So You Want to Sell Your Inn? Marketing Action Steps to Take Now

Innkeeper checking in guests at her bed and breakfast
Have you been considering selling your inn, bed and breakfast or boutique hotel? What are the critical steps you need to consider before listing? Let’s start planning your exit strategy keeping in mind these keen insights from White Stone Marketing’s lead consultant, Kelly Garbarino.

When to Start The Process of Selling

Three years is the magical timeline according to Garbarino. Buyers, lending institutions, and brokers want to scour your past 3 years of financials. And, no matter how busy you are cooking breakfast and making beds, you simply must prioritize your tax returns. Profit and Loss statements give a general understanding of your financial health but only tax returns tell the real story. Make sure they show good revenue growth during this time frame.

Man using a search engine on a mobile phone

Fortifying Your Digital Assets For A Strong Sale

In addition to getting your financial affairs in order, Kelly stressed the importance of tackling your digital assets. A professionally executed website is your most powerful conversion tool, bringing your property maximum visibility and revenue. She strongly advises owners to purchase a new website design just before the three-year mark so it’s not in your line item expenses. In doing so, you realize substantial revenue increases during your last 3 years and have a turnkey digital asset a new owner can leverage. Make certain your website includes accurate tracking so you have verifiable ROI on all your marketing efforts.

Man giving an inn a 5-star review

Time to Put Your Foot on The Gas Pedal

Next, Kelly urges owners to ramp up hospitality marketing efforts by increasing their organic footprint with an aggressive search engine optimization (SEO) program while leveraging paid search advertising as these two marketing initiatives are your primary source of online revenue. And, of course, you must remain ever vigilant in matters of reputation as even the best marketers can’t out-market a bad reputation. When you go to list your inn or bed and breakfast for sale, keep in mind that many buyers are looking for properties that have been successfully managed for many years. This is always most evident by what your guests are saying about you online.

Increase revenue with an effective rate management program

Add to Your Bottom Line While There Is Still Time

Lastly, Kelly urges owners to begin a robust revenue management program if you don’t currently have one in place. You can absolutely become more profitable through strategic rate setting and yielding no matter how much marketing you might be doing, I would guarantee there is an opportunity as most inns we have worked with have been amazed by how much money they left on the table prior to implementation. Ideally, work with an expert and start yielding those rates within the first year of the three-year countdown so you can show growth and future opportunity to a new buyer.

At White Stone Brokers, we have an exclusive program called “Sprint to the Finish” which addresses all aspects of improving the bottom line during this 3 year time frame. Contact us today for more information.

Watch this Interview on The Inner Circle

Get more tips on how to align your marketing strategy with your exit strategy. Watch the full interview with Kelly Garbarino by joining The Inner Circle, a free educational platform with curated Sellers Track for hospitality property owners preparing to list their businesses for sale. Register online for instant access and become part of our circle today!

Get more information on how to sell your inn or bed and breakfast with White Stone Brokers.

Photo of Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly is a business broker and seasoned marketing strategist, leveraging over 15 years of experience with White Stone Marketing. With roots in direct sales and account management at Google, Chris pivoted to digital marketing, successfully growing revenues for hundreds of lodging properties. His expertise spans from consulting on operations to running in-depth marketing campaigns for bed and breakfasts, inns, resorts, boutique hotels, and event venues. Chris is passionate about helping properties reach their peak potential and ultimate sale price.