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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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.