The humble motel has always been an accommodation staple for road tripping Australians. Most popular with those looking for an affordable and convenient, but basic roadside room to rest their head for a night.
However, in recent years the motor hotel has experienced an extraordinary accommodation revival.
With many revamped, refreshed, and re-marketed motels ‘upping the ante’ in terms of guestroom presentation, guest experiences, facilities, amenities and customer service, now they have become trendy and are a go-to-accommodation choice for many travellers.
In fact, recent Wotif figures show that in this post pandemic era the number of Aussies thinking about staying at a motel for their next trip is up by 75 percent and motel accommodation is a growing global trend.
And with higher occupancies comes higher nightly tariffs, leading to better business returns. If you look on any OTA booking website, you will find motels charging room rates traditionally associated with 4-star hotels. It is not uncommon to find motels charging over $180 per night.
With increased popularity, turnover, and profit, purchasing a freehold or leasehold motel business is currently considered a more attractive prospect than ever.
In 2022, the motel sector in both Queensland and NSW reported strong freehold going concerns sales, and increased interest in leasehold tenure.
Steady growth for motels is also expected to continue in 2023 with many new motel operators looking to purchase a sound lifestyle business, savvy accommodation operators seeking motel business opportunities to add to their portfolio and of course investors are always on the lookout for solid motel assets.
We have many motels for sale on AccomProperties.
A profitable well-run motel can make a wonderful business for owners wanting flexibility in their lives. Work hours can be tailored to suit and having a family living onsite can provide more family time, while still allowing a hands-on operation of the business.
The most important rule is to always seek expert industry advice before buying. This is crucial.
You can start your research online and talk to friends or relatives with industry knowledge. But always remember that expert knowledge is key.
When looking to buy, seek out experienced motel industry professional agents, not those who ‘dabble a bit’ and are just looking for a sale.
Research regions that offer the best motel opportunities and returns, both now and into the future,
The popularity of beachside motels continues to grow with both guests and motel buyers, but when demand is high it’s reflected in the purchase price, historically motels on or near water have always fetched a higher price.
Regional motels are popular with the domestic drive market.
Obviously consider a motel’s proximity to major highways and tourist drives.
Assess what local activities, attractions, or businesses will consistently bring visitors to the area. For instance, is the motel near an airport, hospital, shopping centre, a theme park, museum, events centre or park, wineries, breweries, or golf course, and note that it is preferable to have more than one attraction in the locality.
Decide if the location will fit in with your family and lifestyle requirements.
Look at the preferred tenure of ownership that suits you, whether it be freehold, freehold passive investment or leasehold.
Twenty years ago, most motel owners lived onsite but today many operate under management or under lease.
You may see an opportunity to add on a product or service that the motel doesn’t already offer, for extra profit.
Ask, does the motel have the capacity to add on a restaurant or dining facilities and could adding one turn a profit?
No capacity for a restaurant? Then is there an opportunity to sell simple breakfast, lunch and dinner packs or picnic boxes to turn a profit?
Can you add vending machines or a coin laundry?
What about the addition of a play area or pool to attract more families.
Is there a business opportunity for events?
The standard of presentation of a motel will obviously affect the return on investment.
Be warned, there is a sweet spot when it comes the ideal time to renovate. Generally, it’s before occupancy rates and nightly tariffs are so detrimentally affected by a poor environment that profit is so low you can’t afford to refurbish to a reasonable standard.
If that time has passed you need to consider how much you would need to spend to rectify poor standards or years of neglect.
However, a run-down motel might be a steal and provide you with an excellent opportunity to bring your own modern style, or even a retro twist (retro motels are very on trend right now) to the motel, and importantly could be your chance to add real value.
We have many new and old motels for sale on AccomProperties.