Each year, people around the world spend more than one trillion dollars on travel and tourism. It’s one of the world’s largest sectors, but it is also one of the most sensitive to broad economic factors like GPD and employment rates.
Since the economy has been so strong in recent years, a growing number of investors are looking to pump money into hotels and motels.
Buying a hotel for sale, or starting smaller with a motel for sale, can be a strong investment proposition. Data shows that in 2017, the U.S. hotel industry completed a record year across a range of important hospitality metrics including: Occupancy, Average Daily Rate (ADR), RevPAR and Occupancy.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report shows that ADR and RevPAR are both projected to climb this year, 2.1 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively. That’s music to investors’ ears.
Moreover, the 2017 Major U.S. Hotel Sales Survey found that the number of single asset hotel sale transactions increased from 173 to 182 transactions, a 5 percent year-over-year increase, and the total dollar volume of these transactions was up 7 percent.
Clearly, investors are intrigued. But finding a hotel for sale can be a lot harder than one might expect. There are two approaches to finding hotels for sale: (1) Scour on-market listing platforms; or (2) Find hotels for sale by searching for off-market deals. There are pros and cons to each approach.
Hotels for Sale Listings
When searching for hotels or motels for sale, there are a bevy of on-market listing platforms that you can use to inform your search. Based on your location, or the specific type of hotel or motel for sale that you’re looking for, the platforms you decide to use may vary. Here are a few platforms you might want to consider as you begin searching for a hotel for sale online:
- LoopNet →
- Catylist →
- Ten-X →
- BizBuySell →
- CIMLS →
- CBRE Hotels →
- Hotel Brokers International →
- CREXi →
- Showcase →
- B&B Team →
- Avison Young →
LoopNet is one of the most comprehensive online databases for searching current commercial real estate listings. It’s a free platform, and it is relatively intuitive to use.
One of the best things about using LoopNet to search on-market listings is that it allows you to search for both hotels for sale and motels for sale, independently of one another.
Most listing platforms group the two categories together into “hospitality,” but LoopNet makes a distinction between the two categories which is really helpful for investors who specifically want to invest in either hotels or motels for sale.
In fact, LoopNet takes it one step further and lets you search for hotel casinos and single room occupancy hotels as well. No other platform allows you to search with such nuanced detail.
To search for hotel properties, begin your search by adding the filter for Hospitality properties. Then determine which types of hospitality properties you’re interested in—or search all categories at once.
Catylist is a commercial real estate platform with listings in more than 40 markets across the United States.
Catylist is a great starting point for searching for hotels for sale. The site has extensive property type filters available to its users, including multiple options for refining your search for hotels for sale. For instance, you can search deals by date the listing was added, whether the price was recently reduced, the deal’s cap rate, whether it is considered a distressed property, and more.
Ten-X is a relative newcomer to the online marketplace, but in recent years, has become a go-to resource for those searching for hotels for sale. Unlike the other platforms, Ten-X is actually an auction site where people can bid on commercial real estate deals, from hotels to motels for sale and more.
Simply go to the website and filter by “Hotels.” As of this writing, there were 33 hotels or motels for sale with bidding taking place through October.
Some of the properties features are for sale at live auctions, others are for sale through online auctions. Others are posted on the site as “Accepting Offers,” which may mean the hotel is not actively for sale but the seller would be interested in having a conversation to that end.
BizBuySell is an online marketplace that sells all kinds of businesses for sale, and that includes hotels.
The listings on this website are a bit more limited than the others we’ve profiled here today, but they contain additional information for those who might be interested in buying a hotel and having a leg in the business itself.
CIMLS is another nationwide commercial listings platform. To begin your search for hotels or motels for sale, you must first enter a location by itself and then select a property type if you want to filter for hotels or motels specifically.
Listings on this site can be quite diverse, with prices ranging from just a few hundred thousand, to over $25 million.
CBRE Hotels is one of the best sources of information about hotels and motels for sale throughout the world. CBRE’s website asks you to first select a region (Americas, EMEA or Asia Pacific). You can then search for hotels under the “Hospitality” category.
Something investors might find useful about CBRE Hotels is that it allows you not only to search for the actual asset for sale, but also for hotels looking for debt, equity, or other forms of financing. You can also search for properties for lease on this platform.
Hotel Brokers International (HBI) is a company solely dedicated to helping you find your next hotel deal. No need to search by asset class, as this site only has listings for hotels and motels for sale. HBI also prides itself on being a marketplace for hotel investors interested in doing a 1031 exchange.
CREXi is another listings platform that allows you to search through virtually any time of property for sale. To find hotels for sale, you’ll want to search under the Hospitality property type, then enter a location.
You can also filter your search by Unit Measurement, which includes a choice for “keys” – one way that hotels and motels are often categorized.
Showcase is a property listings website that has both a U.S. and U.K. search platform. Similar to many of the aforementioned homepages, when searching in either platform on Showcase, you can begin your search by adding a location and property type filters.
There is no category here for Hospitality, or hotels or motels specifically, so you’ll need to search “Other” and then filter the results accordingly.
The B&B Team is one of the best online resources for searching for boutique hotels, and as its name implies, bed and breakfasts.
This is where you’ll find inns for sale, often times in remote locations, and properties for sale that would not otherwise turn up on more traditional commercial real estate platforms.
Start by searching for rooms based on location, size (e.g, 1-5 rooms, 6-10 rooms, 11-20 rooms, or more than 20 rooms), property type (e.g. B&B, boutique motel, even cabins), or get creative by searching for properties based upon their specific features (e.g., coastal destination, college town, expanded owners quarters and more).
Avison Young is one of the leading brokers in the commercial real estate industry, so it’s no surprise that their platform allows you to search across industry types.
Their Hospitality Group is particularly strong. You can search here for hotels by brand – such as Best Western, Hilton, or Wyndham – or you can search by more traditional metrics such as location, number of rooms and price.
This website is particularly helpful in that the status of a property is clear. When searching for hotels for sale, the Avison Young website tells you whether it is still available or whether that listing has a letter of intent already signed, indicating that a sale might be soon to happen.
As we mentioned above, scouring these online marketplaces is only one way to find hotels and motels for sale. An alternative strategy is searching for off-market deals.
The real estate market remains incredibly strong, and for buyers, this means fewer deals to be had. When deals do come along, those that seem viable often result in steep bidding wars. That’s rarely the case with an off-market property search.
By searching for hotels off-market, you can avoid brokers—and thus, broker fees, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the ultimate size of the deal.
You’ll avoid a bulk of the competition coming from other buyers. And importantly, you’ll never be limited to only the properties currently listed for sale.
An off-market search gives you access to the entire commercial real estate market, and at the very least, can be used to inform better transactional decisions. You can use information gleaned through your off-market search to compare to deals listed on-market. This way, when a compelling deal crosses your desk, you’ll be fully informed and ready to move.