Sell on Your Own, Or Use a Broker?

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, | May 28, 2010

In the world of real estate, selling without the assistance of a real estate agent has received a lot of attention. But is it really a good idea to try and sell your hotel on your own?

In my role at, I talk to a lot of business sellers. While the thought of saving a broker commission is attractive, sellers who pursue a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction have found that it's easier said than done.

Is it possible to sell your hotel or hospitality business yourself? Absolutely, but it's not for everyone. In some cases, a FSBO sale may be the right answer. But in most, the smart move is to hire a professional broker t8o list your hotel and locate a buyer.

When Selling a Hotel On Your Own May Be the Right Answer

Every hotel sale is unique. But for the most part, there are a few scenarios that might make a FSBO transaction a better fit for your business exit.

If the sales price is less than $200k

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.