Why running a Motel in Australia is a great first business

Contributed By: Chris Rowe, Accommodation Business Brokers on

This wide brown land is full of stunning vistas and incredible experiences. It’s no wonder Australians, and overseas visitors are so keen to explore our great in-lands not just cities and coastline.

Tourism is listed as one of Australia’s top-tier industries of the future. With the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that regional Australia currently claims 45 percent of ‘visitor nights’ and 44 percent of traveller spending money, there’s plenty of opportunity for accommodation businesses and in particular Motel owners.

Why buy a Motel?

If you’re new to the hospitality industry, a Motel can be an excellent first business.

Like any accommodation business, running your own Motel requires dedication and hard work. However, with the right systems and processes in place and well-trained staff you can reduce the amount of time you need to personally spend working in the business. Providing you with that highly sought-after work-life balance.

Managing a Motel can be rewarding

Transitioning into tourism or hospitality does not necessarily require a vast amount of experience, especially if you start by owning or managing a Motel.

Management experience is, of course, beneficial when buying a Motel, but perhaps what matters most is that you enjoy meeting lots of different people and providing good old fashioned service.

Your main Motel responsibilities

As a “Motelier” your day will revolve around these four core areas;

  1. Liaising with guests, and overseeing accommodation bookings.
  2. Ensuring Motel facilities are well-maintained, clean and presentable, with the help of local tradespeople and cleaning staff.
  3. Maintaining strong relations with local suppliers who supply goods and services to your Motel, such as food and beverage companies.
  4. Overseeing Motel administration, including the renewal of permits, licences and insurances.

Maintain a long-term view of your Motel

With the Motel’s future business value in mind you’ll need to factor in upgrading your Motel facilities every 7 to 10 years. To ensure that your accommodation business continues to attract and retain customers, plus maintain its resale value. This includes purchasing new entertainment systems, ordering fresh bed linen or completing a major cosmetic facelift across the property.

Build relations with local tourism bodies

Many Moteliers take an active involvement in local tourism initiatives and partner with their local tourism body. Helping to support local events which bring people to the area is an excellent strategy for becoming a well-known member of the community.

Out with the old and in with the new Motel

Right now in Australia, Motels are shaking off outdated perceptions, moving from drab and dreary to well-designed and delightful. Online booking platforms make it easy to reach a vast network of customers, beyond those who are passing through the town.

Plus forward thinking Motel owners incorporate technology-rich experiences, such as voice-activated rooms. As well as build partnerships with local businesses including restaurateurs, tour operators and act as conference venues.

How to buy a Motel in Australia

A Motel can be one of the more affordable ways to get your foot on the accommodation businesses ladder. First, get your finances in order so that you know what you can afford. Then, do your research and narrow down the regions in which you’d like to live and run a Motel.

Rather than dive straight into the deep end, you could consider buying a leasehold Motel as a starting point. Then once you have more experience and confidence that this is the business for you, you could look at purchasing a Motel as a freehold going concern. The returns are different but they are both good business models.

Speak to a reputable Accommodation Business Broker to gain their expert knowledge of Motels, have all your questions answered, and hear about Motels coming onto the market first.

Chris Rowe & team

With a strong appreciation of what constitutes a successful accommodation business sale, I’m able to recommend a sale price for your business; whether its a hotel, motel, resort, backpackers, caravan park, or management rights , at optimal market value. During my time as a broker, I have sold in excess of 100 properties around New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory. On average, I can take a property from ‘Listed’ to ‘Sold’ within 30 days.

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