How to Make Your Hotel Marketable

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, BizBuySell.com | February 12, 2012

It's not uncommon for two hotel owners simultaneously looking to sell their businesses in the same area to undergo completely different experiences. One might find the selling process to go quickly and smoothly, with the business commanding a respectable price. At the same time, the other might struggle as the hotel sits on the market for many months, eventually selling for much less than they had hoped. What accounts for these two very different experiences? The first seller most likely had a much better understanding of how to make their hotel marketable to prospective buyers.

In many ways, selling a hotel isn't too different from selling a house. In both cases there are certain factors that can have a significant impact on whether or not the property is marketable to buyers, such as physical condition, the quality of a for-sale listing and financial details. Ultimately, though, selling a business is a unique situation that presents unique challenges. If hotel owners enter into the selling process without sufficient knowledge and preparation, they could find that their businesses sell for less and stay on the market much longer than they'd like.

To make a business as marketable as possible, hotel sellers should pay close attention to the following considerations:

Create a strong listing

While the physical condition of a hotel is a critical element in its marketability, how a seller presents the establishment in a for-sale listing can be just as important. Sellers who create strong, carefully thought-out listings almost always have the most success selling their businesses. The top goal should be to provide as many details as possible without revealing the exact identity of the business (assuming you'd like to keep that confidential, as most sellers do). Sellers who take this approach are usually leaps and bounds ahead of the competition from the start, and are likely to pull in higher prices and sell their hotels in much less time.

The first step is to determine where you will list your hotel for sale. Traditional local newspaper listings can target a niche audience, but online listings typically offer much wider exposure. The marketing strategies and overall functionality of business-for-sale websites differ greatly from site to site, so it's crucial to do your homework before deciding where to list.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.