Defining Hospitality

Our guest on Defining Hospitality this week is an architect with over 2 decades of experience designing spaces. He’s a renowned leader who thrives in the intersection of hospitality, real estate development and technology. Welcome to the show, President of The Hardy Group, Brent Hardy! Dan shares the mic with Brent to learn more about Brent’s background and how The Hardy Group has grown. In this episode, Brent shares strategies for balancing vision and budget, highlights the importance of effective communication, and looks towards the future of the hospitality industry. 

  • For Brent, hospitality is more than just a hotel building or an office space. Hospitality is about the interactions with people, and appreciating the moments throughout the whole experience.
  • When working on a project, balancing vision with budget is a necessary aspect that takes planning. While making changes to your design is never the first plan, your team needs to be collaborative on making adjustments to fit budget constraints.  
  • When new clients enter the industry, they don’t fully understand the operational requirements or a property. When helping design new buildings, you’ll need to communicate the nuances of planning for operations.
  • As the industry matures, it’s more important than ever to have a plan for training your next generation. Build out opportunities for them to grow as professionals and to step into leadership roles.
  • When looking towards the future, companies with a strong foundation need to be focusing on expanding their vision. Find new entrances to the market, try new ideas, and identify missed opportunities from the company’s history.
  • When working with a client for the first time, they may have concerns. To instill confidence in your clients, you need to demonstrate both technical aptitude and a level of passion for what you do. Passion for your work is integral in building trust.
  • While clients don’t need to know every technical detail on a product, they do want to know you understand their concerns. By putting yourself in their shoes, and empathizing with their needs, you build a stronger relationship.

Quote of the Show:
  • “10 years from now, if we’re doing the exact same thing we’re doing now, we’ve made a mistake.” - Brent Hardy


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Creators & Guests

Dan Ryan
Host of Defining Hospitality

What is Defining Hospitality?

Welcome to Defining Hospitality, the podcast focused on highlighting the most influential figures in the hospitality industry. In each episode we provide 1 on 1, in depth interviews with experts in the industry to learn what hospitality means to them. We feature expert advice on working in the industry, behind the scenes looks at some of your favorite brands, and in depth explorations of unique hospitality projects.

Defining Hospitality is hosted by Founder and CEO of Agency 967, Dan Ryan. With over 30 years of experience in hospitality, Dan brings his expertise and passion to each episode as he delves into the latest trends and challenges facing the industry.

Episodes are released every week on Wednesday mornings.

To listen to episodes, visit or subscribe to Defining Hospitality wherever you get your podcasts.

Dan Ryan: Today's guest is an accomplished leader, focused on the intersection of hospitality, real estate development, and technology. He's a registered architect with over 20 years of experience. He has a proven track record of driving growth and implementing strategic plans, enabling his organization to thrive.

He's a trusted advisor. And strategic partner to many of the world's leading hotel owners, brands and consultants. He was named president of the Hardy Group in 2022. He's member of the Urban Land Institute, I S H C, and an avid pickleball player. He's a dedicated family man, enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids.

Ladies and gentlemen, president of the Hardy Group, Mr. Brent Hardy. Welcome, Brent.

Brent Hardy: Hey, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Dan Ryan: Oh, it's so good to have you on, and it's crazy to think. That you've been at the Hardy Group for 15 years, because I've been in the industry for longer than that, almost twice as long. But I feel like you've always been there.

Brent Hardy: Yeah. Well, I mean, I, there's, there's a couple hard.

Dan Ryan: And we won't tell anyone about the unpaid intern part, um, except all of our listeners. But you know, to start off this, I know that you, you know, you've been raised in this industry, you know your dad, um, And built this great company and now you're at the helm and steering it on, forward in, in a really exciting and great and innovative way.

So I, before we get into everything, I'd just love to go into the first question, which is, how do you define hospitality?

Brent Hardy: No, that's a great question and I think, you know, for me, when I was starting out, as

a kid you know hospitality was what my dad did with hotels going to

hotels seeing buildings and that was hospitality I think as I grew in my career I've realized over time that's really limiting definitions, not just the physical thing, hospitality, it's more about interactions with people and, the appreciation for those kinds of moments. whether that's checking into a hotel, lobby experiencing the pool, or just appreciating the value people are doing every day at their job or. even as a guest when you're travelling to a hotel And so I think it's really a broader appreciation for those kinds of interactions with people that

because it's really meaningful and it's greater than any one product or property I think hospitality?

as an industry does very, very well and.

Dan Ryan: Yeah, and I, I do believe just like you, that it is that kind of space between the, the interpersonal relationship and so many of the projects that we work on. And just life in general. It's all about that energy between the people and it's just exciting to work on all these projects sometimes with you, sometimes not with you, but just in any project where we're building these environments, where people come together, exchange ideas, and hopefully have really positive memories.

Brent Hardy: Yeah. I mean, I think when you, when you think about you memorable experiences, And I think that's just one of the great things about the industry that that's a valuable part of industry. You're meetings, you're what role you're in industry. That's really what you lead with to be successful. And I think, you know, it's a really great thing that I've come appreciate wasn't when I was starting out really, really matter.


Dan Ryan: Um, one of the things I'm always amazed by you and colleagues of yours is, To really make these projects come to life, like you're, you're there at the very beginning. You have a, a, a budget with a lot of zeros on it. You have a lot of different stakeholders and you really, you have to bring it to life, obviously on time, on budget, but not without losing sight of that hospitality.

And I'm always intrigued by when you start, when things start going a little bit. Sideways. You're like, uh oh. Uh oh. How do you maintain that level of hospitality when, for all the stakeholders, but still trying to, you know, be accountable and deliver what you've promised?

Brent Hardy: Yeah, it's difficult because you know, there's very such thing as a easy project. Everything's age, where's tights are busy. That's for. Things are getting heated or getting, you know, people are getting little anxiety. Everything. You gotta kinda pause and down. Look, we're all trying to the same goal. I think, you know, so much of what we do as a business project manager

is different curve. How, how they best work together, personalities and the trust and so, A lot of, a lot of successful teams and projects are cause people are able to sort of come together, whether it's owner, architect, contract consultant, project manager, can really be effective as a team and work well.

That's level of professionalism experience.

It's harder to earn that or build that on some projects than others. But ultimately, you know, no single person is, is, is responsible for any project. It's always a team successful,

Dan Ryan: Hmm. Let, let's take, um, an average size project that you'd work on, like dollar value. What, what would an average size project be that you would work on?

Brent Hardy: uh, renovation work.

Dan Ryan: Yeah.

Brent Hardy: 20 80 million on sort of single asset deals. Um, typically more complicated renovations, redevelopment course. Part of the business, which is sort of programmatic select, which is much smaller individual units, is all over

Dan Ryan: Yeah.

Brent Hardy: Novation that.

Dan Ryan: Great. So I heard you say a couple of times in, in, when we first started talking, and even now, this idea of coming together and building trust, right? So let's just say, let's just pick a number of 50 million just so that we're working. That's, that's a lot of zeros when you have a team with so many different stakeholders.

What are you as the project manager and really the fiduciary for the owner? Correct. Like how, how do you kind of set the table at the outset or what's an ideal way to get everyone to the table and start that trust building? Especially if you haven't worked with designers or buyers or contractors or architects or all, all the different, um, parts that go into building or renovating a hotel.

Brent Hardy: Yeah, I mean, I think there's no one answer. I think. I think it starts with, uh, you know, on, on a. On a real practical basis before that team gets together, you've set for success. Especially today, you know, we're, we're seeing because of the covid and terminal markets, there's sort of new of owners and investors that are coming, market investors, they're multifamily. Part of it is making sure that that plan in place is, is the correct plan. You know, that's, that's, that's, that's a.

In, and then once you're, once you've kinda crossed that bridge and you believe that you're set up for success at a very basic level, then I think building that team with the right, right. Understanding expectations, right people, right roles. That's particular hits a budget by accident, right? You don't, you don't wake up one day and decide, wow, we got, we got lucky.

We're on budget, just. It doesn't happen. You're, you're, I tell everyone, like, we assume we're over budget from the first meeting, and so it's, it's just saying that when we go, we back, we're about engineering. We're we've

the visionary. Great idea. That's not just interior designer, it's also architects.

Dan Ryan: I'm really intrigued by, uh, this idea of the new class of hotel owners, right? Maybe first time hotel owners. Um, if you were to look at them on a spectrum, Is it, uh, mostly multi-family folks or other, um, commercial real estate folks or just people from other, um, other asset classes that want to get into hotels?

Like what, where, what would be the biggest part of that pie in your

Brent Hardy: It's all above personal belief that.

Dan Ryan: I.

Brent Hardy: 10 years from now, there's be someone in this industry that wasn't here today, right? That's gonna have a major impact and a major mark on industry. What we're trying to figure out is how do we find that person now before they're successful, before they've got a giant building, before they're a known, and they're still just that first, first step out the door.

How can we're all the, all the feature opportunities that you're gonna pass by, so I. that means for new insurance. What we're seeing really is people, for example, coming outta multifamily who perhaps with some of the headwinds of that market sort, hospitalities sort think we're seeing a lot of people coming out of what I would say is either. Luxury single family development or, uh, the, the, uh, sort of guys that were Airbnb folks for the last 10 years that have maybe. The parts of that industry that have consolidated and become professional and built a business around.

So maybe would started off 10 years ago as their own you two units and now they've got 50. Or, and looking at hospitality as the, that's, we also see a lot of, um, people that are, um, you know, new, uh, equity investors. Sometimes that's, Some private equity vehicle, you know, fund to funds or some other group that, you know, would take that money and they're, they're coming in now more on direct, I think. Cause they just like the flexibility and the control and they their own for a lot of reason. Um, I think you're also seeing people that maybe who are my age or our age, you know, that, that perhaps we're working at a firm for the last 10, 12, 15 years and, Experience in their career that now with Covid and changing in turmoil, they're looking at, well, I'm thing, you know, I.

so, so it's a combination of all those, and So we're, Tom's aren't, aren't the top five investors. Let's, let's find a way where capabilities. One thing that we're trying to be careful of, we don't, we don't overlook those opportunities. Cause today they're not apparent as.

Dan Ryan: So whether it's multifamily, family office, um, high-end residential single family that are coming into this, is there a, a theme or a thread that would be the most, like what's most surprising to these new hotel owners when they roll up their sleeves with you and start getting into hotels?

Brent Hardy: Yeah, I think, I think, um, I think it just, the, the, the. The nuance of the industry of how things work, right? And the complexity is an operating agreement. The of what is a brand really doing and what, what they, you, where, where do you sort opinion contradictory and, and cons of all this? All people that are in the meeting of how you really navigate all these conversations.

Sometimes we information. Something else, like how do, how analyze.

Dan Ryan: Hmm.

Brent Hardy: Through that, that, that chaos or that confusion, you know, using our experience and sort of trying to figure like, what are you trying to do? What's the vision? And we'll, we'll help you walk that path. And it's not just us, right? Also architect feasibility. It's not just Brett Hardy and Hardy group, but we're, we're helping sort of, you know, pull those in the right.

To the sort of our clients and investors to process very efficient.

Dan Ryan: S so if I'm hearing you correctly, it's, look, there's from operating agreements to all the different brands and the spectrum of brands and like what the vision of everything is, it's like how do we get everything aligned to do it? And so it's just, it's a lot. It's a, it's a very large yellow onion to un to.

It's the largest of the large yellow onions that you could find at the supermarket, and then what's really surprising to them, okay, once you've figured out all that and you're, okay, well, you've selected this. This is the vision. This is what we're doing from the other real estate classes or commercial real estate classes.

As you start. Let's say making sawdust or pouring foundations or, or, or demolitioning something to the time that it's done, what surprises the most there? Um, from the actual doing of the, of the physical space.

Brent Hardy: Um, you know, I would say it depends. I mean, it's where, where they're coming from. If they're, if they're outta the commercial multifamily side of things and they're in the commercial world, it's not, not drastically different. Um, if they're more from a residential side of things of, of, of a hotel particularly. Sort of really appreciating the operational, the back and how critical that to get right. Um, you know, example, most classes it's some leasing on the multi side, it's fairly. You're kind a landlord, right? There's really no successful hotel investors, owners, or landlords, right? You've gotta be really top of operations and the physical product needs to be support, sort of

that type of stuff. You know, if you're on hotel industry, me never walked into a kitchen before. You never walked to the housekeeping. For all the, all things behind the doors that all the associates do every day. I think that's the kinda thing where, you know, for new owners, we really sort of emphasize, look, you're, you're

great guest's that function operates and we're not gonna have, you know, Five times as staff here as we need to really, really helping. That's.

Dan Ryan: And as you've been there for the past 15 years, not including the time before that as an unpaid intern. Um, I'm always intrigued by family, businesses and, and. How they can be really successful or, or not. But I really, obviously I'm talking to you because I really, I see you guys as a very successful multi-generational business.

Like what are the thi, what are the things that you learn most from your dad that you're, you're carrying forward as you're leading the company?

Brent Hardy: Yeah, well I think there's a few things aren't boss and. I think that's probably true for a lot of things, but really, really loving hospitality for all the reasons for, you know, for all the crazy reasons and all the same reasons, and all the difficult reasons. And here's,

Dan Ryan: You've drank the Kool-Aid.

Brent Hardy: drank the, yeah, yeah, I, I have a new.

Dan Ryan: Me too.

Brent Hardy: And I'll never be an office. I don't care way, I don't care what it's, you know, I like hotel much. But I also think, uh, one thing I will say industry, industry too, is that if you, you go around, start sort of, you've around a have businesses, industry feels like it's just, it's just crazy.

Like it's, it's, it's more than you probably know when you start digging into the companies how, I think that's probably. Again, it's that passion. It's intergenerational, but also, uh, from the family business side of things. You know, I think our, my father and I are, it's really interesting cause you hear a lot of horror stories about sort of father son dynamic generation and I think we, we have very little drama.

We're, we're very different people. Personality wise. We work really well together. I think it's. Combination of just utmost. Recognizing, you know, this is five years ago or more, sitting down with this team saying, look, you, we need, have plan for the next generation. This company is not me. It's, it's, it's all you've strategic and purposeful generation leaders and given opportunities to succeed and to grow as professionals, um, and making room for that, right?

Those. Um, you know, tell them that like, we believe they're successful and they're. Um, And you know, I, I, I'll give my dad a of credit to sort of build this business. And sort of maybe be around but be an advisor that I can't imagine doing that. Like that's crazy. I've got so much, you know, and so sort of narrative letting, so I think it's, you know, we've, we've been lucky in that.

Dan Ryan: And I'm curious because, you know, coming in in 2008, was that just before, during, or just after the start of the financial crisis?

Brent Hardy: it was right during the start. I.

got my dates right, was right at the beginning of that activity. Maybe it hadn't fully hit yet, but it was, it was in discussion. Cause we were. Particular project and Lehman.

Dan Ryan: So describe like starting that. Coming into the company, obviously you had experience and you knew people just from being there in the family, but you know your dad, like your dad's steady hand there on, on the helm. And then were there any similarities or parallels that you drew from him in that 2008 experience to how the doors came off in in Covid?

Brent Hardy: Yeah, I mean, for sure. So I mean, one of the benefits I think of being a family company, we're not, we're not, you know, Multinet, multinational, conglomerate. Is we can do what we wanna do. We don't, there's no, there's no board process division of, you know, masters and you knows over us. And so we, we've always taken the stance, every downturn.

This is, I would say, advice for anyone in our business, not just what we is. We, we really kept our entire team in tax through, through every downturn, through both Covid?

and through the prior expansion crisis. Very, very little. Um, people leaving the company stayed employed during the downturn. Good people. Um, you're, you're sort of cutting off your nose by your face. Everything is gonna come back. Resilient. Sort of transitory, if you gotta sort of find way to. With, with some austerity measures to put it in some terms, organizational expertise and here, so when things began accelerate as they we for you, I think that's what we, they deserve for all their hard work, it's thing.

Dan Ryan: Hmm. I appreciate that. And another thing I've always appreciated and I wanted to know, like get back to the origin story of this, is that the radical innovation program that you guys do, like where did, where did that come from and what do you as a company feel you gain from organizing that every year?

Brent Hardy: Yeah. So, so this is, I, I it's really, you know, I would say my, my Father's passion project and it's, it's the kinda, we're, we're, we're actually surprisingly enough we're both British architects. Uh, we both look the same university Illinois architecture, same program, same from around. And I think he just wanted to get, he, he, he had a panel HDX a number of years ago. And he, I think he said he wanted to do something. He'd only if you do whatever he wanted to do, fine. So he said he wanted this competition and just started, you know, I dunno, 15 or so years ago now, how long it, was.

Grew, grew. Grew, it's thing. Where's we sit down and calculate an I roi? Here's the business. Just like, look, it's what excites, what excites us. Uh, it's providing. Force some innovation on the industry and differently as well as you providing. To sort of push industry.

Dan Ryan: I think it, it resonates with me just cuz like with this podcast, it's, I don't know, I just enjoy doing it. It gives me, it kind of fills some buckets that maybe weren't being filled or it just satisfies my curiosity in a way, and it allows me to connect with people in a different way. So, uh, just kudos to you, um, to you guys for, for coming up with that 15 years ago and.

I dunno, maybe in some way back here it was, it was also inspiration for me to think about what are things I could do differently to bring other voices to the forefront to tell different stories. Cuz, cuz I think we all learn and benefit from this as an industry, right? When you talk about the Kool-Aid drinking, like there's a lot of it, but I, I feel like there's some, I don't know, real foundational, um, culture that kind of binds us all together and I don't know, I just appreciate it and I, I love seeing.

What comes out every year, and I, I, it was 15 years ago. So would it be safe to say that your dad was able to follow that passion project when you came on? Like you freed up some bandwidth so then he could go tinker a little bit? Or was that, or is

Brent Hardy: Oh, totally. I mean, he like my, my. Yeah, my father's never gonna retire in the classical sense, so he'll always be around. Cause that's just, again, it's part of his passion and who he's, I mean, at the dinner table, my wife and my mom are like, can we stop talking about work? And we're like, no.

What's definitely to spend more time on. As an organization, we have he sort, uh, sort of hand responsibilities.

Dan Ryan: Yeah. Well, it's also, it's kind of like research and development too, right? It's, uh, it's working. It's more working on the business than working in the business, if you will. Is that sa, is that safe to say?

Brent Hardy: Yeah.

And I think, you know, at a certain point in his career, he wants to do things that he wants to do. Right. And I think he's earned that and something he's passionate about. So, um, we're happy. It's great. It's wants He's, he's

Dan Ryan: No, keep him doing it because I, I love seeing it every year. It's, it's, uh, it's always inspiring. Um, so going back to like starting in 2008, you got Covid, like you got Covid, we went through Covid. Um, And that, that was, those were like pivotal moments for our, our industry, and we're still dealing with the vestiges of both of those incidents.

I would say. Um, as you look in the rear view, like, so that's in the rear view mirror mostly, but like when you look out into the windshield, what's exciting you and the hearty group the most as you look into the future?

Brent Hardy: Yeah. You know, I think, you know, we, this is what I'll tell my team we're, we're. It's the most exciting time I've been in the business since I started because we have all the foundational sort of infrastructure built in terms of, you know, scale, excellence, competency, you know, expert, you know, market knowledge with people that are like, there's no, there's no right. We can, great.

What's exciting? What do you want you next? Where can we go? It's entrepreneurship and that passion of like what we're looking at, at least you leadership is how do we, again, I look at 10 years, right? 10 years from now we're doing the exact thing. We're we've, right? There's sort critical function of what we do. Development. Command advisory work. But, but what's that? What's that thing that 10 years we shoulda known about?

Right? How opportunity, identifying right. they're, they're in chaos and they idea what they're doing. They've got great help. Whatever means, and along it's industry's not part of

Dan Ryan: Hmm.

Brent Hardy: business perspective, well as just, you know, enjoying success in industry. And, uh, so we're, we're looking at, you know, I think, I, I tell my team, you know, one of my goals is never anybody, no, frankly, they're, they're a idea, right? The reality is

Dan Ryan: Hmm.

Brent Hardy: we, how do we, uh, Know, allow people to be, to help them be successful. Cause I think we have a lot of value. Bring the table. Um, and, and uh, just leveraging that the right way. And there's no easy answer there. That could be things, whether that's different types of hospitality, whether that's different, different types of investor owners.

We we're still exploring that, but I think we're actively thinking along those lines.

Dan Ryan: Hmm. You know, as I, since we've been talking and just from a, a previous conversation, I've heard you say enthusiastic excitement and excellence, the three E's a lot. So like, tell me more about that. Like what. What, and, and you light up so much when you talk about it, like how does that weave into what you guys are doing at the Hardy

Brent Hardy: Yeah, well one of, one of the things we have on our log, our corporate employee, first thing you'll be nice, be honest, and be best in business. I, that's sort crux of we company, so, you know. What that really, so the reality is, part of that is, is is us, is part of my mentorship with the people is, is to make sure, like, look, you have to love this job.

You have to love the, you do, it's difficult work. No one's got a job, which is easy. That's environment. Everything's product difficult. Every job has difficulties. But if you're, if you don't, if you don't enjoy, you're not passionate about it. You're just not gonna be successful in the long term. Right. And I think the reality is you probably need find something else to do.

Right. You know, if this job isn't exciting, you like find the job that excites you. Maybe it's different, different role in the organization. Maybe it's a different company, but, but for us, you know, I think what, what I lead hope. I think I do. I can't hide it. Right. You're, you're gonna be excellent at it. Cause I think you just got so much professional pride and sort of personal pride that. Going that extra step and extra effort, you're not doing it cause you have to do it or you're being told to cause like that's just what you need to do.

Be the excellent provider of service, that you're professional. And I think that's ours. That leadership alongside me, the company I think shared that type of vision and and perspective.

Dan Ryan: As you were saying that I was, uh, reminded of something, uh, I guess a little anecdote that Danny Meyer, I think it was in the book set the table that he said he was gonna become a lawyer or something, and I think it was his uncle was like, well, do you want to be a lawyer? And he's like, I don't know, it just seems like the thing to do.

And his uncle said, you know, you're gonna be dead a lot longer than you're alive. And it was just like, whoa, I better, uh, really enjoy and embrace what I'm doing. Otherwise, you know, life is just, it's too short and, I dunno, it just sounds a little cliche as well, love what you do or, but let it be cliche because it's a hundred percent true.

Life is too short. And if we don't enjoy what we're doing, like really what's the point?

Brent Hardy: Yeah, when you walk into, you know, a client for meeting for the first time, right? I mean, you know, if you're there and you're like, look, I don't care how difficult this. I know how to get through this and we've been here before, like we, this we're work on. It's be difficult, but we're to help. Right. We know, we know we can get there.

I think that confidence comes with combination of, of experience, failures in your background. You've, it's, it's, it's sharing that passion that I'm not just doing this cause I'm here, you know, I'm. What I love to do as professional, and I think it's, it's, you know, and if you're, if you're, you know, we we're entrusted as product manager with a lot of, you know, these clients are taking this entire core investment, all their, all their bosses, all their investors right here, you like, please, please help me this in two years.

And so that, that, that comes with a certain amount of sort of gravitas, like, look like we really. We mess this up. This person is, is, you know, they're in trouble. And so you have to have a level of trust. You know, they have level trust with you and that, that we're, we're not just gonna like leave tomorrow, not try. think that, you know, you can try to that sort of dedication and passion, but, but, but you can't. Right. And people, people, I think, When we go to these kinds of meetings, I think, I think whether they can articulate it specifically or not, it's this kinda sort of, you know, uh, you know, sort of belief and opinion interaction that, that they pick up on and resonates with them.

I think that's, that's what they want. You all these you have, you have like, I get it. But, but that's why you're,

Dan Ryan: What, what's a a, a past, uh, Present or, yeah. What's a, what's a good past or present example of a really big project where you tackled it with the enthusiasm, the excitement, and, I don't know, and just kind of lived and executed it according to your values and got everyone together. Harmoniously to get it done.

Like what? What's a good project that showcases that? And just kind of walk us through it. And I know you love all of your projects equally,

Brent Hardy: Yeah. Well, I don't mean to like name names, but like, you know, there's, there's times where we walk into a room, you know, and, and our first meeting with the client reps or even in a sales meeting, right? We're just like, Hey, we're the hardy group. Here's what we do. And you know, so much of what, you know, what's interesting is like the reality in our business, I'm sure it's true for everyone who's, who's got a technical sort of process, part of their business is that, Architect or designer, whoever.

Contractor. The reality is you're never gonna explain at any really detailed level to your client what you do. Right. There's no way. They're not an architect, they're not project manager's only so much you're explain. if they knew that already wouldn't. Right? So, so what? What I find is, The important part about all this sort we're, we're statements. Is just keep, just really communicating. you understand like what, what is their concern, like awake at night. And the reality is, typically when I'm in a lot of meetings, clients, or probably even scope, it's, it's not, not my stuff, it just. It's just making sure that that, you know, from a strategic level, whether it's early, a project that, that everyone understands what we're doing and how we're doing it.

Why? And so I think, I think in, in some respects, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's being able to sort of put your, yourself in their shoes and say like, yeah, I understand that the structure and the, the, you know, the process of managing that relationship with whoever the debt writer is, is really critical. Um, Understand that's, we're handle that, that's in my proposal anywhere, you know, but that's reality of entrusted responsibility.

Finding ways to sort of, sort of, you know, take some of the fears away. Right? It's, it's a lot of construction. It's. I think it's, it's very common where we get into projects working for six months with, you know, trying to figure it out. It's so hardest part is like the failures step's

checklist, right? And it's easy to get overwhelmed if you don't have the experience to know how to parse. Let's focus on these three things first. Right?

Dan Ryan: What, what's one thing? Communicating, it's another thing being able to pull it out of a client. Right? Because I love how you said it's like what's keeping you up at night or what's most important to you? Cuz in all of the. In everything that goes into any project, it doesn't matter what you do. Um, we're all running full steam ahead trying to accomplish it, but sometimes we're just running full steam ahead, not knowing those two things, what's most important and what's keeping them up at night, and just asking those questions on any challenge.

Or any project, it's just very clarifying and it automatically reprioritizes everything. But I find sometimes people are, are timid to ask that question of the client because, uh, we, I should know what it is, I should know what's keeping them up or what's most important. But it's okay to, it's okay to ask because oftentimes that that whole way of thinking is so different in, in your client's mind.

Brent Hardy: Yeah. And sometimes you get an answer like, well, I wouldn't have guessed that. Right? Like, wow, that's, that's like, I'm not worried about that at all, you know? But like,

Dan Ryan: Yeah.

Brent Hardy: But they don't know, like you, they, they've never done this before new. So like they sometimes, like, part of part of our job new clients is like, look, these are the things you need to worry about.

These are things you don't worry about. Yes. Problems prioritizing how can walk through that. Especially if you think about you're, you're no, like, there's so much between all the brands and the operators. Yeah.

there's so many stakeholders and, and you just, they, they don't even know like where, like what are real problems and what are just like normal things that we'll get through.

Right. Hey, today's

Dan Ryan: Hmm.

Brent Hardy: prioritization of, of communicating sort of like where they need to spend their, what, what should they be worried about? You. Sometimes it's things that,

Dan Ryan: It's like eating an elephant one bite at a time. Um, okay, so I wanna go back to you as a, well, I could be a 12 year old, but maybe this, the experience isn't. But let's go, let's go to architecture school. Okay. And the John, or the, I'm sorry, the Brent that I'm speaking to right now magically appear in front of your ar your architecture self in that building that your dad was in 30 years before you.

Um, what advice do you have for yourself?

Brent Hardy: That's a great question. Um, you know, I, I would say, I think this is probably true to a lot of younger people, their twenties, uncomfortable know everything. And I, I know where to start, you know, I'm just so confused and I try to make sure I'm doing the right thing. I think there's a lot of fear failure at that age without recognizing that like, look like 15 years later, 20 years later. I'm like, there's no magic here. It's just everyone's work experience comfortable with just knowing that, look, there's things that I don't to solve to solve those problems.

I, that's everything. have the right network and the right support group that you, when problems arise, that it was, and that was a big learning curve of me in my thirties.

Dan Ryan: Yeah,

Brent Hardy: really good at it and really rely on others to pick up the rest, able to trust, be part of that, part of that team. It's never any person,

Dan Ryan: and then there are always those unknown unknowns that you just can't account for and you just gotta deal with. Right.

Brent Hardy: comfortable that's, there's no perfect project. There's gonna be problems. Right.

Like that's just a reality. How good you're, there's always an issue. Something comes up. it shouldn't. Maybe you can't. That's just a reality development. It's messy, right? And so trick is just being uncertainty. Move forward with that being the case and not get hung up on, you know, trying to go in circle, solving your problems.

It'll never go anywhere. You gotta find a way to move forward with uncertainty and just be comfortable working in that environment, otherwise yourself. Ways to get comfortable with it and just know that when those things come up, you're.

Dan Ryan: I love it. Um, well, Brent, this, this has just been a wonderful conversation to, you know, peer behind the curtain of, of the Hardy group. Um, so I just, I wanna say thank you so much and if people wanted to learn more about you or the hardy group, what can, how can they learn more?

Brent Hardy: Uh, well, they. It's been great. Thanks. Thanks for having me. I appreciate.

Dan Ryan: Yeah. Radical innovation. I, I gotta talk to your dad. We'll, we'll compare notes. Um, but, but in all seriousness, I know how busy you are onboarding. Um, All the, all the new hotel owners and all of your existing clients and other clients who own and operate, um, a lot of hotels. Um, but I thank you for your time here.

It really means a lot to me and also to our listeners.

Brent Hardy: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks.

Dan Ryan: And I'd also be remiss if I didn't thank our listeners because. They keep listening and more keep listening. So it just keeps driving me to, to keep pulling these stories out of people within our industry to just better paint a picture of, of what's out there and how we all get it done.

So thank you to the listeners and if, if this change your thinking on development or hotels or hospitality, please pass it along to someone else. And, uh, we're growing every week and it's all because of you. So thank you, and we'll catch you next time.