Being an innkeeper and being a guest

Bed and Breakfast Inns have come a long way in that they are not only offering great amenities and beautiful decor but in the way guests are treated. An Innkeeper treats their guest with great privacy and you will not have to interact with other guests if you do not want to. Respecting your guests wishes is of up most importance. Innkeepers often leave a key for guests to enter if they have had an evening out.

Breakfasts can be served at a long dining room table or a small one in which other guests are being served. Should you not want to interact just let your innkeeper know and other arrangements can be made. Should you have special dietary needs be sure to tell your Innkeeper when making your reservation so he or she can accomodate you.

An Innkeeper who has more than 10 rooms cannot be at the front desk 24/7 as there is a lot to do such as shopping for tomorrows breakfast, checking the rooms after the maid has been there to clean and keeping up with day to day operations. As a guest, try to arrive on time or at least call and make sure your Innkeeper knows how late you will be. As a business traveler you will have all the amenities a hotel will have but in a better atmosphere. Many B&B/Inns cater to the business traveler.

B&B/Inns who host weddings usually have a wedding coordinators on staff.

Chef owned Bed and Breakfast Inns cater all kind of events. Weddings, family reunions, receptions, business meetings and more. Call a B&B/Inn near you today and ask.

If you are considering purchasing a Bed and Breakfast Inn please remember you will be dealing with all kinds of people. You will have to use your best judgement in all situations. We all want to have guests who do not complain or criticize but sometimes it comes with the business you have chosen. Always be thankful for the guests that are sweet and generous with their compliments.

Top 10 Tips for Innkeepers/Owners Selling Your Bed and Breakfast Inn

Only being 30 days into 2013, we’ve already seen a lot of bed and breakfast inns change ownership and go up for sale. With all of this ownership change, we have seen what helps a B&B to sell right away and what causes them to stay on the market for a while. We want to pass these tips along to you to help you get your B&B sold so you can move on to the next stage in your life.

  1. A fresh coat of paint is a must. Bright bold colors are not as attractive to the buyer who are looking to purchase your property as natural colored walls.
  2. Make sure the bathrooms are not just clean but immaculate and freshly painted. If mold is an issue, spray the surfaces with one part water and one part bleach and the mold will be gone. Shower doors must be clean and can be scrubbed with one part muriatic acid and 10 parts of water. They will be sparkling clean now. If the vanity is old, replace it with a new, updated sink. New towels and accessories are a must.
  3. Pack away any photos or personal items. This is important because the buyer wants to imagine themselves in your bed and breakfast inn with their own ideas for decorations. It will also make your B&B/inn look larger.  There is nothing more that will deter a potential buyer than a cluttered property. You may even consider renting new furniture to make your B&B/inn look better.
  4. If you have squeaky doors, make sure they are oiled. If the front door squeaks when your potential buyer comes up, that may be the only thing they remember from their visit. You want everything to be perfect.
  5. Shampoo your carpet, buff your hardwood and treat your tile grout. Flooring will be one of the first things your potential buyer looks at when they walk in the front door. After all, they have to look where they’re stepping when they walk in. Black grout joints that obviously should be white will tell your buyer that cleanliness is not number one on your priorities list. You want your floor to sparkle or in the case of carpet, look like its brand new with a few shampoos from a rented carpet cleaner or by a professional carpet cleaning crew.
  6. Make sure that your furniture and bedding matches and has that “new look”. Make sure the master bedroom is designed for both sexes and the bedding and decorations reflect its gender neutrality. New bedding and sheets can really perk up the look of a bedroom. This goes the same for your living/family room. If needed, buy covers for your sofas.
  7. Make sure there is plenty of light turned on when your potential buyer visits and make sure everything is spotless. This lets the potential buyers know you have kept your B&B/inn in a condition that they will want to purchase it as-is. If you need to replace old light fixtures, you can find them at any hardware store.
  8. What about the outside look of your B&B/Inn? Cleaning your windows, pressure washing the outside walls and walkways, replacing plants that are not thriving, fixing loose brick or stones, trimming trees and adding new potted plants can make a world of difference when your potential buyer drives up and walks to your front door. Don’t send them running for the hills with an unkept lawn and dead shrubs.
  9. Make sure you or your realtor advertises in as many online bed and breakfast inn directory websites as possible. The exposure you get from listing your property on sites like www.InnsForSale.com can be the difference in whether or not you sell your property. From our experience, the potential buyer may have seen your property on one site and then found you again on another site. Having your B&B on multiple resources can help keep your property on the front of a buyers mind. And be sure that these websites have professional looking photos on them. No matter how beautiful your bedrooms might be, a scan of a polaroid picture with a timestamp from 1999 on it does not show professionalism and can be enough to have your inn passed right over by a potential buyer.
  10. So in short, remember: sparkling clean, new paint, definitely no clutter and if need be, call a professional staging company to help you.

For more tips or with help on selling your bed and breakfast inn, visit our B&B/inn sales directory at www.InnsForSale.com.

We wish you much success with the sale of your property.

Article featured on www.InnsForSale.com – Affordable rates for selling your bed and breakfast inn

Top 11 Tips For Selling An Inn

Several things we wanted to point out that you need to include in the description of your Bed and Breakfast Inn for Sale:

1. How lovingly you have maintained the property and tended to the B&BInn when necessary maintenance has been needed.

2. How beautifully decorated and spacious the rooms are.

3. If your landscaping is visually beautiful and inspiring for relaxation or meditation include this.

4. If you have remodeled or redecorated recently make sure you let your potential buyer know.

5. Make sure you include if rooms all have their own bath and mention how many rooms at least twice.

6. Pool. Make sure you include it is sparkling the pool and how well it has been maintained.

7. If you near the water include the comment fabulous water views.

8. Located in a prestigious location another positive mention this or if it is located in the country mentions how beautiful the mountains are and include some of the activities.

9. If your B&B/Inn is perfect for weddings, events and other entertaining this is another positive.

10. Restaurant or gourmet evening dining, afternoon teas or social activities on the weekends.

11. Be sure to mention activities at your B&B/Inn and in the area that are fun and exciting.

Wanted to mention a couple of things to include in your ad just in case you may have forgotten.

Preparing For Thanksgiving – The Dinner Edition

In the next few weeks we will be bring you new recipes and things to do to prepare for the your big Thanksgiving Dinner.

1. How many guest can you accommodate at your home or are you going to go to a restaurant, Bed and Breakfast Inn, Country Inn. Who is going to help pay for this exciting day. You or are your guests going to bring food, desserts, decorations, maybe even some games to keep everyone occupied while all the cooking and preparing.

2. First lets get down to the list of folks you really want to be with. Make a list of how many will fit at your table and are all those folks compatible. Mom, dad, aunt matilda and uncle Harold, best friends. If you can with all your heart be sure to invite someone or a couple you know will be alone and you know this will bring them great joy. Make sure your seating arrangement is set so that those sitting next to each other will really get to know each other better and this is such a special occasion.

3. You will be not only making the turkey but have plenty of mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing rolls, pie, cake, cookies and below you will find my favorite a recipe for Bread Pudding compliments of the beautiful Corner Cottage, Fredericksburg TX makes.

4. Ask everyone you do invite to bring a couple of containers to bring some left overs home.

5. If you have everyone to your home make sure they help with the cleaning up because this is one time you too would like to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner and rest and relax at the end of the day with a lovely glass of wine and good conversation.

6. If you decide to eat out get with your Innkeeper, host of your favorite restaurant and still plan who will you will be having dinner with. The time, who will be sitting next to whom. Are you going to stay over at the Bed and Breakfast Inn and what the plan will be for the next day. Remember Turkey will make you want to relax and if your having wine be sure no go right out and drive. Keep and eye on the elderly specially if they are in a new environment and you do not want any mishaps. This is just one of several articles we are planning to bring you over the holidays.

– The Aardvark Team

Bread Pudding from Corner Cottage a Traditional Bed and Breakfast Fredericksburg TX
www.fredericksburgcornercottage.com

3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces stale French bread, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 15 ounce can of peaches, cut into bite sized pieces

Beat sugar, eggs and Half and Half. Add all the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight. Spray a 9×9 pan with nonstick spray. Pour mixture into pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until golden. Serve with Amaretto Sauce (recipe follows).

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto

Cook all ingredients except Amaretto until mixture thickens. Add Amaretto at the last. Drizzle over bread pudding.

Please check our www.InnRecipes.com for some of the most delicious gourmet cooking on the internet. They have been provided by our Bed and Breakfast Inns so you know they have been well tested by guests who have given them rave reviews. Enjoy.

More on Repeat Business

We received emails responding to our “How Much Repeat Guests Mean to Your Business” blog and would like to pass along more of what we have contributed to this subject.

1. We are firm believer’s in hiring employee’s who love their jobs, are friendly with a positive attitude about working for you and want your guests to know that your the best Bed and Breakfast Inn in town, with the best rooms and best gourmet breakfast in the business. Your receptionist is the first person guest talk to and their positive attitude is where it all starts. You want your guests to visit again and again and to bring their family and friends. You will want guests who passing through your area will not mind going out of their way to stay at your B&BInn because the beds are the most comfortable, your gourmet breakfast is the best and you and your employee’s are happy to see them and they feel special.  It is your great relationship with them that keeps them coming back to visit you. Not one that there is not one there to greet them and only a door opened and a key laying on the desk or outside the door and a number to call with no one to greet them. Even if you live next door in the Innkeepers quarters make it a point to greet your guests.

2. Send out newsletters to keep them up-to-date about new things going on at your Bed and Breakfast Inn (be careful not to send every week once a month so as not to overburden them with email or postcards. Mailed  a postcard that says “because they are a favorite guest they will be awarded a 10% discount and tell them to bring a friends  they too will received the same discount on their first visit”. Encourage your guest to return. Keep names and addresses for contact. VistaPrint.com is an easy and inexpensive way to send a postcard with these discounts. With the holidays so close choose several designs, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, offer midweek Specials just for these occasions or a Thursday, Friday and Saturday Special on one day of their visit discounted (Monday is a good free day for a 3 day visit) These post cards are easy to design and are available on vistaprint.com..Who does not like a discount. This way your connecting and gaining loyal guests.

3. Greet all your guest with a coffee, tea or wine and cookies, or hors d’oeuvres. They may have traveled a few hours to visit you and are hungry and this shows that you are happy to have them as guests this is a special touch

4. Word of mouth, short domain name and email address are your best friend in this business.  Your blog is another great advertising tool. Keep it simple with new information every week. If you offer massages give them information. Make sure they make appointments.  After 10 massage give them one free or a nice discount or something special. If your guests are weekday guest give them a special discount. Business Men love discounts and many once they have stayed at a Bed and Breakfast/Inn do not like to return to a hotel. Remember if you have offered them a special discount for say 10 says and a free night guests are more likely to return if they are near their free discount.

5. If you are the owner/innkeeper make sure you check all the rooms to make sure everything is immaculate, that all the amenities you have promised are there. One little thing could result in a bad review on one of the top reviewing sites. This could cost you a lot of revenue. If you find a bad review RESPOND.

6. Do your best to keep all your rooms and public areas attractive with a new and exciting atmosphere. It is fun to have your guest say oh, you have changed thing or added this or that. Everyone love to see new

7. To sum up the above:
a. contact your previous guests via email or postcard so they want to know they are a valued guest.
b. Everyone loves a discount or reward
c. Most of all create a positive experience with a staff who love representing you and cleanliness and the best food.
d. your competions is out there and you do want to be the best in every area.
e. Stay up to date in prices, services and discounts and that your worth every cent with the extra special service you provide.
F. Bad Review? RESPOND!
G. YOUR GUESTS ARE YOUR REVENUE

How Much Repeat Guests Mean to Your Business

In the Bed and Breakfast Inn business repeat business is everything. From the value of their first visit to their return because you have gained their loyalty with your services and smiles. These services such as great rooms, amenities, and a very important staff training. A staff can make or break you. Smiling, polite and quick to please staff members customer service will bring repeat bookings as well as word of mouth recommendations. Invest in your staff give them the tools to make this a successful business which will benefit both of you. Just a one time stay at your business with poor customer service could cost you. A bad review will be there for a very long time and will make a difference in many bookings to come. Make sure you and your staff listen to your guests because reviews are taken seriously because these reviews are taken seriously. Maintenance of your property is a must. The best quality mattresses, spacious beautifully decorated rooms, enlist the help of a decorator who will help follow the theme of your B&B/Inn. Welcome your guests with a coffee, tea, special drink that is of your own recipe. Speaking of recipes when your guests leave send them off with a special recipe you may have prepared for breakfast that they especially enjoyed or other little gift. This may bring them back again. Give your guest their space but also be there if they need casual or fine dining recommendations, directions to special attractions, or shops or antiquing, golf or something that may be of interest to them that they may not even have that they may not even know was in the area. Discounted tickets to events, dining, museums, galleries are a wonderful gift for your guests. Remember your guest visits are short and their time is valuable. Free services or random kindness is always remembered and goes a long way to making your reviews exceptional.
As company in this business we read reviews constantly to keep up with who’s who in this industry and when we see one review we will question who is at fault but when we read many reviews we know that something is amiss and that the Innkeepers need to take these reviews seriously and also be more considerate of their guest and the B&B/Inn property.
We hope this blog has been helpful. We hope that all of the Bed and Breakfast Inn will be successful and that their guest will feel really special on their time spent with you at your Bed and Breakfast Inn.
– The Aardvark Team

Going Green – A Modern Look For B&B’s

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Bed and Breakfast News around the world says “going green” is something you want to consider when purchasing a bed and breakfast inn. A “green environment” for your guest is being a responsible owner/innkeeper of your B&B/inn property.

What does it mean to “go green”? Recycling paper, aluminum, glass, cardboard and asking your staff to commit to this too is important. Do away with plastic. Use stainless steel reusable water bottles and not plastic bottles. If painting your bed and breakfast, use the best water-based paint that has no air pollutants. Think about the cleaning products you will be using. Cotton rags are the best to clean with. Turn off electric appliances when they are not in use. Shutting off your TV, lights, computers, toasters, etc. will not only save you money but will help with “going green”. Turn the off the hot water heater when not in use or at least turn it down. Get rid of aerosol cans. Dispose of chemical waste. Use reclaimed lumber for floors, doors, fences and any other things you need to repaid that are wooden on your property. Donate to thrift stores for recycling furniture and clothing. Use a timer when taking a shower; those few minutes less will keep your water heating costs down. Make sure you have full loads for washer, dryer and dishwasher before washing and drying. Make lists before you go out to do your shopping this way you will not use so much fuel and the environment will be safer.

Plant a garden of vegetables or flowers to have fresh arrangements every day for your guests and your inn. Did you know planting a tree reduces carbon dioxide up to 2,000 pounds a year in the environment? A couple of trees would be a great contribution to “going green”.

As you can see InnsForSale.com and BedAndBreakfastNetwork.com has strong opinions about “going green”. Set the example for guests to see you use so they will follow. We strongly encourage you to read as much as you can and put into action “going green” for your bed and breakfast inn, for yourself and most importantly, for mother earth.