#170 – Automated hotels as a business

Show notes from Episode #170 of the Sweaty Startup Podcast.

You can enter the US and go through customs just by using a kiosk, you don’t even need to speak to anybody. But when checking into a hotel you need to talk to a person, give them your credit card and ID, check in, and get the room key all before you can get to your room and drop off your luggage.

AirBnB’s have had seamless check-in too, either through passcodes, lockboxes, or key locations. Why not hotels?

When Nick started Storage Squad, he saved a tremendous amount of money every year by automating the access point to storage units and not needing to pay for management on site. Why hasn’t anybody done this with hotels?

Get rid of a front desk operator and you can automate check-ins for every guest. You’ll save money and they’ll love the experience. Most hotel operators are old school, they romanticize the hospitality experience, but they don’t realize that this isn’t what customers want.

If you see the opportunity here, go work for a hotel for a year. Learn the ins and outs of how a hotel operates, its systems, its business model, and then find people with money that will let you buy a hotel and completely automate the check-in process.

You could save $120k in payroll every year through this one simple change. This is exactly what Nick did with self-storage, and it saves him $60k per year at 7 different locations.

Real estate is incredibly powerful, and can create vast amounts of wealth. While service businesses can only sell for around 2X profit, real estate businesses go up to 5X or 7X annual profit in value. You can make the gain on real estate, get tax breaks for owning land, and refinance the location based on the new property values.

If you can save $120k a year over the average hotel owner, you’ll get higher returns than the average owner. You’ll be able to pay off your loan quicker, and you’ll be able to find profit quicker. Don’t be afraid to optimize archaic businesses, because the first person to do so will become a wealthy man.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.