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Mike Handelsman

Selling your hotel can be hard enough without having to worry about hitting that perfect price. With the economy still struggling to recover from the worst recession in history, buyers tend to smell blood in the water - even if your hotel has remained profitable and your local economy is healthy. With that in mind, there are some simple things you can do to ensure your business fetches the best price possible Read on...

Marky Moore

In today's competitive hospitality market, it's essential to approach improvements and renovations with a comprehensive strategy and an understanding of how you can benefit from a variety of tax deductions available to hotel owners. Can improvements actually pay for themselves through smart tax strategies like cost segregation and making energy efficient upgrades? Can you still take advantage of past renovations or somehow take a deduction for new equipment purchased or leased this year? Looking at the big picture and working with the right professionals as you plan your renovations and upgrades can provide a big payoff in tax savings and boosting your cash flow this year and in years to come. Read on...

William Collins

The lodging industry has had many challenges over the past few years, but as of October 1, it can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the new debit card "swipe fees" go into effect, lowering burdensome fees charged every time a customer uses their debit card to pay for a room or other hotel services. Although these new rules can bring significant cost savings for hoteliers, it will not happen automatically. Some payments processors are hoping that the Durbin Amendment, which changed the interchange fees, will put extra money in their pockets instead of their customers. Hoteliers must educate themselves to ensure they are getting the savings they are due. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

Hotel owners looking to sell their business often make a few common mistakes, ranging from not properly preparing for the sale to not offering seller financing. However, in a competitive marketplace there is not much room for error. These tips will guide you on increasing your chances of having a successful sale by paying attention to details that are often overlooked. Read on...

William Collins

In 2010, the hospitality industry regained the number one spot as the top industry suffering from data breaches, accounting for 40 percent of reported incidents. As cybercriminals shift their attention to small hotels and restaurants in an effort to "play it safe," the situation could conceivably become even more dire if hoteliers don't proactively protect their businesses. It's time that hoteliers confront this reality, implement effective data security measures and take the target off their backs. With the right technology and security policies, it's easier than you might think. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

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. Here are some guidelines for a well thought-out and well-written listing that will allow a seller to attract more prospects and ultimately close a deal. Read on...

Bob Carr

The traveling public, by and large, turns to the Internet when it comes to booking hotel reservations. Yet, while trying to compete for guests, independent operators often lose much-needed profit to commission fees charged by online travel agencies or by avoiding the online world altogether. Implementing direct website booking capabilities saves small and independent operators time and money, increases revenue, and provides a more secure, PCI-compliant method for accepting guest's credit card information to hold or prepay for a reservation, allowing these establishments to truly compete in the industry and capture guests without compromising their hard-earned revenue. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

These past few years have been tough on the business-for-sale market. This has put hotel owners ready to sell in a waiting game. Rather than sell for below market price, most smart hotel owners have simply been cutting unnecessary expenses, making ends meet and waiting for the market to rebound. Since the recession hit in the fall of 2008, most hotels have seen a drop in revenues and profits. The ensuing fall in purchase-price valuations only made matters worse. But 2010 saw a slight improvement in the seller market and many experts expect that 2011 will be a break out year for the business-for-sale industry. So is 2011 the year you should consider selling your hotel? Read on...

Carl Rizzo

Businesses, consumers and the news media continue to throw around the terms "green building", "eco-friendly" and "green initiatives," but what do they mean and how do and/or will they affect the hospitality industry? Contrary to some naysayers, the green movement is not going away. Therefore, hospitality companies need to implement green initiatives now to keep pace with the competition. The hospitality industry has a unique opportunity to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with guest rooms, event spaces and their general facilities through measures such as water and energy efficiency, waste management and reduction and local purchasing. As hospitality companies grow, build and expand they should also consider pursuing LEED certification. Green initiatives do not have to be costly and the hospitality industry is likely to realize a measureable return on their investment, whether in the form of energy savings or increased popularity with green conscious consumers. Read on...

Paul West

Now that budget season has concluded for most operations and a plan has been made for the 2011 year, there is still much to consider for those who wish to prosper in this otherwise rather fragile economy. Having created a blueprint for the annual business in the budget, it is now important to work to stay in sync with that defined budget plan as well as the ongoing forecast on a day by day basis. What then should a property expect in daily operations information that can be reviewed in such a useful report? What is the information that Hotel Managers at all levels should utilize to make proper daily business decisions that are in line with the more detailed established budget plan for each week, month and remainder of the year? Read on...

Bob Carr

Payroll is likely one of the biggest expenses your hotel incurs - and one that can cause the most headaches. It's one thing to have an unhappy guest, but an unhappy employee - or worse yet, a suspect government office - can have a significant impact on your business. Many of those headaches are avoidable by taking the appropriate steps from day one with the onboarding of a new hire to making changes to an employee's status, position or compensation level all the way through to retiring an employee from service. Read on...

Carl Rizzo

The most hotly contested yet least publicized piece of President Obama's agenda since taking office is the Employee Free Choice Act, the most notable provision of which is "card check." The Act proposes changes that will have dramatic effects on the nature and scope of collective bargaining, including that between hotel management and employees. Falling just nine votes shy of passing in 2007, the Democratic Parties' dominant performance in the 2008 elections seemed to all but assure the Act's passage. Today, however, the law remains unchanged. This article offers insight into what happened, and why hotel owners and managers should still be paying careful attention. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

Owners looking to sell their business frequently make common mistakes by not: adequately preparing the business for sale; implementing a proper business valuation; finding the right business broker for their hotel; keeping an open mind about potential buyers; and following through after an offer has been made. As sellers often have to cope with competitive pressure in the marketplace, they have little margin for error. While good hotels can still command appropriate market value today, it's important to look at the details when selling your business. Avoiding these common mistakes will help increase your chances of getting the highest price for your hotel - in the shortest amount of time. Read on...

Bob Carr

Each traveler seeks something unique from his or her hotel experience. For some, the goal is to find a home away from home; for others it's being treated to luxury and indulgence. Regardless of the objective, there are two mainstays of the traveler's expectations: convenience and service. That combination becomes even sweeter when its delivery increases efficiency in hotel operations. This is the opportunity that presents itself when we examine the integration of cashless small-ticket purchases through key card payments with property management system software — and how it can benefit your guests and your bottom line. Read on...

Mike Handelsman

The sale of a hotel is a long process, but there may be no more important element of the sale than getting to know your potential buyer. As the person who will be taking over your life's work, you need to identify if your potential buyer is the right choice. This critical decision can ultimately impact your personal and financial life down the road. While it may seem to be a tough task, many of your concerns can be eased with five simple questions. These questions will help you weed out potential buyers who may be "kicking the tires" but not truly serious about buying your business, or who don't have the financial means to complete a deal. Read on...

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Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.