Sell Your Hotel Faster, and For More Money, by Providing Seller Financing

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, | June 06, 2009

There's nothing more frustrating than a listed business that attracts a lot of attention, but no buyers who are willing to seal the deal. Unfortunately, that's exactly the situation many hotel owners are facing in today's marketplace.

Most of the time, the hotel isn't the problem. In fact, a business that generates significant attention in the marketplace is usually a good candidate for a sale. Instead, the issue is most often the buyers' inability to secure financing at the owner's asking price. That leaves owners with two options: Either lower the asking price or work with the buyer to overcome sale barriers.

A seller's willingness to finance at least part of a business sale has always been a strong selling point for buyers, but in recent months it has become essential. With many potential business buyers unable to access the necessary funds from lending institutions, hotel sellers who decide to offer seller financing are likely to have much more success selling their business than those who do not.

While it sounds like a no-brainer for hotel sellers to offer financing, they should be careful not to do so unprepared. When making the decision to offer financing, there is a great deal to consider and research in order to help ensure a successful, smooth process. To stay on track, sellers need to follow some obvious - and some not so obvious - dos and don'ts.

Can seller financing be risky? Absolutely, but under the right circumstances it can also be a financial boon. If financing the sale of your hotel sounds like a good idea, don't make another move until you've carefully considered the lessons being learned by other seller-financers.

Evaluate the Risk

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Donald R. Boyken
Darrell Schuurman
Bryan Green
Zoe Connolly
Tema Frank
Bonnie Knutson
Bram Hechtkopf
Clyde Guinn
Ellen L. Shackelford
Laurence Bernstein
Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.