Keeping your website up to date

It is incredibly important to have your website redesigned/updated on a regular basis so your site will not become outdated but there are many other reasons. SEO (search engine optimization) is a constant and you have to stay current or you will lose your position against your competitors in this market. New content should be a primary focus on your redesign. Stale content is not good for anyone.

Make your new web site unique and consider adding a blog that feeds to RSS and social network sharing buttons on all pages. Landing pages with important keyword phrases are another must. Make sure that your new web site has a call to action so visitors don’t have to hunt down a way to give you their busines.

Make your web site about what your clients or guests will want, not about you. Write about who will be using your services, what makes you unique and how this can benefit your guests or customers. Do not copy your competitors website as this can hurt your position in the search engines.

Knowing that your web site looks great is not the answer; it is all in how it works and how you communicate your information to guests and customers. Not redesigning your website for many years and having duplicate content is worthless. The search engines now work harder than ever to filter out what is irrelevant, stolen or black hat marketing tactics and will ultimately ignore or blacklist your website.

SEO has changed a lot recently. Giving your guests a reason to move through your website will decrease your bounce rate and keep them going deeper into your website. Have your web master check for broken images. A professional web site is what you should be going for and your web master can provide that for you. Keep your blog up to date. Submit a new idea once a week or at least twice a month. Make your content interesting and improve navigation. Your designer will ask for a lot of content so please try to provide as much as you can. The designer will know when to use information pages. Please understand a professional designer knows how to enhance photos and organize your information.

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

Country Cabin Manor in Alfred Station, New York For Sale

Country Cabin Manor Alfred Station New York is a great opportunity. A log home set in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. 4,000 square feet of guestrooms with vaulted ceilings and skylights, private baths with whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, dining room and maintenance free deck. Turn key with furnishing included. B&B has been in business for 10 years. Located near golf courses, antique shops, and only an hour from Corning Glass Museum and Finger Lakes wineries. Two local collages close by and this is the only Bed and Breakfast in the immediate area. Affordable priced and negotiable.

Open Casting Call For Season 2 of Hotel Hell

FOX and Gordon Ramsay are looking for independently owned Hotels/Resorts/Inns/Lodges nationwide for the next season of Hotel Hell!

After over a decade of running restaurants in some of the top hotels around the world, traveling the globe and running an award-winning boutique hotel in London, Ramsay knows firsthand the crucial importance of surpassing guests’ highest expectations. In the series, Ramsay and a team of hospitality experts will travel across the country to help turn around struggling hotels, resorts and inns!

Season two of FOX’s “Hotel Hell” is now casting. “Hotel Hell” is the fourth series featuring Ramsay to air on FOX, following “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Masterchef.” Season one performed solidly through its first four episodes, averaging 5.3 million viewers.

If you are an owner who would like to apply for HOTEL HELL, please log onto www.TheConlinCompany.com and complete the application. Call (310) 313-9100 or email hotelhell@theconlincompany.com for more information

Please make sure you include your name and contact info (including a phone number), name and location of your property, website (if you have one) and most importantly…WHY you deserve Gordon’s help!

To nominate a hotel: Call (310) 313-9100 or email hotelhell@theconlincompany.com Please make sure you include your name and contact info (including a phone number), name and location of the property, website (if you have one) and most importantly…WHY they need Gordon’s help!

DNS Services Managed DNS Backup Business Service Is A Scam

Fake, scam, trickery, thievery; all of these words describe what the company DNS Services is doing to web hosting clients. It has been brought to our attention by one of our own clients that this company is attempting to trick web hosting clients into paying for a service that they do not have, need or would ever want. Again, the company to look out for is DNS Services (www.dnssvc.com) and they are sending out invoice letters based on the information retrieved from public DNS records to attempt to solicit people into spending their hard-earned money on nonsense. Below is a copy of this letter (click to see a larger version):

As you can see, I have removed the information from our client that received this letter to protect his personal information but all other pertinent info related to the “bill” is still intact. Of importance, if you look at the bottom of the image, you can see I enlarged a portion to show that they themselves are even noting that “DNS Services Inc. is not affiliated with your current name server provider”. This should be a red flag for any hosted website; if you receive an “invoice” like this from DNS Services or any other company attempting to follow in its footsteps, DO NOT PAY IT and call your hosting provider. If you own any websites, make your DNS record private so that your information cannot be retrieved from the public DNS records using a WHOIS lookup. We have the ability to keep our info safe and stop this from happening in the future and I feel all web hosting providers have a responsibility to do so.

Should you receive one of these letters, report it to your hosting company right away and DO NOT PAY IT. They will tell you the best course of action in reporting it. If you have sent them money, STOP PAYMENT ON THE CHECK! They are noted on other reputable websites as not answering their phones or responding to any sort of correspondence with their company whether by phone, e-mail or snail mail.

UPDATE (1/9/2013): We informed OpenSRS of this issue and they created a blog post as well which can be viewed at http://www.opensrs.com/blog/2013/01/beware-of-dns-services-invoices/. Everyone who owns a website should be aware of this.

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.

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