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How I Sold my Holiday Rental Business

Find out what it takes to sell a rental business in Spain to the right buyer.

Liz Edminston is an entrepreneur who started and ran OwnersAway, a full-service holiday rental company that she recently sold through BusinessesForSale.com.

The success of the sale of her business is something that has been, according to her, “a life changing experience” as she is now able to reap the rewards of her many years of hard work and finally take a summer holiday!

The business

OwnersAway is located in Spain and specialises in property management, maintenance and cleaning services for holiday rentals and long-term rentals. The business takes on the entire spectrum of services that are needed from marketing, looking after the guests, right through to cleaning up after the guests have left.

Time to sell

Deciding when to sell a business can be a tough decision but for Liz, she was ready to start something new after 11 years of running the business.

“Although I do have staff, I’m 65 this year and, basically, I just decided that it was time to move on and do something a little bit easier because running around for twelve [to] fourteen hours a day in this heat in July, August [and] September...takes a lot out of you and after twelve summers I just thought, you know what, it would be nice to go on holiday next year for the first time instead of looking after everybody else!”

The business had also been very profitable in the past few years and Liz wanted to take advantage of that in order to get a good price after having built her business from the ground up.

A business in Spain is still a business

Running a business in Spain may seem idyllic but Liz has been open about the difficulties of running a business that is busiest during the beautiful summer months. This is something that she wanted to get across to buyers without scaring them off. 

She wanted to be sure that whoever took over the business understood what it would take to keep the business running like it was.

 “So, … the business was priced well, … [and was] in a reasonable price range and [it] had a good turnover [but] I just wanted them to be clear that there’s a lot of work going into that turn over and it doesn’t matter whether you’re in Spain … or whether you’re in the UK … you've still got to work hard for your money.” 

Finding the right buyer 

Knowing that all this would play a factor in finding the right buyer, Liz needed quality leads that were interested in the actual business rather than her perceived lifestyle. Luckily, the enquiries that she got from BusinessesForSale.com were mostly serious.

She could tell who the serious buyers were because they were willing to make the trip to Spain in order to meet her and see the business for themselves.

Four buyers flew to Spain to meet with her and she ended up having several people that wanted to put in an offer.

“They had all either run a business or been involved in [one]... they weren’t people just saying, "ooh I fancy living in the sun!" It was quality people that knew what they were talking about in terms of running a business.

“One person who had a business to sell in the UK- a post office- actually came to see me twice, flew to Spain [and] put a deposit down but their business sale fell through and in the time that they took to say “we would like to still be considered for the business,” the lady that finally bought it, a Belgian lady, had got in touch and within the week it was sold.”

Using BusinessesForSale.com

Liz found the final buyer through BusinessesForSale.com and, once she had settled on them, the sale was fairly straight forward. The process, from when she listed her business until the final sale, took about a year.

“BusinessForSale.com sale has been absolutely super. It's changed my life. I mean, it sounds silly, but it will change my life from September and had I just stuck to advertising locally because I did have it up with some local agents and estate agents that I know, and I've worked with who sent me a few leads but not the same quality of leads. So, it's not an exaggeration to say that if you do it right and you use the site right then it’s a life-changing experience.” 

“… compared to the price I got for the business, in the end, you can't really compare it in terms of quality or results for the pricing ratio. It's superb.”



Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.

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