When considering buying a Motel – Should you choose Independent or Franchise

It’s the conundrum every hotelier faces almost daily or especially if you are looking at buying a motel or some other type of accommodation business:

  • Do I remain bound to the chain company that handles my marketing, all of my bookings, and prescribes the standards I have to upkeep to maintain my chain title, all while taking a significant portion of my revenue?
  • Or, do I take one giant leap of faith with the vision of my dream property, my unique concepts and passion for hospitality tucked safely under my arms, and commence as an independent accommodation provider?

As with any big decision, there are positives and negatives to choosing either, however if you’re craving more freedom to put into place more of your own ideas, then perhaps it’s time to consider a new position for you and your current business or if you are looking at buying a motel, hotel, B&B or serviced apartments. Firstly, we’re going to look at some of the positives and negatives that you can experience through loyalty to a chain or brand:

  • THE BRAND MEANS SOMETHING: That chain name resonates with people. It is safe, and many may already have developed loyalty to it. But do they really represent the same high standard and customer experience they used to?
  • CENTRAL RESERVATIONS TEAM: Everything to do with bookings your pms, your website and online distribution and perhaps even loyalty programs, may, be handled for you, and they’re hosting your website through the company’s own internal systems. This is a great load off for you, however, you’re no doubt paying for it with those high commissions the chain is taking on every booking!
  • MARKETING: Rather than having to go it alone, you can rely on the brand to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to marketing, especially in this digital age. Or can you? For what it costs you (in fees and commissions), are you getting bang for your buck, and is it personalised to your property? 
  • STANDARDS & SYSTEMS: They’ve got standards set to dictate how the accommodation needs to look and feel, and systems to follow, which is fantastic to maintain a high level of professionalism, but where is the hotelier creativity? Can you actually step outside of the strict regime and add your own personality?

So the question then is:

Can I do it on my own?

Is my business nimble enough to become its own unique entity, or do I need the power of a bigger brand? The answer is not always easy to find, but perhaps the following points may help you weigh up your options:

YOUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE – Why will they choose you?

To begin with, you can actually HAVE a point of difference, and it can be every single part of your business. It may be the concept behind your accommodation – from budget motel, to luxury suites, farm-stay to inner city “glamping” experiences – it’s yours to dream up and yours to create. It could be the way you market yourself. You may feel traditional marketing is outdated, and digital marketing isn’t for you, but want to try something more out there – a flash mob, a pop up store, any form of guerrilla marketing – you can do it, and no one will be there waving a book of regulations in your face. Your point of difference could simply be the service itself. You’ve got some fantastic, and more importantly authentic ideas to take the hospitality to a new level, but they’ve always been just ideas scrawled in a note pad. Not anymore! They can become realities and you’re free to trial and change until the model is perfect.

THE GUESTS – What it’s all about!

Current trends are showing a large swing towards unique experiences, away from the predictable hotel experience and by being independent, it allows you to tap into that up-swing. Guest are looking for something to remember. It is for this reason that there is a growing market of independent, boutique, unique and authentic accommodation experiences, which continue to strengthen, and in many areas, outperform their chain-bound rivals. As an independent hotelier, you’re free to pay more attention to detail to your customer’s experience, and focus on providing an original and exclusive stay that they cannot find anywhere else.

THE SPACE ITSELF: Say goodbye to those quilt cover designs (you know the ones we mean!

With a chain, you can forget about your dream of running a hotel or motel that is your creation, as you probably already know too well, you have no say over the way things are done. There’s no room for uniqueness and creativity in design with the big name brands, but achieving an original identity for your premises that isn’t branded and doesn’t replicate a stock-standard layout, but one that fits with your style and personality is 100% doable, and will work far more in your favour than the standard chain rooms we are so used to seeing!

THE BOTTOM LINE: It looks pretty good!

As an independent hotelier, you’re able to significantly decrease your overheads and out of pocket costs, such as that commission you were paying on every booking, so the bottom line for independent hotels, a market which is only getting stronger, looks pretty good. If successful, your independent hotel, and the marketing, design, and experiential benefits that come with being your own entity, will stimulate a far better return on investment. After examining the realities of remaining bound by the ever-tightening shackles of a chain company, and seeing your dream property on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to begin laying down the groundwork to get that amazing business you’ve so longed for.


If any of this sounds familiar and you have some concerns about the performance of your Hotel or Motel, then let’s get together and discuss what you can do to improve.

We provide accommodation business performance coaching services via

  • Online Training & Self Paced Courses
  • Personal Coaching and Guidance, or
  • Done For You implementation Services.

If you’d like to know more give us a call or drop us a line.

02 6977 4333       mick@bizscaping.com.au

“We help accommodation businesses get booked online, grow their occupancy and increase their revenue by up to 50% in 63 days without technology overwhelm”

occupancy growth

Hotel Rescue is on a mission...to optimise profits for accommodation businesses.

From increasing occupancy, driving online visibility and conversions to implementing profitable pricing, we work with Hotels, Motels, B&B's and Serviced Apartments to make this happen.

Hotel Rescue follows a unique nine step framework to help operators maximise the potential of their business. In a rapidly changing environment that often leaves owners and managers perplexed and wondering how to get the most out of their opportunity.

We achieve amazing results through education and training without technology overwhelm or interfering in the day to day running of their property.

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DISCLAIMER: The sales and performance figures stated above and throughout this website are some our our personal and client based results. Please understand that our results are not typical, I’m not implying you’ll duplicate them (or do anything for that matter). The average person who buys any “how to” information gets little to no results. I’m using these references for example purposes only. Your results will vary and depend on many factors …including but not limited to your background, experience, and work ethic. All business entails risk as well as massive and consistent effort and action. If you’re not willing to accept that, please DO NOT GET OUR INFORMATION.