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 March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.