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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.