Selling a Hotel - Four Vital Steps in Communicating With Prospects

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, BizBuySell.com | October 28, 2008

When the time has come to sell your hotel and you have listed it for sale online, it is a great feeling to receive interest from potential buyers. Let's face it - selling a business independently can be a lot of hard work and a major time commitment, and when people show interest in what you are selling it can translate into a quick, painless sale.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons communication between a buyer and a seller is not always simple. Hotel owners who list their establishment for sale on the Internet often have to deal with many inquiries from browsers who enter into a conversation without any serious interest in purchasing a business. If hotel sellers are not savvy in how to address this type of situation, they might find the selling process to be longer and more frustrating than necessary.

By following some simple communication guidelines when selling your hotel online, you can ensure you don't get caught up in a communication trap.

Step 1: Be Knowledgeable About Your Business

It is essential to know your business before you put it up for sale. It sounds simple, but the fact remains that many business owners list their establishment for sale online without having a clear grasp on how much their business is worth and what facts to communicate to potential buyers.

The first step is to get all the financial information of your hotel in order, including cash flow and revenue numbers that span from the time you first owned the business to the current day. After you list your hotel for sale, you'll undoubtedly have to field legit financial questions from potential buyers, and you won't want to come off looking irresponsible or uninformed about your own business.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.