How Well You Run Your Hotel Factors Into How Easily You Can Sell It

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, BizBuySell.com | November 27, 2009

Whether you're planning to sell your hotel in the near future or many years down the road, one of the most important rules to remember is the better care you have taken of the business, the more easily you'll be able to sell it.

This rule might seem like a no-brainer, but it's very common for hotel owners to focus so much on certain areas of the business that they neglect others, ultimately complicating the selling process when it comes time to leave the business.

In some very basic ways, selling a hotel is like selling anything else that has had a previous owner. When someone is in the market for a previously-owned car, for example, they are much more likely to purchase one that has obviously been well-maintained and shows the most promise of suiting their future needs. Similarly, when someone is looking to purchase a hotel, they want to know that the business has been properly run by its previous owner and will allow them the greatest chance for success.

Unfortunately, many business owners fail to keep this in the back of their minds when running their establishments, and then when it comes time to sell must suddenly face the ugly truth: by not putting enough care into certain critical areas of their business along the way, they've positioned themselves for an unnecessarily challenging sales process. This can create an especially difficult situation if the owner is suddenly forced to sell because of an unexpected life event such as a health issue or necessary change in location.

There are a few key considerations hotel owners should keep top of mind at all times in order to help ensure the process will go as smoothly as possible when it's necessary to leave the business. Whether an owner plans to sell the business in one year or doesn't plan to sell it for a long time, addressing the following questions and actively making improvements where needed can pay off in spades when the time comes to put the hotel on the market.

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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.