relationships, developing and implementing business strategies, and ensuring compliance with regulations. Another possible next step could be to specialize in a particular area of hospitality, such as hotel or resort, Maldives or Indonesia, and develop expertise in that area. Overall, the natural next step in in my career would depend on my individual goals, interests, and skills, as well as the needs of the business and the broader industry trends.

About JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group

For over 30 years JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group has been the world’s leading hospitality real estate advisor. Specialising in commercial property, JLL offers leisure, retail and development properties for sale, helping clients successfully navigate the unique challenges of nowadays.

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