Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team
 

Posts Tagged ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping Seminar’

How to Start a Bed and Breakfast-August Seminar in Texas

May 24th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

Have you ever wondered about how to start a bed and breakfast?

Lake Granbury, the setting for the B&B Team seminar on how to start a bed and breakfast in Texas

Lake Granbury, Texas

Lake Granbury Texas, is a jewel in the rolling hill country of Texas and a great location to learn how to start a bed and breakfast-August seminar in Texas!  The lure of the lake draws people from the city hubs of Dallas-Fort Worth as well as from the entire US. On the lake is another jewel, the award winning The Inn on Lake Granbury. This magnificent property is the location of The B&B Team’s August 26-28 Weekend ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ Seminar. The B&B Team is pleased to offer for the first time in Texas our nationally acclaimed seminar. Very convenient for those hitting the road by car or by air into the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport.

Why Should I (We) Attend This Seminar on How to Start a Bed and Breakfast-August Seminar in Texas?

Pool at Inn on Lake Granbury

Inn on Lake Granbury

  • Our weekend seminar is our premier, most in-depth future innkeeper program.
  • People who take our seminar for aspiring innkeepers are more informed about:
    • The acquisition process
    • The Innkeeping lifestyle
    • The capital requirements for financing
    • Current marketing trends
    • Best practices for being a successful innkeeper
  • Plus you are learning from former innkeepers and consultants/advisors and brokers with many years of experience.
  •  And, we have a lot of fun! You will work hard and play hard with us!
Inn on Lake Granbury Conference Room

Inn on Lake Granbury Conference Room – a great place to learn how to start a bed and breakfast in Texas!

To sum it up here is a comment from an attendee at our most recent seminar:

“Relaxed, highly informative, wholly enjoyable. I feel so much more knowledgeable and empowered to take the next steps in becoming an innkeeper. The personal experiences you shared really enriched the mere ‘objective’ aspects of the curriculum.”

The B&B Team would love to welcome you to The Inn on Lake Granbury. The Inn is the only B&B or inn on Lake Granbury that has 15 luxurious rooms (many with lake views), a saltwater pool with waterfall, and a conference facility for groups. Wow! Learn innkeeping while enjoying Texas hospitality at one of the best bed and breakfasts in Texas and the US.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

2016 The Year of the Entrepreneur/Innkeeper

December 29th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

New Innkeepers/Entrepreneurs and seminar graduates Amanda and Joe The Villa at Saugerties

 

The phone rings, and we answer… How may I help you? “Well…I would like some information on the So ‘n So Inn you have listed on The B&B Team website”. Thus the conversation starts and the journey begins. “For would-be entrepreneurs, sometimes the hardest part about starting a business is taking that first step.” From a recent article “Why 2016 Is the Year of the Entrepreneur” by Paul Sisolak.

I agree with this statement 100%, and making that call to The B&B Team is a smart first step.

The theme of Mr. Sisolak’s article focuses on the need for fiscal responsibility for the “would-be entrepreneurs.” Tip #1 was the need for creating long term wealth. The article gives great advice on how to conserve spending and create future wealth.  The buyers we have worked with that have the strongest buying power have done just that. They are in a position of strength because they have focused on long term financial goals. As a result they have more options in what they can consider to purchase and where!

In The B&B Team’s extensive experience, when we see strong buyers come to us, they come with a good credit score, assets and often times, retirement savings. They have planned and are in control of their financial resources and are now seeking advice on how best to put it to use for their future life as innkeepers.

Aside from the financial (but not underestimating its importance), is the personal side of making that first step.

“2016 is the year to break free from mediocrity and society’s norms. Now is time to quit your 9-5 job and become an entrepreneur. Start becoming the true you and create the lifestyle you are destined for.” Josh Felber, a serial entrepreneur and high performance coach.

Pretty bold statement! Depending on the circumstances, we often suggest that a good position to be in is jobless and homeless!  Why? Because you are ready, willing and able.

There must be an excitement and positive anticipation for pursuing any new venture. Focus on that initial excitement and passion; that is what gives you the incentive to move forward. Then ask yourself these initial questions.

  • Are you willing to take that chance, believe in yourself and be willing to learn new skills?
  • Do you have confidence that your past successes and your ability to create wealth CAN transfer towards a successful entrepreneur/innkeeping career and lifestyle?

The B&B Team can help you decide if innkeeping is the right choice for you. If you have the passion we can help guide you to achieve your financial goals. They both go hand in hand.

After that first phone call, our next piece of advice is to attend one of our “Better Way to Learn innkeeping™” aspiring innkeeper seminars. The wealth of information in our seminars is tremendous. No muffin recipes, just the facts Jack! The kind of information you need to help you make the decision to move forward or…step back.

Take a look at The B&B Team’s 2016 Seminar Schedule and make that first step, your inner would-be entrepreneur is calling you.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Community Involvement is Good for You

October 1st, 2014 by Janet Wolf

Community involvement

“British Invasion,” aka, Stowe’s kick-off for the Fall Foliage Season. The chef of Brass Lantern Inn (George is on the left) on bratwurst cooking duties for the Stowe Rotary. Fun, fun weekend with my friends here, Brydon and Jen!

Do you remember as a kid your parents would tell you to ‘Go outside and play’. Especially if you appeared antsy or bored or were driving them nuts!  Well the same advice is true for Innkeepers. ‘Get out of the Inn, take a break, go play’.

In our ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminars for aspiring innkeepers we have a section titled; ‘Community’. One of the points we make is that some innkeepers have a tendency to stay cloistered within the property confines. Not good…for you, your community …or the guests.

One way of taking that break is by getting involved with your community. Some of The B&B Team’s graduate aspirers that went on to become innkeepers have taken our advice. I would like to tell you about one of them. George and Maryanne Lewis bought the Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe Vermont a few years ago. They are about ready to celebrate their 5th year. I had a conversation with George the other day and the subject of community involvement came up. Bingo! A blog idea. An email interview followed and here are the results.

How has your community involvement helped you and Maryanne to connect to the community?

The obvious one is that as the latest “flatlanders” to invade this area, our community involvement has allowed us to make friends quickly and establish some wonderful social connections to the town of Stowe.  And through these connections we can’t help but feel that we have also formed some positive and productive alliances related to our business connection to other businesses here in Stowe.  From the simple things like finding a trustworthy plumber (critical in a ca. mid-1800 brick farmhouse now fitted out with 11 bathrooms), to establishing contacts with local/regional bankers to help us grow our business; all of this is made possible through the face to face networking of our community involvement.”

 “Perhaps because we live in a small town of only 4,500 residents, and due to our community involvement, I see and greet at least one or two people I know each time I am at the Post Office.  And this is from living here less than 5 years.  Sounds simple, but knowing people in this town, helps us feel connected and provides us with a sense of belonging in our new hometown….”

Has your involvement helped your business in the sense that more locals know about the Brass Lantern Inn and may recommend the Inn to others?

“Yes, we have definitely seen some room reservations through our local connections.  Just a few examples;  A Rotary friend who is also the CEO of a major Medical Center in the area has had several business visitors/clients stay with us.  Word of mouth through the neighborhood has provided us with many, many full weekends of the friends and family of the Bride or Groom side for weddings.  Very cool, as we get the “full house” business benefits of the wedding without having to host the wedding itself!!”

Feel free to add anything that comes to mind, a personal story or a specific event related to your involvement.

“Of course you do have to be careful with how much you put yourself out there in the community and offering of yourself as a volunteer.  For me personally I find it hard to say, “no,” to a call for volunteers or to either lead or be part of a community based Committee or Board of Directors.  There have certainly been some points along the path in this relationship of volunteering and community involvement where I realized I may have overextended myself but have no alternative than to trust in my new friends for support and put my head down and work through it.”

 “Ultimately, I think it is critical to our business survival and long term enjoyment of this area to be connected to our community.  Wherever we have called home I realize that the best way to feel that you are in a different place (and hence why did you move here?….) is to become part of the fabric of the community.  We have been so very fortunate to have had this opportunity in each of our past and present home bases to connect with some amazing people and make some new friendships.  I can’t imagine anything more rewarding and satisfying than the richness of relationships!”

 “And finally – The B&B Team reinforced much of this and more in an amazing weekend in Kennebunkport many years ago!  I constantly tell those we host that give us the ole, “you know, we always thought about being Innkeepers”, the advice that you need is… to do your homework. The B&B Team makes dreams come true but I also believe you do a wonderful job of making sure people go into this adventure with eyes wide open!  And as the song goes, “future so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

Stowe Vermont community involvement

Put your sunglasses on. Stowe Vermont autumn gold.

Thank you so much George. I could not have communicated my point any better. (I love it when people write my blogs for me!)

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

All Maine Points -The B&B Team Maine Inns for Sale

August 21st, 2014 by Janet Wolf

The B&B Team Maine Inns for SaleAre you ready to take a journey to The B&B Team Maine Inns for Sale? Lets go.

Why is Maine a dream location hot spot for aspiring innkeepers? Is it the vast acres of wilderness protected within the national and state parks?  Is it the crooked scenic miles of rocky shore? Is it lobster, moose?  Or is the lifestyle and potential bragging rights to be able to one day say; ”My home is Maine.”

The B&B Team is fortunate to represent a large variety of lodging properties in the state of Maine. Our current Maine Inns for Sale listings number 21.  Those are The B&B Team’s bragging rights and we work hard for those rights! Also for our clients and the small lodging industry nation wide.

Just like the different Maine regions, not one inn is alike. From the most luxurious indulgent inns to classic seaside cottages to historic country inns with unique dining, to timeless roadside cabins and motel units, the choices are varied and substantial.

There are seven regions in Maine. It is New England’s largest state. With 35,385 sq. mi, 83% of it forested. Measured from one end to the other is only 228 miles. But the shoreline measures 3,478 Miles. Odd? No, just look at the map. Population is 1,328,302, less than the population of New York City! Of course the population bulges with seasonal tourists and summer residents, a grand thing for those who do business in the state.

Let’s start the journey.

Maine Inns for sale

The views from The Inn at Moosehead Lake

Starting at the top, we visit Northern Maine which includes the Moosehead Lake area. One of the best Inns in the area is The Lodge at Moosehead Lake. The lure of the lake, adventure outings, lakeside dining completes the whole experience for guests. Plus a killer business and newly built post and bean lakeside owner’s house.

Moving clockwise we visit Down East. Lubec, the eastern most town in the US is where the Peacock House Bed and Breakfast resides. “Tourism is low-key yet wildly rewarding in this northern U.S. locale. Lubec’s historical harmony with the sea and its close ties to the Canadian Maritimes are securing its future.” Great quote from Fodors.

The B&B Team Maine Inns for sale

Peacock House Bed & Breakfast in Down East Maine

Travelling further down the coast we come to Mount Desert Island in the Acadia area. The town of Bar Harbor is well known for their B&B’s with Acadia National Park a prime draw, a true destination location.  The Graycote Inn is a well-established financially viable property in the heart of Bar Harbor. Three financially feasible Inns, Clark Point Inn, Coach Stop Inn and Maples Inn are property gems waiting for their next step.  The beauty of the area is overwhelming. To live and become a part of this business community is a dream that can come true.

The B&B Team Maine Inns for Sale

Graycote Inn Bar Harbor Maine Inn for Sale

The East Penobscot Bay Region is home to Deer Isle and the Pilgrim’s Inn & Whale’s Rib Tavern. At true classic full service Inn in a most enchanting village location. Surrounding the Inn is an ‘intermingling of land and water with cove and lupine-fringed inlets’. A financially successful seasonal business with plenty of room for growth.

The B&B Team Maine inns for sale

Pilgrim’s Inn Deer Isle Maine Inn & Restaurant for Sale

Moving on to the Midcoast Region, shall we? Starting in Lincolnville, a smidge north of Camden, you will find the Pine Grove Cottages. Classic Maine roadside cottages surrounded by tall pines yet on the coast. Best of both Maine worlds. Also in this locale is Abbington’s Seaview Motel & Cottages, a property just waiting for the right innkeepers to revitalize this prime location property.

The B&B Team Maine Inns

Pine Grove Cottages for Sale

Right next door, Camden, known as ‘The Jewel of the Maine Coast”. The Inns at Blackberry Commons come with a strong history of hospitality and the numbers to prove it. Classic Camden architecture, a jewel unto itself.  Next stop, set off Route One in Camden is a charming 4 guest room lifestyle bed and breakfast, Abigail’s Inn. Worth a look see! Take a short scenic drive from Camden central to the Youngstown Inn, a classic 1810 farmhouse inn and restaurant. Close to Lake Megunticock and the Cellar Door Winery, beautiful setting.

The B&B Team Maine Inn for Sale

The Inns at Blackberry Commons, Camden

Next stop, Rockport. The seaside Claddagh Motel & Suites with a superb business set by scenic Glen Cove. 19 units and a pool complete the experience.

Still exploring the Midcoast, a must see award winning luxury bed and breakfast located in Rockland. Twelve elegant guest rooms with a booming business in a booming active destination town. This well known and prime property will astound.

The B&B Team Maine inns for sale

Prime Rockland Maine Bed & Breakfast for Sale

On the road again. Moving south on scenic coastal Route One with a stop in Wiscasset.  Known as “The Prettiest Little Village in Maine’.  Wiscasset Motor Lodge has excellent roadside visibility, a strong business, with 26 rooms and room for growth. Take a turn off of Route 1 in Wiscasset and travel down a winding country road to Westport Island and you will find a federal style farmhouse, unpretentious and loaded with charm. The Squire Tarbox Inn & Restaurant, 11 guest rooms with wonderful farm to table Maine dining. A truly idyllic historic Maine farm setting.

Maine Inns for sale

Squire Tarbox Inn-views from the back and the farmland beyond

A bit further south is The Inn at Bath. A grand Greek Revival 8 guest room profitable Inn. Spectacular gardens surround the property, a curb appeal that says ‘welcome’. Bath is known for its waterfront and maritime history. The downtown is vibrant and alive.

The B&B Team Maine Inns for sale

Inn at Bath

Let’s take a slight detour, shall we? The Kennebec Valley Region is home to Augusta, Maine’s state capital. Just minutes from the capital sits an idyllic historic farmhouse Bed and Breakfast & Conference Center. But wait…there are 30 acres plus a highly successful and strong conference, meetings and wedding event business.

The B&B Team Maine inns for sale

Maine Bed & Breakfast and Conference Center in a grand farmland setting

Travelling due west we cross into the Western Mountains and Lakes Region. Home to Sebago Lake and a well- established profitable lakeside Maine Sebago Lake Region Resort. Families, couples and event attendees have enjoyed this Maine lakeside resort for decades. Naples is in the heart of this region. Here we find the Romah Motor Inn, a 9 motel unit property, well maintained and ideally positioned for growth.

The B&B Team Maine Inns for sale

Sebago Lake Region Resort for Sale-ah the lure of the lake

Last but oh, so not least we arrive in the Casco Bay Region. Home to Maine’s largest city, Portland and Freeport, home to LL Bean. Not far from this center of Portland’s bustling activity and tourism are Pine Crest Inn and 91 South Restaurant. A beautiful neighborhood bed and breakfast with a popular wine bar and dining venue.

The journey ends here but always keep in touch on our Maine Inns for sale page, there may be another road to travel and Maine Inn for sale to visit.

All of us at The B&B Team work hard at helping aspirers make those dreams come true, with a lot of reality thrown into the education mix! Interested in Maine or the other 22 states we have properties listed, take the first step. Attend a ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminar for aspiring innkeepers. After you will be ready to pursue the wonderful world of Innkeeping.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

A Blog About Blogging

October 24th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

How to Search Engine OptimizationRecently an innkeeper told me; “I used to blog but I never got any comments back, so I stopped”. That may have been a reason or concern in 2007 but not today. In this blog about blogging (say that three times fast!) I will quote some internet gurus on the subject. As you may know I write most of The B&B Team blogs and have found I really enjoy it, more than I thought I would. I enjoy the research and creative process of writing. But I get my technical advice from techy angels. Those great behind the scenes people who make the show happen. In our case it is Shawn Kerr from Inside Out Solutions.

In a recent ‘blog about blogging’ from Shawn: “Blogging is still the best way for many businesses to generate fresh, quality content for website visibility in organic search.” This is the precise reason to blog today. Comments may come or not.

From another guru Tess Wittler: “Search engines, such as Google, love and reward you for having fresh, original content on your website.”

Another good reason to blog: “Customers get to know you, and because of this, you are setting yourself apart from the competition”, another quote from Tess Wittler. Another bit of advice innkeepers need to understand when they choose a subject to blog about is to hard sell your area and soft sell your Inn.

A great example of a good Inn blog is the Maine Stay Inn & Cottages. Their most recent postings were about the fall weather, food with pumpkin as a main ingredient, and yes there is one about the Inn.

“In honor of National Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Day, Hotels.com compiled a list of their favorite B&Bs across the nation, and we were so excited to find the Maine Stay Inn on that list! Their article “10 Charming American Bed & Breakfasts Around the US”.

Yeah, it is OK to toot your own horn on occasion. But the rest of the blog talks about why Maine bed and breakfasts in general are special, not just the Maine Stay Inn. Another plus for them is they blog often, already six postings in October and it is only the 17th as I sit here composing. Their SEO engines are hummin’!

To conclude I will quote Shawn again. He says that …’smaller, niche businesses and organizations have a growing opportunity to get their content out to search engine users when they put in the necessary discipline and follow best practices in their effort.’ ‘Best practices’ is the techy part you may need help with. Hopefully  your website provider can give you guidance. If not find it someplace else. There are webinars you can sign up for from companies like Inside Out Solutions and Acorn Internet Services.

Small niche businesses like your bed and breakfast need all the visibility you can generate. Bogging is a great tool to get your word out and be heard, and it is fun, really.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Shoreham Inn-Vermont Way to Stay

October 17th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

Mill at Sunset

Sunset on the southern shore of Lake Champlain minutes from The Shoreham Inn

 

The Shoreham Inn is a true Vermont Way to Stay. An Inn with a location and thriving business worth a visit. In our “Better Way to Learn Innkeeping” aspiring seminars, we ask our attendees what area of the country they would like their inn to be located in.  The B&B Team believes aspiring innkeepers should focus on the location they believe they would want to live and work. It is a very important component of their search process.

For many aspirers New England and especially Vermont is a location on their list of places to explore. The Green Mountain state has long been known for country inn hospitality. More reasons for owning a business in Vermont is that it has been named the ‘second most peaceful place to live’ in the US as well as the healthiest state in the US four years in a row.

Once you have identified an area then you can start identifying some properties.  Shoreham Vermont is a classic Vermont town surrounded by vistas of century old dairy farms and orchards. Shoreham is known as the ‘Heart of the Land of Milk and Honey’. And this is pretty literal. The area is famous for its apple orchards (with bees) and pastures of grazing sheep and cows (milk). Shoreham has one of the oldest and most picturesque apple orchards in Vermont, Champlain Orchards. It is also home to several growing businesses. Tata Harper Skin Care and Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey. Middlebury is 15 minutes from Shoreham, home of Middlebury College. A highly rated liberal arts college with its own ski area, small but a tremendous value.

The beauty and simplicity of Shoreham and surrounding area is truly a location to fall in love with. Set near the southern shore of Lake Champlain with the Green Mountains to the east and the skyline of the Adirondacks rising over the lake to the west as a backdrop. Travelers flock to this area for all the reasons stated here. Cyclists especially love to explore the challenging roads and vistas.

Cyclist and travel writer Jeff Katz for the Boston Globe

Cyclist and travel writer Jeff Katz for the Boston Globe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a classic country inn for sale right in the middle of it all. The Shoreham Inn has ‘retained its fine country feel and essential 1790 Vermont character while adding those comforts and amenities that make our stay special. The dining room, with its exposed beams and open fireplace, exudes warmth and charm and sets the friendly atmosphere for delicious home-cooked meals.’ These accolades and many more have been written about the Shoreham Inn Vermont.

Shoreham Inn Vermont

Shoreham Inn patio outside a suite

Unlike many buildings that have been converted into country inns, the Shoreham Inn has been welcoming guests for over 200 years! Talk about hospitality, if walls could talk. But lets’ talk about the present Shoreham Inn. The walls today are filled with guests enjoying great food and beverage in the ‘Gastropub’ and great comfort and modern amenities in their 10 guest rooms which include 3 contemporary loft style suites.

The total view looks pretty good here. Great state, great area and great town. Add a thriving full service country inn business to this view and you get the Shoreham Inn & Pub. New innkeepers can take an established and growing business and make it their own while enjoying a vibrant community and much sought after Vermont lifestyle. A great quote from the current innkeeper…”Vermont and Addison County is particular is a true melding of committed outsiders with diverse tastes and excitement for this beautiful place, and long, long term locals, also diverse, enthusiastic in their own ways and happy to live where they do.” They know because they are a part of the community and welcome these diverse folks to their pub frequently. Not just customers but friends.

Shoreham Inn near Lake Champlaine for sale

Fall colors surround The Shoreham Inn

Thanks for listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Giver, Taker, Matcher – Which One Are You?

April 26th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

9780670026555H[1]I recently came across a video interview with Adam Grant who talks about his book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Adam Grant is a Wharton School of Business professor, a very young and popular one, a sort of rock star professor. You may have seen him being interviewed on the Today Show recently. Let’s look at how his concept can relate to the business of hospitality and your success as innkeepers.

His theory is there are two personality extremes: the takers and the givers. The takers are the people who; “Get as much information from you as they can get without contributing anything if at all to the interaction. The takers will take the most direct path to achieving their own goals. The givers are always looking to give advice, provide mentoring or sharing knowledge without expecting anything in return.” He goes on to say that there is balance between these two extremes that we should try to achieve. He calls these people matchers. Most of us fall into this category. A matcher is somebody who tries to maintain an even balance of give and take. “If I help you, I expect to be helped in return. They keep score of exchanges, so that everything is fair and really just.” Now the important question, who among the two extremes tend to be more successful in business?

I´m not hungry - I´m just greedy

A real greedy taker

The professor did extensive research and came up with some very interesting conclusions. “Givers are overrepresented at the top as well as the bottom of most success metrics. But they are also overrepresented at the bottom.” Reason? The givers put themselves at the risk for burning out. Ahh, does this sound familiar? Professor Grant says; “Many givers confuse being helpful or being generous with being available for every person and every request all the time.” We all know innkeepers like that; you may be one of them. I know I fell into that extreme end of the giver spectrum in my first months of innkeeping. We physically cannot be available 24/7 and be everything to every guest. This is the perfect recipe for burn out. Many of The B&B Team’s “Better Way to Learn Innkeeping” seminar attendees often comment, ‘I hear that innkeeping is a 24/7 job.’ We tell them that if that is the case, those innkeepers that tell you that are not running a successful business. So the next question is how do you erase the 24/7 mentality and balance your business to avoid burn out?

It really comes down to protecting your time and yourself. Your guests, your partner, your Inn are important and so are you. If you are constantly giving all your time and energy to your guests there will be nothing left for anyone else, including the business of running your Inn.  You can be helpful and generous of your time and still have time for yourself. Really!

Professor Grant says; ”I think that we need to work with people who fall in the giving end of the spectrum to help them set clear boundaries and determine, ‘Okay, how am I going to help most of the people most of the time?’ He came up with what he calls the “the five minute favor’. “ Instead of just helping everyone all the time, ask, “Can I offer something of unique value to this other person that will take me five minutes or less? It’s basically about finding high benefit to others, but at low cost to the self.”

Example: Try making a game of it. ‘The 15 Minute Turn Around’. Can you turn a grumpy guest into a satisfied guest in 15 minutes? Rick and I used to bet each other to see which one of us could turn a guest around the fastest during the check-in process. It was fun and it usually worked. But we all know that some guests are high maintenance and whatever you do they will never be satisfied. They are most likely the real greedy takers of the world. These guests are time suckers and will drain your energy and try your giving nature. Remember what Professor Grant says, they are people who will get as much information out of you without contributing anything in return. Not even a ‘Thank You’. The extreme takers are difficult if not impossible to win over and they will probably not be repeat guests. Acknowledge them, treat them well, smile and keep your cool.

Buddha dog

We all need some balance in our lives

I believe that innkeepers in general fall more at the giving end of the spectrum but must balance their time like a matcher to be truly successful for the longest period of time. “Oftentimes givers put themselves at risk in the short run. But in the long run, they end up building the kind of social capital that’s really important for success in a very connected world.” Yes you may have days when your guests suck all your energy out of you and you don’t think you have anything left to give. But then a guest you have connected with and have created a great relationship with calls and makes that repeat week long reservation for the fourth year in a row. Or one of your grumpy complaining guests you thought you would never see again calls and wants to get married at your Inn because they had such a wonderful experience. That’s what it’s really about isn’t it?

Thanks for listening

Janet Wolf

 

First Days of Innkeeping

July 16th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

Yoshio and Diane attending The B&B Team’s Better Way to Learn Innkeeping Seminar last November in Kennebunkport, Maine

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’, advice we hear frequently. But with new innkeepers starting off in the height of the season that small stuff can seem awfully BIG. Many of you may recall your first jittery days as innkeepers and can look back with a nostalgic chuckle or two. We received a very expressive email from newbie innkeeper, Yoshio Endo last week that we would love to share. Yoshio and Diane Endo purchased The Inn at Ormsby Hill in Manchester Vermont earlier this month. The B&B Team was proud to represent the Endos in the sale of this beautiful Select Registry, Four Diamond AAA property. Read on and see if any of this ‘small stuff’ sounds familiar.

“Friday the 13th was our 3rd day as innkeepers. The first day was frightening with the movers unloading and 3 guest check-ins. Diane was working until 10 pm to get prepared for breakfast the next morning. We didn’t even know where the light switches were for the outside and other places (as we never went through the night closing routines). We forgot how to adjust the air conditioning zone for some of the guest rooms and the guests were coming any time. Panic time! But we figured it out in the end.

The breakfast on the 2nd day was a bit rough as Diane was not used to the oven and each oven seems to have its own kinks. The bread did not come out as practiced in Westport and the hot entrée was suspicious of being slightly undercooked. The Japanese buns came out in funky shapes and certainly looked homemade, not very professional. Just when the guests started to sit down, I went to get an extra juice glass and dropped it. The glass shattered in the dining room with me standing like a deer in a head light. Candi, our housekeeping guru, came to the rescue. The guests were really great and very accepting of my mistake. We got lucky this week with a great group of people. Diane served 12 breakfasts on the 2nd day and 14 on the 3rd. There were supposed to be 15 tomorrow but two are leaving early so they are skipping breakfast. We offered to make a special arrangement for an early breakfast but they knew how busy we were and graciously declined. We gave them our travel mug in lieu of breakfast and they gave us a hug!

One less juice glass

There was a party of four who were very experienced B&B travelers so they researched and booked their own restaurant. They asked me about the restaurant but we had never been so I could only give them a general description.

Saying the good-byes and the thank-yous is the best time of the innkeeping experience. It is so fulfilling and rewarding! Confirmation of the right decision we made…did not know we would get that feeling as quickly as we did.

Today those frantic days seem to have passed and we even had time for dinner on the patio after the guests had gone to dinner. Your advice to have time for each other away from the millions of things rushing in our heads is truly the best advice. We can’t forget why we wanted to do this to begin with. A balance in life…

It’s 9:45 pm and I am waiting for the guest who said they would check-in between 8 and 9. Well, that too is innkeeping. I am getting thirsty, if you know what I mean!

P.S. I didn’t get to finish my story about the experienced B&B travelers who booked their own restaurant. Despite my extremely limited information about the restaurant and not being able to help them much, the guests talked about us at the restaurant. The next day we found a vase full of flowers at our front step. The restaurant owner sent us the flowers welcoming us to the community and wishing us good luck!

Thanks to The B&B Team for introducing us to the wonderful life of innkeeping!” Yoshio Endo

We are so proud The B&B Team was able to be a part of their launch into innkeeping. We feel confident that with their enthusiasm and passion they will soar. Thank you Diane and Yoshio for sharing your first days with us.

 

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