Successfully Selling Your Hotel/Motel : Five Ways to Optimize your Online Listing

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, BizBuySell.com | July 17, 2011

Each year, many hotel owners decide to sell their business for a variety of personal and financial reasons. Whatever the cause, selling successfully requires the owner to think creatively and strategically to attract the maximum number of potential buyers and weed out those who aren't serious about buying. As the Internet has emerged as one of the most efficient and effective vehicles to publicize your business sale and attract potential buyers, part of this strategy should include an online listing. A well thought-out and well-written listing will allow a seller to attract more prospects and better sort the serious buyers from the rest.

By keeping the following rules of online listings in mind, you can help ensure that your business attracts the greatest number of potential buyers, and that the selling process goes quickly and smoothly.

1. Provide Financial and Geographic Details

Perhaps the most important aspect of filling out your listing is properly balancing the amount of details you provide while still retaining confidentiality. Through our experience with BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com, two of the largest business-for-sale marketplaces in the U.S., we've found there are many ways to successfully achieve this. We'll get to the confidentiality aspect in a minute but first, let's take a look at what details you need to provide.

The most essential aspect of your listing will be the hotel's financial situation. Including your finances, such as revenue and cash flow, can greatly increase the number of views for your business listing, as this is the most common way potential buyers search for businesses. Disclosing the financial information of your hotel in a listing is likely to build confidence in potential buyers. If you do not include the information, buyers might get the impression that you have something to hide and quickly navigate away from your listing.

Sellers should also provide as much geographic information as they can without revealing the exact identity of the hotel. Most buyers search at the county or city/town level, and by hiding the city/town of your business in your listing, you eliminate your listing from their search results. Many sellers are hesitant to provide details on their hotel's location, but disclosing this information will almost always result in more messages from potential buyers.

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