Three Hotel Acquisition Tips

By Mike Handelsman Group General Manager, BizBuySell.com | April 14, 2010

Buying a hotel can be a complicated process, even with previous experience owning and running an establishment. The business-for-sale marketplace is very dynamic - and each hotel is so unique - that both pros and novices alike must do extensive research and preparation before diving into a deal.

How do buyers avoid getting burned and make sure they enter into an acquisition that offers them financial and emotional peace of mind? They have the greatest chance for success by being proactive and well-versed during every step of the purchase process. With the following three tips as starting points, buyers can be sure to find out what they need to know to get well on their way to owning the hotel of their dreams.

1. Understand Your Parameters

One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing a business is not having a solid grasp on how it will affect their lives. It's not uncommon for hotel buyers to get so excited by the prospect of owning a new business that they rush into it without asking themselves some very important questions, such as:

Will owning this business lead to a lifestyle that makes me happy? It's no secret that owning a hotel can be a lot of work, but still, many buyers aren't aware of just how life-changing and time-consuming it can be. First-time buyers might have an unrealistic view of what a hotel owner needs to put into the business, believing the staff will be able to do most of what it takes to keep things running smoothly and profitably. Then, when they find themselves doing tasks they never thought they'd have to do, they might become disillusioned and overwhelmed, jeopardizing their health and the health of the business.

Even experienced or repeat buyers can fall into this trap, thinking that since they've already learned the ropes with one purchase, they'll be able to handle another with no problems. This is dangerous thinking, as every business is different and presents unique challenges.

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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.