How to Make Your Hotel Marketable

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, | 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 June 2019...

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.