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 ‘curb appeal’

B&B Outdoor Living

February 9th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

Rockland Maine's Berry Manor Inn

Curb appeal-you bet. The Berry Manor Inn, Rockland Maine

Guests love your B&B outdoor living spaces. Right? I know it is February and many innkeepers in the northern climes have stored away their outdoor furniture and put their gardens to rest, but it is never too early to start thinking about spring. Touch up paint on the ‘ol rockers and window boxes or… maybe a fresh new design entirely. Read the following and you may get inspired.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

This tip is from HGTV about home sales (there are 10 of them, worth a read) but it is great advise for your B&B as well, whether you are planning to sell or not. Your outdoor living spaces throughout your property are prime areas to add inviting character to your Inn. I like to advise innkeepers to think of their porches, patios and balconies as extra rooms, just like their interior rooms. These spaces should be as comfortable, clean and inviting (and inspiring) as your common rooms and guest bedrooms.

Need inspiration? Pinterest is a great place to search for it. The B&B Team has three Pinterest boards devoted to B&B outdoor living  inspirational ideas.

Outdoor Living-Old Manse Inn, Cape Cod

Outdoor Living-Old Manse Inn, Cape Cod-Christian Giannelli Photography

Some examples of success  may also inspire. Brian and Charlie purchased the Old Manse Inn in Brewster on Cape Cod three years ago. Since their purchase they have not only upgraded the guest rooms and common rooms but also their outdoor living spaces. The private deck off their Lewis Bay Light Suite is a great example of that comfortable and inviting outdoor space guests love to experience. Talked to Brian recently and he told me since the redo this room went from 25% occupancy to 38%. Success!

Guests not only want to experience the outdoors but want to see it before they book. You know what’s coming next don’t you? Good professional photography. In our visual media world of today, this is not just a recommendation but a necessity!

Irish Hollow Inn, Galena IL

Irish Hollow Inn, Galena IL

One of my favorite porch photographs from Christian Giannelli, the Irish Hollow Inn in Galena IL. Now this is an outdoor living room with character!

Whether it is adding new updated patio furniture, a fire pit on the back lawn or a secret garden oasis, get inspired and start making memories in your outdoor living spaces. It’s sure to extend the ‘welcome’ along with the value of your B&B.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf


How to Make Your Inn More Valuable

February 4th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

how to make your inn more valuable

Inn at English Meadows. Web appeal is the new curb appeal.

Just received the March Consumer Reports magazine and a spark plug ignited in my brain! The cover story spoke to me. ‘Boost Your Home’s Value By 10%’.  Let’s see if what they say can also relate to how to make your Inn more valuable. Many of the suggestions made in this article are points we have been suggesting (strongly) with our innkeeping clients since The B&B Team has been in business. When The B&B Team values a property, condition plays a big role.

For the article, Consumer Reports contacted 303 real estate pros from around the country. They answered many survey questions. Let’s take a look at what innkeepers should be doing to keep their property in top condition. You do this for your guests, right?  You will also need to work for the time, and that time will come, when you open your Inn for potential buyers.

‘What are the costliest mistakes sellers make?

#1 Clean Up, Clear Out

‘Nothing drives away would-be buyers faster than clutter.’ I wish we could say that we see this occasionally but unfortunately we see this mistake far too often. Basements and owner’s quarters are the worst.  Potential buyers must be able to see their possessions in these spaces. They are leaving their comfortable private homes and need to feel they are entering a clean, safe and comfortable environment for their private living and working space.

My 30: Simplify

Clear it out!


#2 Spruce Up the Kitchen

Most of your guests may never see your Inn’s kitchen unless it is an open floor/door configuration. But your potential buyers will! Ongoing repairs and upgrading appliances and fixtures as needed is recommended. You don’t want to be facing costly repairs in a short period of time.  A fresh coat of paint goes along way too.

#3 Freshen up the Bath

Have to add the ‘s’ here!  “Simple improvements like caulking the tub or re-grouting the tile floor go a long way in the mind of the buyer.”  Remember, everything they see that is fresh, clean and repaired well is something they don’t have to face doing themselves.

The Consumer Reports article lists and rates fixtures for the kitchen and bath. Good information and worth picking up this issue or subscribing online.

#4 Paint the Rooms-Selectively

Fresh, clean and de-cluttered also can refer to the walls in your guest rooms. Fussy and flowery wallpaper has been on the unwanted list for a while. Starting now with updating your guestrooms is highly recommended. One or two at a time and you will be surprised at the positive reaction you will get from your guests as well as your future prospective buyers.

how to make your inn more valuable

Clean, fresh and no clutter

#5 Enhance the Exterior

Curb appeal is so important. It is like your home page on your website. The 3 second opt out rule is true for your exterior too. Buyers see overgrown shrubs, weeds in the walkways, and even worse, a cracked foundation. Result: They are thinking ‘reduced price’.

“The roof is another area to pay close attention to because prospective buyers are sure to do the same.”  The B&B Team will ditto this statement 5 X +. We have seen buyers walk away from properties that they are very close to purchasing because of roofing problems that the sellers just didn’t want to deal with. True!

“Web appeal” has been called the new curb appeal. That puts a premium on the photos that you use in your online property listing.” We love when our seller clients have good photos. “Buyers pay more attention to photos than the actual property description.”

These are just some highlights from this article with so much great information and advice. It could be 10% boost in value or even more. But don’t wait, the important word here is ‘ongoing’. If you value your Inn than let it shine. Others will also see the care and love you have put into your Inn and that =more value.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf